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The General Directorate of the State Airports Authority — Devlet Hava Meydanları İşletmesi Genel Müdürlüğü in the original Turkish, shortened to DHMI — is the Turkish government authority responsible for the safety of air navigation within civil airspace. As such, DHMI oversees aviation, providing Air Traffic Control (ATC) services in and around airports, in airport terminals, and in general airspace, preventing collisions and maintaining an orderly flow.
DHMI's daily efforts help keep aircraft moving safely through the nation's skies. That's a huge task, given that İstanbul Grand Airport (IGA) — the busiest in Europe in 2021 — and Antalya Airport have both enjoyed increasing volumes of international traffic. To handle this growth, DHMI began searching for a sophisticated new ATC solution, specifically one built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology.
ATC technologies require consistent and reliable network performance, without service interruptions. That means that network infrastructure is crucial to enhancing the efficiency of air services as well as supporting future air traffic growth. Put simply, DHMI wanted to be able to share and receive large quantities of data, to ensure situational awareness and safeguard its airspace.
DHMI's legacy network was deployed way back in early 2010 and the equipment was starting to show the strain, proving unable to adapt to changing needs. Indeed, many of the technologies had already reached End of Life (EOL), so DHMI was looking to seamlessly migrate to a new network environment.
DHMI began working with Huawei and its Turkish partner, systems integrator and Information Technology (IT) solutions developer, Innova IT Solutions, to carry out this transformation. Ahmet Gürkan Odabaşı, the Head of DHMI's IT Department said: "Our international organization — which has provincial organizations such as airports and airfields throughout the country, and air navigation systems such as radar, Very High Frequency (VHF) Omnidirectional Range (VOR), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), and Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) — has been serving public institutions and organizations, in particular since the end of 2020. We wanted to strengthen measures against network risks. We started to work with Innova to meet such needs, in order to protect the reputation of our institution and our state, as well as to prevent interruptions to services. In addition to strengthening network infrastructure visibility and management capabilities, we aimed to increase security and performance expectations with a scalable and layered architecture."
A team of 11 experts from Innova and DHMI opted to implement a backbone switch system, network edge switch system, and firewall in 20 different locations. Two core switches in DHMI's Ankara headquarters were replaced with just one CloudEngine S-series switch, slashing 50% off required network equipment space. CloudEngine S-series switches enable wired and wireless convergence, full-stack openness, and smooth upgrades at the core layer of high-end campus networks. Twenty airports around Turkey also received CloudEngine S-series switches. These access switches provide 12–48 flexible all-GE downlink ports and four fixed GE or 10 GE uplink ports.
Built on next generation, high-performance hardware and powered by Huawei's Versatile Routing Platform (VRP), the switches feature flexible Ethernet networking, diversified security control, and support for multiple Layer 3 routing protocols, providing higher performance and more powerful service processing capabilities for networks. These edge switches carry Virtual Private Network (VPN), intranet, email, SAP High-performance Analytic Appliance (HANA), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. Overall, the new solution cuts power consumption by 50%, reducing carbon emissions and Operational Expenditure (OPEX).
"In addition to minimizing network risks in order to avoid service interruptions or vulnerabilities — taking necessary precautions at the infrastructure level and updating old systems that had expired — we have accomplished a successful project with Innova and Huawei in the supply of new generation security systems," Odabaşı said. "As a result, necessary security systems have been installed on our system to prevent malicious code, which could have a devastating effect on DHMI's critical infrastructures such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), automation, and air traffic control systems. We have also protected user information assets and prevented attacks through security vulnerabilities, malicious files, and Operating System (OS) vulnerabilities. In such ways, the General Directorate of DHMI will be able to carry out its duties in the operation of Turkish airports and in the regulation and control of air traffic in a faultless and complete manner."
DHMI's new, high bandwidth network, which went live in 2021, provides ultra-stable connections, guaranteeing smooth operations for tomorrow's bandwidth-hungry ATC applications. Ali Emre Yorgancıoğlu, Public Sales Director for Innova, said: "With the use of Huawei's new generation Autonomous Driving Network (ADN) solution in the project, the backbone of all DHMI enterprises has been updated, implementing remote management capabilities. New network and backup systems have been brought online and we have modernized network systems in approximately 20 different locations." The solution has allowed DHMI's headquarters and regional airports to share high volumes of data, in near real time. In addition, the Huawei network solution matches the overall industry's wider business and environmental needs and trends. As such, it will help enhance the reliability and efficiency of Turkey's air traffic services in the future.
Providing safe and efficient air traffic services remains the most critical mission for any ATC. In this regard, of course, DHMI is no exception. Proving itself to be a trusted partner for the aviation industry around the world, Huawei will continue to work closely with DHMI to help keep the skies safe.