Bournemouth Airport trials fever detection te..

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Europe’s biggest independent IT solutions provider, SCC, is trialling an innovative Thermal Fever Detection Technology at Bournemouth Airport in the UK.

The technology, which is also being extensively tested in hospitals and restaurants as well as in airports across Britain, uses devices ranging from handheld to fixed multi-camera systems to record body temperature and identify anyone displaying signs of fever, with real-time alerts to enable interception and help prevent the spread of virus. It will also help to reduce the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

As businesses prepare to resume operations they will be required to demonstrate that proactive measures are in place to safeguard the health and wellbeing of employees and customers within their premises. At Bournemouth Airport, a mobile Thermal Temperature Detection system, mounted on a tripod in the staff entrance has been installed. This can be monitored by security staff who will be able to identify personnel displaying signs of high temperature before the employee can socialise with colleagues.

The next phase will see the introduction of a multi-camera system, positioned at each entry point across the airport’s terminal building, in departures and arrivals, enabling border staff to intercept any passengers showing signs of high temperature.

“When the UK is ready to ease strict lockdown measures, we will see permanent changes to the way we live and work, and all businesses will need to implement new protective measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases by reducing the opportunity for transmission,” said James Rigby, CEO, SCC.

Header image: James Rigby, SCC CEO.

Paine Field Airport implements fever detectio..

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Propeller Airports has implemented a fever detection system at Paine Field Airport in Snohomish County, Washington, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Influenza and other illnesses.

Developed by Athena Security, the Elevated Body Temperature Detection System is a non-invasive, non-contact technology that alerts airport personnel when a passenger has a fever. Prior to entering the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint, all passengers will be screened by a thermal camera and will be offered a second screening if a fever is confirmed. The passenger and the airline will then determine their ability to travel.

The introduction of the fever detection system follows the introduction in March of an innovative and proprietary UV technology used to disinfect and clean high-touch areas throughout the passenger terminal, including check-in desks. This will not only help expedite sterilisation, but it will also help build public trust that airports are safe in a post COVID-19 world.

“During this difficult time, the addition of Athena’s Elevated Body Temperature Detection System is a vital step to ensure the health and safety of our passengers, airline partners and staff,” said Brett Smith, CEO of Propellor Airports. “Since opening, we have been committed to staying on the forefront of trends and innovations to provide the best possible experience to our passengers, and we’re proud to be the first US passenger terminal to roll out this type of technology. The use of this system will allow us to maintain the seamless, safe and modern travel experience our customers have come to expect,” he continued.

Lisa Falzone, CEO of Athena Security, added that, “As global air travel has come to a halt, the ability to pre-screen for COVID-19 fevers is proving to be a life-saving option to funnel infected travellers away from large groups now and in the future as other pandemics and flu-seasons arise.”


Editor’s comment: Now boarding for the age ..

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Although we don’t know quite when, we do know that one day the world will travel again. And when it does, the passenger journey will be a very different one to pre-COVID-19.

Wizz Air, which plans to resume some of its services from London Luton Airport on 1 May, has already outlined enhanced health and safety measures that will be in place for its passengers. These will include physical distancing before and during boarding and customers are advised to check-in and make any additional purchases, such as adding extra baggage, online before arriving at the airport.

Looking further down the line, a report by Singapore-based aviation marketing consultancy, SimpliFlying, has mapped out 70 areas of the passenger journey that could change due to the demands of travellers. It suggests that in the age of sanitised travel, passengers will be required to upload an immunity passport confirming the presence of antibodies for COVID-19. Once at the airport, only those travelling will be allowed to enter the airport, and they should arrive at least four hours prior to departure. Before they are allowed in the departure area, they will need to show their immunity passport or go through a disinfection tunnel and thermal scanners, to determine whether they are ‘fit to fly’. Bags will also go through UV disinfection or a ‘fogging’ process to be ‘sanitagged’.

Touchless vending machines in the boarding area, the need to maintain social distancing in the departure lounge and individual notifications delivered to passengers via their mobile phones are all to be expected in the age of sanitised travel.

