SAN DIEGO – December 10, 2018 – The Airport Innovation Lab at San Diego International Airport (SAN) is welcoming applicants for its second group of innovators to go through a 16-week accelerator program, with the potential to win a contract from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the airport’s owner and operator. All members of the first group recently completed the program and are now negotiating for contracts focused on parking and simplifying the airport journey.
“Our inaugural program provided proof of concept,” said Rick Belliotti, Director of Innovation and Small Business Development. “All five of the companies that went through the program won the opportunity to advance to contract discussions. Now we want to make the opportunity wide open. Essentially, we want innovators to come in and show us what we don’t know. Our intent is to present future opportunities with specific focus areas, but also have a more general, ‘wild-card’ opportunity such as this one.”
The current opportunity statement at www.innovate.san.org seeks innovators with ideas/solutions that accomplish one or more of the following: enhance the passenger experience, improve operational efficiency, identify non-airline revenue sources and decrease costs for the Airport Authority. Applications are open now with a deadline of January 11, 2019.
The unique Lab was launched to reduce barriers for innovators to break into the aviation industry. The 3,500-square-foot space in the former Commuter Terminal offers a functional mini-terminal area with ticket counters and a bag claim carousel, all without passenger or security concerns to work around.
In addition to being deployed at San Diego International Airport, successful innovations could be rolled out to other airports and analogous businesses, such as shopping malls, convention centers and other transportation hubs.
“We are very excited to see what happens with our second group of innovators,” said Airport Authority President/CEO Kimberly J. Becker. “We anticipate seeing new ideas to address existing challenges, as well as the potential for radical new concepts.”
Serving a record 22 million passengers in 2017, San Diego International Airport (SAN) offers nonstop services to nearly 70 destinations in the continental U.S., Europe, Asia, Mexico and Canada. In operation since 1928, the airport is celebrating 90 years of service to the San Diego region. The airport has been managed by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority since 2003. The Airport Authority’s mission is to plan for and provide air transportation services to the region with safe, effective facilities that exceed customer expectations.