Heathrow has appointed airport technology specialist SITA to provide support to its communication network. This includes more than 12,000 telephones, 150,000 LAN connections, 1,900 radios and more than 3,500 WLAN access points across its campus.

According to Heathrow, the service provided by SITA will involve “emerging automation and self-healing technologies.” This solution covers both hardware and configuration (software) issues. SITA claims that its automated solution will automatically identify the root cause of an issue or fault using artificial intelligence technology. Once the root cause of a fault has been identified, it will then trigger automated resolution actions. These will be driven by pre-defined responses to known events or issues. SITA will also now be able to manage the airport's communications from anywhere in the world, rather than having to be onsite as is currently the case.

Heathrow has recently refreshed its two-way radio system to a TETRA system, which SITA will continue to support.

Stuart Birrell, CIO at Heathrow, said: “SITA has long been a trusted partner to Heathrow when it comes to managing our communication and IT infrastructure. They understand our requirements and are able to provide an innovative service management solution that is more effective, but also can be scaled to meet our continued growth.”

Sergio Colella, SITA president for Europe, said: “We are proud to deliver a service management solution that supports a more secure and resilient network service to Heathrow, leveraging new technology, our global presence as well as SITA’s strong communications partners. We were able to go the extra mile to ensure SITA can provide the airport with the best service support available today.”

The new solution will be phased in over the next 16 months. Heathrow deals with more than 78 million passengers every year, flying to over 200 destinations.

Author: Philip Mason