DISPLAYS MEET DEMANDS IN GROWING, CHANGING AIRPORT
Portland International Airport (PDX) is the 33rd largest airport in the U.S., with passenger traffic exceeding 12.9 million annually, and total annual arrivals and departures of 184,000. Committed to ongoing enhancement in passenger convenience and customer service, PDX embarked on a project to replace the airport's legacy-technology flight information display system (FIDS) and to purchase state-of-the-art displays from Planar Systems. With this decision, all existing CRT and plasma-based displays have been retired, replaced by nearly 300 of Planar's LCD-based units, the M-Series. As a result, PDX employs a display system that is consistent in form and function throughout the airport, is reliable and adaptable to change, and offers a better cost of ownership than the older displays and other alternatives on the market as well.
PDX began refreshing its flight information system in late 2008, purchasing from Planar 40" direct-view LCD displays, specifically designed for both stand-alone and tiled applications. An objective in deploying the new information system was to communicate in uniform fashion throughout the airport, so passengers could easily get the information they need regardless of where they are within the airport. Along with flight arrivals and departures the airport also included visual paging monitors and digital maps as part of each display system.
Using a program called ECLIPSX — provided by Com-Net Software — flight and paging information is fed from PCs and multi-port video transmitters located in secure network areas throughout the airport. The Planar units are equipped with video receivers, allowing them to accept and display a new page or any change in a flight status the instant it is sent through the ECLIPSX system.
PDX passengers and visitors now view flight, paging and airport information in display structures that are both attention-getting and convenient. For example, a group of 12 individual displays appears suspended above a popular coffee bar, just inside the secure area leading to terminal concourses D and E. Even against a floor-to-ceiling window backdrop, and bright vistas of the tarmac and the Columbia River in the distance, the information on the Planar displays is bright, crisp and easy to read.
In addition, PDX designed a floor-standing display structure for areas outside of security as well as in the concourses, leading to the gates. These sleek-design structures house complements of the Planar 40" displays in a tiled fashion, in both vertical and horizontal orientation. The content includes visual paging as well as arrival, departure and gate information for all flights—again, delivered in real time by the ECLIPSX software.
The Planar m40L (40") displays are long-life (~50,000 hrs.) direct-view LCDs, specifically designed for airports and similar public-venue environments. Key features include full HD resolution (1920 x 1080p), high brightness (700 nit), and built-in sensors that provide automatic backlight adjustment. The displays have narrow bezels (0.6") that facilitate almost seamless tiling, protective front faceplates, and viewer-friendly viewing (178 deg.). They also support 16.7 million colors and all worldwide data and video input standards.
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