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Background

In 2019, the annual passenger throughput at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport leapt above the 50 million mark, making it the world's 26th busiest airport. In addition, 1.28 million tons of cargo was also handled — ranking 23rd in the world. Yet, even with these milestones attained, the airport isn't resting on its laurels: it's continuing to deepen its digital transformation drive. And, by collaborating with Huawei as a strategic partner, Shenzhen Bao'an Airport has now successfully built a safe, green, smart, and cultural airport — meaning one that has plenty of activities for passengers moving through it — by implementing a range of key features.

One network for security: Artificial Intelligence (AI) video analysis enables intelligent, precise management and control of traffic flows, as well as proactive security protection.

One map for operations: Efficient operations helped to ensure that the annual on-time departure rate exceeded 87% in 2019, reducing stand allocation time from four hours to just one minute, and improving the direct boarding rate by 5–10% (as opposed to passengers using shuttle buses and remote gates).

One-stop services: Facial recognition allows passengers to travel through the airport faster and far more conveniently. Moreover, during peak hours, an intelligent security check channel can process up to 220 people per hour — that's a 50% improvement in terms of efficiency.

O&M Challenges

Not unexpectedly, during the implementation of digital transformation, Shenzhen Bao'an Airport faced serious Operations and Maintenance (O&M) challenges.

A significant volume of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment is involved in optimizing the passenger experience: 200 equipment rooms support 11 networks, with 25,000 devices and over 140 highly integrated service applications. A 30 minute service outage in this context has the potential to negatively affect 2600 passengers across 20 flights. Here, system security, stability, and efficiency are clearly key — even given the airports limited resources.

It became clear to the airport that, as digital transformation continued apace, it had insufficient O&M engineers: although the service system was expanding, the satellite hall and smart airport service system couldn't be adequately supported, for example. In addition, the engineers that were employed often lacked the skillset to properly use and maintain the latest innovations, from cloud computing to big data.

Compounding this human resource issue, the airport lacked the latest automated O&M tools. A smart airport service system is highly integrated, and a conventional, siloed Network Management System (NMS) is simply unable to meet fault location and O&M management needs. As such, modern O&M tools are essential to manage complex services.

Smart airports also place far higher demands on real-time performance — in terms of airport services, O&M, service processes, and overall service quality. All, then, need to be radically adapted and improved.

And smart airports, by definition, have to adopt diverse, new ICT, to accelerate service development and improve service quality. Inevitably, this application of new technologies always involves risk, particularly regarding stability.

Unified O&M Services for Airports of the Future

Huawei helps its customers by taking over the hard work of solving complex ICT riddles — of which it has a wealth of experience — to deliver simplified, streamlined answers and solutions. And in this spirit, Huawei has handed over to Shenzhen Bao'an Airport a suite of advanced O&M services, effectively building an airport of the future. In this airport of tomorrow, an advanced, standardized, and process-based O&M team and system have dramatically improved the overall quality and efficiency of O&M work. Indeed, the airport has been empowered to achieve all its key O&M objectives: namely, the proactive prevention of major incidents, a sharp reduction in common faults, and far faster fault handling.

O&M System Design

Huawei O&M experts gain insight into each individual customer's requirements in a tried and trusted way: quite simply, they conduct on-site surveys. This allows them to gauge the gap between where a particular project is and where it wants to be.

This, in turn, allows the experts to design bespoke O&M organizations, processes, and regulations that exactly meet each customer's unique requirements, based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) concept. In addition, Huawei also develops a comprehensive technical tool system for each customer, based on its Smart Airport Solution model, and an Intelligent Maintenance and Operation Center (IMOC).

Huawei Shennong Unified O&M Platform (IMOC)

Deploying a unified O&M platform achieves full-stack and centralized monitoring of applications, Information Technology (IT) infrastructure, and terminals. The platform visualizes assets, resources, data, and processes, supporting rapid O&M response and effective decision-making.

Meanwhile, automatic O&M drastically reduces the need for staff to address simple and repetitive work, improving O&M efficiency, mitigating operational risks, and consolidating and sharing best O&M practices, born out of experience. O&M processes are integrated into a unified O&M platform, implementing digital management for typical O&M process scenarios.

Routine O&M Services

Today, at Shenzhen Bao'an Airport, a joint O&M team is made up of over 40 Huawei on-site engineers plus additional airport O&M staff. This team is responsible for the full range of IT tasks, from troubleshooting and routine inspections, to implementing and configuring changes, and — of course — handling emergencies. The team also provides Level-1, Level-2, and Level-3 warranty services based on the airport's precise requirements.

Customer Benefits

With the help of Huawei's O&M team, Shenzhen Bao'an Airport has developed effective contingency plans and conducted trainings, drills, and assurance activities for its staff. In sum, highly efficient O&M management has been implemented. And these O&M measures — including rapid response, efficient communication, handling, summaries, and improvement — play an important role in ensuring smooth informatization, stable service operations, and prompt pandemic prevention and control efforts, of course.

Huawei's unified O&M services have helped Shenzhen Bao'an Airport in many ways. Complete O&M process regulations have been established, implementing comprehensive information security management, and realizing quality management processes and standards for monitoring technologies.

In terms of human resource, a joint O&M team meets all O&M requirements, providing 24/7 O&M services and automatically detecting system exceptions, locating faults, and resolving any issues discovered within five minutes.

Indeed, automatic O&M halves the average inspection time required to discover and locate faults. And with visualized O&M data, O&M staff can easily and quickly learn about the informatization progress and IT system running status of all operations. The value of which is beyond anyone's doubt.

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