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Domodedovo Airport: in the seventh heaven, or where no ordinary passenger has ever set foot

Domodedovo Airport: in the seventh heaven, or where no ordinary passenger has ever set foot

"Born to fly". This air gate opens for several dozens of aircrafts daily. About thirty million passengers reach "the seventh heaven" annually. In the afternoon, "iron birds" appear in sight of Domodedovo Airport every twenty seconds.

Ksenia Komissarova, correspondent:

" The holy of holies" of the airport – the airstrip. The territory on which no ordinary passenger has ever set foot. Each plane soars up and lands according to a strict sequence and with pinpoint accuracy."

However, no plane can take off without accurate and well-coordinated work of special land services where several thousands of people work – the number is really "sky-high"! While engines roar on the airstrip, the "think-tank" of the airport keeps very quiet. Flows of information concerning everything that happens on the platform "fly" to the dispatching office with sonic speed.

Sergey Barrayev, Chief of Operational Management Subgroup:

"They have more than 1500 gadgets, those employees working on a platform. And by means of these programs there is, pay attention to it, silence, and now it’s always silent, after they implemented this program. Because earlier, it was all performed by means of voice. It was filled with noise, shouting, clamour, here the radio set goes off, there the radio set shouts, now everything is quiet. If it is necessary to give a task to this or that employee, or this or that resource – a dispatcher can just choose a resource from the list, set a flight task for it, and the employees see their specific tasks on their gadgets."

Did they let off passengers in time, did they bring documents and mail, did they load food into the plane, did they charge it with fuel and water – the control system illustrates it all. The so-called "flight task beams" are shown on screens. The yellow rectangle – under preparation, blue – the process is on, gray – the task is carried out. The red beam signals that something is wrong. Dispatchers find solution in a nanosecond. Iron birds are managed by the people with nerves of steel, the passenger safety is in their hands.

Sergey Barrayev, Chief of Operational Management Subgroup:

"Here, the highly skilled personnel works, the dispatcher is the one who thinks. A machine thinks well, but the dispatcher thinks quicker anyway, and anyway is guided by experience, by knowledge. The program is the tool, it just helps the dispatcher work, generally speaking. But thought process is a duty of a dispatcher. No matter what. Regardless of gadgets, electronic assistants or their absence."

The airport also has its own "special agents". Each agent of platform service quickly receives tasks from dispatchers by special communication channels.

Maxim Prilipko, Chief of Ground Handling Agent Group:

"Today this person is the chief in this red octagon, he is responsible for everything here. Organization and control of service, landing control, organization of work of all land services and direct participation in the work. He is both the head of the towing crew, and the head of a lower-class ground handling agent team. This person is "the king, the god and the military leader". Here everyone obeys to him, and nobody has the right to contravene or not to follow his instruction."

Agents of platform service get assistance from personal pocket computers. They display not only a task, but also all flight information.

Maxim Prilipko, Chief of Ground Handling Agent Group:

"Having obtained this information, he has held a briefing of his team, everyone has got to work. Each operation – whether it is offloading of baggage, or disembarkation of passengers – has been marked by him by a control point here: "begun – complete, begun – complete."

Maxim drew his "happy ticket" 15 years ago, when he crossed the threshold of Domodedovo as an employee. At first, he worked as a loader, today he manages one of the main land divisions; 330 subordinate people. The "Eye of Omniscience" helps Maxim Prilipko watch what happens on the platform. The "eyes" of the airport – one and a half thousand surveillance cameras. "The big brother" looks at everyone here.

Sergey Barrayev, Chief of Operational Management Subgroup:

"All landside area of the airport, inside the air terminal complex, at each level".

While buses carry some passengers to the building of air terminal, others are only getting ready for air travel. Their suitcases and bags "prepare" for take-off together with them. If their form or contents do not correspond to the parameters of hand luggage, personal belongings get to the luggage compartment.

Alexander Vlasov, Press Secretary of the Moscow Domodedovo Airport:

"Recently I have heard a metaphor that the baggage sorter is the "heart" of the airport. Probably, this is true, now we process more than 7 thousand suitcases here. In this place, the suitcase system of baggage sorting gets further, goes aboard the plane. What is remarkable here is that from the moment you put baggage at registration, till the moment when it gets here, where we are – until the further flight packaging – only 3-5 minutes passes. During this time, the suitcase not only makes a way along the conveyor luggage belt, but also passes obligatory inspection."

Safety is paramount. The special equipment checks each suitcase several times. Slightest "doubts" of the equipment – and it will be sent for additional inspection. Scanners help bags not to get lost in the three-kilometer automated baggage system. Even if a forgetful passenger has not removed a label from a sac after the previous travel, it will get on the necessary board anyway.

Alexander Vlasov, Press Secretary of the Moscow Domodedovo Airport:

"As you can see, here we have scanners, they scan and read out the barcode in 3 projections; the label has a barcode in order to help the system automatically direct your baggage to the necessary place of packaging."

The security system is organized so that it can carefully check not only all passengers, their meeters and seers-off, but also each employee of the airport. Today, one fingerprint is not enough to get to a restricted area.

Alexander Vlasov, Press Secretary of the Moscow Domodedovo Airport:

"Last spring, we got alcohol frames. What this device is necessary for – for finding traces of alcohol in exhalation of a person, in automatic mode, after all biometric data have been verified."

Technologies are "gathering height".

Ksenia Komissarova, correspondent:

"Today, airports do not move, they "fly" with the time. For example, passengers are not obliged to have a paper boarding pass. They can be allowed to boarding using a gadget."

Buy a ticket online, check in in advance, download the QR code on your phone, come to a special device and print out the boarding pass. The top-level service. Recreation areas, a first-aid post, taxi terminals – today an airport is like a city within a city. Where you can move to a new cultural level before or after your travel. Photo and art exhibitions open in the air terminal one by one; at the moment, it exhibits vintage cars:

"Each passenger can come and see unique cars, many of which can really be seen only here. For example, the car Mayakovsky presented to Lilya Brik. And she became the first female driver in our country."

But above all things are, of course, the planes and what relates to them. The airport continues to expand the boundaries. The total area of the terminal grows; on a short-term horizon is the expansion in the number of airstrips. And it means more people will fall in love with the sky.

Ksenia Komissarova, Anton Kosolapov, TV BRICS