Kraków Airport is situated 11 km from the city center and has a catchment area of 11 million inhabitants within a two-hour drive. In 2015 the airport welcomed over 4.2 million passengers and provided connection to almost 70 destinations such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Rome, operated by 18 airlines.
€120 million have been invested at Kraków Airport in a vast modernization, including extension of the passenger terminal, new taxiways and apron expansion.
In May 2016, at a general meeting of shareholders, plans were approved to build a new runway. The estimated PLN 250 million (€60m) investment in the new runway is planned to be completed by 2021.
The airport is currently undergoing the biggest construction process in its history targeted for a doubling of the annual capacity. It bears the name of the “Polish Pope”, John Paul II, and is viewed as the gateway of southern Poland to the world. The goal of the operating company, John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice Ltd., is to become a leader among the European regional airports in terms of quality of service. Customer satisfaction and business success depend on its achieving this goal.
The first stage involved expanding the passenger terminal and setting up the internal transportation system as well as enlarging the airfield, modernizing the taxiways and constructing a hotel. The next task is to renovate the old terminal area. It will be connected to the new part to allow the convenient processing of as many as 6.5 million passengers a year. In addition, provisions are being made for possible ways of expanding to a capacity of eight million passengers. The airport operator is planning for the long term.
The growth rates substantiate these plans. In June 2016, for instance, the airport recorded a 13 % increase year on year: About 460 000 passengers landed in Kraków or took off from Kraków for a major European city.
When the initiators began the long-term project in March 2012, they were guided by sober, realistically based planning rather than grandiose ideas. R&M and qualified installation partners were contracted to do the cabling for the communication networks. These networks include the local area network (LAN), closed-circuit television (CCTV), the wireless local area network (WiFi) and the flight information display system (FIDS).
There are two reasons why R&M landed the contract: The first reason is the long-standing, trustworthy collaboration between R&M and the airport operator. The second is the positive experience that the operator has had with the existing R&Mfreenet installation – it too is designed for longevity. Large parts of the existing cabling can continue to be used and integrated seamlessly into new structures in the modernized or newly built areas. This advantage had a considerable effect on costs.
R&Mfreenet as a long-term solution
The tool-free connection technique also has to be kept in mind: This feature was a major time and cost factor given the 66 km of Cat. 5e cabling and 95 km of Cat. 6 cabling involving 1800 and 2000 connections (drops), respectively. And finally, the longevity and flexibility of the modular R&Mfreenet product line supported the farsighted planning. The airport operator can change, migrate and expand the networks at any time. They can be adapted to meet future requirements quickly and without any trouble.
The Kraków-based company DYSKRET POLSKA Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością was commissioned to carry out the installation as a subcontractor. With more than 25 years of experience in the installation of security management solutions and in system integration, Dyskret is a very competent partner. In this smooth collaboration, the Dyskret installers mastered all difficulties associated with the project at all levels. They effectively tackled the logistical challenges together with R&M.
After the successful completion of Kraków Airport 2015, R&M had already landed the contract for the next project, which entailed equipping the flight control tower with Cat. 6A/s ISO cabling. The intelligent R&MinteliPhy infrastructure management system will be employed in this context.