Warsaw International Airport

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Building a new terminal and expanding your IT system at the same time is a huge task at any time. But couple that with continuous growth of passenger traffic and you have a task that will challenge the best of airports.

In 2005, Warsaw's Frederic Chopin International Airport and Polish Airports' State Enterprise (PPL) faced just such a challenge. And they turned to their reliable partner -- UFIS  -- to help them with the expansion of their IT system.

The IT expansion project included three phases: migration of the system to Sun Microsystems hardware, upgrade of the existing UFIS installation to UFIS 4.5, and adaptation of the existing system to meet the requirements for the new terminal including interfaces to three new systems and the installation and configuration of hundreds of additional Flight Information Display (FIDS) monitors.

During phase one, new server hardware was installed along with an upgrade to Oracle® 10g and the migration of the UFIS® installation from Unixware to Solaris 9. The second phase saw the upgrade of the Airport Operational Database (AODB) and client modules to UFIS 4.5. This upgrade, performed with the cooperation of the airport operations and IT staff, occurred without any affect on airport operations.

The final phase of the project integrated new interfaces for the baggage handling system, the docking guidance system, and the building automation system within the AODB. The baggage handling interface supplies the BHS with flight plans, actual schedules, delays, and aircraft-related information so that loaders can see chute allocations and aircraft information. The docking guidance system also relies on information from the  AODB such as flight schedules and aircraft type information. The building automation system sends information to the AODB concerning the use of ground power units and air conditioning units. This information is then passed on to the billing system through a separate interface.

An essential part of this final phase was the installation and configuration of hundreds of new flight information displays and large-scale information boards in Terminal 2. The Amadeus Airport FIDS (Flight Information Display System) was extended to the second terminal without disturbing the live operations in Terminal 1. Now, approximately 800 monitors/TFT displays and main LCD information boards are distributed throughout the two terminals providing up-to-the-minute information as required by PPL operations.

"As a world leader in airport IT services," said Robert Zgieb, head of IT & Telecommunications Service at PPL, "UFIS once again proved to be a reliable and experienced partner. They provided a tailored solution to meet the challenges Warsaw Airport are facing in its process of continuous growth and development."

In 2008, UFIS also added some additional functionality to the FIDS and flight information processing system to help the operations team in their daily work and to track additional information related to passenger traffic. The data changes module, a tool to track and audit changes to the data, was also installed.

In 2010, UFIS installed another enhancement package. This package included the addition of delay sub-codes, the allocation of baggage belts to departure flights, modification to the auto allocation routine for baggage belts, modifications to the data changes module to include changes to towings and those made by the status entry modules for CUTE workstations, and additional information to be shown on the FIDS displays.

At the end of the year -- just in time for the cold weather -- UFIS developed and installed a new De-Icing module. The new module allows users to indicate if de-icing is required for a flight and the start and end times of the de-icing procedure and the holdover duration. It is integrated into our module, or it can run as a stand-alone application. A new report showing the de-icing information is also available. Changes made to the de-icing information are recorded and shown in the data changes module.

The installation at Warsaw includes the AODB,  FIDS, and the flight information processing system. It also includes, in addition to the ones mentioned above, interfaces to the SITA, AFTN, radar, and TMS lighting systems.

The AODB is the heart of the IT system. The AODB 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 a data integration platform for all IT systems at the airport as well as off-airport systems. Information from Amadeus AODB and other systems is stored in the AODB and is made available to authorized applications and systems.

The flight information processing system supports airport operations by enabling the user to manage their flight schedules and to process incoming flight information changes in a real-time setting. As a part of the module, telex processing also allows for the interpretation of incoming telexes, updating the appropriate data in the AODB and making it accessible to the users. The apron management application is a rule-based system which enables planners and dispatchers to produce an up-to-the-minute plan for gate, stand, check-in counter and baggage belt assignment to individual aircraft. An easy-to-use rule generator is provided for the operators to develop new rules or edit existing ones to cater for changes in operational procedures and agreements with the airlines.

In addition to the public displays, the Amadeus Airport FlDS also includes a web-based counter application running on the CUTE workstations and a web-based staff information application providing information throughout the whole airport intranet. This staff information application enables staff to call up flight and airport-related information relevant to their particular tasks.

Warsaw airport had 8.3 million passengers pass through its doors in 2009. They had 135,623 aircraft movements that year as well with approximately 85% of those being passenger flights.

PPL was established in 1987 as the successor to the Air Traffic and Commercial Airports Administration. In addition to Warsaw, it operates the Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport and the Zielona Góra-Babimost Airports in Poland.