Manchester Airport staff go wireless


Manchester Airport staff go wireless

Arif Mohamed

Runway engineers and other staff at Manchester Airport are to get wireless handheld devices to help reduce paper-based reporting.

The airport is installing a wireless mesh network based on Trapeze's Smart Mobile technology to allow operational staff moving about the terminal to access the corporate network from wireless-enabled laptops and other devices.

The airport's overall strategy is to implement a campus-wide wireless network that will allow secure access for staff and travellers.

Aaron Bazler, head of IT at Manchester Airport, said that over the past 16 to 18 months the airport had 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 many of the processes are paper based.

One of the airport's biggest databases is based on Lotus Notes and currently only PCs linked to the local area network can access it, said Bazler. He plans to mobile-enable Notes so that, for example, engineers checking runway lights can file reports and make purchase orders from the runways via PDAs.

"We will be able to use bridging technology to deliver the wireless network outside. As soon as an airport has to run cables it becomes increasingly complex," said Bazler.

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