DESIGNA Makes Cardiff Airport Parking Effortless

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Cardiff Airport is now benefiting from a state-of-the-art ‘Pay on Foot’ car parking system from DESIGNA, installed as part of a rejuvenation project of the airport facilities. DESIGNA’s parking system was specified because of its established ABACUS software, which has been combined with the modern and sleek design of the DESIGNA’s Blue Edition parking equipment.
As one of the world leading manufacturers of car park management controls, DESIGNA has over 15,000 systems installed globally in a wide variety of parking situations including recent installations at Sydney and Frankfurt airports.

32  Image4 highres Designa3 Image13The sophisticated ABACUS software cleverly integrates the barriers, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, ticket terminals and automatic paystations to create a low maintenance and reliable system that has tremendous functionality. It is also able to cope with large volumes of traffic while providing the highest level of monitoring to ensure a secure parking environment.

Jason Thomas, Chief of Staff at Cardiff Airport, explained why DESIGNA were chosen, “The brief was for a complete replacement of the car parking equipment at Cardiff Airport with the installation of ANPR technology. The project went out to competitive tender and we selected DESIGNA as they were the clear winners against the range of criteria we specified. We were particularly impressed by their customer service and desire to win our business, making it easy for us to select them as a long-term partner for Cardiff Airport. The installation went really well as they had such a dedicated team who went the extra mile to ensure the system went live when we needed it to. We are extremely pleased with the new kit, and more importantly, our customers are impressed too.”

Cardiff airport was founded in 1941 with ongoing expansion throughout the decades due to increased passenger traffic and funding from various parties for development. 700 extra car parking spaces were created as part of the £7 million development in 2007 while re-branding as ‘Cardiff Airport’ and ‘Maes Awyr Caerdydd’ was carried out in March 2009. Currently the airport directly supports over 1,000 jobs in South Wales and services over a million passengers a year making the airport a key part of the local community.

Since 2013, when ownership transferred over to the Welsh Government, Cardiff Airport has been undergoing major redevelopment plans to improve services and expand destinations offered under the experienced leadership of chief executive, Jon Horne. In the first 12 months airline CityJet was welcomed to Cardiff and ten consecutive months of growth made an increase of 10.6% in passenger numbers. To ensure continued success it was important that the services outside the terminal reflected the efficient customer experience inside and so investing in the latest car parking technology was vital.

The car parking facilities play a vital role in ensuring excellent customer service at the airport and therefore the new system needed to be user friendly and efficient to cope with the high usage demand while engaging the latest technology to provide effective monitoring for a secure and pleasant experience. Having previously been used successfully at other airports, such as Frankfurt, Sydney and Dublin, DESIGNA’s car parking system was seen to fulfill all requirements necessary to achieve the high standard of service sought.

DESIGNA’s ABACUS parking system was installed at the ten entrance and twelve exit terminals in red and grey livery, the colours of Cardiff Airport. The mid stripe magnetic paper tickets are four way, which means they can be presented in any direction. The tickets are issued at the entrances by the Blue Edition ticket terminals that boast the significantly lowest power consumption of its class by a significant margin, while all exit lanes have chip & pin credit card facilities to facilitate user payment.

32  Image2 high res Designa3 Image8NCP are the car park operators and their pre-booking system and website were interfaced with the DESIGNA parking system enabling customers to pre-book and pay on line in advance of arriving at the airport.

The high torque DESIGNA barriers and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are present at all entrances and exits. The ANPR cameras facilitate entry for pre-bookers and season parkers and maximize security for all customers. They also enable help to be given to customers, who have lost their tickets. The separate bus exit lane and entry into the short stay car parks have heavy duty barriers, which use the ANPR cameras to allow automatic free entry into these designated zones.

32  Image3 high Designa3 Image34Seven automatic paystations replace the existing paystations and are situated at various locations including the arrivals hall, short stay and pick up as well as the drop off and car hire areas, all of which accept coin, notes and chip & pin credit card payments. The easy user experience is maximised with TFT colour screens on the paystations offering Welsh, English, Spanish and German to communicate information.

The heart of the system is DESIGNA’s Extended Server located in the NCP control room together with a workstation, manual cashier and a DESIGNA VOIP intercom. It is the hardware and software in the control room, which enables the car park to be controlled in such a way that it provides a positive and effortless experience for all those who park their cars at Cardiff airport.

Further information on automatic car parking systems is available from DESIGNA UK on 01932 784040, by emailing, or by visiting the company’s website at