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November 25, 2009

Progress links Heathrow T5 services

High reliability of operations key for airport

By Vinod

Heathrow Terminal 5 is using Progress Software middleware to integrate airport services and provide a hassle-free experience for passengers.

Progress Sonic Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) enables BAA to integrate the many different back-office operations that guarantee the smooth running of any airport. For example, BAA, which runs Heathrow, must ensure that airplanes are in the right place, there are steps for aircraft and that catering and cleaning staff are in the right location – all of which are handled through the Airport Operational Database.

Altogether, Heathrow handles 67 million passengers a year and daily manages the movements of 1,600 planes. It’s a huge logistical challenge that needs a coordinated approach within each terminal and communication with other terminals.

To guarantee that all these elements were in place at the right time, it was vital for BAA to find a product that was highly reliable and robust to ensure business continuity.

“Sonic ESB provides software-only failover in very, very rapid time. Imagine working on a machine which can failover all data in under five seconds – that’s very hard to achieve in this market. So a customer in a terminal wouldn’t notice the difference looking at screens,” said Mathew Smith, head of enterprise architecture and presales for Progress Software.


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