A Beginner’s Introduction To Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS)

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The aviation industry relies significantly on information. Everyone flies these days, and this means that there is almost no success with aviation if you don’t pass information across – and on time. 

Fortunately, both airport and airline operators have devised a way to make this work. And this is where flight information display systems (FIDS) come in. The FIDS provides a simple and reliable way to share valid and vital information, while also reducing general strain. 

In this article, we’ll look into these systems, as well as how they work.

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The name is pretty much the game here. A flight information display system – or FIDS for short – is a computer-controlled display system that is mostly used in airports to provide information to passengers and controllers. 

Everyone uses the information coming from an airport flight information display system – airline staff, the passengers who fly, and just about everyone else who works and moves around the airport. 

Considering that a lot goes on in and around airports concerning flights, a FIDS essentially provides the details needed to make sure that everyone knows what is going on and where they need to be.

For the FIDS to work, it needs to be properly run through a network of digital display screens that have been placed across the airport. These screens ensure that the FIDS system can reach everyone, regardless of where they are. And, the result is that information and communication become much more streamlined – no one is confused, and the general experience of everyone is optimized as much as possible. 

Key Components of Flight Information Display

For a flight information system to work as it should, it needs to be made of several components coming together. These components can vary based on the design of the system and the features it brings, but you have some of the common ones here:

A Primary Information Database

To start with, every airport FIDS will need to have a database. This database will store all information, and you should be able to update it in real-time to reflect any changes.

The Data Interface System 

It is also important to interface the FIDS with different sources of data. This way, you can get the right information and present it to the people who need it. 

A Display Server Component 

Here, you have a server that processes all of the information you need from the database. Besides this, the server also handles things like formatting, ensuring that the information can be displayed on the screens. 

If you need to share different information on different screens, the display server also helps to handle that seamlessly. 

The Display Monitors

As expected, you will also need to have the physical screens where information will be displayed. These screens are placed at strategic locations – departure gates, check-in counters, arrival halls, and more.

These days, most airports use LED screens for displays. But, other options could work well.

Network Tools & Infrastructure 

Besides the hardware, you also need a strong network infrastructure if you want to operate an airport FIDS. The network tools allow you to connect every other component, whether wired or wireless. So, you can make updates when and where necessary. 

A Reliable User Interface

Generally, you want a user-friendly interface that allows you to input information and update it when the need arises. When operations get irregular, this interface becomes especially important. 

You Need A Separate Control Room Too 

For airports that are major and very busy, it’s important to have a central control room that’s away from everywhere else. Here, you monitor the flight display systems and make sure that you can process updates whenever necessary. This beats making these updates manually. 

Work Out A Backup Too 

No one wants an emergency to happen. But, if it does, it makes sense that you have redundancies. With the information display, you should look into this too. Whether it’s backup servers, additional power systems, and more.

A Way To Lock Out Intruders

As part of your software package, you need a robust and reliable security system that allows you to prevent any unauthorized access to your airport FIDS. The last thing you want is someone to hack the system and share wrong information.

Types of Flight Information Display Systems

FIDS system

Generally, you have different classes of FIDS available. These classes tend to vary based on where the FIDS is being used, as well as the interface where information is being shared. To that end, now that we’ve been able to define FIDS, here are the major types available: 

The Airport FIDS

Easily the most prominent FIDS type is the airport FIDS. These systems, as their names suggest, are incorporated into airports and provide a way for everyone around to get the information that they need. 

With an airport flight information display system, you have different screens that are placed at strategic and easily accessible locations. This way, people see what they need to know depending on where they are exactly. 

Airline FIDS Options

Away from the airport, there are also FIDS types that work in airlines. Ever been in a plane and seen those screens in front of everybody? Those are classic examples of airline FIDS options. They mostly just show where the flight is and other important information, and they can be pretty engaging too. 

Advanced FIDS For Land & Air 

Instead of just sharing the basic information that people need to know, the advanced FIDS will pretty much take things further. They can share extra information with fliers, as well as provide interactive elements that let everyone access more details about airport services or flights. 

Mobile Options For FIDS

Recently, we’ve seen several airports and airline operators experimenting with sharing critical information about flights and schedules directly to peoples’ mobile devices. Since everyone carries their phone around, the premise is that this should make access to information easier. You just get push notifications and alerts on your phone, and you know what you need to do. 

