NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Aviation and Transportation
NEC provides new displays and consultancy for a better passenger experience
Billund Airport’s existing Flight Information Display System (FIDS) was showing its age. Billund chose NEC to provide new display technologies and in-depth consultancy to transform the passenger experience and deliver new revenue opportunities.
Billund Airport is the gateway to Legoland, with more than three million passengers passing through the airport each year.
Billund Airport’s existing FIDS was installed over a decade ago. The screens were small, dim, and poorly-situated, resulting in a poor experience for passengers who want to find information about their journey, such as boarding information, gate number and any delays to their flight.
Billund sought a partner that could not only deliver better technology, but would also provide expert consultancy on getting the most out of their new screens. The airport’s existing displays could only show very basic content, and Billund had much more ambitious ideas in mind.
Billund wanted their new displays to do much more than simply provide flight information. They wanted to reimagine the entire passenger experience by creating a real “sense of place”, provide peace of mind to passengers worried about missing their flights, and use the screens to direct passengers to its duty free store, food and beverage, and other concessions throughout the airport – including the airport’s Lego shop.
This project was as much about content and consultancy as it was about the displays themselves, as Billund sought a way to create a compelling experience for every traveller who passes through the terminal. This challenge was occupying the thoughts of Jan Hessellund, CEO of Billund Airport, during his visit to Passenger Terminal Expo 2017 (PTE) when he chanced upon the NEC stand at the show. He had a long talk with Richard Wilks, NEC’s Director of Transportation, during which they discussed ways to create a strong sense of place for the airport by promoting its connection to Legoland, making the airport part of the whole tourist experience.
Following the meeting at PTE, Billund invited Richard to visit the airport to see how NEC could help transform the passenger experience.
The NEC Solution
In late 2017, Richard visited Billund Airport and conducted a walk-through of the terminal, highlighting areas where they could improve the siting of Billund’s FIDS displays.
Richard pointed out that a critical factor affecting the traveller experience is to give them peace of mind that they had enough time to reach their gate. If passengers know how much time they have – including the distance to the gate – they won’t rush to the gate in a panic, and will be much more likely to spend time in commercial areas of the terminal, and to spend money in duty free, food and beverage concessions, and the Lego shop.
Following Richard’s walk-through, NEC provided a consultancy plan based on the company’s V and P Series large format displays, which range in size from 40" to 55".
NEC managed the installation, ensuring that the new displays were carefully sited around the terminal for maximum visibility and impact. The centrepiece of the project saw NEC combine multiple displays into a giant video wall in the arrivals area, which enables Billund to put all flight information on a single screen. Passengers can now easily identify their flight’s status at a glance, rather than hunting around for a screen. The new displays incorporated NEC’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), which makes digital signage more flexible and powerful by enabling the operator to add compute modules to each screen without additional cables or devices.
OPS has opened up a new world for Billund, enabling them to implement intelligent wayfinding, video advertising and dynamic content, and manage it all centrally. To ensure that the right messages are delivered to the right passengers at the right time, NEC implemented Smart Airport Signage based on PADS4 digital signage software.
Billund Airport now runs PADS4 across its whole estate of 175 NEC screens with a hardware combination of OPS players and Windows-based PCs. Having a centrally based system makes it fast and easy to distribute and manage the information to all the screens around the entire airport.
“NEC has helped us to transform the passenger experience,” said Martin Hjort Nielsen, Cross Channel Manager at Billund Airport. “Where once we relied on posters and static signs for wayfinding and other passenger information, we can now provide this on high-resolution displays which are perfectly sited for maximum impact.”
“This project has enabled us to revolutionise the way that we communicate with passengers. We are now creating a range of engaging content, from wayfinding information to dynamic advertising, which keeps travellers fully informed, encourages them to visit the airport’s amenities, and even advertises the attractions of Billund and the surrounding area.”
“In this way, we’ve helped to create a real sense of place – for example, by promoting our connection with Legoland, and helping to make Billund part of the whole tourist experience.”
“Billund had a longstanding ambition to digitize the whole airport. NEC proposed a holistic solution to our needs. The result is clear to see: we now provide a visual experience that would be the envy of much larger, more famous airports than Billund.”