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Quebec City modernizes airport with help from Cisco and HP


February 27, 2009
By Anthony Capkun

Cisco and HP announced today that Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport (Aéroport de Québec) has completed the modernization of its airport terminal using solutions from the two companies. The airport’s deployment integrates Cisco network infrastructure and Cisco mobility and Unified Communications solutions to improve travellers’ experiences and draw more travellers to Québec City. HP served as the end-to-end systems integrator for these solutions and will provide ongoing support for the network infrastructure.

The
new network infrastructure helps support the airport’s vision for a
modern, agile facility at a time when increasing air traffic is flying
into and out of Quebec City. To bring its vision to life, the airport
is implementing a “passenger first” strategy to help airlines
streamline operations, such as baggage and personal check-in.




Acknowledging
the rising demands placed on its operations, Aéroport de Québec
conducted a technology-based makeover that involved rebuilding the main
terminal and helping to ensure mobile collaboration between users,
devices, critical applications and airport systems. The collaboration
between Cisco and HP helped Aéroport de Québec convert the airport’s
vision into a live, functional deployment in less than one year.




Aéroport
de Québec accommodates more than 1 million passengers annually. It
supports nearly 400 flights a week to destinations in North America,
South America and Europe.




In its
preparation for Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebration last
summer, the airport deployed an 802.11n wireless network from Cisco
that helped provide a foundation for the airport’s transformation in
several areas:





Updating passenger service at the counter. Using mobile networking
technology from Cisco and implementation services from HP, Aéroport de
Québec transformed the airline counters into more flexible, common-use
stations that multiple airlines can use to manage passenger traffic and
streamline the boarding process.





Improved communication between all mobile airline employees. With help
from HP, Aéroport de Québec deployed a unified wired and wireless Cisco
network infrastructure along with Cisco Unified Communications Manager,
all of which easily allows airline personnel to log in to their
telephony profiles on Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones and remain
connected throughout the airport.




• Free
Wi-Fi for travellers to stay connected. The airport’s network provides
passengers with free Wi-Fi guest access so they can stay connected to
the Internet while waiting for their flights.




“Using
an IP-enabled wireless network with next-generation 802.11n performance
allows airport staff to access applications anywhere in the airport
faster than older wireless networks,” said Pascal Bélanger, president
and COO of the airport. “Runways, for instance, can be prepared faster,
reducing the need for airlines to circle around the airport. While this
type of communication remains invisible to passengers, it is crucial to
providing high-quality service.”

{mospagebreak}


Building a Network Foundation for the Future

Aéroport
de Québec deployed Cisco’s 802.11n Aironet 1250 Series access points to
provide the foundation for future mobility applications that synergize
operations that traditionally have been disparate and, as a result,
inefficient.





Self-service check-in kiosks: For baggage check-in, new self-service
kiosks are connected to the airport’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network
and can be moved to key areas in the airport on an as-needed basis.




• Runway
inspection: The airport is considering a mobile IP-based application
that gathers inspection data on runway surface conditions and relays it
to a security control center. This mobile application will increase the
efficiency of communicating with pilots by avoiding the typical
practice of sending data across congested radio frequencies. This will
reduce delays in relaying important information to appropriate airline
pilots.




• Ground
equipment usage: Aéroport de Québec is also considering utilizing its
802.11n network for location tracking and monitoring of trucks,
snowblowers, snowplows and other equipment. For example, vehicles can
use the wireless network to communicate the amounts of de-icing
materials dropped on runways and time spent in each area. This will
allow the airport to optimize resources and increase safety by knowing
the location of vehicles on the runway during snowstorms and other
periods of poor visibility.





Baggage tracking: To reduce the incidence of lost baggage, Aéroport de
Québec intends to implement a baggage-tracking system using RFID
technology to track every piece of baggage travelling into and out of
the terminal.




“We
chose the solution that much larger airports were using because we
wanted a proven and tested end-to-end network that would future-proof
our investment and lower our total cost of ownership. HP had experience
implementing similar projects with other airports and were able to meet
our aggressive timeframe, so it was a natural choice for the project.
We have a lot of plans for new airport applications and we knew that HP
and Cisco could provide the reliability, scalability and performance to
support our growing needs,” Bélanger added.




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