Airport Business

MAY 2017

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BEACON BENEFITS May 2017 airportbusiness 55 passengers in the airport, be it a gate change or flight delay. For passengers connecting to another flight, beacons can help the airport communicate directions straight to the trav- eler's smartphone. As a traveler arrives at his connecting airport terminal, the beacon would be pinged by the app on his phone and the airport could instantly send him the details and directions to his next flight, bypassing a crowded information kiosk. • Generating Non-Aeronautical Revenues: Beacons can also help promote dining and retail – a priority for many airports in growing their non-aeronautical revenue. If a travelers arrives in a terminal 90 minutes before his connecting flight, the beacon there could send him information on nearby dining options, along with a coupon for 10 percent off his meal at the new high-end restaurant in the terminal. Data generated by beacons can also help airports and their retailers gauge how they're performing. For example, if a beacon in one end of Terminal 1 is pinged 10 times more than the beacon at the other end of the terminal, the airport or retailers see the problem in real-time and can try to incentivize traffic to the slower shops via promotions or discounts sent to their phones. • Passenger Flow Management: Beacons also generate information about passengers, airlines and baggage that can be key to effec- tively planning service capacity, resources and staffing. For example, if an airport sees a high volume of travelers ping a beacon around security checkpoint 3, with a relative- ly low volume of people pinging the beacon at checkpoint 1, resources can be diverted to either move passengers to the less crowded security line or provide additional staff at the busy location. This not only creates a more harmonious experience for the airport and the traveler, but the data can also be used to generate predictive models that can allow the airport to better plan for and allocate resourc- es where they are needed most, before there is an urgent need to do so. • Improved Operational Efficiency: In addition to passenger data, beacons can also help airports track their own employ- ees. If an airport or airline experiences a problem near one of their gates, the air- port can check and see which employees ping the beacon near where the problem is. This allows for a faster and more effi- cient response to problems as they arise. Additionally, beacons can help detect if any employee or individual tries to access an area that they are not supposed to, which ca n help ensure proper a i r por t security. As for the security of the beacons them- selves, most beacons come with different security features – many of which are cus- tomizable. Depending on the application in which you use your beacons, there are several ways to ensure that the data being generated is kept secure. In the age of the connected traveler, being able to directly engage with customers where they are already playing can be a major differ- entiator for any airport or airline. Not only do beacons generate analytics that can provide airports with an opportunity to improve the experience they offer to their travelers, but the data generated can help airports bolster their own efficiency, organization and most importantly, their profitability. Mobile devices offer consumers more flexibility and entertainment options for their journey. Unisys Corp. Beacons can also help promote dining and retail – a priority for many airports in growing their non-aeronautical revenue. Unisys Corp. Dheeraj Kohli is Vice President and the Global Head of Travel and TransportaƟon for Blue Bell-based Unisys CorporaƟon. He can be reached at Dheeraj.kohli@unisys. com. Dheeraj Kohli ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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