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Houston Airport SystemHouston Airport System

Houston Airport System

... and a five-star travel experience!

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Reading time:
min
Deliverables
iOS & Android
Stack
Skills
Backend, Development, Design

Two airports, one app

When users first open the Houston Airport app, they have the option to choose between two distinct app environments. The one for George Bush Intercontinental Airport is represented in the app with the color blue, while that of William P. Hobby Airport is denoted in green. These colors align with the branding of both airports, instantly providing users with recognition.

Each airport has its own dashboard, flight information, waiting times, and a separate list of amenities such as shops and restaurants. This presented our developers with a challenging and unique use case since all the information had to be segregated in the backend. Additionally, in the underlying CMS of the app, Contentful, all content is kept separate. This allows HAS staff to easily manage content for one or both airports simultaneously.

Video of the Houston Airport App

Multi-level indoor wayfinding and navigation

To ensure that travelers can easily navigate the airports, we've integrated indoor wayfinding into the app. To do this, we utilized the over 5,000 Bluetooth beacons already present at both airports, covering a total area of approximately 50 square kilometers. With a small team, we traveled to Houston. There, under the guidance of our Lead Developer Michael, we mapped the beacon locations onto the floor plans and ensured that users could find their way on the 3 levels within the airports and 6 levels within the parking facilities. We used floor plans that had previously been designed for the HAS website and worked closely with the provider of these floor plans. It was a complex process with an extremely user-friendly outcome, highlighting the importance of specific project knowledge for the optimal development of the app.

Video of the Houston Airport App

Stress-reducing and time-saving features

The app includes a significant number of features designed to make the travel experience less stressful and save passengers time. Thanks to the previously mentioned Bluetooth beacons, it's possible to navigate on all (!) levels of both airports. The app also indicates the number of minutes it takes to walk to destinations such as customs, the gate, restaurants, shops, and restrooms. Of course, the app provides real-time information such as current wait times at customs and arrival and departure times. Additionally, users can book a parking spot within the app. The app sends reminders to users about where their car is parked and can even provide navigation to the parking location.

Five Star Future Plan

Leading up to the app's launch, close collaboration with various teams within the Houston Airport System was essential. Investing time and attention in getting to know each other and the project's scope fosters a partnership that has an impact on the app's outcome and potential. We track everything happening in the app on a daily basis, allowing us to continuously make improvements. In the near future, we have plans to integrate the website and digital kiosks into the Digital Airport Platform. Will we fly to Houston again for that? Absolutely! Because that Houston-friendly hospitality - we love it.

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