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Common Infrastructure is the term applied when service providers or users of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) share the systems used to distribute electronic communication signals and services in the terminal or around the airport.

The concept of common infrastructure has been developed at Heathrow (other airports and similarly complex environments) over a number of years. It is enabled by technology convergence and driven by common requirements with the aim of reducing costs, minimising complexities and maximising flexibility.

This was ratified by the AOC Shared Systems Board (September 2010) and approved by the AOC Executive (October 2010).

The agreed strategy is to adopt common infrastructure across Heathrow but rather than do this retrospectively, the programme will be developed in line with deep refurbishment of existing facilities and any new ones. For example WLAN has already been deployed across the majority of areas.

The key components of the strategy are:

A. All deep refurbished facilities will have at least:

  • Common passive infrastructure.
  • Common Wireless LAN infrastructure.
  • Common mobile and radio infrastructure.

B. All new-build facilities will be as above, plus

  • Common shared ICT communications rooms.

In summary, the benefits of adopting a common infrastructure are as follows:

  • Technically more efficient. Commercially beneficial to all those using the shared system.
  • Ensures the most effective use of the radio spectrum for most wireless communication technologies, particularly wireless LAN.
  • Facilitates smoother relocations by simplified configurations.
  • Reduces the amount of duplicated infrastructure within a building.
  • Reduces the overall energy consumption of the terminal’s infrastructure in line with HAL’s sustainability agenda.
  • Rationalisation of service providers will expedite construction projects and reduce costs.
  • Will ease programming issues for HAL and tenants.
  • Provides improved access control to HAL property thus reducing the risk of damage.
  • Enables easier compliance with health and safety legislation.