Virtual Lane Testing at PANYNJ

Interacting in a virtual environment has become the “new normal.” From work to school to doctor visits to celebrations—COVID-19 has changed how we connect. While much has changed since the CDC confirmed the first U.S. Coronavirus case on January 21, 2020, Kimley-Horn’s commitment to exceptional client service has not.

Kimley-Horn partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to analyze and assess the parking access and revenue control systems (PARCS) software and hardware systems of the Authority’s four major airports—Newark-Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, and Stewart International Airport. Following a review of the existing operations, systems, and equipment as well as interviews with staff, the team provided a comparative analysis of potential PARCS alternatives, specifications and communications design for the entire PARCS network, and procurement services.

Following procurement, Kimley-Horn has led commissioning and testing for all the lanes at all airports by performing Lane Acceptance Testing (LAT) and Site Acceptance Testing. However, the schedule for testing landed in the middle of the pandemic. “Due to COVID travel restrictions and putting the safety of our staff and clients first, we couldn’t travel on-site as we usually do,” explained Kenneth Smith (Raleigh, NC), “so we had to get creative.”

Kenneth, along with Kelly Nicholas, P.E. (Raleigh, NC), Nick Mazzenga, P.E. (Richmond, VA), and Chuck Reedstrom, CAPP (Houston, TX), conducted a virtual lane acceptance test of the new system.

“A few months ago, Kimley-Horn staff anticipated the need for performing a virtual LAT and developed the protocol,” said Kyle Sundin, PANYNJ Airport Parking and Revenue Systems Manager. “When it came time to test the Blue Lot system at JFK Airport, the virtual testing protocol was put in use.”

The team coordinated with PANYNJ staff and Designa, the PARCS vendor, to develop the protocol to ensure a precise test. This included step-by-step descriptions of the testing procedures as well as the process necessary to view the testing via video or screen sharing to make sure the system was working correctly, including any necessary video equipment. The developed protocol was in addition to the typical logs the Kimley-Horn team routinely keeps for different scenarios, tickets used, receipts, and the steps taken to verify reports.

Kyle captured essential video and images and shared them in real time using the Microsoft Teams mobile app. Designa’s representatives also were able to set up the required equipment to virtually share the software to make sure all alarms and actions were recorded. “Kimley-Horn’s testing team’s system expertise supported JFK’s virtual LAT in a way that enabled us to get the lanes up and in service prior to the Thanksgiving holiday travel period,” said Kyle.

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