MIAMI – Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) has announced the introduction of a tech testing center called xBridge. The new endeavor consists of a custom-built innovation space that will develop creative solutions to aviation’s challenges.

According to PIT Senior Vice President of Information Technology Katherine Karolick, xBridge is a physical manifestation of the airport’s innovative mentality. The 10,000-square-foot innovation center will benefit the airport, its airline partners and passengers.

As PIT spearheads its evolution with several recent initiatives, the innovation center will support and lead the airport’s vision of innovation. On this, Karolick said that innovation cannot be planned. Instead, there should be a created environment and an ecosystem that promotes creativity. Thus, PIT will now be capable of designing and developing innovative solutions for the region.

xBridge will be at the airport’s Concourse B, but its focal point will be xGate. This is a functional boarding gate that will operate as a working lab to test concepts. Karolick added that xGate could simulate a real, active gate and holding area for Pilots from incoming flights.

Concourse B of the Airside Terminal at PIT. Photo: John Marino.

Strategic Collaboration as a Key Factor

For PIT, xBridge’s success relies on collaborating with other companies on their initiatives. The airport has already committed itself to these inniciatives. It announced projects regarding the development of an industrialized additive, an alternative energy microgrid and automated UV light floor scrubbers since September.

As for the xBridge, Karolick said that the innovation center would create targeted solutions at a lower cost with a quicker development schedule. Thus, the developed ideas would directly impact passengers by setting new standards for the industry.

So far, PIT has said it would test new technology, including robotics and AI, and partner companies will be announced in the coming months.

Featured photo: The xBridge is located at the end of Concourse B in PIT’s Airside Terminal. Photo: Beth Hollerich.