Heathrow airport gets £137m IT revamp

BAAis to spend £137 million over the next five years overhauling legacy IT systems at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Work includes a £57 million operational systems project, under which BAA will overhaul security and access control, queue management, asset management and terminal support, among other areas. The “simpler, cheaper to operate” architecture it is aiming to introduce will support passengers, airlines and baggage handlers.

BAA will also overhaul its datacentres, servers, wireless networking, network management and other infrastructure, in a £30 million scheme. This is aimed at minimising operational costs and maximising “useful asset lives”.

Another £40 million will be spent on business planning systems, aimed at improving how key information is presented to and used by management. Enterprise resource planning, document management and human resources systems will be affected by the changes.

In April, BAA issued a tender notice for a 10 year ERP project, centred on Heathrow airport.

The airport’s data network is being upgraded, and all telephones moved to voice over IP, in an £8 million programme that began in 2006 and will be completed this September.

The airport authority uses HP Proliant servers using AMD Opteron processors and Windows servers in its datacentres. In February 2008 it awarded a five-year application management outsourcing contract to LogicaCMG.

A year ago, BAA and airliner British Airways' systems came under fire when at the opening of Heathrow Airport thousands of travellers’ bags were delayed after a string of IT problems. In November, the Commons Transport Select Committee said the systems had not been tested properly.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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