IoT in airports: How is it going to improve our travel experiences?

Technology is already widely associated with airports; after all, it’d be a huge task to run such a complex operation without the assistance of technology! But thanks to the Internet of Things it’s set to move to the next level – sooner rather than later. IoT technologies, including wearables, sensors and even virtual reality are going to become a major part of our travelling experiences– in fact, nearly a quarter of the world’s airlines have already got on board with IoT.

When you go to an airport you can already see how technology is making an impact. Online check-ins have eliminated the need for standing in endless queues and body scanners are used as a security measure.


Despite the current technologies our trips to the airport rarely go without some sort of hitch, or inconvenience. Bags are still misplaced (sometimes even lost) and navigating your way around a crowded airport can be like trying to find your way out of a maze.

This is where IoT can play its part. By tactically placing sensors in certain locations around the airport it’s possible to check the flow of traffic in specific areas; as well as the location of our luggage. There’s also scope to aid security. This includes biometric tokens and wearables for staff to increase efficiency when accessing certain areas of the airport.

A recent SITA study outlined the role that IoT can play in our airport experiences. The study found that nearly a third of all airports worldwide were already utilising the Internet of Things by placing sensors in key locations around their buildings. Here are some figures that show how 225 airports plan to use sensors over the next three years:

  • 66% security check-points
  • 61% bag-drop areas
  • 60% retail areas
  • 54% boarding gates
  • 52% baggage reclaim

These sensors will enable airport management to get real-time updates and understand how they can improve traveller experience.  They’ll be able to see things such as whether extra staff is needed at check-in, which will undoubtedly go a long way to improving the service we receive at airports.


Sensors aren’t the only way airports can use IoT to improve their quality of service. Travellers with a smartphone will be able to use location-aware applications to help guide them to their gate; 71% of airports in the survey indicated that this was something they’d be looking to implement this in the near future.

Virtual reality and artificial intelligence will also play a role, enabling quicker, more accurate real-time data for arrival and departure times.

Despite these solutions being implemented across many of our airports, we won’t now be travelling stress free. You’ll no doubt still encounter queues and there’ll inevitably be delays when waiting for luggage. But at least the airport experience will be less of a hassle thanks to these IoT solutions.

To find out more about how IoT in airports or how similar technology could help your business then give us a call on 0333 313 5005. Alternatively you can get in touch via our contact page.