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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - What s Next?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25299.
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Page 63
Page 64
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - What s Next?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25299.
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Page 64
Page 65
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - What s Next?." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25299.
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Page 65

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63 Future IoT Activities Airport executives see a clear need for IoT to increase efficiency and dif- ferentiation in the future. In fact, the online survey, qualitative interviews, and literature review all revealed burgeoning use of IoT in airports. While most of today’s applications of IoT seek to improve operational efficien- cies in areas such as facilities management, asset management, and baggage handling, the online survey revealed a very different picture for the future of IoT at airports. Survey respondents identified IoT solutions capable of enhancing the cus- tomer experience or strategic differentiation more often among their future plan than solutions focused on operational efficiency. This suggests that sur- vey respondents (primarily from airports) may be approaching IoT with an unspoken maturity model in mind, beginning with easy wins with operational efficiency and then progressing to the more complex, high-reward uses of IoT, which require information flows across a broad set of airport stakeholders. The introduction of new products or services was not mentioned frequently, so it appears that the envisioned IoT solutions will build on services or products already in place. Also, the percentages responding “definitely yes” for the differ- ent types of IoT solutions varied, while the percentages responding “probably yes” did not vary significantly (Table 10). This indicates optimism about future implementation even though current plans may not exist. Within these categories of solutions, a wide range of specific IoT projects are planned, according to responses from the online survey and qualitative interviews. In the online survey, respondents were asked to briefly describe the IoT solutions that their organization will most likely implement. Answers were diverse and covered a range of airport operations as follows: • Self-check-in and bag drop apps. • The ability to push notification of shopping opportunities to travelers. • Asset tracking. • RFID-enabled baggage tags and labels. • Extension of passenger flow and queue monitoring. • Security queue wait time monitoring. • Lighting and HVAC integration. • Parking technology. • Indoor positioning, way finding, analytics, and tracking. C H A P T E R 5 What’s Next? Source: ssguy/Shutterstock.com and phipatbig/ Shutterstock.com, adapted by TTI. Going Beyond Operational Efficiencies While most of today’s airport IoT appli- cations focus on improving operational efficiencies, survey respondents were more interested in IoT solutions that enhance the customer experience or facilitate strategic differentiation.

64 A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things Systems and Data Integration Responses received during the qualitative interviews provided insight into future IoT activities and perceived challenges. The future activities were similar to the IoT solutions identified in the case studies. For example, the need to secure the underlying Wi-Fi network that supports IoT remains a fundamental future implementation for some airports. Airports are expanding Wi-Fi from terminal or passenger-focused application to include coverage for use in operations. This includes covering certain areas outside the terminal and 100 ft beyond the tail of the airplanes parked at the gate. The widespread implementation of a wider Wi-Fi coverage area is a require- ment to connect to systems, objects, hardware, and other devices. Interviewees emphasized IoT solutions that enable system and data integration—either pro- cessual or technological, for example: • Future plans at a large airport, being driven by executive leadership, were to develop standards to make it easier to integrate various airline- and airport-operated terminals, systems, and approaches into an overarching IoT airport operations system. A wider net operating system approach was considered a requirement to ensure all key stakeholders are involved in the process. • A smaller airport focused on implementing an airport management operational software database that connects different systems (i.e., operations department reporting and HVAC information) and provides a dashboard of those systems. The airport has many different sys- tems on separate virtual local area networks with no overarching one to bring them together. The airport determined the overarching system would be needed before it could proceed with IoT in any efficient way. Responses received during the qualitative interviews noted that the airport budget was typi- cally a major constraint. Most of the focus is generally on terminal and runway infrastructure. Avoiding solutions that come with rigid and costly service, licensing, and maintenance contracts is also an issue. IoT in the Core Business Model Regardless of the technology or application involved, IoT will have the biggest impact on air- ports when the technology is driven into the core business model. For example, one of the areas where IoT can have a large impact but in which there are still few applications is traffic manage- IoT Solution Definitely Yes Probably Yes Total Yes Customer experience/differentiation: allows for the personalization of the user experience 37% 48% 85% Monitoring: enables comprehensive monitoring of conditions, systems use, and external environments 27% 49% 76% Efficiency/optimization: helps optimize operations and enhance performance 24% 51% 75% New products/revenue: enables offering new products and services 19% 53% 73% Autonomy: IoT combined with monitoring, control, and optimization enables autonomous operation 11% 46% 57% Scale: Definitely yes, probably yes, probably no, definitely no. Table 10. Response to the question: within the next 5 years, will your organization implement an IoT solution capable of the following activities? [from ACRP Project 01-33 (N = 103)].

What’s Next? 65 ment of the roadway system on approach to the airport. Many airports have traffic problems around the airport, and it is often challenging to figure out how the airport can contribute to resolving this traffic con- gestion. IoT can be used to monitor traffic or determine parking capac- ity, but more significant impact can come when that IoT-generated data are used in the business model itself as San Francisco has done with its street parking. While many areas use sensors to gauge how full park- ing lots or garages are, San Francisco has used those data to change the core business model of how it generates revenue from parking. Rather than simply charging a flat or time-based rate, San Francisco is now using sensors to determine where demand is highest and adjusting parking rates accordingly (Cohen 2017). This can help encourage faster turnover in highly congested areas, generate more parking revenue for the city, and disperse parking to underused areas. The long-term future of IoT at airports lies in the ability of airport operators to do the same— not just use IoT data but drive IoT into the very core of the business model. Cutting-edge changes could include biometric check-in, variable services or prices based on wait times, or any number of other opportunities that IoT can create. Importance of Scalability There is no one IoT solution. Rather, every solution must be custom- ized to the specific business problem an airport is trying to solve. Find- ing the right technologies, vendors, and processes all rely on beginning with a clear vision of what IoT is meant to achieve. The details of this planning process are described in Chapter 4 and can help airport opera- tors begin IoT implementation confident in achieving a positive result. However, that first IoT project or solution is just the beginning. To achieve the full benefits of IoT, it is important to scale pilot projects and expand the scope of successful IoT efforts. Scaling IoT projects involves more than merely deploying more devices. Rather, expand- ing IoT projects to new departments or teams will bring significant organizational change as business processes change and individual workers acquire new tools and skills. Managing this change requires that the whole organiza- tion remain agile. An agile organization can change with changing technology and consider using lightweight prototypes and rapid experimentation. But most important, an agile orga- nization examines the outcomes of IoT pilot projects to determine whether and how they were successful—and has feedback mechanisms to improve and expand successful uses. This means that leadership must encourage change and be available to listen to the workforce about what is working and what is not. The ultimate success of IoT rests not only on the technology used but also on the people involved. IoT’s Influence Successful IoT applications can even influence implementers to change their core business model to a more profitable one, as happened in San Francisco. Adapting IoT In a competitive marketplace, survival equals adaptability. An agile organiza- tion examines the outcomes of IoT pilot projects to determine whether and how they were successful—and has feedback mechanisms to improve and expand successful uses.

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 191: A Primer to Prepare for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things introduces the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) within the airport environment to leverage current and emerging technologies. IoT can be used to provide information and services to airport passengers with current and evolving technologies. Airports, airlines, and other stakeholders can use these innovative technologies and data to enhance the user experience and add value. Airport operators and their stakeholders can use this primer to understand the IoT environment and plan for implementation.

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