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Airports

Sensors track satisfaction with toilet facilities

17 November 2017
HappyOrNot captures data on passenger satisfaction with toilet facilities. Source: Ramon Lopez

Airports in the United States are collecting data on the cleanliness of their lavatories, amid broader efforts to ensure the best possible passenger experience, staff allocation, and customer service.

For example, on 16 November the Houston Airport System (HAS) began implementing measures to monitor and increase passenger satisfaction with its toilets. HAS is the first to adopt the SmartRestroom solution from Infax for George Bush Intercontinental and William P Hobby airports. Initial deployment covered 50 toilets across the two airports.

Infax business development associate Celso Rodriguez told Jane’s that five other US airports have signed up for SmartRestroom, including LaGuardia Airport and Nashville International Airport. In October, Halifax Stanfield International in Canada became the first airport outside the United States to implement a SmartRestroom pilot.

SmartRestroom uses Infax TRAX sensors to monitor passenger use of toilet facilities. The system automatically alerts janitors when the lavatories need cleaning. SmartRestroom uses a variety of technologies to streamline restroom operations. In addition to counting throughput, airport managers can track janitorial staff passively with beacon technology. Digital signs are placed outside each toilet to show passengers how many stalls are vacant and when it was last cleaned. The system also includes iPads on custodial carts and interactive survey tablets are located near lavatories to collect data on user satisfaction.

HAS and Infax tested SmartRestroom in early 2017 with a pilot programme involving four toilets at George Bush Intercontinental and two at Hobby. Positive passenger feedback prompted them to expand the solution across both airports. “We’re not just cleaning a restroom,” said HAS Chief Operating Officer Jesus Saenz. “It’s dozens of restrooms over a large geographical area serving tens of millions of people. The Infax SmartRestroom technology provides us the information we need to advance our approach to maintenance using predictive analytics. With the new technology, we are communicating with our passengers, keeping ahead of the demand curve, and delivering a better experience.”

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