Airport dispatching transitions to IDEN
Aeronautical Radio, Annapolis, Md., continues to convert Motorola analog trunking systems used at airports throughout the United States to Motorola’s integrated digital enhanced network trunking systems. Arinc joins Nextel Communications, McLean, Va., and SouthernLinc, Atlanta, in the deployment of IDEN systems.
At least nine airports served by Arinc have begun the transition with the activiation of one or more IDEN channels, but apparently none of the airports has made a full conversion by switching off the last of its analog equipment.
The Los Angeles International airport’s IDEN installation, originally scheduled for completion at the end of September, now is slated for full conversion by Jan. 31, 2003. At LAX, Arinc has seven 800 MHz frequencies. With the partial conversion to IDEN, Arinc’s system now has two IDEN channels activated. One serves as a control channel, and the other carries six multiplexed voice channels. Of the other five channels, three serve as combination control and analog voice channels, and the remaining two are analog voice channels.
Arinc named its IDEN network the Digital Wireless Dispatch system, and said it would improve its busy ground operations by expanding voice capacity by 500% and by adding wireless data networking and direct coast-to-coast connections.
“Airports have been running out of ground radio capacity for years, as their analog radio systems have grown clogged with messages from expanding airport operations, airline ground operations, security services, transportation systems, and many on-site vendors such as fueling companies,” a statement from Arinc reads.
“The obvious solution—converting to digital wireless—once appeared too expensive. But in 2001, Arinc developed a centralized digital switching service that replaces costly airport hardware and makes private digital wireless systems economically feasible,” the company stated.
Arinc expects to install IDEN at 60 U.S. airports by 2005.
Most recently, Arinc installed IDEN at Boston Logan airport and marked the end of the first year of installations. During this phase, the company upgraded systems at nine airports where it owns the wireless frequencies and manages the local capability. The airports include Boston, Newark International, Miami International, Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco, New York JFK, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta. The company plans to upgrade 50 more U.S. airports in three years, as airlines ask for expanded DWD coverage.
The system includes hand-held and mobile hardware that permits airline ground personnel—such as ramp workers—to connect directly with workers at other airports to solve service or business problems quickly. Arinc has priced DWD dispatch service at a flat rate with no long-distance charges.
Ground handling companies and other airport businesses can use the data-capable iDEN hardware in their daily operations to send and receive data. The system also permits monitoring, group messaging, and messaging priority functions that were not possible with Arinc’s older analog technology. The company expects to add wireless-to-telephone interconnect to allow authorized wireless users to make telephone calls through their company’s phone systems or public telephone networks.
“The Digital Wireless Dispatch system is already bringing airport, airline, and vendor operations seamlessly together—whether it’s across the tarmac or across the country,” said Michael Siok, ARINC’s network application development director. “Now, better communications will mean better service for customers and more operating efficiency for everybody. In addition, the new system makes the best possible use of the limited existing frequencies at the airport.”
Arinc develops and operates communications and information processing systems for the aviation and transportation industries and provides systems engineering and integration solutions to the government and aviation. Founded to provide reliable and efficient radio communications for the airlines, Arinc has more than 3,000 employees worldwide with headquarters in Annapolis, Maryland.