No industry was disrupted more by the coronavirus outbreak than aviation travel, as traffic in airports nosedived worldwide. Undaunted by the pandemic, Ian Law is looking to weave together mobile software, sensors, cameras and biometrics to improve the passenger experience at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), where he has served as CIO since 2013.
Like most airports supporting heavy travel demands, SFO saw foot traffic plummet from an average of 150,000 total inbound and outbound passengers daily in April 2019 to 4,000 daily in April 2020, the first full month in which COVID-19 ground the sector to a halt. And while traffic has ticked up at SFO in recent months, it’s still only 20 percent of what it was pre-pandemic. “The impact on the whole industry was seismic,” Law tells CIO.com. “We’re at the mercy of what happens with the pandemic.”
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