MIAMI — Miami International Airport has partnered with air transport communications and information technology company SITA to launch a new mobile app for those traveling to and from the airport. The new app, designed for iOS and Android devices, offers an easy-to-use interface and gives travelers personalized updates, directions and tips based on their location and needs.

Ron Reed, SITA’s director of product management, said “We’ve had a long-standing partnership with Miami Airport, providing common-use solutions and the passport kiosks there, so we have history.”

The city of Miami is focused on being the technology hub for South Florida, and the airport shares that vision, said Reed. “The airport is the first and last place visitors see, so they want to be among the first to try out new technology. We’ve already deployed 500 beacons at Miami airport.”

Since then, SITA has been working with the industry to build the case for new technology, said Reed. “We were working with some airlines on this, but they were not progressing in beaconizing their apps,” said Reed.

“We wanted to build out a use case on technology, so we built a demo app that was beacon-enabled. We showed this to Miami airport and they were impressed, so we started talking about the app and its technology,” stated Reed.

This is a totally contextually aware app, said Reed. “Travel usually starts at home, the office or in a hotel. So we did research so that we could provide customers an app that covers the entire journey,” he explained.  “Most apps are static. They provide information, but they don’t know where  you are, so they can’t personalize it.  We wanted to personalize it for customers going in and out of Miami.”

One great feature of this app is that it knows where you are, said Reed.  “The app is smart enough to know where you are and personalize your experience based on where you are. When you open the app from home, it asks if you’re going to Miami, then it gives you flight schedules at the airport,” he explained. “If you’re already in the city of Miami, it knows that you’re there and asks if you want driving directions to the airport or the rental car facility. It connects with the Waze, Apple Maps or Google Maps apps on your smartphone.”

Upon arriving at Miami airport, the app starts with a personalized welcome message and asks how it can help, said Reed. “The Near Me feature allows you to find out what shops and restaurants are in walking distance.  Once you choose a place, it guides you there using a blue dot with maps on your smartphone,” he said. “Once you’re headed in that direction, it provides dynamic walk times.”

The app recognizes the user and makes sense of the vast amounts of data that are available at the airport, adding real-time business intelligence to create an outstanding user experience. It uses data delivered via SITA’s industry-leading APIs  to present the user with a seamless experience on their device of choice.

By downloading the app, travelers can get a better experience, said Reed. “It offers users better understanding of situational awareness and reduces stress and anxiety as you navigate the airport,” he said. “It’s a personal mobile assistant that you should never leave home without.”