The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has entered into a two-year agreement with Detecon Innovation Institute to run its Innovation Lab.
The Detecon Innovation Institute, which is based in Silicon Valley and New York, is a subsidiary of Detecon Inc., the management consulting practice of Deutsche Telekom, which owns T-Mobile.
The Innovation Lab, geared toward integrating new technologies at the airport to streamline travel services, is housed within the San Diego International Airport's former commuter terminal. The 3,500-square-foot space remains outfitted as it was when it was a terminal, with ticket and gate counters and bag claim carousel.
Waste management, streamlining transactions and the use of artificial intelligence are likely to be among the program's priorities, said the Airport Authority, which has managed the airport since 2003.
“We want innovations that improve the overall airport experience,” said Rick Belliotti, director of innovation and small business development for the Airport Authority. “Our sweet spot will be enhancing customer satisfaction, making the time travelers spend in the airport environment more enjoyable.”
The intent is to allow entrepreneurs to incubate innovations that could benefit the airport, other airports or similar businesses.
Eric Dulkeith, a senior executive with Detecon, said the organization plans to identify such entrepreneurs by hosting events, searching databases and talking with venture capital firms.
So far the lab has produced At Your Gate, a mobile concessions ordering and delivery service.