Space-based services for SMART Airports

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  • EMITS reference17.1AA.07
  • ActivityFeasibility Study
  • Opening date29 January 2018
  • Closing date06 April 2018

Airports are complex systems, composed by a multitude of enterprises, concessionaires, retail shops, airlines, service companies, public agencies (air traffic control, customs and border control) and public safety organizations. With the term "SMART airport" we intend the ensemble of solutions, devices and services that optimize and automate the usage of airways and airspace infrastructures,checkpoints, passengers-luggage-cargo control system, info points and internal communications of the airports and also smart connections with technologies similar with the smart cities. Smart airport applications are segmented into core applications and business applications and include but are not limited to: smart transport and parking, smart retail, hospitality, and entertainment, smartworkplaces, smart airport processes, and smart business-to-business services. The objective of the feasibility study is to identifyand characterize space based services in the smart airports domain; to carry out an analysis of their technical feasibility and viability, make a selection of the most promising ones and propose a roadmap for future implementation.

Satellite Navigation

  • Asset location and tracking
  • Manned and unmanned air vehicles positioning,
  • Airport operations

Satellite Communication

  • Tracking and tagging of mobile assets or assets beyond line-of-sight
  • Monitoring of conditions, infrastructure, maintenance/repair operations
  • Remote training and guidance
  • Secure communications
  • Backup to terrestrial networks

Earth Observation

  • Monitoring, mapping, change detection and forecasting of assets and resources
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Meteorological services

Spaceflight Technology

  • Tele-operation for maintenance support, remote training, guidance, assistance

Supporting Businesses Developing Space Services for Smart Airports

In the frame of the feasibility studies, the European Space Agency offers support to companies for business case assessment and development of new Space empowered services for smart airports.

  • Zero-Equity Funding up to €250K per Activity
  • Technical & Commercial Guidance
  • Access to our Network & Partners
  • Brand Credibility

Relevant Smart Airports Topic

For this feasibility study, topics of relevance related to Smart Airports include but are not limited to:

  • Enhance Passenger experience
  • Improve operational efficiency 
  • Smart Cybersecurity; Move towards greener airports
  • Increase safety of operations in and around airports

What Are We Looking For?

  • Motivated team with business and domain expertise
  • Attractive market opportunity and customer engagement
  • Commercially viable service concepts
  • Technically feasible solutions enabled by Space


Funding Scheme

Funded participation to ESA Business Applications is open to any company and/or organisation, be it as group of users, public body or non-governmental organisation, residing in any of those states that subscribe to the ARTES IAP programme.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.

The applicable funding level of the individual prime- or subcontractors is subject to authorisation by the involved National Delegation(s). Therefore bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all their national delegations before submitting a Full Proposal.


ESA Project Cost Funding Per Country
(up to)

Funding Limit/ Activity Duration

Feasibility Study 50% up to 100%*  
Demonstration Project 50%  
Kick-start Activity 75%/80%** 60 kEuro/ 64kEuro**
6 months

 * based on a consideration of the risks and maturity of the target market

** SMEs (i.e. enterprises fulfilling the criteria defined in the European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003 (2003/361/EC) or as updated) involved in Kick-Start Studies are funded at 80%