September 28, 2020

Airport Wireless: Connecting Travelers and First Responders

Prior to the global health crisis, over 4 billion airline passengers boarded flights each year. In the U.S. alone, 400 million of these trips were for business. Whether parents are keeping their kids entertained with smart devices, or a business traveler needs to make a call or answer an email before boarding, travelers of all types require excellent connectivity in every area of an airport. This includes airport rail systems, baggage claim, arrivals, departures, and even while picking up a rental car.

Airports are hubs for more than aircraft. They offer a centralized point of interaction for people, organizations, technology, and communities. Airports are also an integral part of our national security. Given the unique position of an airport within its geographic and economic surroundings, it is critically important for aviation facilities to deploy secure and robust communications systems that deliver essential information, situational awareness, and real-time alerts and warnings during emergency situations.

In order to provide this level of ubiquitous connectivity to travelers, airports must deploy a robust in-building wireless network using a distributed antenna system (DAS) that enhances coverage where the macro network cannot reach. However, every deployment is different. The size and complexity of an airport’s physical structure, in addition to the unique RF environment of each location, makes for diverse in-building coverage requirements and network architectures.

ADRF has had the privilege to work with many airports around the world for both commercial and public safety deployments, including Mexico, the United States, and Canada. At the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR), one of the largest gateways for international tourism in the world, our ADXV DAS ensures end-to-end connectivity on frequency bands used by all three major carriers in Mexico: 850 MHz 3G WCDMA, 1900 MHz GSM & WCDMA, 2100 MHz LTE, and the 700 APT LTE frequency band. The project required multiple sectors and the use of 15 medium power remotes to achieve blanketed coverage across all secured areas of the airport for the 5 million travelers that pass through each year.

Outside of traveler connectivity, it’s even more important that first responders have connectivity to keep everyone safe in the event of an emergency. ADRF’s DAS solutions support all public safety frequency bands including VHF, UHF, 700MHz, 800MHz, and 900MHz making it a unified solution for any airport, in any jurisdiction.

At Vancouver Airport (YVR), ADRF’s public safety solutions were used to provide 700 MHz PS and 800 MHz PS bands for public safety connectivity across the 3.2 million square foot structure.

Every day, people become more reliant on wireless connectivity to power the digital services they use. ADRF is proud to help airports ensure all travelers stay connected throughout their visit and are safe in the event of an emergency.