New Service at Fresno's Airport Promises Improved Information

Monday, January 3, 2005
New service at Fresno’s airport promises improved information

Fresno Yosemite International Airport is the first in the nation to use a Web-based wireless system that displays flight information on monitors and portable kiosks throughout the terminal. SkyWest Airlines displays flight information on monitors, but this is the first system to show departures, arrivals and other data for all 92 daily flights arriving at and departing from the airport, airport spokeswoman Patti Miller said.

The Passur FlightLink system is different because it does not rely on carrier updates or software at the airport. Instead, the database uses Passur’s radar, which is independent of any airline, said Ron Dunsky, a spokesman for Megadata Corp., which developed the software.

“We calculate our own (estimated time of arrival),” said Dunsky from Greenwich, Conn.

The information also is displayed in several places in the airport, which handles about 1.1 million passengers a year.

In addition to monitors, travelers can find information on portable kiosks. Within a month, officials said, the information will be available on the airport’s Web site,

The airport paid $139,000 to install the system, Miller said.

“It is a way to inexpensively kick information up to a more accurate level,” Dunsky said. “You no longer have to rely on carriers to update you, and you don’t have to install expensive systems because this is all subscription-based.”

Passur also operates other systems, including software that allows people to identify what planes are flying by logging on to an airport’s Web site.

That software is used at 18 airports, including those in Burbank and San Jose. Fresno officials don’t subscribe to that service.

Dunsky said FlightLink is ideal for small to medium-sized airports where airlines are focusing on their core duties and relying on airport officials for detailing flight information.