AAAE Announces Three Recipients of Airport Innovation Awards

July 11, 2019

The Airport Innovation Accelerator – established by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as a hub for innovation to drive creative approaches and build airports of the future – announced the winners of the 2019 Airport Innovation Awards, which are given to honor innovative developments that are a model for airports around the country. 

The recipients of this year’s Airport Innovations Award are:

• Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) – Most Innovative Airport (Large Hub) Passenger Experience;

• Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) – Most Innovative Airport (Large Hub) Partnership; and

• Portland (Maine) International Jetport (PWM) – Most Innovative Airport (Small/Medium Hub).

“Airports are constantly embracing innovation and deploying creative solutions to better serve their passengers, and Los Angeles World Airports, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Portland International Jetport are clear leaders in the field,” AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli said.

The Airport Innovation Awards were established by the Airport Innovation Accelerator in 2016 to honor innovative and forward-looking projects that utilize the latest technologies and strategies to offer passengers the best traveling experience and improve airport operations. To best recognize innovation across all types of airports, the awards were expanded this year to honor two large hub airports and one medium/small hub airport.

LAWA created the LAX Shop and Dine digital marketplace to allow guests at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to pre-order food from airport restaurants before they even arrive at the airport, revolutionizing the purchasing process and bringing unparalleled convenience that saves time for guests. Airport guests can also browse an online catalog of products, digital menus and new offerings on their computers or mobile devices. In addition to LAX Shop and Dine, LAWA has created relevant and personalized information that is essential to the guest experience regarding parking, traffic, shuttle bus locators and construction impacts.

“This award recognizes that LAX is leading the aviation industry by developing and embracing leading-edge technologies,” said LAWA CEO Deborah Flint. “The LAX Shop and Dine digital marketplace is just one of the ways in which we are providing our guests with a seamless and enjoyable experience from curb to gate.”

MWAA designed and launched veriScan to provide travelers with a biometric identification system that offers a seamless, one-step boarding experience. Utilizing proprietary software loaded onto a portable tablet, veriScan encrypts and sends high-resolution photos of passengers boarding international flights to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for nearly instant identity verification. When integrated with airline boarding systems, veriScan further streamlines and expedites the boarding process by eliminating the need for passports and boarding passes.

“At the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, we strive daily to be a leader in cutting-edge innovations that help not only our airline partners achieve greater operational efficiency but provide a less stressful and more streamlined airport experience for our traveling customers,” said Goutam Kundu, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for MMAA. “The veriScan system is a solution built by an airport, with specific airport applications in mind, and we are honored to receive this prestigious recognition, as we continue to seek new ways to revolutionize technology’s role in air travel both today and into the future.”

Portland International Jetport is the first airport in the United States to use 100 percent recycled aircraft de-icing fluid, offering a new model of winter operations and environmental sustainability. PWM, in partnership with Inland Technologies, has focused on recycling raw-grade glycol product into a grade that can be used throughout the region. Presently, the airport manufactures 100 percent glycol onsite from reclaimed fluids, accepts deicing effluent from other airports in the region and recycles for resale.

“We are pleased the Portland International Jetport was able through an innovative process and partnership to become the first airport to make and use 100% recycled de-icing fluid for aircraft deicing. This is the culmination of three years of preparation by Inland Technologies, Northeast Air, and the Portland International Jetport” said Paul Bradbury, Airport Director for Portland International Jetport. “For the past eight years we have captured the Aircraft De-Icing Fluid sprayed at the Jetport to ensure it doesn’t mix with storm water. Our partners with Inland Technologies have taken the process and worked with the FAA to be able to process the collected fluid, re-manufacture it, and turn it into usable aircraft de-icing fluid. We are honored to have our innovative deicing process recognized by the AAAE.”