Web Work in the Works

By Eileen Feretic  |  Posted 2009-06-01 Print this article Print

At Los Angeles World Airports, the IT organization is laying the groundwork to become the world’s most technologically advanced airport.


In May, LAWA launched a new intranet site for its approximately 4,000 employees, 191 of whom are in the Information Technology Services Division. “Eventually, we will probably allow city employees to have access to the intranet as well,” Nessi says. “We want to have a very strong collaborative environment.

“Our intranet is basically the same as the intranet we designed when I was the CIO at the National Park Service, and it was wildly successful there. We’re using all the same features and the same format. And, like the employees at the National Park Service, our staff members will be able to access the intranet every day to get the latest news about our airports, as well as information about the airport/airline business.”

The majority of LAWA’s employees have access to the intranet from their desktop computers, and there are kiosks available for the security and maintenance staffs to use. In May, a handheld version of the intranet was deployed for employees who do not have a desktop computer.

“Our intranet will have wikis, chat rooms and blogs, which will be very valuable to the airport because our employees have a tremendous wealth of intelligence, but we don’t always have all their knowledge committed to paper,” Nessi explains. “Wikis are a great way of sharing knowledge among employees.

“We recently tested a wiki on the A380 plane because everybody has a lot of interest in that aircraft. It’s great to have at your fingertips the ability to find out how big the wing is or how tall the tail is, or which gates can accommodate the A380. These are important things for our employees to know.”

LAWA is considering expanding the intranet into an extranet in the near future so that city officials, councilmen and possibly local community groups can have access to some of that information. “First, we have to see what kinds of content we have on the intranet and determine who gets access to each type,” Nessi says. “For example, if we have contracting plans and procurement information on the intranet, we need to restrict access to that section of the site. So we’re working on developing our editorial content policy.”

Eileen Feretic is the Editor of Baseline Magazine.

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