San Diego Airport Innovation Lab begins recruiting second group of innovators

The Airport Innovation Lab at San Diego International Airport (SAN) is welcoming applicants for its second group of innovators to go through a 16-week accelerator program, with the potential to win a contract from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the airport’s owner and operator. All members of the first group recently completed the program and are now negotiating for contracts focused on parking and simplifying the airport journey.

“Our inaugural program provided proof of concept,” said Rick Belliotti, director of innovation and small business development. “All five of the companies that went through the program won the opportunity to advance to contract discussions. Now we want to make the opportunity wide open. Essentially, we want innovators to come in and show us what we don’t know. Our intent is to present future opportunities with specific focus areas, but also have a more general ‘wild-card’ opportunity such as this one.”

The current opportunity statement at seeks innovators with ideas or solutions that accomplish one or more of the following: enhance the passenger experience, improve operational efficiency, identify non-airline revenue sources and decrease costs for the Airport Authority. Applications are open now with a deadline of January 11, 2019.

The 3,500ft² (325m²) Lab, which is situated in the former Commuter Terminal, was launched to reduce barriers for innovators to break into the aviation industry and offers a functional mini-terminal area with ticket counters and a bag claim carousel, all without passenger or security concerns to work around.

“We are very excited to see what happens with our second group of innovators,” said Airport Authority president and CEO Kimberly J Becker. “We anticipate seeing new ideas to address existing challenges, as well as the potential for radical new concepts.”