The monitoring system, developed by Finland's Walkbase, is already used by several European retail chains. The Helsinki Airport is set to adopt a new monitoring system, enabling it to track the movements of passengers – step-by-step – from the adjacent parking facilities all the way to the departure gates. To be introduced by the end of the year, the system will monitor all devices connected to the Wi-Fi network of the airport and thus encompass an estimated 60—70 per cent of passengers.

The airport will thereby become the first airport in the world to adopt the in-house monitoring system, which – developed by Finland's Walkbase – is already used by several European retail chains.

The operator of the airport, Finavia, says that the objective of the reform is to improve airport services and the passenger experience by, for example, eliminating congestions and bottlenecks in stores and security checkpoints.

In addition, passengers will be able to take advantage of the system.

“Imagine if your smartphone could tell you at the airport exactly how much time you have for eating or shopping and when you should start walking toward your departure gate. At Helsinki Airport, this is already possible,” explains Tuomas Wuoti, the CEO and co-founder of Walkbase.

On the other hand, the passenger-tracking system has come under criticism for its implications for passenger privacy.

“We do not save or even access any information related to an individual,” Wuoti underlines, assuring that the data security of the system to be installed at the Helsinki Airport will be first-rate.

Jarkko Jokelainen – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Seppo Samuli