GATWICK CLOUD SCREENS CLOUD OVER AND GO DARK OVER A SIMPLE VODAPHONE 3Mbs CABLE FAULT


It was all so simple then …..

London Gatwick Airport recently installed a brand new state-of-the-art new ‘cloud’ flight information display system to replace a traditional computer set up installed by the previous airport owners. But like all new things, it can go wrong as in their place, white boards, smartphones and wipe dry markers confronted a confused array of passengers as the new screens went dark….

The airport techno geeks had proclaimed its new screens "an innovative, cost effective system that are easily scalable, more flexible and resilient, and require considerably less infrastructure and maintenance".

Well yes, but the infrastructure is no longer on site but under the control of Vodaphone and somewhere else……..

The Flight Information Display System (FIDS) at Gatwick Airport was the result of a project that started in 2015 to replace legacy systems that required a separate PC running behind the majority of the airports’ screens.
All good so far. However the ‘award winning’ new system relies on over 1,200 cloud-based screens, which take up only a cost-saving 3Mbps of bandwidth  and were fired up in late 2017.
The system developers AirportLabs, installed VisionAir FIDS (Flight Information Display System) at Gatwick, who maintain there was no problem with the system itself. But with the screens all dark, Gatwick ‘fessed up they relied on outrsourced Vodafone, to provide the essential fibre optic cable link albeit an economical 3Mbps of bandwidth.

This is what Gatwick said: “We identified a damaged fibre cable used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information. Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. This is a top priority for us and we are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue. We are keeping Gatwick Airport constantly informed of progress.”
Vodaphone in a classic understatement to the influential The Register website said: “Our engineers have fixed a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information. We are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue…”
But some sources are suggesting Gatwick operations increasing reliance on an ever increasing number of retail sites inside its terminals, might consider first ‘beefing’ up the functionality resilience of the 3Mbph cable.  





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