With more than 15 million passengers annually, Athens International Airport makes ensuring safe, efficient travel a top priority. Staying ahead of the volume means deploying portal technology that enables airport employees to access many operational applications via single sign-on.
Athens International, in Athens, Greece, runs the countrys largest private enterprise network. In a beta program with Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., the airport last year began deploying Suns Java Enterprise System, a package of directory, Web and collaboration server products. JES interfaces with existing applications and provides single sign-on through the airport portal server.
Using JES, Athens International enables more than 1,000 users—airline employees and airline partners—to access electronic billing, flight information and weather reports, among other applications, via a single point of entry. JES per-employee pricing plan lets the airport offer the services to partners and customers without having to pay more to do so.
Providing employees and partners with immediate access to vital operational information with one user name and password has not only saved money but has also reduced complexity, said Fotis Karonis, director of IT and telecommunications at the airport.
"One of the challenges of running a state-of-the-art digital community means providing an integrated IT and telecom environment so the whole airport is competitive," said Karonis. "Having a portal enables us to streamline our systems and keep everything as integrated as possible."
Karonis said he decided to use JES because of the airports existing Sun environment. The airport employs Solaris 9 for mission-critical applications, including those used for central command of the airport and its flight operations. Oracle Corp.s Oracle E-Business Suite 11i powers business systems that are used, for example, to bill airlines for daily operations. The portal is accessed via desktops running Microsoft Corp.s Windows.
Karonis is also charged with providing Internet connectivity to more than 10,000 users and is using JES Messaging Server and Calendar Server to provide Web-based e-mail and calendaring applications for the airport community.
"It is an ongoing challenge to provide advanced services to our user base," Karonis said. "This is not an R&D environment, where we can go and experiment. We deployed JES because we trusted our applications would integrate smoothly on the technology."
With the Olympics slated to take place in and around Athens this summer, Karonis is now deploying new features to ensure that everything runs smoothly when the expected higher volume of travelers hits. He is currently extending the JES platform to enable users to access maintenance applications and flight information systems using PDAs and other mobile devices. Karonis said this will give mobile employees, such as those in hangars and on runways, access to vital information they now need a desktop to retrieve.
"The additional value of allowing people to communicate electronically is significant and certainly reduces costs," Karonis said. "Benefits such as those significantly contribute to our success as an airport."
Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.