Raj Rajkumar, director of the Metro21 Smart Cities Institute, said researchers could work on placing sensors around the airport that would give travelers better information about wait times or how long it takes to get from one place to another. Both Rajkumar and Cassotis stressed the work will likely come out of new ideas proposed once researchers spend more time at the airport.
Rajkumar said Metro21 has secured funding from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Heinz Endowments to begin work at the airport. Additional funding will come through state and federal research grants and from companies working on smart city and airport innovations.
“The goal is to make the airport smarter while making it more convenient and usable,” Rajkumar said.