Istanbul Airport: One of the Biggest of the World

Istanbul Airport has an area of 76.5 million square meters to the north of Istanbul, 35 km away from the city center. At the moment, it hosts 100 million passengers for the first phase and it is planned to serve more than 300 destinations with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers once it is fully completed.

Why is IoT Needed in Istanbul Airport?

Istanbul Airport has a very high-quality service level expectation. This means there are many critical infrastructures to monitor, for better service quality, better operational management and better project management.

Besides the high number of passengers at Istanbul Airport, there are also many tenants, including for both commercial and non-commercial purposes and also many airline companies. These small or big companies, no matter what their sizes, have the following similar needs:  Location tracking for both vehicles, personnel, mission and source assignment,

Logistics monitoring for goods being carried in and out to the aircraft,

Cold chain monitoring for food/beverage and other materials, 

Utilization monitoring for multiple types of equipment,

Efficiency analysis and billing based on utilization levels,

Equipment condition monitoring for maintenance analysis,

Condition monitoring for critical infrastructures to avoid problems,

Energy, water, and heat consumption monitoring analysis for multiple user levels.

Since these IoT needs are common for almost all tenants and the airport itself building a single IoT network infrastructure, which will cover all the needs in both indoor and outdoor locations, makes sense for cost-effectiveness and better project management. 

What is Skysens doing in Istanbul Airport and Why is it Important?

Skysens is the official wireless industrial IoT network provider for Istanbul Airport and is currently operating this large network. 

Teams in Istanbul Airport are instantly monitoring many different infrastructures on a single network including waste pumps, water and electric meters, doors, ILS systems, UPS systems and other critical assets. There are more than 3000 points in the airport and this is expected to be 10000 by the end of the project. All the data is currently gathered from the Skysens end-modules, monitored and analyzed with the Skysens IoT platform. This runs on PC platforms as well as mobile devices and was designed and developed 100% by Skysens. The platform also allows users a flexible experience, for example monitoring overall performances, alerts, changing user authorizations, monitoring end-module battery levels and log management.

Although SCADA systems are able to cover the monitoring needs in airports, it is impossible to achieve a successful project with a SCADA at the same detail and resolution level (also project time, cost and ease of integration level) as an IoT systems. SCADA systems are reliable and robust but only have the capability to support up to a specific level. For example, airport maintenance crews can monitor main energy panels which are distributing the power to multiple escalators. However, it will be astronomically expensive and complex, due to the very nature of SCADA, to monitor their current conditions, to check they are working properly, to see if they need any maintenance, or if there is a need to notify maintenance crew via text message or mobile application. Also, even if such an expensive system is to be built including high cost software and hardware, this network will be only related to existing infrastructure and cannot be used for another monitoring purposes. 

With Skysens wireless industrial IoT network, it is very easy to monitor in higher resolution and rapidly expand the control over the geography in a very cost-effective manner.

How Does Skysens Make a Difference?

Skysens network covers this huge area of Istanbul Airport with its special communication technology developed for the best performance in industrial areas and is totally compatible with LoRaWAN but with significant enhancements. It means Skysens technology uses the major advantages of LoRaWAN such as long range of communication ability, low power consumption and low-cost solution providing, while adding some magic to this technology for better performance, such as micro-edge computing, additional QoS and security layers.

Skysens provides a network covering both indoor and outdoor areas of Istanbul Airport with the minimum hardware needs. The wireless hardware consumes minimum energy and their battery can last up to 5 years. Besides the hardware part, Skysens’ technology also includes the data analysis and application part. It means it is a fully comprehensive end-to-end technology which will not need any external integration, hardware or service or cabling. As the first advantage, this means lower costs for a full scope project.

Second, Skysens’s plug-and-play end modules provide a wide range of application areas and can be used in many different infrastructures for diverse purposes. Energy and water consumption, temperature and humidity of the environment or specific machines, different assets’ current conditions or maintenance needs, electrical leakages, location tracking for the employees or vehicles or unauthorized door openings can be monitored in minutes through the same network, without the need of any infrastructural costs.

The third major advantage is expandability. Since this is an IoT network built in the airport, there is no need to make any huge additional investments for monitoring additional assets or expanding the project size. Just a few more Skysens end modules will be enough to monitor other required points. For example, if you need to monitor temperature changes in the refrigerators in the airport, there is no need to buy any Bluetooth gateway or devices to monitor the refrigerators, there is already an IoT network which can be used for this.

Another Differentiator: Revenue Generation 

Besides Skysens’s powerful technologic differentiators, this network also has a unique characteristic as IoT technology. It is a revenue generation source for the airport management company.

As mentioned previously, the major needs are the same for the tenants and the airport, the tenants could use the same IoT network for their efficiency optimization as well. So it creates a great opportunity for the airport to offer this network as a service to the tenant companies. It means, for airport management, IoT is now another revenue source, which is called Airport IoT Services, or AIS. AIS creates multiple revenue options based on hardware sell, service sell and data analytics sell depending on the needs, with the strict data privacy course.

A Necessity: IoT Applications in the Airports

Istanbul Airport Wireless Industrial IoT Project is important in different aspects as mentioned: the first airport built with the IoT infrastructure and the great revenue generation opportunity. There is another thing that makes Istanbul Airport so special, it made a great example for other airports how IoT can be used for different purposes and how they can benefit from it. 

Every airport which is larger than 1-2 million passenger capacity has some kind of remote monitoring infrastructure mostly based on SCADA systems. It doesn’t mean that they can solve every requirement through SCADA and do not need any IoT solutions. It means there should be a higher resolution needs especially in the critical points, and airport management can be easier with IoT systems aiming to give better service quality, lower operational costs and deeper management skills while achieving:

Remotely monitoring of the critical infrastructure with increased data resolution, 

Increasing service quality and level, 

Eliminating the possible risks which will cause chaos and operational costs unexpectedly,

Smooth operation processes, happy tenants and passengers,

Shortening maintenance response times with generating alarms for the right teams at the right time,

Gathering additional data for predictive maintenance analysis and tasks,

Deeper data analysis and better long term planning opportunity,

Utilization analysis of the infrastructure and creating an additional data source for financial projections,

Providing IoT to the tenants and airline companies as a service and revenue generating opportunity through the existing IoT network.