FIDS With Virtual Access Technology 

Augmented and virtual reality have been getting more popular recently. And, developers of FIDS options have also been able to leverage them to provide help for airport workers and passengers. 

These technologies provide considerably more immersive experiences, and they provide a unique feeling for users and passengers. 

How Does FIDS Work? 

An FIDS system will need to really be on top of its game if it is to provide the required level of efficiency that helps airports operate efficiently. Operators understand this, and this is why they keep a very tight lid on how these systems work in the first place. 

Primarily, your system needs to follow this sequence if it is to keep up:

Collecting Data And Putting It In One Place

One of the first things an FIDS will need to do is to integrate data from different sources. The data needs to be available in real-time, and the system needs to be able to get them all when they are needed. 

Processing The Information 

On the backend, you have professionals who take data from different sources and pretty much process it into comprehensible formats. These professionals are important as the work they do ensures that everything displayed to passengers and staff is accurate and timely. 

Sharing Data With The World

From there, the information is displayed on the screens. Remember; it is important to place these screens at strategic locations to make sure that everyone can see them, and the people who need any information can find them. 

There Are Additional Integrations Available Too 

In some cases, you can find a flight information display system being integrated into things like public address systems too. This way, when announcements are shown, they can also be heard. It might not be a complete necessity, but it helps. 

A FIDS Should Offer Branding Opportunities

In the case of some advanced FIDS options, there are also customization features available that allow you to improve branding for both individual airlines and the airport itself. This includes adding logos, colors, and particular fonts based on the information you’re sharing. 

The Need For Maintenance

After a while, every component of your FIDS system will need to be maintained. This way, you ensure that the entire system works for as long as possible without any defects. 

What Information Is Shown On A Flight Information Display System?

FIDS

If you go to an airport, what exactly is the type of information you should expect to see on an FIDS? Generally, here are a few of them: 

Information About Schedules & Flights

Before anything else, an airport flight information display system should provide details on flights and their schedules. When is the flight arriving? When is it taking off? Where do passengers go to get boarded? Information like this is what we expect to see.

Details About Boarding & Specific Gates

You should also expect to see information on boarding areas and assigned gates as your flight gets ready to leave. For those running late, they should be able to track the status of their flights using FIDS systems directly, so they can track their progress.

Updates On Planes Coming In & Going Out

Arrival and departure information will also be needed, so both passengers and people looking to pick their loved ones up and keep track of the flights. If a flight is on time or being delayed, your FIDS should be able to let everyone know. 

Any Emergencies That Should Be Noted

If a flight gets cancelled or there’s an emergency at the airport then an FIDS could be a solid way to inform people about it. For major emergencies, things like procedures for evacuation and the available emergency contacts should be displayed, so everyone can move in orderly.

How Do Flight Information Display Systems Benefit Airports?

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Airport operators get to enjoy a great deal from having a quality FIDS. With these systems, you get some of these benefits: 

Informing Everyone When They Need To Know

Ever had the feeling that you go to an airport and you’re just confused? Well, an FIDS helps to clear this. With these systems, passengers can get real-time information and make decisions based on them. 

Everything Runs Smoothly 

Besides the passengers, an FIDS will also benefit the people who work at their airport. Airline operators, airport staff, and many more can use these systems to manage boarding, gate assignments, and several other critical aspects of airport operations, so everything just runs as smoothly as possible. 

Improving Overall Resource Allocation 

With an FIDS, it becomes much easier to allocate resources at an airport. Thanks to the information they provide, these systems allow operators to coordinate ground handling, improve the quality of their security checks, and more. 

Proper Communication For Emergencies 

In the event of any emergencies, FIDs will ensure that operators can better communicate with people. This reduces anxiety, cuts down on the risk of injuries, and ensures that everyone knows what to do and when to do it. 

The Law Requires It Too

These days, even local codes require that airports be equipped with FIDS. So, as an airport operator, you want to have one of these to make sure that you stay compliant.  

Conclusion

It would be almost impossible for any airport to provide a seamless experience for its passengers if they didn’t have an FIDS. These systems help to make things much better, and they’re not so difficult to implement. 

At NSE LED Cloud, we can help provide more context for airport operators looking to incorporate these systems into their operations. Reach out to us, and let us know what you need.

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