AeroCloud entered the market in 2019, addressing airports’ need for alternative solutions to obsolete legacy technology. George Richardson, CEO and co-founder of AeroCloud, commented, “We are a cloud operations tool, providing airport operations managers with a crystal ball to help them predict the future. AeroCloud’s philosophy is to disseminate all information throughout the airport to all stakeholders for an unlimited use license agreement. What we specifically do is centralize airport data into what is now known as the Intelligent Airport Management Platform.” The management platform is designed to increase airport throughput, centralize all airport data, automate tasks, predict passenger flow, manage gate usage and ensure that all airport stakeholders have access to modern, reliable, and intuitive technology solutions. Because the solution is cloud-native, team members can access their data through its web interface on any device or browser connected to the Internet. “We believe this is a turnkey solution for airports that need to optimize their efficiency. We have 18 customers worldwide, with our largest customer being Tampa International Airport and our smallest customer being Pitt-Greenville Airport. The idea is that we offer them the same solution: it is scalable, affordable, and can be implemented in 48 hours.”
Providing passengers with real-time information about the airport environment at their fingertips is a major industry concern right now, and Atrius is capitalizing on this trend. Building on the success of its previous company name, LocusLab, the indoor mapping and wayfinding solution continues to thrive within the Atrius ecosystem as Atrius Personal Wayfinder. The solution turns the airport terminal into a data-rich intelligent space to inspire and guide passengers. Zach Spencer, Director of Sales at Atrius, explained, “Atrius delivers smart space solutions with a mission to make the built world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. We are a full-service location-based company and provide everything from indoor positioning to connected interactive maps and guidance. Passengers can interact with the maps, discover and explore what the airport space offers, and efficiently navigate through it.” The company uses mechanisms to seamlessly integrate with mobile apps, websites, and digital displays, creating a seamless 360-degree communication strategy. Intuitive indoor mapping solutions provide passengers with real-time information but also help passengers locate restaurants, stores, and other airport services while helping airports easily update concessions information, including locations, opening hours, and contactless services. “A big trend in air travel over the past couple of years is how to combine the digital and physical space. We live in the BYOD world now, and it’s about allowing passengers to find things from their mobile devices rather than going to information kiosks, where airlines and airports have had to reduce staff. This also allows people to have a more personalized experience,” Spencer explained. Ultimately, Atrius has created an ecosystem in which airports, airlines, and other day-trip operators can communicate what is happening in the airport environment, increasing collaboration between all parties.
Ink Innovations introduced its self-service pouch labeling unit, Ink QuickTag Lite. FTE caught up with the company’s CEO and founder, Shawn Richards, who told us more about the new ultra-slim and affordable self-service units. With the new Ink QuickTag Lite solution, airports can retrofit check-in lobbies and bag drop areas with contactless barcode scanning and biometrics to create a tagging and drop-off space for passengers. Richards noted that the solution has been designed to integrate with any departure control system (DCS). To address current staffing shortages, Ink QuickTag Lite is also designed to issue tags with minimal staffing. In addition, staff can perform check-in, bag drop and boarding processes from smart handheld devices. “We are positioning these devices for low-cost and ultra-low-cost airlines and national and regional airports. We are looking for a good pricing model and all of our devices take up very little space,” says Richards.
FTE also met with Richard Dinkelmann, CEO of ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, who guided the company’s complete biometric passenger journey from check-in to boarding. The solution uses facial recognition technology to allow passengers to move from check-in to boarding using biometrics, eliminating the need to continually present passports and boarding pass. The experience involves the passenger checking in at a biometric kiosk, where the passenger’s facial image is captured and verified against his or her passport. Once the verification process is complete, the baggage is quickly and easily deposited into an automatic baggage delivery (ABD) unit, where passengers are automatically recognized by the unit’s built-in camera as they approach the unit. They can then pass through the security and boarding gates equipped with cameras that automatically validate the passenger’s identity. The biometric process, which was first launched at Narita Airport in April 2021, uses the IATA One ID system.
At the Collins booth, FTE wanted to learn more about the company’s acquisition of FlightAware. This leading digital aviation company provides global flight tracking solutions, predictive technology, analytics, and decision-making tools. FlightAware is now part of Collins’ Connected Aviation Solutions business unit, which focuses exclusively on advancing its connected ecosystem solutions. “FlightAware started as a flight tracking company, but now we’ve positioned ourselves as an aviation insights company because we’ve stored all the data we’ve captured over the years, and that allows us to do a lot of analytics, machine learning, and generate new data,” Paul Gibbson, FlightAware’s vice president of products, told FTE. “It’s a unique position we’re in because we have a lot of historical data, we also use live data coming from our network, and then we use machine learning to predict the future. The Collins acquisition allows us to scale and accelerate what we do in terms of impact. It allows us to deliver much more efficiency, sustainability, and reliability, combining the best data with the best applications.” By centralizing aircraft data into one solution, Collins Aerospace aims to increase confidence and provide the correct information to the right user at the right time. It expects FlightAware to achieve this with more accurate data and clear standard visibility. Working with cloud provider Amazon Web Services, Collins Aerospace also argues that this technology is cost-effective, as the cloud-based solution does not require the maintenance that large amounts of airport-based hardware require in traditional operations room settings.
Vanderlande recognizes that digitizing airport processes will be vital to increasing efficiency and flexibility as the industry regains passenger confidence. The company’s mission is to support the industry in these efforts across everything it does – from baggage to passenger handling – moving towards a more streamlined journey from start to finish. Among the most innovative concepts, Vanderlande presented at PTE was the PAX Divest Assistant, created in collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz and Dormakaba Group. Vanderlande’s self-departure solution introduces a self-service feature at airport security checkpoints, allowing passengers to move through the diversion process without the assistance of a local agent. The solution can help reduce interactions between passengers and staff while providing travelers with a stress-free journey through the screening process. “While self-screening is still a somewhat futuristic concept, our airport passenger security screening solution was selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for further design, development, and operational testing,” shared Roxane Beauchesne, Senior Director of Marketing at Vanderlande. “This will bring us closer to a full self-monitoring checkpoint.”