Similarly, on arrival at their destination, passenger bags will be ‘sanitagged’ before being placed on the conveyor belt and thermal scanners will be used to identify passengers with a potential fever.

Passengers will seek assurance that they are not at risk of contracting a virus and consistency across countries will be required to help boost confidence in travel. As such a Transport Health Authority (THA) will define health screening and sanitation standards throughout the travellers’ journey.

There are bound to be other predictions about what the passenger journey of tomorrow will look like following the current pandemic. As passengers, we used to complain about airport queues and long waiting times. But it looks like this is something we will all have to get used to once the industry rebounds. I’ll embrace it, I can’t wait to travel tomorrow. But for the time being I know the right thing is to stay home.

Have a safe weekend,

Chloë Greenbank, Regional Gateway Editor.

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Tampa Airport launches robust plan to keep pa..

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With the gradual return of passengers anticipated and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 Tampa International Airport (TPA) is implementing a number of changes to its facilities and operations.

In an airport-wide effort dubbed ‘TPA Ready’ the plan mandates practices for social distancing, mask usage, plastic shield barriers, surface disinfection and touchless transactions, all designed to slow or stop the spread of germs and viruses. The airport will also urge passengers to follow guidelines designed to keep them and others healthy and safe.

Some of the changes include plastic or acrylic shields that will be installed in high-traffic areas such as ticket kiosks, security checkpoints, boarding gates and concessions counters. All employees will be required to wear face masks. Thousands of ground markings and signs will give guidance on six-foot distancing ticket counters, boarding gates, shuttles, SkyConnect, concessions counters, US Customs and other common areas. Seating throughout the airport will be reduced, blocked off or spaced apart and TPA is employing additional cleaning crew staff, using cutting-edge disinfection applications and products on surfaces, hand rails and elevator buttons. The number of hand sanitisers throughout the airport will also be increased.

Passengers are advised to wear face masks and arrive at least two hours before departure. Travellers should use carry-on luggage and mobile boarding passes to limit touchpoints.

“We know there’s an eagerness among our travellers and employees to resume our normal lives again, that new normal may look very different than what we were accustomed to pre-COVID-19,” said TPA’s CEO Joe Lopano. “Keeping people safe is always our top priority at TPA, and as people plan to come back, we want to ensure we are offering an environment that is clean, healthy and ready for business.”

ACI Europe calls for full EU co-ordination an..

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“Our sector cannot afford to exit this crisis the way we entered it,” said Airports Council International (ACI) Europe President, Jost Lammers talking ahead of the EU Transport Ministerial meeting being held on 29 April. He was underlining that full and effective coordination at EU level and with industry is the single most crucial factor in the restoration of air connectivity.

“Air connectivity has essentially collapsed and with it not just tourism, but scores of other businesses relying on the physical flow of people and goods – both across the Single Market and globally. Protecting livelihoods now requires planning for how we can reconnect our communities, and that must be fully and effectively coordinated at EU level. We cannot afford to exit this crisis the way we got into it,” Lammers continued.

With airports ready to assist health and aviation authorities to conduct operations in the safest possible way for passengers and staff, Lammers highlighted the need for airports to be effectively consulted ahead of new measures being designed and adopted. He also underlined a series of key principles including the need for coherence when it comes to the operational measures that both airports and airlines will need to comply with. This, he said  “means that measures must be the same or at the very least equivalent not just for the whole air transport network, but also between transport modes and across other tourism industries.”

In addition, COVID-19 related operational measures at airports will need to be risk-based, implementable, flexible , cost effective and temporary, with ACI arguing that these measures should be publicly financed since protecting health falls within the public remit.

The association has also called for a new framework to allow EU States to establish short-term ‘air connectivity restoration schemes’ to provide airlines with operating aid to restart routes considered strategic for the economic recovery. It also pointed once more to the issue of slot allocation, stating that airlines should be required to notify airports – at both ends of a route – of flight cancellations and return slots to the coordinators with a minimum of four weeks’ notice. This will allow airports to match their operations to actual traffic levels and also to attract other carriers to restore connectivity during the recovery phase.

Seven ENAIRE projects selected to forge ahead..

