Gatwick hails impact of new cloud-based flight information system

Posted by Phil Davies on
Gatwick hails impact of new cloud-based flight information system

Gatwick has become the world’s first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information Display System (FIDS).

The airport’s 1,200 information screens can now be operated centrally from a web browser as opposed to needing a separate PC behind the screen.

The project to upgrade the airport’s technology to the VisionAir system began in 2015.

The airport said the new technology is cost effective, easily scaleable and more flexible and resilient, because it requires less infrastructure and maintenance.

The new system can also run natively on smart TVs saving on infrastructure and maintenance costs, and demand on engineers’ time.

The new system is also able to intelligently target on-screen messages based on the location in the airport and context.

Cathal Corcoran, chief information officer at Gatwick Airport, said: “Our vision was to develop a new generation system that is reliable, scalable and accessible from anywhere.

“We are the first major airport to introduce a cloud-based Flight Information Display System and the solution we now have in place is resilient, flexible and low cost with highly optimised data transfer.

“The VisionAir system is just one of many exciting digital initiatives our award-winning digital team is developing.  We are transforming the way airport information is communicated and will soon allow passengers to interact with chat bots using Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and other popular apps.

“We are also exploring the use of the Internet of Things for improving situational awareness, machine learning for accurately predicting flight departure times and recently became the world’s first airport to deploy augmented reality wayfinding.”

Ligiu Uiorean, director of AirportLabs, said: “AirportLabs built VisionAir to be a real time passenger communication platform that covers all types of messages.

“Gatwick was the first to recognise the potential of having such a channel and embrace it. Working with the airport, the rollout has been swift and painless in spite of the complex environment with very tight operational constraints.

“VisionAir has also been very well received by the airlines, ground handlers and other stakeholders which now have a state of the art tool that ensures effective communication with the passengers- irrespective of an advertising, business as usual or disruption scenario. It is projects like this which form the building blocks for the next generation travel experience and bring further gains even to the most efficient operations.

“We are very happy work with an airport like Gatwick who are ready to step with us into the future and change the face of terminals and travel.”


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