The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority in the US, together with its Innovation Lab’s third-party operator, Detecon Innovation Institute, has released its first two ‘opportunity statements’ inviting applications to participate in its accelerator programme.
The first opportunity will concentrate on airport parking while another will focus on assisting travellers with unique needs to simplify the journey through the airport.
Selected applicants will participate in a 16-week programme that prepares them to present before the Airport Authority with the possibility of securing a contract while gaining experience for work in other airports.
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Innovation and Small Business Development director Rick Belliotti said: “In general, we want innovations that improve the airport experience for everyone. Our driving goal is about enhancing customer satisfaction and the overall airport experience.
“Successful innovations from the parking opportunity will add value to the airport parking experience to attract and retain customers.
“The customer service opportunity will pursue innovative solutions to reduce complexity and help people in whatever ways they need to more easily traverse the airport from curb to gate and vice versa.”
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The Innovation Lab was introduced to decrease barriers for innovators and aims to enhance the passenger experience, improve operational efficiency and decrease costs for the Airport Authority.
It was established by the Airport Authority in part of the former Commuter Terminal, which was decommissioned in June 2015.
A functional mini-terminal area with ticket counters and a bag claim carousel are part of the 3,500ft² area.
Besides being deployed at San Diego International Airport, successful innovations could be launched to other airports and analogous businesses, including shopping malls, convention centres and other transportation hubs.