UK to get first digital airport radio

AirRadio Limited today announces it is to launch the first Airport Digital Community Radio Service in the UK using TETRA.AirRadio launches first UK Airport Digital Radio

Combining spectrum availability, technical capability and an established and growing customer base, AirRadio will operate the service at Birmingham International Airport (BIA). BA Connect will be the first customer when the service, to be known as AR-en (the enhanced network from AirRadio), goes live in one month’s time.

The launch of the very first digital service for the UK air transport community has been made possible by the recent allocation of radio spectrum to AirRadio by the UK communications regulator, Ofcom.

British Airways, AirRadio’s largest customer, identified their low fares operation BA Connect to be the first operational unit to use the unique service AR-en.

The availability of advanced functionality and features on the enhanced network will allow BA Connect to implement data applications; such as task allocation that enables real-time scheduling and reporting of work for Ground Operations.


AirRadio’s UK and Ireland Operations Team is project managing the delivery and installation of the new digital network.

The system infrastructure, supplied by Team Simoco Limited, is one of the world’s leading solutions; Sepura SRH3500 terminal devices will be deployed for end-user communication.

Team Simoco will use their experience of implementing other digital systems to support AirRadio during installation.

Birmingham International Airport’s IT department will be involved by providing interconnectivity between the enhanced network and the airport PABX.

Brian Nicholson, AirRadio Managing Director said “This is a very important day for AirRadio; being the first organisation to be able to offer a digital network service at UK airports provides us with an excellent opportunity to expand the functionality and services we offer our aviation industry customers. Establishing this digital network service at a UK airport underlines AirRadio’s commitment to future proofing our customers’ communications and recognises the fact that Business Radio is a vital component in the overall telecommunications strategy for companies operating in mission critical environments.”

“After a successful one month trial of the digital system at Southampton Airport in early 2005 we understood the benefits it could offer including: greater traffic capacity, enhanced clarity of speech, increased security of communications using encryption techniques, and crucially an end-to-end, application-ready environment to allow implementation of value-added software applications.”

He concludes: “Our business planning and work with BIA and the regulator, Ofcom, over the last 12 months reflect our continued belief that now is the right time for digital services to be available in the UK.”