EU airports task developers with improving travel apps

14 JUN 2017
Aircraft

Seven European airports lined up a 48-hour hackathon designed to produce apps which improve passengers’ travel experience.

Participating airports – Gatwick (London), event organiser Schiphol (Amsterdam), Stockholm, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich and Copenhagen – will share flight data with developers to help them create apps capable of managing passenger flows more efficiently, as well as preventing delays and inconvenience.

The hackathon, which is taking place in Berlin from 16 June to 18 June: “represents the first time in history that so many international airports have joined forces by opening up access to data for the development of innovative applications,” Schiphol Airport’s innovation manager, Christiaan Hen, said.

Main themes to be covered include travellers’ experience before, during, in-between and after their airport visits.

“The challenges faced by every airport have been made central to the themes, and this ensures that the solutions developed by the participants will be widely applicable,” Hen added.

Developers will be split into teams and present their ideas to a judging panel, which will award prizes for each of the themes.

Gatwick Airport’s CIO, Cathal Corcoran, said: “Providing our passengers with the best possible experience as they travel through the airport is a key priority for us and by collaborating with other airports in this way we are able to explore and push the boundaries of current passenger facing technology.”

In May, Gatwick Airport installed around 2,000 beacons to provide an indoor navigation system it claimed is much more reliable than GPS, and enables augmented reality wayfinding for passengers – “a world first for an airport”.

This means passengers can be shown directions in the camera view of their mobile device, theoretically making it easier to locate areas including check-in, departure gates and baggage belts.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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