Port Authority of NY & NJ Takes Airport Parking into the Future


Port Authority of NY & NJ Takes Airport Parking into the Future

In 2014, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, faced with the prospect of an aging Parking Access & Revenue Control System (PARCS) at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), began a two-year process of planning, research and RFP issuance for a new PARCS for its airports. This kicked off an unprecedented initiative, culminating in the largest airport PARCS replacement project ever undertaken.

The Port Authority needed to replace the twelve-year-old 3M PARCS systems at JFK, LGA and EWR, three Large Hub Airports that process a combined 7.8 million parking transactions and over $250 million in revenue annually, as well as expanding the new PARCS to Stewart International Airport (SWF), a smaller Port Authority-run airport that is expected to undergo future growth and activity. The new system had to be scalable, evolvable, and customer-friendly. After an intensive RFP process, the Port Authority chose DESIGNA as its partner for this massive project. The backbone of this enterprise solution will be DESIGNA’s ABACUS technology, which has been successfully installed at various high-profile international airports worldwide.

For Peter Carbonaro, the Port Authority’s Manager of Airport Access Programs, one of the major considerations in the decision-making process for the purchase of a new PARCS was its “future-proofing“, or the adaptability to accommodate future system enhancements. “DESIGNA’s modular architecture and system design gives the Port Authority the flexibility to expand our enterprise and incorporate today’s latest technology, as well as tomorrow’s emerging technologies,“ says Carbonaro. “Being future-proof is essential in maximizing the life expectancy of our investment. We wanted a system that will not only take us through the next several years, but give us the ability to adapt to future trends that may not be fully emergent yet.“

To ensure a system that could adapt to future enhancements, the primary goals for the Port Authority project included:

Increased automation, efficiency, scalability, and customer service capabilities

Expanded electronic payment options and improved vehicular throughput

Solution that is state-of-the-art, evolvable and future-proof

Another benefit of the new system will be centralized reporting in addition to localized reporting for the different airport facilities.

Increased Automation and Next-Level System Capabilities and Customer Services

Kyle Sundin, Manager of Airport Parking and Revenue Systems for the Port Authority, stated that the objective is to eventually have total automation in the parking lots.

“Automated parking facilities can offer minimal effort and maximum convenience for customers while making better use of space,“ says Sundin. “The latest parking technology can decrease costs, increase profitability, streamline operations and increase the efficient use of airport parking services.“

The new system will include pre-booking, E-ZPass RFID functionality, and numerous new electronic payment options. Entry and exit plaza cameras will be installed for Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) to link individual vehicles to their actual time of entry and exit and ensure proper fee calculation. A Mobile License Plate Inventory (MLPI) solution will also be implemented to provide Port Authority operations and public safety personnel and parking customers with the location of individual vehicles within the parking facilities.

Variable message signs and parking space guidance systems will provide customer convenience in communicating space availability, traffic flow requirements, seasonal messages, and other useful messaging.

“The enhanced system capabilities will increase our automation,” says Sundin. “This will allow airport parking to evolve from a logistical exercise to a customer service and revenue opportunity.”

Expanded Electronic Payment Options and Improved Vehicular Throughput

“Automated parking and smart parking technologies will expand electronic payment options and take the revenue control system to a new level,” says Sundin.

The Port Authority is moving towards its plans for completely automated, cashless exit lanes. In/Out payment capabilities will allow both ticketless and ticketed payment on both entry and exit, by a number of payment methods including EMV credit card and mobile apps. An automatic pre-booking parking system will enable ticketless parking with online reservations and prepaid mobile QR codes. E-ZPass payment and mobile pay options such as Apple Pay and Samsung Wallet will also be available.

In the near future, Port Authority parking facilities will continue to have limited cashier exit lanes with a greater number of automated exit lanes. Ultimately, the goal is to phase out these cashiered lanes, but cash customers will always have the ability to use ticketed parking and pay stations to pay for parking.

State-of-the-Art and Future Proof

The architecture of the new Port Authority/DESIGNA system is built to be completely scalable. Once the system is fully automated and integrated, future technological advances may be implemented by taking advantage of its open system architecture capabilities.

Carbonaro emphasizes the criticality of the new system being future ready, and the need for the system architecture to be scalable to tomorrow‘s technologies. For him, a key reason the Port Authority chose DESIGNA as its partner was DESIGNA’s unique system architecture and integration capabilities, as well as its proven global track record of successful installations at large-hub/Tier 1 airports. In recent years, DESIGNA has installed integrated controls at Sydney Airport (SYD), Frankfurt Airport (FRA), and has upgraded the Dublin Airport (DAA) enterprise to a virtual private cloud environment. In 2016, DESIGNA deployed the ABACUS solution at Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition

Phase One of the Port Authority project began in January and will be completed by the end of 2017. The objectives of Phase One are to fine-tune the Port Authority’s functional requirements for various subsystem integrations, and provide working models for review and approval. Maintaining operations at the Port Authority parking facilities is a critical contract requirement. While PARCS lane equipment is undergoing replacement, development work will be completed while supporting the existing systems.

Phase Two will take place in 2018 and 2019 and includes the phased implementation and installation of the new DESIGNA ABACUS PARCS solution, configured to meet the specific requirements of the Port Authority, at its four airports. Despite the scale and challenge of the project, Carbonaro is excited to move forward. “The Port Authority is continuously looking to modernize and improve our airports for the best operational and customer experience and it only makes sense that our parking system reflects that ethos. By partnering with DESIGNA we’re confident that our airports will have a PARCS that will grow, evolve and improve as our airports do.”

For more information:

DESIGNA Access Corporation


Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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