BAA Selects Aruba Networks as Corporate Standard for Wireless Networks

Aruba Networks has announced that BAA, one of the world’s leading airport authorities, has selected Aruba as its wireless LAN vendor of choice and has deployed Aruba’s wireless infrastructure throughout Heathrow Terminal 5. Arup, BAA’s design consultant for Terminal 5 communication infrastructure, designed the secure wireless infrastructure to boost operational efficiency and support advanced mobile applications – from baggage handling to retail outlets – throughout the entire facility. BAA selected Aruba following an extensive tendering process and detailed evaluation against other vendors in BAA’s £1M test and certification facility built specifically to support the development of IT systems at Terminal 5.

“We selected Aruba as the corporate standard for BAA because it met the security, resilience, scalability and flexibility needs of large infrastructure deployments,” said Kevin Fallon, Commercial Leader, T5 Systems at BAA. “Terminal 5 is enormous – it would be one of the largest airports in Europe in its own right. Terminal 5 will deliver one of the finest passenger experiences of any airport, and the infrastructure must be able to support the demands placed upon it.”

Aruba has already provided hundreds of access points supported by multiple Multi-Service Mobility Controllers operating in a highly resilient and redundant design. The highly secure wireless LAN infrastructure will support both public access to the Internet, BAA’s own service offerings to organisations within Terminal 5, and British Airways’ wireless lounge Internet access. Aruba’s ability to securely separate BAA services from public Internet services was an essential part of the decision criteria. “In our view Aruba had the only architecture that could guarantee the level of security we required” added Fallon of BAA.

BAA acts as a service provider to other organisations within Terminal 5, including retail establishments, British Airways, and multiple hotspot Internet service providers. The Aruba network acts as a common infrastructure for all of these elements. As part of the Baggage Conveyor Systems project, BAA deployed an Aruba wireless LAN for its advanced baggage handling system, enabling engineers with laptops and PDAs to manage system commissioning from anywhere within the premises. The wireless infrastructure extends to the apron around the terminal, and allows wireless barcode scanners to reconcile luggage loaded onto aircraft with the main database.

“Because of the nature of Terminal 5, a secure and resilient wireless network was a crucial requirement for BAA, and only Aruba was able to deliver the deep packet inspection firewall, central management and overall flexibility that was needed without compromising security,” said Alan Newbold, IP Design Leader for Terminal 5 at Arup. “The Aruba deployment for the baggage project resulted in unprecedented increases in productivity and efficiency, not to mention saving a significant amount of commissioning time.”

“Terminal 5 is an enormously exciting project, and we consider the inclusion of our secure mobility solutions to be a milestone deployment,” said Dominic Orr, President and CEO, at Aruba Networks. “The Terminal 5 facility was a challenging wireless environment due in part to the vast amounts of structural steel used to build and protect the facility. Aruba’s adaptive radio management technology simplified provisioning and delivered the high availability required for BAA’s business-critical applications. The overall efficiency enhancements and new features enabled by the wireless LAN will help keep operating costs in check and as well as enhance the overall passenger experience at Terminal 5.”