Ready for take-off

Philip Mason looks at how the use of digital communications technology is helping Gatwick Airport to streamline its processes

Of the many sectors that are dependent on the use of comms, aviation is one of the most mission-critical, involving as it does life-or-death information being continually transmitted in real time. (It is arguably only rivalled by the energy industry, with its giant, interdependent – perpetually active – systems, which absolutely must not be allowed to fall over).

As well as the life-critical aspect, however, commercial aviation is also a quintessentially time-bound endeavour, within which everything needs to run like clockwork. Clearly, while you don’t want the aircraft to crash, you also need to make sure that it gets away on time, carrying the requisite fuel, passengers, gin, vacuum-sealed chicken dinners, sick bags and so on.

This is an area in which digital communications has made an enormous impact, with a variety of solutions now available to help staff on the ground keep on top of everything, both front of house and behind the scenes. One UK airport in particular which has embraced this technology is Gatwick, both via its recently developed ‘community app’ and in the use of APD’s IP-based communications system Cortex.

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