Runway engineers and other staff at Manchester Airport are to get wireless handheld computers to help reduce the number of paper-based reports they are required to fill in.
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The airport is installing a wireless mesh network based on Trapeze’s Smart Mobile technology, to allow operational staff roaming inside and outside the terminals to access the corporate network from wireless enabled laptops and other devices.
Aaron Bazler, head of IT at Manchester Airport, said that over the past 16 to 18 months, the airport has been concentrating on developing an indoor wireless network.
“Now we are looking at extending our wireless coverage outside the terminal buildings to substations, and other buildings,” he said.
At the moment, the airport requires roaming staff to use trunk radios or mobile phones, and a lot of the processes are paper based.
One of the airport’s biggest databases is based on Lotus Notes and at the moment only PCs that are linked to the Lan can access it, said Bazler. He plans to mobile-enable Notes so that, for example, engineers that check runway lights can file reports and make purchase orders from the runways, using wireless devices.
The airport hopes to go live with the airfield wireless network in two to three months.