Has Dubai Airports got its head in the ‘cloud’s? Not with its new flight display technology which is set to reduce its electrical footprint and operational costs

Dubai Airports says that a move from a “fragmented system” to a new advanced cloud-based Flight Information Display solution (FIDS) along with System on Chip (SoC) display technology at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) airports will reduce its electrical footprint, deliver operational costs and enable a better experience for the almost 100 million annual passengers that travel through its airport system.


Summary:

  • Dubai Airports has moved to a new advanced cloud-based Flight Information Display solution (FIDS) along with System on Chip (SoC) display technology at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) airports;
  • This latest project, in partnership with Samsung Electronics and AirportLabs, has seen 2,700 display screens replaced throughout Concourses A, B and C in Terminal 3;
  • New platform allows display screens to be controlled without external PCs, significantly reducing both the airport’s electrical footprint and operational costs;
  • The advanced capabilities of the new system include the ability to run it from an internet browser enabling varied content to be displayed and controlled from a mobile device or from the control room.

The upgrade has been delivered in partnership with Samsung Electronics and AirportLabs and is the first launch of such technology in the region. It continues an initiative introduced by Dubai Airports in 2016 to adopt Cloud-based FIDS to improve its displays across its terminal buildings. This latest project has seen 2,700 display screens replaced throughout Concourses A, B and C in Terminal 3 and now enables it to operate VisionAir FIDS software without external PCs, significantly reducing both the airport’s electrical footprint and operational costs.

Dubai Airports notes that by offering a single, dedicated platform for cloud based content management, the FIDS “boosts customer service with timely, efficient and visually impactful information delivery”.

As the world’s busiest international airport that is operating at nearly full capacity, Michael Ibbitson, executive vice president of technology and infrastructure at Dubai Airports says that the most efficient way to accommodate growth without physically expanding the infrastructure is by deploying smart technologies and enhancing processes.

“Information and communication are critical elements of airport operations and we are positive this new display system will go a long way in helping us deliver a smooth experience consistently for the millions of customers that pass through our airports each year,” he explains.

Some of the advanced capabilities of the new system include the ability to run it from an internet browser without the need for any local software installation. It allows enabling of screen layouts and content for specific zones within the airport from a mobile device or from the control room.

The system also allows collaborative content management giving airlines, ground handlers or other airport service partners some level of control in managing different types of content such as branding, passenger advisory, as well as operational messaging, flight information and advertising. The system can also help reduce energy consumption through control of backlight.

Dubai Airports is working on a range of technological innovations to support passenger flows through its airport terminals. It recently revealed it will use Siemens’ data analytics and smart building technology to “guarantee” annual energy savings of almost 20% per year across Dubai International by implementing energy efficiency measures at Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3 and Concourse B. Focusing on air and water systems, the seven-year project is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 25,000 tons, with annual electricity savings of approximately 50 gigawatt hours (GWH), and water savings of around 21 million gallons.

Earlier this month it also joined forces with the Dubai Police General Department of Dubai Security to sign a memorandum of understanding with the International Air Travel Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) to become part of their joint initiative on Smart Security.

The Smart Security initiative aims to bring specific and measurable improvements in security effectiveness, operational efficiency and passenger experience at airport security checkpoints through better use of technology, process innovation, and the use of risk-based security concepts. The MoU will pave the way for Dubai Airports, together with airlines, control authorities, regulators and solution providers, to benefit from the knowledge and lessons gained through trials and research activities at other participating airports.

In a keynote address at the recent CAPA Global Airport Leaders’ Forum, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: “Technology will improve the airport experience for the future of travellers as most of things they hate today will be removed such as security hassle, long distance to the aircraft among others.” He added that the 10 million passengers that take plane every day will go up to 21 million by 2035 and Dubai has spent USD12 billion on infrastructure to boost capacity at Dubai International airport.

Traffic levels in and out of Dubai have continued to rise sharply this decade. Passenger numbers at Dubai International have grown from 47 million annual passengers in 2010 to over 88 million last year, while Dubai World Central is now handling almost one million annual passengers. However, the rate of growth has been slowing and the +5.5% year-on-year rise at Dubai International in 2017 was the lowest recorded this decade.

CHART – Latest traffic figures for the first three months of 2018 show a further slowing of demand at Dubai International Airport to just a +1.1% comparable growth with the same period in 2017. This actually comprised declines of -1.0% in January and -0.3% in February, returning to growth in March (+4.5%)Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and Dubai Airports reports