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Québec City International Modernizes Airport to Draw More Travelers, With Collaboration From Cisco and HP


In Celebration of City’s 400th Anniversary, Airport Deploys Cisco Unified Communications, Mobile Technology With Integration Services From HP

Cisco and HP announced today that Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport (Aéroport de Québec) has completed the modernization of its airport terminal using solutions from the two companies. The airport’s deployment integrates Cisco® network infrastructure and Cisco mobility and Unified Communications solutions to improve travelers’ experiences and draw more travelers to Québec City. HP served as the end-to-end systems integrator for these solutions and will provide ongoing support for the network infrastructure.

The new network infrastructure helps support the airport’s vision for a modern, agile facility at a time when increasing air traffic is flying into and out of Quebec City. To bring its vision to life, the airport is implementing a “passenger first” strategy to help airlines streamline operations, such as baggage and personal check-in. Acknowledging the rising demands placed on its operations, Aéroport de Québec conducted a technology-based makeover that involved rebuilding the main terminal and helping to ensure mobile collaboration between users, devices, critical applications and airport systems. The collaboration between Cisco and HP helped Aéroport de Québec convert the airport’s vision into a live, functional deployment in less than one year.

“Our passengers come first, so we updated the airport to provide our passengers with the safest, most convenient and efficient travel experience,” said Pascal Bélanger, president and chief operating officer of Aéroport de Québec. “In working with Cisco and HP, we were able to provide our airlines with the unified communications and mobility benefits of Cisco’s Unified Wireless Network so that we can continue to streamline our operations and improve the experience of travelers visiting our airport.”

Aéroport de Québec accommodates more than 1 million passengers annually. It supports nearly 400 flights a week to destinations in North America, South America and Europe. In its preparation for Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebration last summer, the airport deployed an 802.11n wireless network from Cisco that helped provide a foundation for the airport’s transformation in several areas:

* Updating passenger service at the counter. Using mobile networking technology from Cisco and implementation services from HP, Aéroport de Québec transformed the airline counters into more flexible, common-use stations that multiple airlines can use to manage passenger traffic and streamline the boarding process.
* Improved communication between all mobile airline employees. With help from HP, Aéroport de Québec deployed a unified wired and wireless Cisco network infrastructure along with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, all of which easily allows airline personnel to log in to their telephony profiles on Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones and remain connected throughout the airport.
* Free Wi-Fi for travelers to stay connected. The airport’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network provides passengers with free Wi-Fi guest access so they can stay connected to the Internet while waiting for their flights.

“Using an IP-enabled wireless network with next-generation 802.11n performance allows airport staff to access applications anywhere in the airport faster than older wireless networks,” Bélanger said. “Runways, for instance, can be prepared faster, reducing the need for airlines to circle around the airport. While this type of communication remains invisible to passengers, it is crucial to providing high-quality service.”

Building a Network Foundation for the Future

Aéroport de Québec deployed Cisco’s 802.11n Aironet® 1250 Series Access Points to provide the foundation for future mobility applications that synergize operations that traditionally have been disparate and, as a result, inefficient.

* Self-service check-in kiosks. For baggage check-in, new self-service kiosks are connected to the airport’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network and can be moved to key areas in the airport on an as-needed basis.
* Runway inspection. The airport is considering a mobile IP-based application that gathers inspection data on runway surface conditions and relays it to a security control center. This mobile application will increase the efficiency of communicating with pilots by avoiding the typical practice of sending data across congested radio frequencies. This will reduce delays in relaying important information to appropriate airline pilots.
* Ground equipment usage. Aéroport de Québec is also considering utilizing its 802.11n network for location tracking and monitoring of trucks, snowblowers, snowplows and other equipment. For example, vehicles can use the wireless network to communicate the amounts of de-icing materials dropped on runways and time spent in each area. This will allow the airport to optimize resources and increase safety by knowing the location of vehicles on the runway during snowstorms and other periods of poor visibility.
* Baggage tracking. To reduce the incidence of lost baggage, Aéroport de Québec intends to implement a baggage-tracking system using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track every piece of baggage traveling into and out of the terminal.

“We chose the solution that much larger airports were using because we wanted a proven and tested end-to-end network that would future-proof our investment and lower our total cost of ownership. HP had experience implementing similar projects with other airports and were able to meet our aggressive timeframe, so it was a natural choice for the project. We have a lot of plans for new airport applications and we knew that HP and Cisco could provide the reliability, scalability and performance to support our growing needs,” Bélanger added.


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