The Airport Advisory board asked council to approve the purchase of ARTI (Airport Real-Time Information), a new suite of software and hardware that will enable the Pleasanton Municipal Airport to collect more Data on flights coming in and out of the airport without having to require additional staffing. The equipment, about the size of a mini-fridge, will be installed inside the airport terminal.
Pleasanton Airport Advisory Board President Jerry Drew said that there are several Texas Department of Transportation grants that could pay for needed upgrades for the airport that require the kinds of data that the software can record, which includes how many times a pilot communicates with the tower, how many planes land in the airport, how many planes leave the airport, and tail numbers.
The software can also enable pilots to inquire about attractions that Pleasanton can offer the pilots passengers, such as hotels, taxis and courtesy cars through voice recognition software similar to Siri on your i- Phone. Pilots call in on the airport frequency, ask ARTI for what restaurants are available, and ARTI will say back to the pilot what restaurants are in the area. Local businesses will thus have a chance to advertise themselves on ARTI.
“It could add an element of safety to the airport environment and also to the airplanes in the air”, said Drew. The system documents information sent from every airplanes T-CAS, a.k.a. Traffic Collision Avoidance System. T-CAS sends information about the plane’s location to computers via radio signals.
The City of Pleasanton unanimously approved the purchase of this equipment, which cost $54,665 plus a $5,400 per year maintenance fee. The maintenance fee pays for both repairs and continuous upgrades to the system, said City Mayor Clint Powell. City Manager Bruce Pearson said that the recently acquired TxDOT Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) grant will fund half of airport operations costs, which will include ARTI. The city entered into a 60 day trail period, which will allow them to try the software for free before they commit to paying for it.
“This system is something that no one has”, added Pearson. Pleasanton will be the first to use this equipment, which was recently developed by Aeropath System a company formed by two retired aviators in Lampasas, Texas.