Aruba Wi-Fi + Meridian serves 32 million passengers and improves operations at Rio de Janeiro’s airport.
The 2016 Olympics brought an additional 1.5 million people through Rio de Janeiro’s airport. Alexandre Villeroy didn’t break a sweat. RIOgaleão Airport nearly doubled passenger capacity, opened almost 100 new shops and restaurants, and rolled out new technology to speed boarding and passport control.
“A good experience for the passengers depends on the way they are treated throughout the airport,” says Villeroy, CIO, RIOgaleão-Tom Jobim International Airport.
Making the Airport Experience Memorable
“We want to embrace the Carioca soul,” says Renata Pinheiro, marketing and communications director, RIOgaleão. “This airport isn’t just a place where people come and go. It’s a place where we want to connect people together in a different way than any other airport in Brazil and in perhaps the world.”
Travelers enjoy wireless Internet, making it easy to watch a movie, share a short video with friends or get serious work done. The network supports critical airport operations from passenger check-in to the boarding gates and from passport control to baggage handling, as well as restaurants and duty-free shops. RIOgaleão handles 32 million passengers a year.
RIOgaleão needed an enterprise-grade network that would meet the stringent performance and reliability requirements of a multitenant environment.
Seeking a Versatile Network
The airport turned to Hewlett Packard Enterprise for a new campus and data center network to transform the airport experience.
Rio Airport has benefited from a robust, reliable network from Aruba, and that’s important to provide the best service for our customers. Alexandre Villeroy, CIO, RIOgaleão
The airport deployed a unified network that includes Aruba access points (APs) and 7200 Series Mobility Controllers. It used Aruba’s mobile engagement solution to create a richer experience for travelers. It adopted Aruba’s AirWave management tools for optimizing Wi-Fi experiences and ClearPass for strong security.
“Rio Airport has benefited from a robust, reliable network from Aruba, which is important to provide the best service for our customers,” says Villeroy.
For the data center core and access switching, RIOgaleão chose HPE FlexFabric 7910 Switch Chassis and HPE FlexNetwork 5130 HI Switch Series. It uses HPE Intelligent Management Center (IMC) for network management.
Meridian-powered App Makes It Easy to Find Your Way
Travelers can use the Galeão mobile app to get turn-by-turn directions to restaurants, bars, banks, toilets, and shops. They can check flight status, get weather updates, and receive updates via notifications. To support wayfinding and mobile engagement, thousands of Aruba Beacons cover the airport, which work in conjunction with the Aruba Meridian-powered mobile app.
“Traditionally, the airlines own the relationship with the passengers so it’s difficult for the airport facility to learn who these passengers are and what kinds of services appeal to them,” says Pinheiro. “With the app, we’re hoping to gather more knowledge about our passengers so we can cater to their needs and wants more effectively.”
Optimizing the Wi-Fi Experience
The IT operations team uses Aruba AirWave to manage its wireless and wired network. AirWave provides granular visibility into mobile devices and apps, allowing IT to proactively optimize performance and head off problems before they occur.
“In a big area such as an airport, managing devices is difficult, but AirWave makes it more efficient and easier to manage,” says Villeroy. “We cannot let down our customers. If there’s a problem, we need to fix it right away.”
AirWave’s map-like interface provides critical and detailed visibility into each AP, including real-time and historical connection information.
AirWave also exposes sources of RF signal interference and automatically moves mobile devices to a cleaner channel.
ClearPass Ensures Security
Airport employees can work anywhere, with easy, secure access to the network from their mobile devices. “We’re deploying ClearPass in our management area because security is very important to us,” says Villeroy.
ClearPass combines context-based policy management with next-generation AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting) services so IT can manage network access policies, onboard and manage devices securely, and admit guest users.
“With mobile devices, we must understand who is trying to connect to our network, what the device is doing on the network, and limit access,” says Villeroy. “ClearPass helps us do that.”
An Airport Fit for Rio
The Olympics was only the first test. By redefining the airport experience, the airport is positioning itself to be the preferred entry point into Brazil and all of South America. It’s preparing to handle 80 million passengers a year by 2019.
“The experience of the passenger drives our business,” says Pinheiro. “It’s the center of all the decisions we make.”
Data can help power an even better passenger experience. “We are going to use the information we have in analytics to better understand passenger flows and provide a better service and retail experience to passengers,” says Villeroy.
The airport is looking ahead to the Internet of Things to enhance airport operations, such as control over air conditioning, lighting and water services, as well as to allow vendors that provide baggage and aircraft services to access their own operational systems over the Wi-Fi.