Brazil’s RIOgaleao Airport Preps For Summer Olympics With Proximity Upgrade

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise's Aruba is building the airport’s wireless network to reach 30 Million travelers both for and beyond the global games.

Brazilian government officials have been struggling with a number of high profile issues surrounding the country’s finances, environment, disease control, and crime in advance of August’s Summer Olympic games.

Aside from how all those matters get worked out, visitors will at least have one consolation greeting them as they enter and exit the country: a revamped airport wireless communication system that will help travelers get around more efficiently, says Pavel Radda, a representative for Aruba.

RIOgaleão-Tom Jobim International Airport, the official airport of the 2016 Summer Olympics, has gotten the wireless upgrade from Hewlett Packard Enterprise-owned proximity platform Aruba Networks.

The airport is offering travelers a new mobile app powered by Aruba’s Meridian platform with a primary focus on wayfinding features to help travelers coming from all around the world get around the terminals’ 100,000 square meters of space.

Annual passenger traffic at the 39-year-old RIOgaleão Airport recently reached approximately 17 million. The airport expects 1.5 million people will be passing through the airport for the summer games.

With the summer games expected to deliver a peak of 90,000 visitors per day to the airport before the opening and after the close of the games — double the usual number — improving the network became critical, Radda notes.

In addition, the Airport wanted to provide network services to airlines, concessionaires and service companies, as well as streamline internal airport functions for its anticipated 30 million passenger capacity.

The wireless upgrade calls for installing Aruba’s Mobile Engagement Solution, which includes the activation of more than 3,000 Aruba Beacons and the Meridian Mobile App Platform. The airport’s mobile app was developed using the Meridian platform, with assistance from Accenture Digital.

Brazil's RIOgaleão Airport
Brazil’s RIOgaleão Airport

The RIOgaleão mobile app will provide flight status information and wayfinding for visitors, as well as enable push notifications.

Aruba itself is not directly connecting with the shops and vendors in the airport, Radda tells GeoMarketing. Instead, the airport will make those arrangements on its own.

As for the purposes for which the notifications will initially be used, Aruba says the airport and its partners will send alerts and information to passengers, including promotions and discounts from airport vendors.

The airport is also examining ways to use the app and the new network to speed the check-in, security and boarding processes for passengers, so they spend less time in lines and more time enjoying airport amenities and offerings.

As for how Aruba expects the proximity program to evolve after the Olympics, Radda says that the platform will constantly update with each new deployment.

“Airports are getting more innovative with their approach to enhancing the traveler’s experience and are able to tap into the power of beacons and mobile apps to deliver key information, like the shortest security lines, flight changes and proximity-based services, Radda says. “This goes beyond the wayfinding use case and harnesses the aggregated data collected from users throughout the airport to better understand travelers’ habits, so airports can customize the app and allow users to personalize the information they want to receive and share.”

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David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.