Manchester Airport's fleet of air-side passenger buses has been equipped with Windows XP-based automotive computers to improve operations.
The computers, built and installed by Bristol-based In-CarPC, are being used to record key data about buses' journeys and to send this information back to airport staff in real-time via a high-speed 3G internet wireless link.
The data being recorded comprises various events that occur as each bus is allocated to service an aircraft, such as the precise time and position of each bus when passengers start boarding and disembarking.
This information is vital to the airport as it is used to prove that service level agreements with the airlines have been met.
Before implementing a PC-based solution the bus movement information was recorded onto paper, and was not available to airport management and staff until some time later, when it had been manually digitised at great administrative cost.
The computers, now installed in each bus, record and transmit this data in real-time, resulting in a dramatic improvement in the quality and reliability of the data, as well as the speed at which it is made available.
Christina Kelly, operations manager at the airport's Bus Transport Department, said, "We initially piloted vehicle computers from two companies, one of which was In-CarPC. Their system was extremely reliable, and we found the company very quick to respond to our needs."
In-CarPC built the computers to specifically match Manchester Airport's requirements and installed them into the buses on-site at Manchester Airport. The project went live early in August.