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Behind the Scenes: A look at the Airport Information Technology Department

So, you’re about to embark on an exciting trip, one that begins at Asheville Regional Airport!  We know you have a fabulous destination on your mind (New York?  California?  Italy?  Peru?), and we also know that there are hard-working airport employees who are thinking about many other details that affect your trip.  We thought it would be fun to give a little insight into what happens “behind the scenes” at the airport in one of our departments.   Join us on a descriptive journey of your arrival at the airport, and the ways that our Information Technology team impacts your trip… You arrive at the airport and enter the parking lot at the mechanical arm gate.  You press a button, and out pops a parking ticket.  You pull the ticket, the gate arm lifts, and you proceed to your parking spot. Once you enter the airport, you pull out your smart phone, log on to the free wifi in the terminal, and open your e-boarding pass that was sent to you by your airline.  You head to the ticket counter where you check-in your luggage.  A bar coded ticket is attached to your bag, and off it goes into checked baggage wonderland.  A quick glance at a mounted LCD screen shows that the weather is sunny and clear – a good day for a flight. You head to the security check-in.   While in line, you look up at another flat panel LCD screen where flight schedules are posted.  You check to make sure your flight is on time, and that you are headed to the correct gate. Once through security, you stop in at the restaurant to buy a cup of coffee and a king-sized Kit Kat, swiping your credit card before heading to your gate. At the gate, the ticket agent is checking the computer at the kiosk to ensure that everything is set for your flight while you catch up on news at one of the passenger televisions at the gate. All the while, the operations and public safety departments are monitoring the goings-on throughout the terminal with a computerized system. Upstairs, the administrative staff members of the airport are plugging away at their jobs, using computers, tablets and phones.  The airport finances are being organized and tracked using an accounting software system.  A new billboard is being designed at a graphic design station, and a construction project’s Auto CAD drawings are being updated.  Documents of all kinds are being produced as part of the daily operations at the airport.  And all the while, information safety and security is proactively administered. Across the airport campus, a construction project is underway.  Thousands of feet of fiber and cable is being installed, an infrastructure component necessary for the upgrades coming to connectivity at the airport.  The new airport entrance sign is being prepped for the installation of digital displays, with wireless management capabilities. Each of the scenarios illustrated here are areas in which the airport’s Information Technology team are involved.  All of the airport’s information technology hardware and software is maintained, updated and supported by a team of IT specialists.  The work this specialized team accomplishes each day touches every passenger, employee and visitor at the airport, and though they are often working “behind the scenes,” the airport couldn’t run smoothly without them. Now, before you scan your e-boarding pass on your way to your fabulous destination, how about using the airport’s free wifi to send a quick tweet?  Use this hashtag:  #airportITrocks!