PIT Turns to CMU to Make Airport Smartest in the World

The airport authority will use minds at CMU to discover ways to make it easier for passengers to get from the terminal’s parking lots to their seat on the plane.

Photos: Allegheny County Airport Authority


If you want to have the smartest airport in the world it makes sense to round up some smart people to help. Pittsburgh International Airport is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to use technology to help passengers with everything from finding a space in the parking lot to determining the exact time to arrive for security screening.

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis and CMU President Farnam Jahanian recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow faculty and students from CMU’s Metro 21: Smart Cities Institute to research, develop and deploy several innovative projects throughout the airport.


“Pittsburgh International Airport plays a critical role in our economy and shares our vision for making the Pittsburgh region a model for communities across the world. This agreement will help our Metro21 Institute to continue and expand data-driven projects in a real-world setting,” Jahanian said in a statement.

CMU and Pittsburgh International airport have been working together for three years on a variety of projects, including developing a mobile app that guides drivers to the empty parking spots located closest to terminal entrances and a smartphone-based navigation system to help people with visual impairments navigate the terminal.


The enhancements will be used now and at the new $1.1 billion terminal which will replace the current landslide building by 2023.

“This is going to be a living lab for CMU,” Cassotis told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The new terminal will have CMU’s footprint all over it if we do this right and, of course, we will.”

Categories: The 412