Athens International Airport

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As Athens International Airport in Greece was building their new airport, they called upon UFIS Airport Solutions to provide not only the flight information display system (FIDS) but also its operational expertise to ensure that the airport would be ready to go into operation from day one. What was the result? The operational aspects of the airport were ready three months ahead of schedule!

Since the opening of Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (AIA), the  installation of Amadeus UFIS solutions was extended to not only power the display system but to act as the hub for the airport's operational systems. The heart of the system is the Airport Operational Database (AODB). The AODB, from the Amadeus product portfolio, provides a state-of-the-art, fully scalable solution, combining the highest amount of security with real-time performance. The most important function of the AODB is to provide the integration platform for all IT systems at the airport as well as off-airport systems. Information is stored in the AODB and is made available to authorized applications and systems. In Athens, the system interfaces with 14 external systems, such as departure control, noise monitoring, airline host, baggage handling and real-time billing. Integrated with the aid of UFIS, these systems form a comprehensive airport IT environment.
 
The gate management application is a rule-based system which enables the dispatcher to produce an up-to-the-minute plan for gate, stand, check-in counter and baggage belt assignment to individual aircraft. The rules were developed by the dispatchers in close co-operation with the our experts. An easy-to-use rule generator is provided for the dispatchers to develop new rules or edit existing ones to cater for changes in operational procedures and agreements with the airlines.
 
Besides the web-based counter application running on the CUTE workstations, a web-based staff information application provides information throughout the whole airport intranet. This application enables staff to call up flight and airport-related information relevant to their particular tasks. Both of these applications are part of our Flight Information Display System.
 
In 2004 AIA added our Resource Management System to their suite of products. Our RMS produces rosters for personnel and equipment resources based on the data in the flight schedule, determining the requirements for equipment, terminal resources and staff with appropriate qualifications. It provides functions to support demand and coverage calculations, shift and duty rosters, and daily rosters and deployment of resources.
 
For the 2004 Olympic Games, AIA needed to have additional displays installed and connected to the system. The solution was a new web-based FIDS. New displays with thin-client PCs as controllers were installed; these have access to the same FIDS data as the main display system. During the Games, the Greek Olympic Committee had its own Operation Center at the airport. UFIS Flight Information Processing System enabled the staff to view important up-to-date flight resource planning information. UFIS-AS also provided on-site application support during the Games.
 
In an upgrade carried out in 2005, a new flight information processing system was installed. With its enhanced terminal resource management system, relationships between resources, so-called "resource chains," can be created. This is an aid to providing a consistent service to the airlines while keeping passenger flow at an optimum. To handle the operational human resource management, AIA decided to install our resource management applications on a separate server. In this way the upgrade did not affect the current system running at the airport. Data consistency is ensured through the fact that even across the two systems, data is still stored only once. Basic and flight schedule data is valid for both systems and only independent data is stored on the relevant server. For example, shift data is only stored in the database on the human resource management server and display configurations are only stored on the database on the FIDS server. Thus, a single AODB is distributed across two highly resilient Sun clusters.
 
In 2008, AIA added our Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) module to their existing RMS package. This was to assist with their compliance of the European Community regulation 1107/2006 which required all airports within Europe to provide assistance to persons with reduced mobility to enable them to make the same use of air transport as people who are not disabled. This new module enables handling agents at the airport to plan and dispatch staff for the PRM service using RMS. The module also provides the functions to gather status information on the services and to provide data for KPI measurements to ensure that the required service levels are met.
 
In 2010, AIA upgraded to the former UFIS solutions to version 4.6. The upgrade included new modules such as the Cappuccino tool which captures screenshots of the physical resource Gantt charts at periodical intervals, Check List Processing which allows AIA to create checklists for special events or flights, and the Online Changes Monitor which shows all aircraft changes in a stand-alone module. Other new modules included Data Changes -- a tool which allows the airport IT team to audit changes made on its system and Status Manager -- a tool which, based on the real-time information provided through the various interfaces, monitors the various milestones and statuses continuously. If a deviation occurs, a supervisor is alerted so that the situation can be addressed and staff can intervene before the passengers are adversely affected.