Oman Airports launches Innovation Lab with Aerohack hackathon
The airport company has launched its innovation hub with some exciting ideas generated via a hackathon.
Credit: Oman Airports
Oman Airports recently launched its Innovation Lab
The lab will nurture the latest technology that will be presented by the teams who participated in the hackathon competition t
In their ongoing efforts to attract an elite group of innovators, tech-developers, designers, students, start-up companies, SMEs and university students to the nation’s airports and aviation sector, Oman Airports wrapped up a landmark “Aerohack from Oman Airports” event in October 2023.
Following the two-day event at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, the closing ceremony was held under the auspices of His Excellency Sheikh Ghosn bin Hilal al Alawi, Chairman of State Audit Institution. The event was also attended by His Excellency Engineer Said bin Hamoud Al-Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology; and Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports; together with an elite group of innovators participating in the event, and various officials from the company.
Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports, stressed the importance of this event, in which 15 teams were qualified to compete in the finals: “We are well aware of the youth of Oman’s great enthusiasm with regards to innovation and creative ideas for developing various programs and services in the airports sector.” He added that Oman Airports will adopt and sponsor the three winning ideas by including them in specialized programs for business development, which the organization is working on through “The Runway” program. “The Runway” is the “Innovation Lab” which Oman Airports established in support of developing and emerging projects, and which was launched recently under the auspices of H.H Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham bin Tarik Al Said.
Sheikh Al Hosni, the CEO, also stated that Oman Airports has over the past period worked on attracting an elite group of innovators, technology developers, designers, students, start-ups, SMEs, and university students into the Sultanate’s airports and aviation industry. After evaluating more than 320 ideas submitted by the participants, the best 15 ideas were selected. Intensive workshops were then held for the 15 teams to develop and reformulate their ideas during the period from September 26 to 28, 2023. Subsequently, the three best ideas that reached the final stage were selected.
“Aerohack” revolved around a number of innovative themes and ideas, including re-envisioning of passenger experiences, airport operations and the future of entertainment at the airport, excellence in marketing and communications, customer loyalty programs, automation and efficiency, and cost-reduction solutions. However, the biggest focus areas in which the participating teams presented their ideas were sustainability; expanding transportation options outside the airport; and enhancing safety, security and electronic privacy.
The 15 teams qualified for the finals went through an intensive experience over two continuous days before the end of the program to develop and formulate their ideas. This was implemented through workshops and guidelines provided by specialists in the fields of developing ideas and commercial projects. The teams’ final presentations were presented to the jury on the closing day of the event.
The project “Konnas” won first place with the theme of designing robots to clean rubber from aircraft runways. The project “Power Generating Tiles” – which plans to generate dynamic energy from passenger movement inside the airport building – came second. And “The Hub” project, which is an interactive social platform for travellers, took third place.
It is worth mentioning that the jury committee members were Nicola Bates from Boeing, Robin Kanth from Amazon, Ivano Petrassi from Rome International Airport, and Captain Sabri Al Busaidi from Muscat Wings, with Basim Al Lawati and Rashid Al Busaidi representing Oman Airports.