Helsinki Airport introduces real-time passenger tracking system
Helsinki Airport has introduced an in-house tracking system that will monitor the real-time movements of passengers from their arrival at the car parking until the take-off. Using smartphones of the people to detect their exact location, the airport’s tracking system will be world’s first to track passengers to within feet. It is developed with an objective to observe the crowds and prevent bottlenecking at the two-terminal airport, which sees around 15 million passengers a year. However, the technology is facing a lot of criticism from privacy advocate groups and other agencies regarding passenger privacy concerns.
The area of the airport is covered with around 150 white boxes, each the size of a web router that gather the unique identifier number from devices with Wi-Fi access switched on. It then re-assembles the data and send it to the main servers. The indoor-positioning system for the airport is provided by Walkbase, a retail analytics solutions company based in Espoo, Finland.
Passengers can opt for other services too through logging into the network via an application. Therefore, a traveler will be able to receive offers from 35 shops and 32 restaurants at the airport as well as access to gate and flight information. The project is currently in its initial phase and is expected to be fully launched by the end of the year.