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Airport communications: A first-class solution

Digital radio network helps manage flights and improve security. The number of air passengers is on the rise. The volume of air cargo is increasing. Energy, staff costs and competition: up, up, up. And security challenges continue to grow.

Madrid_4_airport_050.jpgIn an industry where everything seems to be going up, up and away, digital radio communications help keep airport operations down to earth. Among other benefits, digital radio communication systems can help large airports:

  • Streamline operations
  • Manage flights
  • Save money
  • Improve security

Streamline operations

In terms of radio communications, running a major airport is as complex as running a big event — the Olympic Games, maybe — but every day, day in, day out.

Contributing to the complexity:

1Quantity of communications. No other facilities need to connect so many people on such a limited geographical area with such a huge number of calls. A flexible digital radio communication system can help you meet all these needs — no matter how broad the scope.

2. Geographic scope. A typical major airport has 30 to 40 kilometers of facilities. A radio network from Airbus can deliver radio coverage to all areas of the airport — inside, outside or underground. That includes:

  • Underground car-parks
  • Baggage and cargo facilities
  • Aircraft repair hangars

Plus: Users can roam while they're talking and still stay connected.

3. Diversity of user groups. Among the typical user groups for airport digital radio communication systems:

  • Tower and apron control
  • Ground handling services
  • Follow-me
  • Security personnel
  • Emergency and rescue services
  • Airlines
  • Catering services

The key to serving airports' complex radio communication needs: Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs. A VPN gives an airport access to unlimited voice and messaging communications, while still maintaining individual groups' privacy.

With a TETRA system from Airbus, for example, your many different airport user groups can each have the experience of using their own private network. Each group's communications remain secure, and each company can manage subscribers and groups as they need.


Manage flights

Busy airports manage hundreds of flights a day, each requiring dozens of employees to communicate with each other. Some employees, like load masters, work on one flight at a time. Others, like ramp agents, serve several flights.

With a radio network from Airbus, dispatchers can set up temporary talk groups for each flight, remotely over the air. Once dispatchers put all the people serving a flight into a talk group, group members can talk to each other simply by keying the push-to-talk button on their radio terminal.

A person serving several flights can follow communications in all her groups by using the priority-scanning feature on her TETRA radio.

Save money

Take an example: Aéroports de Paris shares its professional mobile radio (PMR) network infrastructure. In fact, more than 3,000 network users at Paris airports share the use of the radio communications system — and its cost.

And with a secure radio network, if one component fails, another immediately backs it up. That redundancy means always-on, reliable dispatch operations. And higher reliability also means lower maintenance and repair costs.

Improve security

Aéroports de Paris has also integrated state-of-the-art security technologies into its radio network. As a result, the organization has been recognized around the world for security advances.

For instance, the airports have incorporated inspection equipment into their baggage sorting areas and systemized video surveillance posts. Aéroports de Paris inspects 100 percent of the cargo and baggage in the hold and 50 percent to 100 percent of its carry-on luggage. When they first adopted the system, European Union regulations required only that 10 percent be inspected.

Plus, the radio network allows you to let all staff members know — immediately — if there's an emergency. Radio networks from Airbus offer dozens of security features that help airports meet their security requirements, including:

  • Emergency call
  • Radio terminal and network authentication
  • Air-interface encryption
  • End-to-end encryption

Up, up and away

Increasing numbers of airport radio users depend on radio communication solutions from Airbus. Among the airports that are covered by an Airbus network:

  • Paris airports Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY)
  • Beijing International Airport (PEK)
  • Berlin airports Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF)
  • Zürich (ZRH)
  • Helsinki-Vantaa (HEL)
  • Dubai (DXB)
  • Jinan (TNA)

Setting up a digital radio network for airport communication doesn't have to be difficult. Airbus can provide a complete service — from network planning to implementation, maintenance and operation — for airport operators. And if your airport is already equipped with an expansive in-house system, there is help for you to migrate easily to a digital radio network.