b'PHOTO: DAVID ROSENBLUM AIRPORTS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER26 PHL | PNE INFO TECHNOLOGYImprovements to the Wi-Fi networkwill benefit passengers and tenants alike.Once in place, the new system will be a crucial part of theto pre-order concessions near their checkpoint and/or gate. standardized, owned service on a common platform throughoutYou can create that fabled passenger experience everyone talks the airport. Reed estimates that the distributed antenna systemaboutthe ability to walk a passenger up through the garage program will be about one-third of the overall network, and itand into a plane, Reed remarks. alone could return millions of dollars over a five-year span. The system to achieve that ease at PHL is well underway, Over the next several years, we expect to see the fruits of allbut much work still remains. Mehta describes the process as the hard work that has gone into this project, says Mehta.building a foundation for IT of the future. He shies away from Reed predicts significant improvements for passengers,the phrase future-proofing because he knows how quickly airlines and terminal tenants alike. In the near future, possiblytechnology and the industry can change. within five years, he foresees all tenants using the new network,I wish we had a crystal ball to look into, he quips. But PHL owning the network and all associated data, and a thirdunfortunately, we havent found one that actually works, so we party maintaining the system. Passengers could have accesshave to look at trends and best guesses. to a new airport app that will advise them where to park based on their flight time, gate location and the availability of spacesTips and Takeaways on specific decks in various parking facilities. The app will alsoReed notes that hammering out a transformation like this requires indicate which TSA checkpoint has the shortest wait time andcommitment because it requires a difficult climb upfront. That suggest concessions based on other apps each particularsaid, he feels trust is equally important because such processes passenger has downloaded. It will even offer travelers the optioninvariably involve challenges and complications. Its not all roses and sunshine, he reflects. This is a tough task, so you have to have a solid level of trust. Airports embarking on an IT process of such magnitude demonstrate commitment and trust when they include people with Helping airports unlockauthority on the project team, Reed their greatest potential. adds.From PHLs perspective, Mehta and Brown emphasize the need for team members with solid knowledge of IT and airports. In fact, it takes subject matter experts that will bring specific expertise in areas of need, @cmtengrs | cmtengr.com says Brown. If there is not the ability to hire these resources, then strategic Learn morepartners are the best option.about what CMT can do for you: Mehta notes that patience and fortitude are also needed for long-term IT projects. If you find a crystal ball, even better, he quips. November | December 2022AirportImprovement.com'