DFW Airport unveils LTE plan
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport recently filed its plans to deploy an LTE network that would be integrated with the nationwide broadband network for first responders operating on 700 MHz broadband spectrum leased to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
“From a security perspective, [DFW Airport] relies heavily on technology to enables it to detect and apprehend persons that pose potential threats to the airport,” the filing states. “A very important need is the ability to transfer video from the airport’s security-surveillance environment to security officials within the passenger terminals and to police vehicles on the DFW [Airport] campus. The ability for DFW to transmit high-speed data for similar reasons is also critical to the successful operations of the airport.”
DFW Airport made the filing, because Texas DPS has the rights to the spectrum based on its lease with the Public Safety Spectrum Trust (PSST), which holds the license for the public-safety broadband airwaves in the 700 MHz band.
“We already have a lease with the state of Texas, so DFW Airport has to work with the state of Texas to work under that lease,” PSST Chairman Harlin McEwen said. “In other words, they wouldn’t need a waiver or a lease. It would have to be something the FCC supports within the Texas lease. We’re talking with Texas and DFW to work on that now—it’s just in the initial discussions.”
In the filing, DFW Airport expressed its commitment to build an LTE system that enables “full interoperability with the national public-safety LTE network” by complying with requirements established by oversight entities like the state of Texas and the FCC.
In the LMR realm, DFW Airport has gained notoriety for using an ISSI gateway to promote interoperability between its Harris P25 system and those of surrounding public-safety agencies, most of which have networks built by Motorola Solutions.
While there are several LTE networks at various stages of deployment, one unique characteristic of the DFW Airport proposal is that it will not require any federal grant money.
“It should be noted that the planned system will be 100% funded by the DFW Airport,” the filing states. “Funding is already in place for the system. Thus, funding issues and delays that may be hindering other jurisdictions will not delay DFW’s deployment.”