New feature at Indianapolis International Airport energizes passengers and phones

The WeWatt human-powered charging station sits toward the end of concourse B at Indianapolis International Airport. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis International Airport is once again leading the way with a travel trend. The Airports Council International has named Indy’s airport the best in North American five years in a row and leaders hope that cycle continues with this new addition.

It is a human-powered charging station. It first appeared at the airport on concourse B about two months ago and has since become a popular spot for active travelers and social media junkies.

The three-seated unit gives you a chance to get your heart rate up and charge your phone at the same time. You must pedal for the outlet to work.

Studies show that 30 minutes of gentle cycling a day not only helps improve cardiovascular health, but it has also been shown to improve your mental sharpness.

“I love to work out, so I was really fascinated by the fact that you could peddle while charging your phone,” Jessica Hawkins said. She is about six months pregnant and is traveling between Atlanta and Indianapolis.

“With me being pregnant, sitting on the plane makes my back hurt and I’m sitting, so I try to get as much exercise as I can,” Hawkins said.

The kiosks are made by a company called WeWatt, which is based in Belgium that is the most common place in the world to find them in airports, train stations, and businesses. Only two airports in the United States other than IND have the human-powered charging stations, they are Flagstaff Pulliam Airport in Arizona and Longbeach Airport in California.

The airport authority here says it has been so popular that they hope to get several more units to place in other parts of the airport. At last check, the kiosks cost more than $13,000.