Facility navigation, customs processing, passenger entertainment and operational messages in multiple languages
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is Canada's second busiest airport, and expects to serve 17.5 million passengers in 2007. YVR's terminals are architecturally striking, with the rugged beauty of British Columbia and the rich, cultural heritage of its people celebrated in the design and public art on display. The airport employs the latest technology, and offers more than 160 shops, services and restaurants to provide first class customer service to passengers and airport visitors. YVR consistently ranks among the world's best airports in passenger customer satisfaction surveys. In addition to being the major West Coast airport closest to Asia, YVR is ideally situated on the Great Circle Routes, with infrastructure and services to handle the largest aircraft in the world under extreme weather conditions. Vancouver Airport Authority, a private, community-based company, is responsible for managing, operating and developing YVR.
In recent years, the Airport Authority felt a growing need to enhance its dynamic content by including operational messages in multiple languages, TV programming, video and weather.
The Airport Authority began to look for a digital signage solution capable of:
Airport messages are extremely time-sensitive, so it was important that the system function in real time. The software needed to interface with their existing data systems and automate appropriate actions to decrease the need for human interaction. Given the variety of screen designs and content types that would be required, YVR knew they needed a system that was extremely flexible. Omnivex Solution
After reviewing other digital signage software on the market, YVR chose Omnivex Display Management Software. Omnivex worked with the Vancouver Airport Authority's Information Technology department to determine the goals of the digital signage system and outline the solutions Omnivex could offer them.
All of the content for the screens is created and managed by YVR using Omnivex Display software. The content is shown on a variety of displays including LCD, plasma and LED boards. Using Omnivex DataPipe and SQLLink software, YVR is able to interface with their existing flight information database as a content source and as a means of triggering the appropriate content to be displayed.
A key feature of this deployment is that all of the facility maps, directional instructions and baggage claim information are shown in the language appropriate to the current flight schedule. For example, if the flight is arriving from Hong Kong, information is shown in English and Chinese. With Omnivex DataPipe software, these changes take place automatically. In addition, the customs and immigration area features a large, full-colour LED board that welcomes passengers and displays messages in multiple languages to aid the customs process. The ability to support multiple languages in the vast number of passenger communication situations makes visitors more comfortable and facilitates much smoother and more organized traffic flow throughout the terminal.
YVR wanted to decrease perceived wait times by entertaining passengers using a live television feed and by showing news headlines and airport messages. Rather than run expensive television feeds to each display, they are streaming the television channels over their network. Omnivex Display provides a borderless window for the desired television channel on the appropriate screen. This allows for the remaining space on the screen to be used for important airport messages, as well as date, time and weather.
"We now have a system that allows us to easily design, create and push content to any display on our network", states Alice Kempff, Business Analyst, Passenger Services. "We love the design flexibility and the fact that it is easy to use. It is now completely in our control."
As a result of using Omnivex software, YVR is seeing the benefits in airport operations. The automated display of information to passengers in the appropriate languages improves passenger satisfaction and helps remove delays. The ability to quickly deploy updated information is essential, especially in an airport environment where things can change in an instant and the delivery of information to passengers is so vital.
Through the use of YVR's eTV network, passenger anxiety and boredom is lessened. Passengers need not worry about missing important airport updates since the system allows for additional information to be displayed on the same screen.
Future content plans include the deployment of pre-designed emergency messages which can be activated at a moment's notice on the appropriate screens should there be a security or evacuation alert. "We know that new content requirements will continue to arise," said Kempff, "but we are confident that with Omnivex we have a system that will meet all of our needs."