by Italo Guglielmetti, Turin, Italy

Installation of the new facility-wide information display system at Turin provides strongly innovative characteristics in respect to past technologies. SAGAT, the airport society and manager, has in fact wanted to implement a solution that would allow the airport to face the new challenges deriving from the liberalization’s of the airport activities, providing a wider flexibility of use well above the traditional functionality in terms of display monitors and other apparatus for display of data.

Exactly for these reasons, the system selection process, rather than being orientated on one of the numerous dedicated products available on the market, has been for data display software developed recently by Sentel: Midas Viewpoint. This product, operating on Windows XP, 2000 and CE, features great flexibility and advanced multimedia characteristics; easily integrating the operational database already installed at the airport. This product today, allows SAGAT to give the passengers, Airlines Companies and the staff, a service of high quality. Data are updated every 15 seconds through multicast IP transmission (client/server architecture is not required) and are presented in a pleasant environment with graphic personalizing according to the operator’s requirements.

The creation of new display forms through the object-oriented integrated editor appears to be very easy and fast; the management of the system (highly distributed), for which there is a control panel for the purpose, is user-friendly and very efficient; the software capacity to “interpret” the data according to tables of integrated translation allows, as well as the management of the multilingual text and of the code-sharing, the use of the multimedia files (audio/visual, flash, etc.) Midas Viewpoint has also been distributed on the PC used in the back-office (in this case it is utilized as a AODB browser). For this purpose, SAGAT had purchased a 500-client site license.

The implementation of such a system has gained great praise (in particular from the operators who can rely on a communication channel to their customers and operating staff, which is extremely versatile and efficient), but this is only the beginning; shortly, in fact, SAGAT intends to install, using Midas Viewpoint, interactive touch-screen kiosks to put at the disposal of the passengers and the staff (the operators will be allowed to update the data on the database).

In addition we are preparing to explore the potential represented by the availability of the news editor of Palimpsest Weekly (providing sequences of layouts of various kind of data throughout the week) which will allow the monitors throughout the airport to distribute, each week, data concerning flights, other messages and publicity messages in every form (from static images to video MPEG 2). A further development will then consist of installing a wireless lan connection to allow field services motor vehicles access to database through small touch-screen Windows CE palm-tops running Midas ViewPoint CE.

The choice adopted by SAGAT, Midas Viewpoint, has proven itself, not only a winning choice from the beginning, but also as a choice which will, in the future guarantee an adequate answer for every arising necessity in merit to the multimedia and interactive communication, all in a context that meets SAGAT’s economical acquisition and maintenance requirements.

Italo Guglielmetti
IT Manager
Turin International Airport