The Airport Ecosystem

By Steve Brown, VP Business Development, Enterprise SaaS & IoT

Most airport visitors are on their way from one city to another city, and are trying to get there as fast as possible. But the airport they are passing through could also be considered a city. In a fascinatingly complex yet efficient way, an airport and all of the services that are involved in creating one becomes its own ecosystem. A busy airport is like a small city that not only sustains itself, but the thousands or millions of travelers it services each month.

In most cases, the cities own the airport land. Sometimes, the state, or a private owner or a port authority owns the land. Airlines lease the space, and vendors operate independently within that system.

Vendors are needed for maintenance and cleaning, both inside and outside the airport, maintenance of the planes and maintenance of all the assets, such as baggage carts and refuelers. Parking and transportation must be managed for both travelers and employees. Bags are tagged, loaded, transported, unloaded, and delivered to the destination, which might be halfway around the world. These and many other crucial daily tasks at airports are handled by GSEs, or ground support equipment providers. GSEs often subcontract to the airlines, or lease out assets to the airlines themselves to manage.

LSG Sky Chefs is one of the most well-known names in airport servicing. Sky Chefs provides in-flight items such as eating utensils or blankets, as well as logistics management. They are most known for providing the catering for airline meals. According to Sky Chef’s facts and figures the company produced 696 million meals in 2017!

Most airport vendors are generally large, global companies that service multiple airports in a similar way. They may have thousands of assets that are in use by any given airport at any time. For instance, Swissport International Ltd. operates in 350 airports in 50 countries providing passenger services, ramp management, and administrative services.

When you start to think about the many details that go into a successful airport experience it is easy to get a picture of how intricate an airport ecosystem actually is. At each step of the way, the travelers and their bags must be moved through an interconnected web of stations, and each movement must be tracked and traceable. The automation of airport servicing, and knowing where everything is being used and by who, are two things that contribute to the efficiency of these complex daily operations.

When airports and all of their service partners communicate efficiently, passengers enjoy greater security and comfort, which in turn leads to a more profitable airport. A smart system which tags, tracks, organizes, communicates, predicts and shares all of the information that an airport uses improves the experience for everyone, both at the gate and on the apron.

Inseego’s aviation asset management solution is this smart system. Asset visibility and management is equal in importance to an airport’s responsibility to its passengers for safe travel, and we’re here to help you get that.