Dubai Airports ready for the tech challenge


By Abdul Basit

DUBAI — Dubai Airports, which is celebrating 50 years of successful journeying, is fully equipped with advanced technology and ready to take the challenge of rising demand from its stakeholders, specially Emirates airline, a top executive of the company said.

Dubai Airports owns and manages the operation and development of both of Dubai’s airports — Dubai International as well as the upcoming Dubai World Central — Al Maktoum International.

“We also provide service to Al Maktoum International, so the challenge is that how we will run multiple airports environment,” Ghanim Mohammed Lahej Al Falasi, Vice-President for Information and Communication Technology Unit of Dubai Airports, told Khaleej Times in an interview at GITEX.

The technology unit of Dubai Airports is responsible for providing IT services to its all stakeholders at both the airports.

“Main companies include Emirates airline, ground handler Dnata and fuel companies,” Al Falasi said. The company recently launched virtualisation solution, which is mainly to support its virtualise datacentre with all the services. The basic idea is to drastically reduce the substantial number of physical servers and migrate to a virtual server environment, he added.

“We are expecting 45 million by the end of the year. The pressure is high to running two airports. We need to give same service to Al Maktoum International,” he said.

Cargo terminal at Al Maktoum International was inaugurated on July 1, 2010 and passenger terminal is also expected to open by March next year that is part of Phase one of the airport.

Phase one of the airport will feature one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year.

The unit has installed around 2,000 plasma information screens at Dubai International. The unit needs more screens for the new airport.

“We require only 100 screens for the time being as by March we are expecting to launch the new passenger terminal,” he said.

More screens will be required when Concourse 3 will be ready, he said, adding: “Concourse 3 will serve only Emirates A380 super jumbo.”

Emirates is growing very fast and its challenge for the company to meet the airline demand, according to Al Falasi.

“We have 60 full service and we also provide 30 partial services,” he said, adding: “Our main application is Accident Incident Management System, which really focus as a main pillar of the airport for safety and security of the airport users.

The main purpose of this application is to register and investigate all incidents, hazards etc. that may occur during the day-to-day operation of Dubai Airports, he said.

A statistical report is generated and all captured information is used to build a comprehensive knowledge base to assist in taking corrective action and establishing preventive measures,             he informed.

“The good thing is that it’s all in house development excluding virtualisation,” he said.

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