I just got word that Dallas Fort Worth International Airport has a document on the street asking for a company or team to design, procure, install, implement, test, and perform training on a replacement revenue control system for the airport. DFW has had a rather rocky history with systems it has installed in the recent past.
The airport has some unique requirements, the first being the tremendous amount of traffic involved. The way the airport is laid out, there is a toll road that runs through the property, and all cars on the toll road are considered “parkers” while they are on airport land.
When you enter the toll road, which connects two major arteries between Dallas and Fort Worth, and pass the toll plaza, you can then drive directly into the parking facilities, or elect to stay on the road, and exit the airport. This means that there are tens of thousands of cards that are dealt with daily that are not parking, but are in and out of the parking control system.
There are many other nuances involved (how to differentiate between cars that don’t park, those that park in short term and long term, etc) plus extremely complex counting, display, and communications systems. That only scratches the surface.
If I remember correctly, the airport’s last foray into this complex purchasing process was driven by their IT department and assumptions were made from an IT point of view, which most likely needed to be tempered with the vagaries of parking issues, incredible communication traffic, and plus the normal minor problems of putting high tech computers in parking lanes which can be 120 degrees in the summer and under snow in the winter.
The team or firm that gets this contract will certainly have its challenges.