As airports are counted among the most advanced and secure structures, they rely on the latest IT systems. A great deal of pioneering work in this field is being carried out by Istanbul Grand Airport (IGA), which finally became operational a short while ago. It is the largest airport in the world and, at the same time, the first airport in the world to be fully digitized. Its key security, communication, and IT functions are based on a network provided by R&M. Reichle & De-Massari (R&M) is a global developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures and is based in Wetzikon, Switzerland.  

«R&M has extensive experience in the aviation sector,» commented the Istanbul Grand Airport Construction project enterprise when providing its reason for selecting the network provider. For Ersin Inankul, the company's CIO, one of the key factors for choosing R&M was that the cables would guarantee outstanding signal transmission and eliminate interference for decades. Inankul had the following to say on this topic: «The quality of R&M cabling offers key benefits here. We can, therefore, run 9,000 surveillance cameras and 3,000 card readers on R&M’s cabling system in real-time with confidence that they will be protected against any transmission interference or loss. We are also connecting 5,000 WiFi access points, giving the airport site a full-coverage WLAN. These access points will be trouble-free and fail-safe.» The cabling connects the ICT infrastructures for customs, the security staff, and the police force. 


All of the network areas had to be designed in accordance with individual plans. «The R&M specialists understand our needs and can customize their solutions. This is the biggest advantage for us as it separates R&M from other vendors,» said Ersin Inankul. The other key criteria were the delivery reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness of the R&M products. Owing to their modular design, the cabling systems are able to keep pace with the expansion of the airport and can be expanded modularly in just a few simple steps. 

R&M CEO Michel Riva said: «R&M has proven once again its ability to support major projects with tailored cabling solutions.» 

In the first phase of construction, R&M supplied 5,400 km of copper cablings and 3,270 km of fiber-optic cabling. The installation also required fiber-optic distribution cabinets, patch panels as well as 115,000 ports for connectors. Special requirements also needed to be fulfilled in each area, such as a color-coding system. 

The highest connection density

R&M outfitted the airport’s data center with the Netscale fiber-optic patch panel. Netscale is the fiber-optic management platform with the world’s highest connection density of up to 120 ports per rack unit in a 19’’ rack. The R&MinteliPhy digital management and monitoring system was also installed. This system monitors the operation of the data network from a central location and automates and detects connector errors and attempts to tamper with the connectors in real time. 

The cabling is designed for a lifetime of 25 years and unconditional reliability, and R&M has provided a guarantee to this effect. The airport wants to provide travelers, logistics companies and airlines with a guarantee of 99.982% reliability (TIER III class). Up to 200 million passengers are expected to use the airport every year in the long term. The recently opened first section of the airport processes 90 million passengers every year. Three additional construction phases will be completed over the next 15 years. 

Professional project management

«When it comes to airports, it is particularly important to be able to accurately coordinate complex installations over very long project duration and to always deliver the same level of quality. This requires professional and highly organized project management teams to be put in place on site,» explains Michel Riva. 

For such tasks, R&M puts together international teams that take full responsibility for the achievement of these goals. They coordinate engineering, logistics and communication, installation, measurements and testing, and services, thus allowing projects to be completed on time. The sales office in the Middle East was in charge of the installation of the cabling in Istanbul Grand Airport, with support provided by specialists from headquarters.

f.l.t.r.: Suleyman Tokmak, MD R&M Turkey; Nabil Khalil, Executive Vice President R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa; Michel Riva, CEO R&M; Ersin Inankul, CIO and Deputy General Manager, IGA; Emrah Bayarçelik, IT Infrastructure and Security Systems Director, IGA; Ibrahim Kargi, IT Manager R&M Turkey; Andreas Rüsseler, CMO R&M