Perth Airport welcomes Australia’s first Aspire Lounge

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Swissport International is expanding its lounge business in the Asia-Pacific region having launched the first Australian lounge under its global Aspire brand at Perth Airport.

The addition of the Aspire lounge at the Perth follows Swissport’s acquisition of No1 lounges with facilities in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The new Aspire lounge was developed in partnership with Perth Airport and is open to all passengers departing from Terminal 2. The terminal is currently home to charter and regional flights operated by Virgin Australia, Alliance Australia and Rex.

Passengers accessing the lounge can make use of comfortable seating and a relaxing atmosphere for 120 guests. Amenities include a variety of digital magazines and newspapers, charging facilities, televisions and free Wi-Fi.

“We are excited to bring our renowned Aspire lounge brand to Perth Airport. It will make travelling for our guests as relaxing as possible,” said Brad Moore, Swissport’s Managing Director Australia. “Our lounge products are carefully designed to meet the unique and evolving needs of our airport and airline partners. The remote area workers that frequent Perth’s Terminal 2 will have access to a peaceful new space for socialising and dining, adding some extra comforts to the start of their journey.”

Perth Airport’s CCO, Kate Holsgrove, added: “Pay-per-use lounges are becoming more popular at airports around the world. It is great to be able to open the new Aspire Lounge to our regional passengers as a place to escape the hustle and bustle before their flight.”

The airport is set to welcome a second Aspire lounge later this year. It will be built in the airport’s former control centre and part of the observation deck, transforming it into a dedicated space for passengers to unwind and enjoy sweeping views of the airport and the city skyline before embarking on their journey.

Gainesville Regional Airport unveils new terminal expansion

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Florida-based Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) marked the opening of its newly upgraded terminal with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the end of July.

The 15,200 sq.ft. two-gate passenger terminal expansion and improvement project was completed less than two years after breaking ground.

Providing a variety of passenger amenities and services to accommodate increased passenger traffic and demand, the expanded terminal features additional restrooms, a new food and beverage area, a quiet reflection room and an outdoor pet relief area, while connectivity features in every passenger chair.

GNV’s CEO, Allan Penksa, expressed his gratitude to those involved in the new terminal by  saying they have been “instrumental in shaping the vision for this great community asset.” He also paid homage to the local construction teams for “working hard through all types of conditions,” to realise the almost $16 million project that is part of the airport’s master plan.

“This project has been years in the making and is an important milestone in our continuing efforts to provide high quality air service and passenger facilities to our region,” added Penksa. “The fact that all involved were able to do this so well and uninterrupted despite the challenges of a worldwide pandemic is simply amazing.”

Meanwhile, Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority (GACRAA) Chairwoman, Grace Horvath, said as the community comes out of the pandemic, passengers are truly responding to the airport’s enhanced service and GNV’s ‘Fly Easy’ experience. “Beyond the capacity improvements and ability to support new service, this project provides an even more beautiful front door to our region, one we can all be proud of,” she noted.

The airport’s terminal expansion project was paid for by a combination of state and federal grants, along with passenger facility charges collected by the airport’s carriers, Delta and American Airlines. The terminal expansion and boarding bridges are the second and third phases of terminal investment, with final phases including addition parking options, new outbound, baggage screening/ handling system and additional airline operations space to better accommodate existing and future carriers.

Five more airlines move into Manchester Airport’s revamped Terminal Two

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Having unveiled its new-look Terminal Two earlier this month with flights initially being operated by, TUI and Singapore Airlines, Manchester Airport has now welcomed the next wave of airlines that will start flying from its new state-of-the-art terminal.

A selection of new shops, bars and restaurants have also opened their doors. Initially only a handful of units have opened in line with current passenger numbers. These include popular local brands in addition to well-known high street names including Pret-a-Manger and Costa Coffee. The remaining units will open as more airlines move across as passenger numbers increase.

Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Brussels Airlines all moved operations to the new terminal on Tuesday 20 July. As a new carrier at Manchester Airport, airBaltic started services to Riga in Latvia earlier this month and will move over to T2 on 21 July followed by Ethiopian on 22 July.

Having flown from Manchester Airport for more than 30 years Singapore Airlines will once again connect the North to the Far East and beyond through the excellent onward connectivity at Changi Airport.

More airlines are expected to move across to the terminal as summer progresses and international travel restrictions ease.

“Last week was such a huge and poignant milestone in Manchester Airport’s 83-year history as we opened our new Terminal Two extension,” says Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport.

“As the government continues to cautiously lift the lid on international travel restrictions and gives more freedom to double vaccinated passengers, its great to see more of our airline partners resume services, increase frequencies and move across to their new home in Terminal Two.

“Not only will opening the new terminal help with our COVID-19 recovery, as passenger demand hopefully increases as more countries are added to the green list, but it will also give our customers the best experience as they jet off on their holidays.”


Study on electric air route between Umea and Are Ostersund Airport underway

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Swedish airport opearator Swedavia is taking part in a feasibility study for fossil-free aviation in northern Sweden, which has been granted SEK 9.5 million by the Swedish Energy Agency. Part of the study involves investigating an electric air route between Umeå Airport and Åre Östersund Airport.

The project is being run in partnership with the Municipality of Umeå, BioFuel Region, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and RISE Processum. The project’s aim is to investigate the conditions needed for aviation powered by biofuels, electricity and hydrogen. The overall goal is to map out the conditions required for green aviation and to survey sustainable value chains as well as studying what the conditions at the airports are like for introducing fossil-free fuels.

