Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

Now more than ever, passengers use their mobile devices to enhance their travel experience and to stay informed of delays or other incidents. This relationship increases demand for rich digital experiences, but it also creates targeted marketing opportunities. The company that wins on mobile wins in loyalty and revenue. For the travel industry in particular, this has made airport data a highly attractive commodity for private companies. While an airport’s priorities and use for data is understandably localized, third-party buyers have to meet global business and customer needs. The motivation behind private players accessing this data is twofold: to provide an enhanced passenger experience and to improve operational efficiency.

You won’t see Google going door to door trying to buy airport data anytime soon. Similarly, airlines, hotels, travel sites, mobile apps, and rideshare companies are used to having API access to data at scale and an airport-by-airport approach will never work. Having access to a consistent and reliable source of data is imperative to improving existing products and creating new digital experiences on the day or week of travel.

The company that wins on mobile wins in loyalty and revenue

Ultimately, commercialization bridges the gap between airports and the public, and for national and global distribution it requires a private entity that’s motivated to explore, develop, and maintain a global set of customers. To read more about private actors involvement in the airport industry click here for a piece from the New York Times.

Without a third-party technology partner, here is a simplified list of what it will take airports to commercialize data:

  • AI and machine learning talent
  • Comprehensive sensor technology capabilities
  • APIs and support
  • Custom tools and solutions
  • Cloud-based solutions
  • Commercial sales and customer support teams
  • Strict adherence to privacy protection standards and GDPR compliance
  • Human and financial resources to develop and maintain commercial relationships
  • Hardware flexibility to keep data collection up to speed with commercial demands

Airports have a wealth of data that can be used to increase operational efficiency and the travel experience. Most airports will need an industry expert and partner with the knowledge, know-how, and commercial relationships to responsibly license data. “Commercialization” is the keyword here and that’s Plot’s expertise.

Thanks for reading! Part Two: Why commercialization is Important will be published next Tuesday.

Evan Biller is the Commercial Vice President at Plot. His responsibilities include growing Plot’s portfolio of airport partners on a global scale, while also developing commercial relationships with key players connected to the aviation industry. His goal is to get vital airport data into the hands of people who are passionate about enhancing the passenger experience and improving operations.