Abu Dhabi International Airport Becomes First Transport Hub to Harvest Energy and Data from Passengers’ Footsteps in Middle East

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Abu Dhabi International Airport has officially announced the launch of an interactive walkway which converts the footsteps of travelers into off-grid electricity and data.

Abu Dhabi Airports has commissioned Pavegen, the award-winning UK clean-tech company, in collaboration with Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) to construct a 16-square metre energy harvesting walkway. The path connects two terminals within the capital’s high-tech airport, which handles around 2 million passengers a month and is the first application of its kind in a commercial airport in the Middle East.

The footsteps of around 8,000 travellers per day are being captured and converted into electrical energy to track footfall data and power lighting along the walkway as they pass between Terminals 1 and 3 of the airport. The system incorporates screens to highlight how much energy is being harvested with a special game interface for children that shows airplanes rising and descending according to how much energy is being generated.

Commenting on the new project, Ahmed Al Shamisi, Acting Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports said: “We’ve partnered with Masdar to install the Pavegen walkway, poised to power the data-driven, smart cities of tomorrow. Through this collaboration, Abu Dhabi Airports aims to further its commitment to sustainable practices, educating travellers and residents alike about different sources of off-grid energy and data”.

“Our environmental performance and green initiatives demonstrate Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to delivering innovative solutions for the international aviation community.”

The articulated flooring surface is constructed from a series of interlocking triangles. As people walk across the patented system, electromagnetic generators produce off-grid energy. This electricity is being used to power local LED lighting and to provide a data feed.

Laurence Kemball-Cook, founder and CEO, Pavegen said: “With millions of visitors a day, airports are a key destination for our energy and data generating technology. As the first major Pavegen permanent installation in the Middle East, this a key milestone for us as we look to grow our presence in this fast-changing region.”

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.