Airports Track Passengers to Improve Customer Service

Houston airports use surveillance technology to gain customer insights.

We all know that we are probably being watched via those two-way mirrors they have at airports, but Houston airports are taking the use of surveillance one step further, in the name of customer service.

Houston Airport System (HAS) and Purdue University are working together on a study to improve customer service by making more use of surveillance technology.

The aim of the study is to better manage waiting times around the airport and learn more about passenger preferences.

By combining the use of digital cameras and Bluetooth, Houston Airport System monitored passenger queues at check-in, security checkpoints and parking areas.

Passengers who carry Bluetooth devices in discoverable mode are tracked as they move from sensor to sensor around the airport.

Bluetooth antennas capture unique serial numbers called media access control (MAC) addresses that are emitted from the discoverable devices.

The airport says privacy is not an issue because all the data that is received is anonymous.

About Houston Airport System (HAS)

Houston Airport System (HAS) is a department of the City of Houston that operates the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport, and Ellington Airport. The three airports serve approximately 50 million passengers each year.

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