VCA Completes Project at JetBlue’s New HQ:
Providing a Well-Engineered System Offering Flexibility and Network Security While Keeping True to Their Corporate Culture
JetBlue Airways Corporation is a low-cost airline headquartered in Long Island City, NY. Its main base is JFK Airport in New York. It serves destinations in the US, various locations in the Caribbean, South America, Latin America, and Mexico.
Technology integrator VCA was selected to engineer, install and train Jet Blue staff on a number of Audio Visual, Unified Communication and Display Systems. The systems included conference and training rooms, a simulation room, a network operation center (NOC), Emergency Operations Center (EOC), digital signage and RF distribution network for their new corporate headquarters in Long Island City, NY. The challenge was to build a technically complex system, which was intuitive to use and easy to maintain, yet met the complex operational needs of JetBlue while also matching their cost effective culture
Network security concerns required diligent planning and communication between VCA and the JetBlue IT department. VCA had to carefully manage security risks against product features and functionality. None of the products installed were permitted to touch the corporate network, this meant some possibilities of remote control, monitoring and technical support were lost. While the Polycom HDX systems were installed and wired by VCA, JetBlue’s IT department handled all communications and network connections. The concern regarding network security also meant devices were not permitted to be wirelessly or network controlled. VCA was required to utilize legacy wired control via RS-232 and other older protocols.
The client required value-engineered rooms used for both training and conferencing. The largest component of the project was specialty rooms focused on managing day-to-day operations and emergencies. The Polycom HDX series video conferencing systems are in each room, each with two cameras (front and rear). The Polycom system provides video conferencing capabilities, as well recording for meetings when needed. Recording is done digitally, and uses two systems: the Crestron HD Pro, which provides Picture-in-Picture for distribution, and a Leightronix LABvaultHD for networked recording and distribution.
The Network Operation Center (NOC) is a large room (approximately 100’ x 300’) where day-to-day operations of the airline are monitored and managed. A raised podium sits in the center of the room, surrounded by a table where section managers monitor happenings in their specific realm of operations. Surrounding the table are 27 desks grouped in small pods housing specific operation subgroup employees. There are 20 Samsung 46” LCD displays on the walls of the SOC. The displays are fed high definition RF sources from in-house channels, as well as cable news sources, data feeds showing flight information, and other informational data from JetBlue’s system. The HD RF system is built around Blonder Tongue HD modulators, providing the ability to feed the SOC, but also anywhere in the building, at a fraction of the cost of using a router-centric system. Because both video and data images were converted to RF, consumer displays could be used instead of higher priced monitors with specialty inputs.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was designed as a command center to monitor and control life-threatening emergencies. At the back of the room are tables for executive managers; below them are three longer tables where personnel connect into the network. On the wall in the front of the room are two large screens with images projected by high brightness projectors. There are three Sharp 60 inch monitors also sharing the front wall, one at each end of the projection screens, and one in between them. Fortunately, incidents and emergencies rarely happen, allowing JetBlue to make the most of their investment. The EOC does double duty as a day-to-day conference and training room.
The end result of JetBlue’s new headquarters is an operations center that provides a value-engineered system offering a high level of flexibility and network security, while keeping true to their corporate culture.