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The European Commission has chosen seven ENAIRE (Spain’s air navigation manager) projects involving the the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Exploratory Research programme to advance the Single European Sky.

The ENAIRE and CRIDA (ENAIRE’s non-profit innovation centre) projects were chosen from 29 proposals selected out of a total of 128 applications there were presented for the fourth call of the European commission’s SESAR Exploratory Research.

The high proportion of awarded projects demonstrates the creative potential of ENAIRE and CRIDA to contribute innovative ideas towards the digitisation of European ATM.

The seven projects will be executed in a period of 30 months, and those that provide the most promising results will be considered for subsequent phases of research and development, both within the SESAR program and within the framework of Horizon Europe. ENAIRE will play an active role in all seven initiatives:

DACUS Project: Promotes services to balance capacity and demand in drone traffic. It integrates tools with predictions based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). ENAIRE is taking part in this proposal under the leadership of CRIDA, together with EUROCONTROL, Boeing Resarch & Technology Europe S.L.U., ISA Software Limited (ISA), Ingenieria y Economia del Transporte (INECO), Jeppesen GmbH (JEPP), Darmstadt University (Tuda), Sopra Steria Group (SSG), Toulouse Metropole (TM) and AHA (Netgenid ehf).

SINAPSE Project: Studies of a digital communications network, based on software augmented with AI. ENAIRE’s participation in this initiative, which is led by ALTYS Technologies, is alongside Frequentis AG and University of Bradforden,

FARO Project: Analyses the impact of new automations on the security and resilience of ATM systems. CRIDA is leading this proposal in collaboration with ENAIRE, EUROCONTROL, Madrid Polytechnic University (UPM), Belgrade University (UB), Lund University (LU) and ZenaByte.

TAPAS Project: Facilitates the understanding of the results of AI and machine learning systems to ensure they are transparent and explainable, in order to facilitate their implementation in ATM. CRIDA is also leading this project in collaboration with Boeing Research & Technology Europe SLU, ISA Software Limited (ISA), INDRA Sistemas (INDRA), University of Piraeus (UPRC) and the Fraunhofer Research Center.

ITACA Project: Develops tools and methodologies that evaluate new policies and regulations, to accelerate the development and implementation of new technologies in ATM. Together with Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (KTH) and Transport & Mobility Leuven, under the leadership of Nommon Solutions and Technologies (NOMMON) CRIDA is involved.

ISOBAR Project: Addresses the use of AI and probability predictions of meteorological phenomena to improve the efficiency of demand and capacity management. CRIDA is spearheading this proposal in which Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Universidad de Cranfield (CU), EUROCONTROL, Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC) Direction des Services de la Navigation Aerienne (DSNA), Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. (SWR), Sopra Steria Group (SSG), Earth Networks (EN), Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) and Météo-France (MF) are all taking part.

NOSTROMO Project: Develops performance measurement models for ATM at the European level, using AI. The aim is to keep the system simple and transparent, while preserving the complexity necessary to represent the ATM system realistically. CRIDA is also leading this initiative, which also involves Nommon Solutions and Technologies (NOMMON), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), ISA Software Limited (ISA), University of Westminster (WU) and University of Denmark (DTU).


Harbour Air resumes services between Vancouve..

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Canadian-based seaplane operator Harbour Air has resumed limited services (two daily and one on weekends) between Vancouver Harbour and Victoria Harbour in British Columbia.

After a brief suspension to its scheduled services which began on 28 March, Harbour Air began resuming operations earlier this month on 6 April with flights between Vancouver Harbour and Nanaimo  and on the 13 April between Nanaimo and Sechelt. Additional flights are scheduled from 3 May.

The routes currently being served are being flown on a 14-seater DHC6 Twin Otter aircraft, with seating capped at 40% to comply with physical distancing measures.

Rohde & Schwarz performs aerial installa..

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Rohde & Schwarz has performed an impressive installation of its latest direction finding (DF) antenna by helicopter for the German air navigation service provider (ANSP) DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH.

The DF antenna, which is part of a new air traffic control (ATC) solution (R&S DF-ATC) that allows controllers to obtain accurate DF results for up to 32 channels in parallel, was installed in an almost inaccessible location.

