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BAA hires small Cumbrian firm to deliver ID system

Airport operator chooses supplier for robust system

BAA Airports has hired a small Cumbria-based IT services company to provide an online ID booking system that will be used by more than 50,000 employees.

The ID system will also be used by contractors, concessions, airlines and other personnel at BAA's UK airports, including Heathrow.

The contract has gone to Meantime IT, which operates from Kendal in Cumbria and employs ten full time members of staff. The web-based booking system will be used by staff and others to apply for or renew identification licences, which are required by all airside and landside staff, including those working for contractors and concessions.

"We had a very tight deadline on the delivery of the system, and as such it was essential that we appointed an IT company that was not only able to provide a robust, reliable system for a competitive price, but which also had the ability to deliver within a very short space of time," said Lynn McNichol, project leader at BAA.

Meantime had three months to design and deploy the ID system. Meantime managing director Fenner Pearson said, "It's been very gratifying to have these processes recognised by a successful company like BAA, which wouldn't have appointed us had we not been able to demonstrate our ability to match the procedures used by far larger software companies."

In March, BAA announced an investment of £400 million in IT at Heathrow Airport to share real-time information with third-parties, such as airlines, air traffic control and immigration control, to better respond to crises and provide improved services to customers.

In other recent security supplier news, Altran Praxis was named the inaugural winner of the Microsoft Research Verified Software Milestone Award.

The award is for the company's Tokeneer Project at the US National Security Agency. The technology is a software system that uses biometrics and smart card technology to protect and secure classified buildings.

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