Flexibility is the key to Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS) in two ways:
Freedom to choose the most suitable display
Freedom to choose what form of information to display
In the FIDS from UFIS Airport Solutions (UFIS-AS) this flexibility is an integral part of the system. With the introduction of the UFIS® WebFIDS module, a customer can now operate an even wider variety of displays from a single system.
Displays with proprietary controllers and graphics software common to the airport industry such as dZine controllers or Solution Space can be incorporated into the system just as easily as displays with a PC-based controller using a browser as the display medium. Large character-based displays like LCD and LED display boards can also be incorporated into the system but large LCD-TFT displays are now offering a viable alternative to these, providing greater flexibility in the information displayed. "Flight information and anything else you can show on a web site can be shown on a FIDS display if that is what you want," said Reiner Sternitzke, UFIS-AS's product manager.
An offshoot of this development was a mechanism for providing flight information to a web portal at any configurable interval.
One of the disadvantages of previous browser-based FIDS solutions was that if the network went down or the server failed temporarily, the display would show the typical "web page not found" screen. This has been resolved in UFIS-AS's WebFIDS module. Even when the server fails, the screens will continue to display the last information they received from the server. Once the connection to the server has been restored, updated information will be sent to the displays. While tested thoroughly in development, this new feature has also proven successful in real-time situations.
WebFIDS was originally developed as part of the project with Delhi International Airport. It has been running successfully there since June 2008. There are more than 400 displays throughout the airport including 27 gate monitors and 174 check-in counter monitors.
Delhi currently handles more than 18 million passengers a year. There are more than 60 scheduled airlines operating approximately 600 international and domestic flights a day.
At the other end of the spectrum, WebFIDS was recently installed at Chisinau International Airport, Moldova. Handling only 1.2 million passengers per year, Chisinau falls in the small-size category of airports.
"Chisinau proved to be an excellent project for the second installation of WebFIDS," said Holger Mattig, president & CEO of UFIS-AS. "It is a smaller, regional airport which allows us to showcase the WebFIDS module for this size airport."
Thirty-one displays with flight information are placed throughout the airport including those showing arrival and departure information, gate displays, and check-in counter displays. Up-to-date flight information for the displays is being provided through UFIS® Airport Operational database (AODB), Flight Information Processing System (FIPS), and telex processing.