Genetec’s badging solution enhances airport employee background checks

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To assist with meeting the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) stringent regulations required to verify the credentials of airport employees and contractors, Genetec has unveiled its new airport badging solution for airports to automate employee background checks and meet TSA compliance regulations.

The new Security Center Airport Badging Solution (ABS) reduces the need to work with multiple different systems and simplifies the entire badging process. Not only does the turnkey solution minimise the risk of human error but it also streamlines the overall badging process by saving time and increasing efficiency. It’s of particular benefit to smaller and regional hubs, where the badging process is often reliant on a paper trail.

“The TSA can show up at any time, in any airport, big or small, and perform a compliance audit of their badging department,” said Joseph Degrassi, Regional Director, Public Sector at Genetec. “Unfortunately smaller airports have been mananging this process using paper, which can be a time-consuming process often resulting in lost information, and potentially large fines for compliance violations. The Genetec Airport Badging Solution provides an industry first, out-of-the-box, simple solution for these airports to ensure compliance, optimise the badging process, and lower the overhead needed to run a badging department.”

ABS’ design is based on standards raised by the TSA as well as specifics from clearing houses such as AAAE. All data collected on each badge applicant is compiled and stored within the system. Customised dashboards are included within Security Center to showcase insights such as real-time applicant statuses, and unaccounted fro badge percentages so that airport administrators can make more informed decisions, especially when it comes to meeting audit and compliance regulations set by the TSA.

Frankfurt Airport selects SITA to transform passenger experience

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SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, has been selected to deploy its biometric-enabled kiosks and baggage messaging services at Frankfurt Airport, in line with the airport’s plans to increase operational efficiency and improve the passenger experience.

The installation of 87 SITA TS6 kiosks is expected to be completed later this year. The versatile biometric-enabled kiosks, which work alongisde SITA Flex, enable passengers to check in quickly and obtain bag tags for later self-bag drop services. The new SITA TS6 kiosk was the winner of the 2021 IF Design award and was credited for its slick, sustainable and adaptive design, which can be tailored to suit the airport’s brand design and specific customer requirements. Its modular design also mean modifications and enhancements can be made without replacing the entire kiosk.

“Offering passengers innovative, safer, and smarter ways to travel while also ensuring we have resilient and efficient airport operations is vital as our industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic. SITA supports us in achieving this ambition and we look forward to welcoming more passengers back to the skies,” said Pierre-Dominique Prumm, Executive Director Aviation and Infrastructure at Fraport.

The deployment at Frankfurt Airport marks SITA’s largest implementation in Europe.

Birmingham Airport named as Flybe’s new headquarters and crew base

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The revived regional carrier, Flybe, has revealed that Birmingham Airport in the UK will serve as its new headquarters and first new crew base. The launch of the new Flybe is expected not only to enhance essential regional connectivity in the UK, but also to create many valuable industry jobs and help restart local economies as they rebound from the pandemic.

The airline is among the first UK carriers to be certified by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) since Brexit. It will serve key regions across the UK and EU with operations scheduled to begin in early 2022. In a move that will create around 200 direct new jobs in the Birmingham and West Midlands region, the airline’s HQ and operations centre will be located in Birmingham Airport’s Diamond House. An additional 400 direct jobs are projected to be created nationwide.

Describing Birmingham as “an ideal choice”, Flybe CEO Dave Pflieger, cited the city’s great people, highly skilled workforce, its central UK location and the airport’s function as a global travel as reasons behind choosing the West Midlands hub as its home base.

“The announcement marks the culmination of over 12 months of dedicated hard work by all involved, and it would not have been possible without the support of the CAA and the UK Government,” he said.

Meanwhile Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport added: “Flybe’s announcement that Birmingham has been chosen to become the headquarters for its launch next spring is fantastic news for our region’s connectivity needs, and it will bring with it some great new employment opportunities. Dave’s vast experience in managing start-up airlines and turnaround situations, coupled with the recovery of the Midlands’ economy post-Covid, means that Flybe’s return to the skies from Birmingham is a shot in the arm for our airport as well as West Midlands businesses and communities. We look forward to working with Dave and his team in preparation for next spring and to launch such a well-known brand here in Birmingham.”

Luis Felipe de Oliveira

Airports to benefit from ACI World’s Sustainability Strategy

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Airports Council International (ACI) World has unveiled a report to assist airport executives with their holistic sustainability strategy.

Building on ACI’s European report, the ACI World Sustainability Strategy for Airports Worldwide provides an overview of how sustainable aviation can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It also offers an overview of the most relevant and commonly reported material sustainability topics. Topics covered include service quality, infrastructure development and safe and efficient operations.

Case studies within the report showcase best practices on how airports are implementing social, environmental, and economic sustainability initiatives and embedding them in their overall business strategy and operations.

“While sustainability is a hot topic influenced by local issues global issues such as climate change and global trends related to Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting have also emerged,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “The finance community is calling for more uniformity and harmonisation on the ways stakeholders report on sustainability, including the material topics they choose to report on. Greater consistency in this regard would facilitate secure decision-making by reducing risks related to sustainability credit ratings and the allocation of finance and investment which require sustainability criteria.”

Adding that airports must be ready for the implementation of local initiatives which can be translated into common sustainability topics and objectives at an international level, Oliveira added: “We believe ACI’s Sustainability Strategy will help airports in this regard.”

While guidance in the report was made possible with the financial support of Hamad International Airport in Qatar, it was developed in collaboration with Tailor Airey and Vancouver International Airport in Canada.

AGS Airports joins Scottish consortium to develop wind technology

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A consortium involving AGS Airports (which encompasses Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports in the UK), Katrick Technologies and the University of Strathclyde, has been formed to support the design and development of renewable technology. The aim is to produce carbon-neutral energy from previously unharnessed power and enable a faster transition to clean power by exploiting low-level wind energy.

AGS has long been committed to carbon reduction. In 2020 the airports group achieved carbon neutrality status, while earlier this year it launched its Sustainability Strategy, which outlined its commitment to achieving net-zero by the mid-2030s.

The consortium’s mission to deploy renewable technology will involve the installation of Katrick Technologies’ dual-purpose wind panel and sound barrier, which can produce carbon-neutral energy from ground and low-level wind. Meanwhile the University of Strathclyde’s climate-neutral districts vision, will see renewable technologies used across its central Scotland facilities. The team is already helping to deliver the university’s first carbon-neutral building.

Core to the consortium is Katrick Technologies’ dual-purpose wind panel and sound barrier, which can produce carbon-neutral energy from ground and low-level wind. The energy-harvesting wind panels have been designed to tackle the decarbonisation challenges common to both airports and highways – unlike traditional wind turbines they can capture wind power, without needing significant height or scale. These wind acquisition systems will be installed at Glasgow Airport, as well as on the University of Strathclyde estate.

“Partnering with technology experts and embracing innovation is essential for AGS to meet its decarbonisation goals,” explained Derek Provan, CEO of AGS Airports. “Renewable technologies have the potential to power vast amounts of on-site equipment, offset energy costs and reduce the requirement for carbon-based energy supply. In addition to supporting our transition to net zero, these wind panels also have the potential to help us manage the impact of airport-related noise which we know is an important issue for the communities we serve. Managing this is an integral part of how we grow our airports responsibly and these panels could also act as noise barriers on our airfields.”

Volotea becomes first airline to join VINCI Airports’ carbon sink programme

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Spanish low cost airline, Volotea, has partnered with VINCI Airports to join its forest carbon sink programme. The initiative was launched earlier in the year at Lyon Saint Exupery Airport in France to offset residual carbon emissions from VINCI Airports as well as its customers and partners. Volotea opened a new base at the Lyon hub in June 2021.

Commenting on the partnership Carlos Munoz, Founder and CEO of Volotea noted that, “this project reflects Volotea’s desire to offset its carbon emissions and to develop a cleaner and more environmentally friendly aviation sector.” He added that the collaboration also demonstrates how the two companies “share the same vision for the airline sector and are convinced that the future will be sustainable.”

In joining VINCI’s programme, Volotea is investing in projects that allow it to offset its carbon emissions and is in line with the LCC’s plans to transition to a less polluting sector. The airline’s efforts have been concentrated on the network’s value and eco-efficiency, the development and implementation of initiatives to reduce the emissions from its operations and support for new technologies and strategies to accelerate progress towards a more sustainable aviation sector. Volotea is also developing a 100% electric aircraft.

“Along with sustainable biofuels and hydrogen, forest carbon sequestration is an integral part of our comprehensive strategy to decarbonise air travel,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports. “This partnership demonstrates our ability to offer relevant solutions to our customers, partners and all users of our transport network.”

Servy marks milestone with 10 million digital transactions

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Servy, which offers a self-service platform for hospitality, has transacted its 10 millionth order. The milestone comes just one year after the business hit its five millionth order at Dallas Fort Worth Intenrational Airport in the US.

While it took the company five years to hit five million transactions, it’s an impressive achievement to hit another five million transactions just a year later. “It’s testament to the adoption of the technology within the industry and a true paradigm shift among guests,” said Jeff Livney, Chief Experience Officer at Servy.

“Our unrivalled scale and scope in our airport network and distribution channels mean that we have the unique capacity to analyse and assess meaningful quantities of data intelligently, to enable the right decisions to be made about what’s best for our customers and their travelling guests to enhance their journey across the network and drive revenue.”

With a presence in more than 80 airports and over 1000 restaurants and retail outlets across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, Servy has a strong track record in enabling leading airports and concessionaires to gain invaluable insights into the purchasing habits of their guests – using intelligent insights and Servy’s rapidly expanding user base.

“Given the significant and rapidly growing data size achievable by Servy’s portfolio of airports and hospitality partners, the opportunity to create the first concessions-focused artificial intelligence (AI) capability leveraging machine learning at scale is now possible. Servy Insights+ creates the opportunity for airports and hospitality partners to leverage data across the industry’s leading e-commerce platform and distribution network to drive better guest experiences and significant commercial benefits,” Livney added. “This is truly a ‘rising tides floats all boats’ moment for the industry, and we are excited to engage our partners in this consumer insights revolution.”

