Since 1929, South Bend Regional Airport has enjoyed a rich and storied history as part of the area’s pivotal role as a transportation hub.
Amelia Earhart made a stop there on her attempted around−the−world flight.
Nine U.S. presidents have landed there.
Today, more than one million travelers pass through its terminals annually.
SBRA has been a significant economic generator in the community, with an estimated annual economic impact topping $433 million.
The Airport Authority employs approximately 60 staff members; another 750 people are employed by the airport’s tenants (airlines, railroad, restaurant, etc.). With so much literally riding on the airport’s services, it is crucial to offer patrons and tenants the most cost−effective, reliable connectivity.
So it just made good business sense to take advantage of the many benefits offered by St. Joe Valley Metronet. The airport’s server is hosted at Union Station, one of Indiana’s two carrier hotels, to maximize efficiency.
"As with so many other businesses, we rely heavily on the Internet and email, so reliability is very important to us," says John Schalliol, executive director of SBRA.
"Our patrons rely on our web site for flight and other information, so we need to be in a position to quickly update our site. In addition, the feed for our flight data is Web−based."
The airport also provides patrons in the terminal with access to Wi−Fi.
Airport staff are able to access the County Global Information System via the Metronet. The GIS contains data layers such as property boundaries, municipal boundaries, voter precincts, topography, aerial photography, zoning, hydrology, roads, census, survey points and sections.
"Since becoming a Metronet subscriber, reliability has been very high," Schalliol says.
In addition, the airport has experienced significant cost savings by using the Metronet, amounting to "thousands of dollars every year," he says.
For example, SBRA was able to obtain 10 Mbps of Internet for as low as $90 a month. Using more traditional technologies for Internet access would have been significantly more expensive − and would have offered substantially less bandwidth.
With the airport poised for tremendous growth in the coming years, Metronet provides SBRA with the flexibility it will need to serve the changing needs of the community.