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RDU, RTI, Triangle universities team up to find ways to improve air travel

RALEIGH – A consortium of Research Triangle partners (Duke, NC State, NCCU, UNC, RTI and RDU airport) have joined together to sponsor an innovation challenge with $120,000 in prizes in seeking new ideas for the future of safe travel.

This mission: to design, propose, and pitch solutions to RDU airport and stakeholders.

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had an unprecedented impact on global and domestic air travel, with an expected reduction of more than 60% in passenger air traffic volume for 2020 compared to 2019,” the website says. “The air travel industry is a primary driver of the global economy and its recovery is dependent on the implementation of sustainable and effective solutions to restore passenger confidence in air travel.”

A total of four challenge themes have been identified, as well as suggested areas of interest for each theme. Projects must fall under one or more themes, but a participant may propose a new area of interest with mentor approval.

  • Passenger Transit
  • Cleaning and Touchpoint Elimination
  • Airport Operations and Employees
  • Aircraft Safety

“RDU is committed to protecting the health of everyone who visits the airport and safely welcoming passengers back to air travel,” said Michael Landguth, CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “This challenge is an opportunity for local students, faculty and employees of the consortium to design and develop innovative solutions that redefine the future of safe travel.”

Mentors will be available to provide user feedback and answer questions throughout the challenge.

Project Submissions are due on Nov. 16. Winners will be announced on Jan. 25.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire