Founded in 1998, Firstco are control and communication systems engineers, specialising in the transportation sector. Working predominately in airports, railways and intermodal operations our clients include infrastructure owners, operators, engineering consultancies, construction contractors and systems solution providers. Our experience includes the technologies and solutions commonly grouped as Communications, Security, Operational and Control & Monitoring systems, and often referred to as IT, ICT, SAS or ELV systems.
Based in London, we now employ over 80 staff and work extensively across the UK. We have grown into an international consultancy and system integrator with projects in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and we are currently exploring expansion into Asia and America.
As systems engineers we work throughout the asset lifecycle; consulting, delivering and supporting the growing number of technologies used to automate operational people and process.
Working from strategy to operations, Firstco specify, design, deliver, commission, integrate, trial, transition, support and maintain systems. We also specialise in stakeholder, interface, requirements and assurance management which are an increasingly complex and critical part of any infrastructure programme.
By remaining product-independent, we can help our customers to select the right solutions then ensure that they are configured to achieve effective and efficient operations. Our Technical Innovation Group work with emerging technologies and solution/product suppliers to identify opportunities and business benefits for introducing new solutions into high integrity environments.Airport Technologies
A modern airport will have more than 150 systems with constantly developing and converging technologies, which are critical to safety, security and operation. In the world of ‘big data’, airport operators require increasing interoperability to efficiently manage their sites, and their stakeholders, regulators and passengers expect and demand easy access to a greater level of real-time data. However, with increasing global security issues and the advent of cyber threats, the need for secure, robust and resilient solutions has never been greater.
As existing airports continue to expand and new airports are constructed, it is imperative that the technology systems are considered from the outset and delivered as an integral part of the overall programme. The prerequisites and interfaces with the architecture, civil engineering, baggage and M&E solutions must be managed throughout to avoid costly delays at the point when the project hands over into the live operational environment.
Firstco’s broad experience over all these technologies, and throughout the entire asset lifecycle allows for a Value Assured Engineering approach to oversee the end-to-end solution, engaging the right specialist contractors at the right time in the process, to ensure quality on-time, on-budget delivery.Firstco’s Aviation Experience
Firstco have worked at London Heathrow Airport for 20 years and have been involved throughout the major airport development programmes and in day-to-day operations.
Development programmes include:
• Terminal 2 and Eastern Campus – Information and Control Systems (ICS)
- ICS Design Leadership – strategy, scope, requirements, concept
- ICS Scheme Design – Master Systems Integrator
- DMI (Design, Manage, Integrate) – ICS technical assurance through delivery
• Terminal 5
- T5 Rail & Tunnels Guidance Team – design & commissioning leadership
- T5 Rail & Tunnels Comms and Controls – design, delivery and integration
- Airside Road Tunnel – control systems design and project management
- Energy Centre and Control Tower – commissioning management
• Heathrow Express
- Station systems, original design and build, into operation
- Extension of systems to Terminal 5 subsurface station and tunnels - Support and maintenance for 15 years
Engineering and operational solutions include:
Firstco are framework suppliers for SCADA across the airport
• HEART – utilities control and monitoring
• Heathrow Pods – automated people movers
• APOC – airport centralised command and control facility
• FAMS – centralised fire alarm monitoring across all terminals
• Campus-wide metering and energy management
• Baggage Handling Systems (BHS)
Support and maintenance of Heathrow’s systems, including:
• Heathrow Rail
• Heathrow Pods
In addition to our work at London Heathrow Airport, Firstco have worked on UK aviation projects including:
• Gatwick Airport – North Terminal redevelopment, Pier 3 expansion options, airfield utilities control & monitoring
• Manchester Airports Group – London Stansted Airport Tracked Transit System (TTS) / Automated People Mover (APM) control system, utilities monitoring
• Birmingham Airport – Airport Operation Systems specifications
Middle East airports including:
• UAE – Dubai International, Dubai World Central and Abu Dhabi International
• Oman – Muscat International and Salalah airports
• Qatar – New Doha International Airport
• Saudi Arabia – Jeddah, Madinah and Riyadh airports
• Other GCC – Kuwait and Bahrain airports
- James Whitehead, Aviation Consultant