Having completed five of the six contracted installations, the last proved to be the most challenging. The site was located within a forest and was only accessible via a narrow track, which was unpassable for a truck-mounted crane without cutting down part of the forest. The aerial installation was deemed a more environmentally-friendly solution.

Rohde & Schwarz were awarded the contract for R&S DF-ATC sytems in 2018, at the DFS centre in Langen and five German airports (Nuremberg, Hamburg, Münster/Osnabrück, Stuttgart and Hanover). The systems increase the air traffic controller’s situational awareness by clearly referencing calling aircraft on a radar screen. The ATC DFs are housed in weatherproof units and usually mounted underneath a DF antenna that is three metres in diameter and weighs 120 kilograms. They are typically installed at a height of five meters, but to be taller than the surrounding trees, this was increased to 35 meters.

“Installation by helicopter was a very special challenge and certainly not without risk, while the current security situation made it even more complicated organisationally,” explained Henrik Rausch, Senior Program Manager Monitoring and Network Testing at Rohde & Schwarz. “Site by site, we delivered and installed new direction finders and we are very proud to provide DFS with our latest technology. We have an excellent partnership with our customer, who benefits from our expertise in providing complete ATC direction finding systems as a turnkey solution. It is part of our advanced CERTIUM universe.”

Header image: An antenna for the R&S DF-ATC direction finding solution, part of the CERTIUM LOCATE family, is mounted by helicopter for DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (Image: Rohde & Schwarz)

Westchester Airport to repave runway during t..

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Situated just outside New York City, Westchester County Airport has now closed temporarily. Although the majority of the airport’s activity is from general and business aviation customers, around 14% of Westchester’s operations are from commercial airlines. The White Plains hub is served by United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Blue, Cape Air, Tradewind Aviation and American Airlines.

Westchester is believed to be the first commercial airport in the US to close entirely during the coronavirus pandemic.

While the airport is closed officials are taking the opportunity to carry out much needed maintenance, including repair work to the airport’s 6,500 ft runway. Originally the airport had planned to carry out the work to repave the runway overnight during a four month period later in the year. The extreme downturn in aviation activity at the airport as a result of the current crisis has provided an opportunity to carry out this work ahead of schedule.

A statement from the airport read: “The decision to close the runways for an extended period of time was made in an effort to reduce the construction impact on flight activity when Westchester County Airport operations return to normal. By completing construction and repaving during an airport closure, the need for the installation and removal of temporary runway pavement to continue daily operations will be eliminated.”

Swedavia expands rent relief for concessionai..

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Swedish airport operator, Swedavia, has expanded rent relief measures for around 100 businesses across its portfolio of ten airports.

In response to the Swedish Government’s aid package, Swedavia originally introduced rent relief measures for some 50 businesses, including restaurants and retail shops in mid-March. The airport operator has now taken the decision to make full use of the government’s aid package for rent relief and to expand this assistance by introducing relief for another 50 businesses not covered by the government’s relief package.

“We are concerned about our partners, and we realised early on that the situation would be really difficult for many tenants,” said Charlotte Ljunggren, Director of Marketing and Commercial Development at Swedavia. “In addition to Swedavia making use of the government’s aid package to the full extent, the rent relief measures are being expanded to also include businesses at the airports that are strongly affected by the reduced passenger flow but that cannot take advantage of the government’s rent relief measures,” she continued.

This latest initiative means that around 50 businesses will now be entitled to rent relief of 25% even though they are not covered by the government’s aid package. Furthermore all businesses covered by the government’s aid package but not included in the assistance measures decided by Swedavia in March will now be able to benefit from this retroactively.

While the rent relief measures are currently in effect until 30 June Swedavia will review the impact on operations at its airports on an ongoing basis taking into account any adjustments the government makes in its package.

Commenting on how the entire sector is currently facing an extremely challenging situation, Ljunggren stated: “We basically have no operating revenue and right now are losing about 500 million kroner in revenue each month, but at the same time we are also dependent on the survival of our partners and tenants. Thus despite our situation, we are trying to do everything we possibly can to help so that together we will be able to get through this crisis.”