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Arinc continues to expand presence in Middle East

Posted 12 November 2012 · Add Comment

Arinc is making its presence felt more widely in the Middle East with a new customer at Ras Al Khaimah, on-going projects in Doha and Dubai and a new office in Saudi Arabia. Steve Nichols reports.

Arinc announced a multi-million dollar, 10-year contract in October to implement multiple airport systems at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport (RAK) in the UAE.

The project, which involves the design, supply and installation of the company’s core suite of airport passenger processing solutions, as well as advanced airport operational systems, will include the latest common use passenger processing systems (CUPPS) and boarding operations at the expanding airport.

The installation of vMUSE/CUPPS, L-DCS, AirVue (FIDS), AirDB (AODB), InfoHub and Multi-Channel at RAK, in what will be the first off-site hotel check-in and bag drop in the region, will also equip the airport with future intelligence that will change the way people use it today.

It is anticipated that the number of CUPPS workstations and services will increase during the lifetime of the contract, as not only is the existing terminal being expanded, but there are plans for a new passenger terminal, dedicated to charter activity.

Tony Lynch, Arinc’s regional director, Middle East and Africa, said the company won the bid through its close collaboration and consultation with the team at RAK.

“We spent 18 months carefully ascertaining their requirements,” he said. “From a small hosted L-DCS the scope has been extended to the airport-wide suite of products, which has now been ratified. This is a really big step for us.”

Arinc is also moving ahead with work at Doha’s new International Airport (NDIA) with the first phase of its systems scheduled to be ready to support customer operations at the end of the year.

The airport, which will be home to Qatar Airways, is being built on around 22 square kilometres of land, much of which has been reclaimed from the sea.

The official opening date had been set as December 12 2012 (12/12/12) but sources in Doha say the airport is unlikely to be ready much before the third quarter of 2013. When it is completed it will be able to handle 29 million passengers annually. And when fully operational the airport should be able to handle at least 45 million passengers per year.

Arinc, along with partner Thales, was awarded a contract in 2007 to install the airport’s IT, security and telecommunications systems inside the main terminal buildings and more than 100 supporting facilities.

The contract covered the installation of Arinc’s iMuse common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) at more than 100 check-in desks throughout the ticket hall.

The total value of the contract is now around $260 million covering the airport’s IT, security and network infrastructure, with Arinc being the consortium leader.

Lynch said: “This is one of the largest projects we have ever worked on. Phase one and two are nearing completion and phase three has already started – everything is progressing well.

“We will be ready to support maintenance operations from the end of this year and are currently recruiting our maintenance teams.”

The information exchange infrastructure for data movement across the airport is also being installed by Arinc. Thales will work on the safety and security systems and the local area network (LAN) for internet use by passengers.

Arinc has also renewed its contract with Dnata at Dubai International Airport for a further five years. The contract covers an upgrade from Arinc’s iMuse (multi-user system environment) to the latest vMuse “virtualised” specification.

The contract includes the delivery of CUPPS and common-use self-service (CUSS) platforms, allowing people to work from remote sites from the Emirates Group data centres.

Arinc is also involved with an extension of systems currently deployed in Terminal 3/Concourse 2 at Dubai, to the new Concourse 3. This will support the building of 20 new dedicated Airbus A380 gates and stands at the airport.

“We expect this to go live in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Lynch. The systems provided by Arinc include its AirVUE flight information display system (FIDS), AirPlan resource management system (RMS) and AirDB airport operational database.

The company’s relationship with Cairo International (Terminal 3) is also continuing with a sale of its virtualised test system and an extension of the systems already delivered. Arinc also supports the airport with an on-site maintenance team.

The company also has a presence now in Saudi Arabia, having taken over an Arinc office previously used by the defence side of its business. It is looking to expand its business in the country and the office will go some way to supporting this goal.

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