Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is Canada's second busiest airport, and expects to serve 25 million passengers by 2020. 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 2004, the Vancouver Airport Authority felt a growing need to enhance its dynamic content by including operational messages in multiple languages, real-time flight information, dynamic wayfinding, TV programming, video and weather.
The Vancouver Airport Authority looked for a visual communication solution capable of:
- Aiding facility navigation
- Improving Canadian Customs and Immigration procedures
- Displaying targeted messages in multiple languages to accommodate the diverse cross-section of travellers
- Reducing dwell time by informing and entertaining passengers
- Displaying real-time flight information on FIDS, GIDS, & BIDS
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 solution that was extremely flexible.
After reviewing other digital signage software on the market, YVR chose Omnivex Display Management Software in 2004. 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. In 2014, all displays were upgraded to Moxie, Omnivex’s next generation software.
All of the content for the screens is created and managed by YVR using Omnivex Moxie. Using Omnivex DataPipe, XMLLink and SQLLink software, YVR is able to interface with their existing flight information database and external feeds as content sources and as a means of triggering the appropriate content to be displayed.
One key feature of this deployment is the ability to easily direct passengers arriving either internationally or domestically to their appropriate connecting flights. This is accomplished by dynamically changing the routes of passengers based on their flight.
Another key feature is the ability to support multiple languages in the vast number of passenger communication situations which makes visitors more comfortable and facilitates much smoother and more organized traffic flow throughout the terminal.
YVR also wanted to decrease perceived wait times by entertaining passengers using a live television feed and by showing news headlines and airport customer care messages. Rather than run expensive television feeds to each display, they are streaming the television channels over their network. Omnivex Moxie 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.
Now with the browser based tool Omnivex QuickLink, users at YVR can alter the content from any device – this is very important in a 24/7 environment as the accountability does not just fall on one person in the organization. Users now have the ability to change wait time screens at security checkpoints or post messages in case of emergencies at specific points of the terminal.
"We now have a solution that allows us to easily design, create and push content to any of the 1100 displays on our network – any content, any screen, anytime!", states Pravesh Dookun, Technical Analyst, IT. "We love the ability to build content using multiple conditions, to be able to connect to various data sources, the design flexibility, system scalability and ease of use."
As a result of using Omnivex software, YVR is seeing the benefits in airport operations. The automated display of information to passengers connecting 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 network, passenger anxiety and boredom is lessened. Passengers need not worry about missing important airport updates since the solution allows for additional information to be displayed on the same screen.