Miami International Airport has announced that it will be the first airport in the world to deploy beacons across the entire airport on SITA’s Common-Use Registry open standard framework.
Some notable iBeacon programs and trials have been introduced this year at the world’s airports, but Miami International Airport demonstrates strong confidence in the passenger experience benefits of this technology by commit to a full installation throughout the airport.
MIA will use SITA’s open standard Common-Use Beacon Registry so that all airline customers, airport retailers and passenger services providers can interface with the beacons according to their particular needs, in a framework compatible with their proprietary apps.
Maurice Jenkins, Division Director, Information Systems, Miami International Airport, says of this new installation: “The passenger experience at Miami Airport is our number one concern and iBeacon technology allows us make it even better. We have installed beacons throughout the airport and made them available to all our stakeholders. Now we invite airlines and our other partners to invent new ways to make the passenger experience at Miami even better. With our beacons, they can now give passengers relevant information on their phones at every point of their journey through our airport.”
The beacons will cover airport entrances, check-in, gates, baggage claim, the valet parking zones throughout the airport, and even on the airport’s sky train. There are a number of possible applications for the data exchanged between the beacons and passenger’s electronic devices, but the airport highlights the way-finding benefits, saying beacons will make it easier for passengers to navigate the airport using their phones.
“Working with SITA has made it easy for us to do this quickly – onsite deployment took just two days,” Jenkins explains. “It makes it simple for us to collaborate with our partners, both domestic and international, and let them take advantage of this new technology, too. Airlines that fly to Miami are already working on their apps so passengers will start seeing the benefits very soon.”
“Miami has made it easy for airlines, and other partners working at the airport, to take advantage of iBeacon technology and provide information that is relevant to the passenger’s location or stage of the journey,” says Jim Peters, SITA Chief Technology Officer. “And of course, it is not just for passengers; beacons can be used for staff notifications and to beam operational information—such as temperature, noise levels, vibrations, etc—from throughout the airport to allow efficient operational management.”
This beacon installation is only the latest passenger experience improvement at MIA. The airport — which has in the recent past been known more for long wait times and an underwhelming customer experience — also made a $3.5 million investment to install 36 Passport Control Kiosks—cutting wait times by 40%—this year; and opened a new TSA Pre-Check application center at the airport this month.