Preparing for the Connected Airport and the Internet of Things

The International Telecommunications Union defines the Internet of Things (IoT) as a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies. We know it also as connecting devices together in new ways through the Internet. One such example is indoor navigation whereby passengers are guided to points within the airport environment based on IoT devices. We are seeing a proliferation of these devices in the airport environment. IoT devices are used to manage airport facilities for such functions as ambient temperature control, security, emergency response, and safety. Airports, airlines, and other stakeholders are using innovative technologies and/or the data collected from the use of those technologies by their passengers to enhance the user experience and add value to their brand. It’s not just data collected within the airport environment, but the airport is connected to systems outside of its physical boundaries. Further explanation of interconnected systems can be read at There are obstacles to implementation of connected devices and to data sharing, such as a lack of understanding of what the IoT means, infrastructure requirements, demographic differences in the acceptance and use of connected devices, which entities have what data and information, privacy concerns, regulations, and security among others. There is a vast amount of data generated that can benefit multiple parties, and the challenge is breaking down silos to promote sharing and better use and control of IoT technologies and data. IoT devices will continue to be connected in new and innovative ways to enhance airport operations and passenger experience. Further research is needed to help airport operators and their stakeholders understand and implement the IoT. The objective of this research is to develop a primer for airport operators and stakeholders on the Internet of things (IoT) within the airport environment to leverage current and emerging technologies. The primer should include at a minimum the following: (1) How other industries have implemented the IoT and relate its application to the airport environment; (2) Description of barriers and limitations to IoT implementation and how they can be overcome. The barriers and limitations should include at a minimum the following: Security, Regulatory, Privacy issues, Demographic differences in the adoption of technology, and Aging Infrastructure; (3) Data collaboration and information sharing methods, techniques, and standards that benefit airport stakeholders by interacting with: Tenants, Airlines, and The connected community; (4) The intersection between airport processes and the passenger with the IoT in the airport environment; (5) Infrastructure requirements; (6) Application of the IoT at general aviation and small hub airports; and (7) Emerging capabilities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 01-33

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Greenberger, Marci

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zmud, Johanna

  • Start Date: 20160622
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180330
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40168

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572152
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 01-33
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2015 1:30AM