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Piper Helps Airports Increase Revenue By Tracking Vehicles

The demand for embracing new technology is growing rapidly within airport authorities as they look for ways to better understand what happens on their curbs and improve the experience for their travelers.

The demand for embracing new technology is growing rapidly within airport authorities as they look for ways to better understand what happens on their curbs and improve the experience for their travelers. For example, monitoring transport network companies (TNC’s) visits through livery metering helps the airport capture access fees for increased non-aeronautical revenue. Tracking these shuttles and taxis in real-time is also useful for assessing when the best times are to perform maintenance or increase enforcement to ease curbside congestion.

These are the solutions that Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport was seeking. Piper worked together with partner, Gatekeeper Systems, to help create this smart infrastructure and be the complete enterprise proximity platform that provided hardware, software, deployment, and analytics. Using Piper’s inexpensive Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and BLE-sensing Gateways, enterprise customers like Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport can monitor ambient Bluetooth activity in real-time, map it according to requirements, and convert the data into useful analytics.


When we started looking at solutions to our challenges, I thought the technology was readily available out there that would work for us, but the cost was prohibitive. What surprised me was that we could take an existing technology we have in Bluetooth and incorporate it in this application. If I didn’t have this technology, we wouldn’t have this opportunity to improve our operations.

- Tim Bradshaw, Executive Director at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

HOW IT WORKS

Beacons are issued and placed in the shuttles, taxis and TNC’s. Fixed sensors are installed in overhangs of the terminals and at gates to pick up the signals from those beacons to track the vehicles. Piper’s cloud-based platform collects the data in real-time and runs it through a proprietary algorithm to translate it into counts. The airport can then use the data to manage the revenue and ensure they are properly compensated.

BENEFITS THAT PIPER PROVIDED

  • Proof of concept services through to full deployment
  • Solution was adapted to their requirements
  • Set up, installation and testing of beacons and sensors
  • Passive system with little infrastructure and maintenance
  • Cost effective with easy purchasing process
  • Customized, low power, all-weather devices

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