Orlando Airport Management Firm Takes Flight with Rugged 4G LTE Tablets

Nicknamed the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” Orlando is home to tourism magnets such as the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld and more. With almost 2 million passengers in 2012, the Orlando Sanford International Airport plays a key role in transporting people to and from these world-class destinations.

TBI Airport Management, Inc. manages the Orlando Sanford International Airport international and domestic terminals. Kenny Parulan, operations duty manager, explained that his team is responsible for supervising the facilities ranging from its safety and security to daily airport operations.

“Everything with operations is very critical time wise,” said Parulan.

Until recently, the entire system was bogged down by the time-consuming process of manually entering data on paper from around the large facility and bringing it back to headquarters.

“I would have to go back to my office and from there I’d grab a notepad, a pen and a camera if needed,” Parulan said. “Then we’d respond to the scene and gather information. After that, we’d go back to my office, eventually enter whatever information we’d gathered and send it electronically.”

There was a lot of frustration and lost time with this system, explains Michael Damico, information systems and services manager. “You’ve got this paper trail of one copy, to copy two, to revision three,” Damico said. “It’s hard to manage for the operational folks.”

That was before ProntoForms, a mobile workflow application that allows users to create and dispatch custom mobile forms to the workforce in the field. Using ProntoForms, TBI staff can now complete forms, and capture text, photos, signatures, barcodes, GPS data and time information, and then submit their work via the cloud. Managers are also able to receive real-time reporting, monitor employee progress and dispatch work orders to individuals on the go.

Toughpad A1 with Pronto screenshotTBI also needed the right hardware on which to run the application. The organization chose Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-A1, a fully rugged, Android-based tablet purpose-built for business users with features including a daylight-viewable screen and hardware-based security.

With Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-A1, TBI staff doesn’t have to worry about their technology being affected by weather conditions out on the runway and surrounding areas, or breakage due to a drop or fall. 4G LTE connectivity from AT&T enables seamless access to the cloud-based ProntoForms system, and at the touch of a button workers can access saved data and transmit new data electronically.

“It’s durable enough that it can take a beating and allows us to basically be comfortable working in the environment we are at,” Parulan said.

Damico calls the Toughpad FZ-A1 hardware and ProntoForms deployment a “dynamic duo,” but the ruggedized tablet wasn’t TBI’s first choice. They tried many tablets, and ended up replacing broken devices that weren’t suited for the team’s real-world working conditions.

“If we deploy more ProntoForms, we will deploy more Toughpads,” Damico said. “Because in this environment, so far it’s been the only piece of hardware you can put out there and not have to worry about.”

Watch the video below to hear more from Kenny Parulan and Michael Damico about TBI Airport Management’s use of the ProntoForms solution on the Toughpad, powered by AT&T.