Servy’s portfolio, which includes the Grab Airport Marketplace (the largest e-commerce platform in airports worldwide) is helping restore confidence in the travel experience. According to Servy’s sister company Airport Dimensions, 60% of travellers would consider using digital pre-order services to make food and beverage purchases at airports, with the fastest growth occurring in the US and the UK, where Servy has a significant presence.

Honeywell improves airport operations with global launch of next-gen Navitas software suite

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Honeywell has unveiled the next generation of its Honeywell Navitas platform, a System of Systems (SoS) offering to help airport operators and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) make more informed and accurate decisions across airside operations from the approach to the gate. The launch took place on 15 November at the Dubai Airshow.

The platform’s latest updates enable automation and the digitisation of air traffic services to help achieve efficient ground movement, improve situation awareness, control and monitoring of airside and Air Traffic Management (ATM) equipment, information management and integration. Offering a collection of task-oriented systems allowing airports to digitise, visualise and automate everyday operations, such as orchestrating an aircraft’s final approach landing, taxi-in for arrivals, turnaround, pushback, taxi-out, line-up and take-off for departures.

The multi-modular system now comprises nine modules: Engineering Manager, Surface Manager, Surveillance Manager, Lights Manager, Tower Manager, Performance Manager, Turnaround Manager, Arrival / Departure Manager and Integration Manager.

“Creating the airport of the future requires a strong operational backbone that prioritises safety, experience and efficiency to adapt to the daily needs of travellers and employees,” said Philipose Jacoob, General Manager, Global Airports, Honeywell Building Technologies. “The upgrades to the Honeywell Navitas software suite support airport operations and help drive decreased operational expenses, all while promoting a higher level of safety, security and uptime and an improved experience for travellers and employees.”




Ras Al Khaimah Airport awards Egis terminal extension contract

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Egis has secured the contract with Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) International Airport for the expansion of its existing airport terminal. The signing took place on 14 November during this year’s Dubai Air Show.

Following a surge in passenger traffic, RAK Airport is looking to expand its terminal in line with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines. Egis’ responsiblity will include the initial design of the expanded terminal as well as concept design study of a new terminal that is expected to accommodate close to two million passengers in the next 10 years.

“To keep up with this demand of passenger traffic, and welcome more and more airline partners, our immediate focus is on working to enhance our existing terminal at the earliest and simultaneously work on designing a brand new terminal with international standards and innovative facilities ,” said CEO of RAK Airport, Atansios Titonis.

Egis already has a strong presence in the Middle East region with some of its most notable projects including Riyadh Airport where Egis oversaw the delivery and construction of new airside infrastructure. It is also working on the design and development of a greenfield airport to serve a new ultra-luxury resort located on Saudia’s northwest coast by the Red Sea and Abha International Airport where Egis was behind the master plan and provided design and construction services for the new terminal building.

Commenting on the new contract, Alaa Abusiam, CEO Egis Middle East, said: “Egis has been awarded several aviation projects, and our experience and knowledge surpasses design as we are able to take on both the role of engineer, as well as airport operators as we plan ahead. Our goal is to provide the best possible solution to improve the passenger experience throughout their airport joourney and our vast aviation experience in the Middle East and beyond will help us achieve that.”

Electric islander aircraft one flight closer for Isles of Scilly

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The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) – which operates local airline Skybus – has signed a letter of intent with UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) to bring hydrogen-powered flight to the Scilly Islands off the west coast of Cornwall.

Using Britten-Norman’s expertise as the original equipment manufacturer for one of the world’s most successful low-cost, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, CAES is leading the collaboration under Project Fresson. As part of the project ISSG sold one of its aircraft to CAeS to be retrofitted with hydrogen fuel cell technology.

“It is incredibly important for the future of our planet that we deliver emission-free aircraft and I am delighted to see the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s commitment to this outcome. I would encourage contact from airlines of all sizes who would like to find out how these aircraft can be part of their future,” said Paul Hutton, CEO of CAeS.

The original concept for a zero-carbon aircraft led Britten-Norman and CAeS to consider battery power technology. However it soon became apparent that the impact of weight, charge time and charging infrastructure made a battery-only solution impractical.

By moving to a hydrogen-electric fuel cell option provides operators with greater flexibility, higher passenger load and improvements to the bottom line through a potential 50% reduction in powertrain maintenance cost and a 40-50% reduction in variable costs.

Green hydrogen can be produced locally using renewable energy. It can also be stored at an operating base with relative ease and without the need to provide complex charging networks.

What’s more, turnaround times between sectors are similar to those achieved with fossil fuels, providing greater resilience to operations.

ISSG’s Chief Executive, Stuart Reid, describe the partnership as an “exciting development.” He added that “the letter of intent for hydrogen aircraft really shows our commitment towards a zero-emission aviation industry and to becoming an early adopter of this cutting-edge technology.”