The San Diego International Airport is seeking innovations that could improve airport parking and assist passengers that need help navigating the facility.

In January, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority tapped Detecon Innovation Institute to run its Innovation Lab, an accelerator-type program.

The Airport Authority, which has managed the airport since 2003, said April 30 that Detecon had released two “opportunity statements” soliciting applicants to participate.

"One opportunity will focus on airport parking while the other will zero in on ways to assist passengers with unique needs to simplify the journey through the airport," the organization said.

Detecon is looking for applicants with "prototype innovations" to test in the airport environment. Those selected will be invited to a 16-week program to prepare for the opportunity to get a contract with the Airport Authority. Entrepreneurs won't be asked to give up equity in exchange for participation.

“Our driving goal is about enhancing customer satisfaction and the overall airport experience,” said Rick Belliotti, the Airport Authority’s director of innovation and small business development. The Airport Authority launched the Innovation Lab in a bid to lower barriers to entry for innovators with ideas that could improve aviation.

The goals of the program, which would operate in a 3,500-square-foot portion of the former Commuter Terminal, include enhancing the passenger experience, improving operational efficiency and reducing costs for the Airport Authority, the organization has said. The Commuter Terminal, which was decommissioned in June 2015, offers innovators a space with ticket counters and a baggage claim carousel to try out innovations without passengers or security issues.

The arm of Detecon running the Lab is part of Detecon Inc., the management consulting division of T-Mobile owner Deutsche Telekom. The Institute is based in Silicon Valley and New York.

Learn more or apply for the program at innovate.san.org.

Reach reporter Sarah de Crescenzo at sarahd@sdbj.com.