A Guidebook to Prepare Airports for Transformations in Wireless Connectivity

Wireless connectivity and real-time interfaces can provide a wide range of capabilities and benefits for airport operators and users. Airport staff and stakeholders, including passengers, pilots, and service providers, stand to benefit from advancements in wireless technologies to foster a more curated passenger experience and safe and efficient airport operations. As wireless technologies advance, services will migrate from 4G to 5G networks or other platforms, calling for new improved connectivity. Research is needed to help airport decision-makers prepare for and evaluate the impacts of emerging wireless technologies on their operational and financial investment opportunities. The research should also bridge the gap between their existing wireless network infrastructure and the future requirements. The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook that provides airport industry practitioners with a foundation for easily scalable solutions to accommodate evolving wireless technologies. This guidebook should be for all types and sizes of airports and should include, at a minimum, the following information: (1) requirements for airport technology and spatial infrastructure to enable future ubiquitous, higher bandwidth, wireless connectivity and real-time data transfer; (2) an understanding of co-locations and retrofit of current systems (e.g., placing the radios on existing stop lights or street light infrastructure that is already in place) to leverage existing resources; (3) an operational transition plan for incorporation of new capabilities to existing technology; (4) identification of the levels of financial investment required for differing technologies that includes a menu of options and a demonstration of the best return on investment and associated timeline; (5) an all-encompassing cybersecurity plan to protect data throughout the entire lifecycle; and (6) end-state user application examples and benefits for various airport stakeholders including, but not limited to: passenger and tenant experience, airport operations, safety and security, asset management, and disaster preparedness and recovery.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 03-57

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Performing Organizations:

    Symantics, LLC

    Not provided, Not provided  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Correas, Antonio

  • Start Date: 20200622
  • Expected Completion Date: 20211221
  • Actual Completion Date: 20211221

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01713671
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 03-57
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 12 2019 9:38PM