The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, in the midst of a six-year overhaul, is deploying a new generation of technology to capture insights from the stream of data generated by visitors. The goal is to make operations more efficient and improve the flyer experience.
This year, the airport, one of the 10 busiest in the U.S., plans several tests of sensors, digital cameras, beacons and other technology intended to modernize activities such as dining and passing through security checkpoints.
Video analytics, a technology gaining ground in industries such as retail and broadcasting, will play a big role in improving customer experience at the airport, said Mike Youngs, Sky Harbor’s deputy CIO.
Sky Harbor plans to collect and analyze data about how people move through the terminals and grounds through on-site cameras and by tracking the unique identifiers on people’s cell phones. Mr. Youngs told CIO Journal Tuesday. “We have video surveillance that we can combine with analytics to get more intelligence about how to run the airport,” he said.
The technology changes are part of a $590 million overhaul of the airport’s main terminal started in 2014 and due to be complete in 2020. The airport must collaborate with the anchor airlines at the terminal, including Delta Air Lines Inc. and Hawaiian Holdings Inc., on major technology changes, he said. For some infrastructure technology, such as wireless networks, the airport and air carriers should work together, he said. “Maybe we provide it and have airlines share the cost and opt in to use it. We’re working through that right now.”
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