Imagine if an airport network went down. What ripple effect do you suppose it has on passengers and aircraft?
The world has seen the impact a technology outage from an individual airline can have on the functions of an airport, as well as the staff and passengers. When Southwest Airlines cross-country flights were held up in July 2016 more than 600 flights were delayed and 17 flights were ultimately canceled by 8 pm that day. The fallout continued into Friday, where the Southwest cancellation number grew to nearly 2,000 as they handled not only flights, but repositioning displaced crews and aircraft. Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly, said the widespread problem was caused when a backup router didn’t take over as expected upon the initial failure. He estimated this equipment failure could cost them up to $10 million dollars in just booking alone.
There were probably a few measures Southwest Airlines could have put in place to avoid such a scenario. In fact, the Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) implemented a custom communications plan not only to improve their customer’s experience but to also reduce risks of downtime.
LVIA is comprised of three airports and serves more than 582,000 passengers each year. The types of aircraft that use this airport are general aviation aircraft, regional airlines, major airlines, cargo, and military flights. In order to fulfill their mission of operating safe, efficient, and modern airport facilities, they sought out a business communications provider that could modernize their facilities by providing reliable voice, data, and video services to multiple airports throughout the Allentown, PA metropolitan area. Below is an outline of the technology Astound Business implemented for LVIA:
- E-Line (Point-to-Point) Ethernet Access – LVIA needed a high-capacity point-to-point connection between its networks, and Astound’s Ethernet provided a cost effective solution. LVIA is now able to securely share more data with a highly reliable, low latency connection for their mission-critical applications. E-Line provides a high-speed, symmetrical connection that can support speeds up to 100Gbps that will meet LVIA’s needs both now and in the future as their data applications and network needs continue to grow.
- Fiber-Based Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) – LVIA needed a higher speed, flexible internet access service. Astound’s fiber-based Direct Internet Access provided a high-speed, scalable and secure solution with symmetrical speeds to better meet LVIA’s requirements. The scalability enables LVIA to quickly and easily make bandwidth changes as their needs change and their speed requirements increase. DIA speeds can be easily increased without the need for an onsite Astound technician and without LVIA incurring additional IT resource costs.
- End-to-End Network Monitoring and 24/7/365 Dedicated Local Support – With both Ethernet and DIA services, Astound provides end-to-end network monitoring, SLAs, and dedicated network support to ensure reliable access to critical data.
- SIP Phone Trunks– With the ability to utilize their existing PBX equipment, LVIA gained a cost-effective phone solution using SIP Trunks. Features like advanced caller ID and voicemail options gave LVIA’s employees the support they needed to grow productivity.
- Wholly-Owned, Fiber-Rich Network– E-line, DIA and SIP Trunks are all delivered to LVIA over Astound Business’s wholly-owned, fiber-rich network which provides high speed, scalable and secure performance with a geographically diverse architecture designed to accommodate peak traffic even during a failure.
Every organization faces unique IT challenges, and Ethernet-based solutions provide the flexibility and reliability to face those challenges head on. LVIA serves as a good example of this as their goal to improve customer experience was achieved in part from the support of DIA and E-line.