Engineering and Design: Airport Systems

Airport facilities rely on a number of specialized system in order to facilitate airport-specific processes. These systems deal with the aeronautical navigation and surveillance, the aircraft ground handling and the processing of passengers and their baggage. 

Aeronautical and meteorological systems

Knowing the end-users’ processes and speaking their language is imperative in the aeronautical navigation and surveillance industry. In few other areas are strict adherence to procedures and reliability of equipment as important to achieve a safe and orderly result. Interests of Airport Authorities, Meteorological Departments and Civil Aviation Authorities do not always run in parallel. Yet cooperation with each of these parties is essential. Our consultants and engineers have a solid understanding of each stakeholder’s needs and of ICAO standards. They integrate these with the specific project’s constraints to achieve the best possible solution.

Combining knowledge of the operational environment with detailed technical knowledge of the equipment available, has allowed Deerns to design and specify, to the satisfaction of the end-users, air traffic control towers and ATC centres. Recent developments in the field include fully-addressable LED lighting, and technologies such as GPS enabling Advanced Surface Movement Ground Control (A-SMGC). Our areas of expertise include:

  •     Aeronautical ground lighting and signage
  •     Navigation and landing aids
  •     Ground control and surveillance
  •     Air traffic control and communication
  •     Meteorological facilities

Aircraft ground handling

Deerns has the experience and knowledge to design state-of-the-art apron systems that meet the airport’s and airline’s specific requirements. We remain up-to-date with the latest market developments, taking into account requirements of new aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and new concepts such as sub-freezing pre-conditioned air.

Apron systems need to be designed such that they facilitate all aircraft types in the expected fleet mix and provide flexibility to cope with future expansions and changes. The system functionality and performance need to be coordinated with apron control, airlines, ground handlers and other stakeholders. Modern apron systems are integrated with the airport management systems in order to optimize apron operations.

Our areas of expertise include:

  •     Hydrant refuelling
  •     Passenger boarding bridges
  •     400Hz ground power
  •     Pre-conditioned air
  •     Potable water
  •     Aircraft sanitary services
  •     Visual docking guidance system
  •     Apron floodlighting

Passenger, baggage handling and IT

A number of systems are required in and around terminal facilities in order to process both arriving and departing passengers and their baggage. These range from operational systems dealing with check-in and airline-related processes, to complete baggage handling systems and security screening for both passengers, staff and baggage.

An airport’s operational and security systems rely heavily on telecommunications infrastructure accommodating voice, video and data transmission across a number of platforms. Such infrastructure is based on structured cabling design connecting local datacentres with main and secondary equipment rooms, providing the desired levels of availability and redundancy.

The latest operational systems deal with e-ticketing and internet-based passenger processes and are increasingly based on the IATA Common Use principles. The core of the operational processes is formed by the airport operational database and its information broker. Our engineers have extensive experience with the specification, procurement and implementation of these vital airport systems.

Recent developments in the realm of security have a significant impact on terminal facility design and operation. Full segregation of arrival and departure passengers is gaining ground globally and requires a complete rethink of the terminal layout. Mandatory 100% hold baggage screening and biometric border controls are further drivers of change in airport security. Our engineers are highly skilled at developing an airport-specific security strategy, and translate this properly into the architectural and systems design.