Sky's the limit with GIS technology14/02/2013
Exceptional population expansion in the country’s largest and fastest growing state is placing enormous demands on Western Australia’s transport infrastructure, particularly on its main airport.
Identified as a future major commercial and industrial centre, Perth Airport has been slated for significant development by the company that operates it - Perth Airport Pty Ltd.
Its development must also facilitate the airport’s rapidly growing annual passenger numbers.
During the 2011/12 financial year, more than 12.6 million passengers travelled through Perth Airport – and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport has forecast that by 2031, passenger numbers will reach 25.7 million.
To meet this growth projection, Perth Airport Pty Ltd partnered with intelligent mapping experts Esri Australia to become the country’s first airport to implement an enterprise-wide Geographic Information System (GIS).
The GIS solution, underpinned by web technology Dekho, integrates all of Perth Airport Pty Ltd’s information from across the airport estate – including safety, security, environmental, customer service and infrastructure data – and delivers it to staff via an interactive mapping interface.
Perth Airport Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs Fiona Lander said the centralised system has delivered airport personnel – from the maintenance crew to the CEO – with convenient and swift access to accurate information.
“The sheer size of Perth Airport can make spatially-based monitoring and information gathering – such as keeping track of asset locations – a very complex and problematic task,” Ms Lander said.
“In the past, spatial enquiries were attended to using less sophisticated technology which was very time consuming, laborious and led to lags in updating important data.
“Through an enterprise-wide GIS, we now have streamlined and fast access to the same spatial information; and confidence in the data’s accuracy.
“The technology also gives users the capability to perform analysis of their data which would have previously been performed only by our GIS unit – which has helped streamline decision-making processes across the board.”
As well as building capacity within the organisation’s internal processes, the technology is playing a direct and crucial role in the airport’s development into one of Perth’s commercial and industrial hubs.
Dekho’s intuitive interface enables airport staff to switch on and off layers of information that are relevant to a particular location, helping users understand the properties of any area allocated for development.
For example, users can view layers of information which reveal underground assets such as: power and gas; environmental or heritage limitations; soil types; topographical properties; and, countless other factors that influence development decisions.
This has helped Perth Airport Pty Ltd better manage competing land uses and streamline development processes, which enables smooth and effective planning for future growth.
It is this kind of innovative, all-encompassing approach to GIS technology that has supported Perth Airport Pty Ltd in its role of effectively managing the gateway to Western Australia.
“Perth Airport Pty Ltd faces enormous challenges due to the pace of Western Australia’s growth, but our advantage is that we have had the foresight to adopt this enterprise-wide GIS solution,” Ms Lander said.
“Now Perth Airport Pty Ltd can get on with the task of developing Perth Airport to meet those challenges head-on, knowing that the GIS solution underpinning our activities is world-class.”