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Orlando International Airport

Enhancing Passenger Experience at Security

How MCO and Synect reduce anxiety and perceived wait times with visual communication

Image by Sergey Pesterev


The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is one of the busiest airports in the US and a leader in customer satisfaction. Part of their vibrant, family-friendly appeal is how they welcome passengers and help them glide through the airport with helpful signage and information. A unique digital content strategy, including airport and airline branding, Annie the Astronaut, and custom content from  Synect's studio deliver a memorable passenger experience. Synect's Passenger360® digital signage software powers colorful, often massive canvases at curbside, check-in, security, and other locations.

Passenger anxiety typically spikes at the security checkpoint. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) wanted to deliver a better airport security environment using their visual communication system and a new content program from Synect. By delivering an enhanced experience in that area, GOAA and innovation partner Synect hoped to reduce passenger anxiety, decrease perceived wait times, and enhance operations.



Synect worked with airport leaders to define a concept for using visual content and helpful information to engage passengers at security. Aquarium watching is a novel and proven method to boost a viewer's physical and mental well-being. Experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University, and the University of Exeter have found that viewing aquariums lead to "noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate" and that they can help "hold people's attention for longer and improve their moods."

Synect's studio created a digital 3D fish tank concept that could mesmerize, delight, and inform passengers at security.

Power in Numbers

Image by Sergey Pesterev


MCO’s digital fish tank features realistic sea creatures and layers of helpful content. Wayfinding, estimated wait times, concessions information, and an integrated QR code share the digital aquarium with pufferfish, eels, and schooling fish. Synect used 3D models and real-world footage to create a lifelike illusion with minor, intentional imperfections like reflections, refractions, and scratches on the glass.

The content plays on two large LED video walls at MCO, which are part of their visual communication ecosystem that includes digital canvases at the curbside, check-in, wayfinding, and beyond. The growing ecosystem consists of more than 1,200 displays including LCD, LED, indoor, outdoor, single display, and massive video wall canvases.

Synect's Passenger360® and YCD-Multimedia's Cnario Content Management System (CMS) drive layers of content and dynamic data across the digital signage network. This intelligent, autonomous solution integrates with airport systems and makes programming decisions based on flight schedules, real-time airport activities, and more.



The digital fish tank is an engaging, memorable passenger experience that keeps passengers entertained and informed while at security. The project was a massive success with GOAA stakeholders and MCO passengers, who took to social media to share images, videos, and fish puns.

MCO wrote: "It's o-fish-al: the security checkpoint for gates 1-59 has a new and entertaining display and we honestly don't think it gets any betta than this. 🐟 Check it out next time you're passing through and drop us a line on what you think of it."

@nickdwyerdesign writes: "Fantastic utilsation of animation to liven up boring airport directional signage by @SynectMedia. Creating a strong sense of place + a memorable first/last impression is super valuable for both the airport and the city's tourism industry…"

The City of Orlando even got in on the fun, calling the experience "classy" and "so-fish-ticated."

Download the Case Study: Enhancing Passenger Experience at the Security Checkpoint 

Download the Brochure: Passenger360® for Better Security Checkpoints

Enhance Passenger Experience

Delight and entertain Passengers

Project Goals

Decrease Anxiety & Perceived Wait Times

With estimated wait times and engaging content

Improve Operations at the Checkpoint

Deliver highly visible info and wait times

Project Gallery

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