For the past four years, Airports Council International (ACI) World and Amadeus have put forward the Technology Innovation Awards to celebrate the increasingly important role new innovations in technology play for the airport community, not only over the past year but also for the future.

The winners of the 2024 Technology Innovation Awards will be announced at the Airports Innovate event taking place in November 2024, jointly organised by ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East and ACI EUROPE and ACI World.

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2024 Technology Innovation Awards Admissibility and Categories

Admissibility

The contest is open to all ACI airport members, and we encourage airports of all sizes to participate.

Categories

The ACI World-Amadeus Technology Innovation Awards are comprised of four categories for all ACI member airports. The innovation must have been implemented between January 2023 and June 2024 to qualify. Each airport can submit only one entry per category, and the same entry cannot be proposed for more than one category — no exceptions. There are no fees to participate.

This award is to recognize airport innovations in relation to their impact on global airport passenger processes and experience across the following areas:

Innovations to help adapt and provide a personalized experience based on individual passenger preferences
Technological innovations to ensure a seamless, touchless passenger journey
Innovations to improve communication and provide passengers with timely, accurate travel information
Innovations that contribute to the improvement of the global airport passenger process and experience
Evaluation criteria
Description of the innovation
Positive impact to the passenger journey through customer experience, touchless processes, efficiency, and digital strategies.
Impact on communications to inform the travelling public and provide opportunity to personalize the travel journey.
Originality of the innovation
Positive impact on other airport stakeholders which can influence the passenger experience and processes

The evaluation will consist of a score 1-10 within each of these criteria and the highest overall score will be declared the winner.

This category is looking for new industry initiatives which have improved the core aspects and processes of airport operations within a specific area or from a more global perspective. This more specifically targets innovations from a technology and digital transformation perspective.

Evaluation criteria
Description of the innovation
Impact on airport operations efficiency or savings
Influence this innovation may have on the industry at large
Positive impact on processes for staff, passengers and/or other stakeholders
Originality of the innovation

The evaluation will consist of a score 1-10 within each of these criteria and the highest overall score will be declared the winner.

Characteristics of an Innovation Leader
Visionary - promotion of a new vision about the future of the industry and opportunities to get there.
Thinking outside the box - think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective (opposite of “it has always been done that way”).
Encouraging educated risk taking and change management.
Observant - showing keen perceptiveness / accurate and deep understanding, looking beyond the airport to get a new perspective.
Team Builder – passionate and inspiring. Impact as a leader and influence on promoting change and new ways of doing things.
Evaluation criteria
Description of the impact on the industry from the nominated candidate.
Positive impact to the passenger journey through customer experience, touchless processes, digital strategies and others.
Support to innovation and encouragement for business transformation.
Originality of the innovation.
Influence/impact to the industry.

The evaluation will consist of a score 1-10 within each of these criteria and the highest overall score will be declared the winner.

This category is to highlight the importance of the culture of innovation for small and emerging airports with 5 million passengers or less per annum in 2022. This new category will:

Recognize the important role innovation plays for airport members, and how innovative project development and implementation may have different forms or shapes.
Promote how the culture of innovation is being shared and promoted internally to airport staff, with initiatives such as but not limited to innovation days, innovation labs, start-ups competitions, etc.
Evaluate how the innovation culture is shared externally with other stakeholders outside of the airport, considering that small and emerging airports are an integral part of and often fully integrated into the fibre of their local communities.
Evaluation criteria
Description of the innovation, clarity, ease of understanding objectives and results.
Positive impact of how the culture of innovation is being shared and promoted with airport staff (inside the airport).
Positive impact of how the innovation culture is being shared externally with stakeholders (outside the airport).
Influence this innovation may have on the industry.
Originality of the innovation.

The evaluation will consist of a score 1-10 within each of these criteria and the highest overall score will be declared the winner.

Evaluation Committee of Experts

A committee composed of independent industry experts, with a strong knowledge and interest in technology, innovation and industry transformation have been selected. There will be no current airport employees or industry suppliers.

Note: While Amadeus is the official partner for delivering the Technology Innovation Awards, it was not involved in the evaluation of submissions, nor the selection of jury members.

For questions about the 2024 ACI World-Amadeus Technology Innovation Awards, please contact facilitation@aci.aero.

Winners of 2023 Technology Innovation Awards

Best Innovation in Airport Passenger Related Processes

Incheon International Airport
Incheon Airport XR Metaverse Services, Connecting Virtuality and Reality

TIA2023-Incheon-Airport-AR-Wayfinding

This project is a new and innovative metaverse-based service that allows passengers to enjoy Incheon Airport easily, smartly, and comfortably.

The Incheon Airport XR Metaverse consists of a 3D spatial metaverse environment providing an indoor wayfinding service of the actual passenger terminals (T1, T2 and Concourse), covering about 1.4 million square metres. It is based on 3D spatial data and augmented reality (AR) technology and offers a virtual experience of Incheon Airport using VR technology.

Furthermore, AR-based indoor wayfinding allows users to visit the digital version of the airport from home and get the necessary information by virtually experiencing various facilities and processes within the airport.

Best Innovation in Airport Operations and Installations Management

Hong Kong International Airport
Digital Apron and Tower Management System

TIA2023-Hong-Kong-Airport-Digital-Apron-Tower-Management

This initiative represents the first airport and Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) collaboration system with a single digital platform.

