Author profile picture

Flying is still unprecedentedly popular. We face crowded airports. To manage this, airports are getting smarter. So is Schiphol. One big change was the switch from paper to electronic flight information. Now, in 2024, the entire airport seems to be ‘going online’, from toilets to baggage.

Why this is important:

More and more aspects of our lives are taking place online, and this does not only apply to ourselves. Objects around us are also increasingly included in a data network. This includes objects and spaces at airports.

Where once airports relied on outdated systems and manual processes, they are now equipped with a network of sensors and connected systems that provide a continuous flow of information. This enables airports to accurately track and manage every movement, from aircraft to passenger flows. Schiphol also has large amounts of airport data. But what can you actually do with all that data? And what data is actually available? We zoom in on 3 applications.

Real-time monitoring of baggage

First: The real-time baggage system. Using predictive algorithms, passengers have recently been able to accurately see where their luggage is and how long it will take for it to appear on the baggage carousel. This system, which is integrated into the 150 screens in the baggage halls, in the Schiphol App, and on the website, ensures that travelers waste less time waiting for their luggage. A cup of coffee in between doesn’t sound wrong!

Measuring ultrafine dust

Besides passengers, the well-being of employees must also be carefully considered. With two specially equipped research labs, Schiphol measures ultrafine dust levels 24 hours a day. In the research lab at various gates, sensors are placed that measure the amount of dust particles present. This is necessary because even within an aircraft stand the amount of particles can vary enormously. With this knowledge, measures can be further tightened to minimize exposure to ultrafine dust. This is important for the staff present, but also for the environment.

Online toilets

Last but not least, the toilets at Schiphol are equipped with smart sensors. These monitor cleanliness and the stock of consumables in real-time, allowing cleaning services to work more efficiently. This not only ensures a more pleasant experience for users but also helps manage maintenance costs and optimize staff deployment.

These are just three examples of how real-time data is making Schiphol ever smarter. The airport is also collecting more and more information on the flow of passengers. In addition, the airport deals with aircraft maintenance. With each technological step forward, it seems that in 20 years, almost no object will be found that is not connected to the network online!