BAA targets real time Heathrow resources view

BAAwill implement a system to provide a real time view of its processes and resources at London’s Heathrow airport.

The airport operator, which has 12,000 staff and is responsible for 200,000 passengers per year across seven airports, is conducting the project as part of an ongoing £600 million IT overhaul.

Philip Langsdale, chief information officer at BAA, told Computerworld UK: “We’re at the early stages of designing the specifications of a project to make Heathrow real time.”

The system will ensure Heathrow has the best teams in place, including security and check-in, as they are required to handle influxes of passengers, he said. “We want a real time view of our resources, and to be able to deploy them as necessary according to passengers arriving and moving through the airport.”

It will also provide a more collaborative base for fast decision making by managers, so that resources can be deployed for a “quick response to crisis”, he said.

The project is part of a £600 million IT overhaul and simplification programme by BAA, to be completed by 2012. BAA wants to cut operating expenses by £114 million annually.

“Our IT has become far too complex for what we need, so there’s a big drive to reduce complexity,” he said. “I hate complexity and the cost and poor service it brings.”

One of the changes due to take place is the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system, for which BAA is now assessing suppliers.

It is currently running a legacy Oracle-based system, but has made “over 500 changes” to tailor it over recent years, and is considering multiple off the shelf suppliers, including Oracle again, Langsdale said.

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