Capitalizing on the latest digital video technology and in line with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) collaborated with the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of Hong Kong to implement the Digital Apron and Tower Management Systems (DATMS) for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

It allows the parties to overcome physical visual constraints by supplementing the out-of-window view with ultra-high-definition camera views on displays, overlaid with essential aircraft information to substantially enhance visual surveillance by airport and aerodrome operators.

Best Airport Innovation Leader

Maurice Jenkins, IAP, C.M.
Chief Innovation Officer, Miami International Airport

TIA2023-Maurice-Jenkins

Maurice Jenkins is charismatic leader, masterful problem solver, and creator of technical foundations and innovative initiatives that bridge the gap between business needs and transformational solutions.

Jenkins has more than thirty years of experience and sustained superior performance directly linked to Miami International Airport's strategic growth and realization of its innovative objectives.

He has envisioned new technologies that improve business processes and customer experience and has been a keen adopter of self-service technologies, while also encouraging airlines serving the airport to embrace innovation.

Jenkins has also applied his expertise to help drive improvements for the benefit of the wider industry as Past Chairman of ACI North America’s Business Information Technology (BIT) Committee, which sponsors initiatives to develop ground-breaking airport technology-based service models and works with members and partners to encourage innovation in the industry.

We thank all airports for their outstanding submissions!

Past winners

Best Innovation in Airport Passenger Related Processes

Barcelona Airport
AENA Biometric journey from home to aircraft

AENA launched its third biometric project at Barcelona Airport for the Barcelona – Malaga Vueling route. This project is the most complete, covering the full passenger journey from home to the boarding gate.

Passengers enroll in the biometric program through the AENA app at home or at a check-in kiosk at the airport. The passengers use biometrics for the Self Bag Drop, to access the security control, and to board the plane.

Fully complying with data protection laws, the project allows passengers to travel without the need to show ID documents or a boarding pass at any point in the airport—enabling a seamless, touchless, and more agile experience at the airport.

Best Innovation in Airport Operations and Installations management

Incheon Airport
Data Sandbox

Incheon Airport developed a big data platform and launched the Airport Data Sandbox service to facilitate data collection and provide an analytics service to stakeholders in a user-friendly environment.

The analytics provide actionable information to stakeholders for areas such as real-time passenger flow, terminal congestion, delay forecast upon adverse weather, traffic forecast, transportation forecast, and Home-to-Airport service.

Airport Data Sandbox represents a massive step forward for interactive collaboration across the airport community, helping to better allocate resources, manage staff, customize the airport journey for customers, reduce costs, and improve operational efficiency.

Best Airport Innovation Leader

Suhail Kamil Kadri
Senior Vice President, Technology & Innovation at Hamad International Airport

Suhail is a leader among his peers for his career achievements and leadership in industry advisory boards and committees. His strong knowledge of the airport business, intuition for what technology will add value, and ability to forge strong partnerships has earned him multiple accolades and awards over the years.

Kadri led Hamad International Airport to become the first airport to successfully trial a single biometric passenger journey, making travelling through airport processes seamless, touchless, and digital. He served on the ACI World IT Standing Committee for many years as Vice Chair and now as Chair where he provided support to may initiatives such as ACRIS to drive standardization, interoperability and lower the cost of airport IT systems.

Suhail also encourages young companies through various means including securing corporate sponsorship and supporting emerging talent and future leaders of the industry.

Best Airport Innovation Leader

Mr. Dave Wilson
Director, Airport Innovation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Mr. Wilson has a long track record of innovation and promoting innovation within the global airport community.

During the pandemic, Wilson led the development of ACI’s Check & Fly app, which allows users to check ACI’s Health Measures Portal for the status of COVID-19 measures at hundreds of airports worldwide. Throughout the project, Wilson worked with a team of international airports to innovate this solution.

Among many initiatives, Wilson has contributed to ACI’s Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS) and has worked tirelessly with airports, airlines, business partners and regulators to promote solutions like online car parking reservations, airport digital maps, online food ordering and food delivery robots. He has also served on several ACI and other committees promoting the adoption of new technologies in aviation.

Best Innovation in Airport Operations and Installations management

Frankfurt Airport
LuRAI – Luggage Recognition Artificial Intelligence

To reduce the percentage of misrouted bags, Frankfurt Airport’s operator Fraport developed a solution for baggage recognition based on Computer Vision Technology. Leveraging cameras that create a “digital fingerprint” of luggage, the system identifies mismatched bags in the baggage handling system (BHS) and automatically corrects any errors, hence minimizing the need for manual re-checking.

In the first three months of operation, the AI automatically detected and corrected 92% of all tracking errors, eliminating approximately 12,000 manual rechecks.

Best Innovation in Airport Passenger Related Processes

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
Single Token Journey

Hong Kong International Airport’s Single Token Journey (STJ) enables passengers to pass through departure checkpoints simply by showing their faces.

Once a passenger has completed the check-in process using a smart check-in kiosk, a digital token is created at the backend by extracting the passenger’s passport and boarding pass information. The passenger can then use his/her face as identification and breeze throughout the airport—from bag drop to security checkpoint and boarding—eliminating the need to show travel documents and boarding pass again. The digital tokens are created without taking photos of the passengers, making the process less intrusive and increasing the enrolment rate.