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Gatwick Opens Data Up To Developers For International Airport Hackathon

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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The developers will use the data to improve airport experiences for passengers

Flight and waiting time data from Gatwick airport will be made available to developers as part of a 48 hour ‘hackathon’ to find ways to improve the travel experience of passengers. 

Gatwick airport will join six other airports in opening up its data sets; these participating airport Schiphol, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich and Copenhagen. 

The ‘{re}coding’ hackathon will take place in Berlin between 16 and 18 June, where developers will use the data to create new apps that can be used to make the journey through airports for passengers an easier process.

Data-driven development

GatwickThe participating developers will be split into teams to address four main themes related to all aspects of air plane travel: Life before the airport, Life at the airport, Life in between airports and Life after the airport.

This will involve using the data to improve passenger experience by tackling areas such as managing passenger flow through the airport and finding ways to prevent delays in travel. 

“Providing our passengers with the best possible experience as they travel through the airport is a key priority for us and by collaborating with other airports in this way we are able to explore and push the boundaries of current passenger facing technology,” said Cathal Corcoran, Gatwick’s chief information officer. 

Schiphol Airport’s innovation manager Christiaan Hen noted that the international airport hackathon is the first of its kind. 

“{Re}coding aviation represents the first time in history that so many international airports have joined forces by opening up access to data for the development of innovative applications,” he said. 

“The challenges faced by every airport have been made central to the themes, and this ensures that the solutions developed by the participants will be widely applicable.” 

Despite being a relatively old airport, Gatwick already makes solid use of modern technology, from using Splunk data analytics to improve passenger processing and flight turnarounds, to making uses of 2,000 wireless beacons to power augmented reality technology to aid indoor navigation for passengers. 

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