“For many years, Swedavia has been involved in and driven the transition to fossil-free aviation, which is absolutely crucial to the transport of the future, which includes aviation,” said B-O Lindgren, Airport Director at Swedavia’s Umeå Airport.

We have driven this work through a number of initiatives and in collaboration with the rest of the aviation industry, with a focus on increasing the potential to choose sustainable aviation fuel. We are also working to prepare our airports for handling electric aircraft when these are available in the commercial market. We consider it very positive that the project is now starting up with our partners. It will be an important piece of the puzzle in the continued work to achieve fossil-free aviation – regionally, nationally and internationally.

Swedavia, which operates and develops 10 state-owned airports in Sweden, previously adopted a strategy for electric aviation to enable all the airports in its portfolio to handle electric aircraft and that the first commercial electric air route can be placed in service in around 2025.

In the Autumn of 2020, Åre Östersund Airport became the first of Swedavia’s airports to test and prepare the infrastructure to enable a transition to the increased electrification of aviation, under the electric aviation project, Green Flyway.

Milan Linate unveils €40 million interior revamp

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Following its exterior makeover in 2018, Milan Linate has now unveiled its interior revamp featuring three key elements: design, technology and sustainability.

The aim of the airport’s €40 million new look was to give the airport a new identity that would characterise the spaces, atmosphere and materials in order to improve the traveller experience and enhance customer satisfaction. For the operational areas, the project was inspired by the guidelines of neuro-architecture, a method whereby neuroscience is applied to architecture, aiming to create spaces capable of fostering well-being, while reducing stress and anxiety to a minimum.

Work on Linate’s terminal involved the architectural and functional redesign of the check-in area, security filters and duty-free area. The terminal has also been expanded and now covers an area of 10,000 sq. m. over three floors. It features new gates and check-in facilities as well as a new shopping arcade and a new food and beverage area.

The check-in area has been redesigned with a double-height ceiling and with the inclusion of plants overlooking the first floor to create a calm, green space. The existing suspended ceilings have been replaced with wood-effect slats which have been alternated with plasterboard sails that enhance the perception of the surrounding space. An integrated lighting system emphasises the curved lines of the sails and the LED profiles alternating with the baffles. Meanwhile, the check-in desks have been redesigned to identify the SEA brand, with soft brass-covered edges.

The area dedicated to security checks has also been redesigned and reopened back in October 2020. The architectural elements, colours and materials in this area were chosen to reduce as much as possible the stress that security checks can cause passengers. The latest generation technologies have also been incorporated into the security check area too simplify and speed up the process.

New Explosive Detect Systems for Cabin Baggage (EDS-CB) that use CT technology have also been installed. The high efficiency of the system allows for screening without the need to separate electronics and liquids from carry-on baggage, further enhancing the travel experience.

Thanks to next generation biometric technology passengers can opt to have their ID verified using biometric technology, therefore reducing the need to show their paper documents at various stages throughout the airport journey.

To further reinforce a sense of place, the airport collaborated with Triennale Design Museum, which has allowed for the installation of historical works by famous Italian designers throughout the airport.

The new terminal has also been awarded BREEAM In-Use excellent certification – the environmental certification for buildings constructed according to sustainability principles.

Skyports builds momentum with vertiport project in Japan

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Skyports has been selected to participate in two upcoming vertiport projects aimed at delivering electric take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLS) in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture.

Skyports has been accepted as one of five organisations to contribute eVTOL expertise to the Osaka Prefecture Super City. The project will see Skyports play a pivotal role in the development of infrastructure and drone delivery services. In addition to working with industry partners on the planning of the network, Skyports aims to have an operational passenger eVTOL vertiport in place by the Osaka-Kansai World Expo in 2025.

“Our knowledge of locating, designing, building and operating infrastructure for air taxis and drone deliveries is second to none. As part of these projects, we are helping Osaka fulfill its vision of becoming an urban air mobility centre in Japan, providing not only a vital facility to support the burgeoning air taxi market, but demonstrating the benefits that drone delivery services will provide to the region,” said Duncan Walker, CEO at Skyports. “The fact that we have been selected to contribute to multiple programmes aimed at developing Japan’s AAM ecosystem is testament to the work that Skyports does. We look forward to working with new and existing partners to enable AAM to thrive.”

Ryo Segawa, Industrial Strategy Group, Industry Innovation Promotion Division, Growth Industry Promotion Office, Department of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Osaka Prefectural Government, added: “We understand that it is one of the most important subjects to build a user-friendly vertiport which can be easily utilised by eVTOL manufacturers, fleet operators, passengers, and other parties considering the introduction of eVTOL into society. In this context, we are very happy to welcome Skyports to join Osaka Round Table because they have a broad knowledge and are actively working in this area globally.”

The city of Osaka, alongside Osaka Prefecture, aims to become a model smart city by providing cutting-edge services in multiple fields and implementing bold regulatory reforms, thereby establishing its place as a world leader in advanced technology and a pioneer of city life of the future.

Europe’s travel and tourism sectors call for clear restart plan in time for summer

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Formed of a group of more than 60 public and private  travel and tourism organisations, the Europe Tourism Manifesto Alliance has unveiled a series of joint recommendations for EU member states on how to relaunch travel and tourism in time for summer 2021.

At the heart of the EU’s plans is the development of an EU roadmap for restoring travel once countries emerge from national lockdowns to be developed and implemented in close cooperation with industry and social partners.

The joint recommendations laid out by the European Tourism Manifesto alliance were shared with the EU government ahead of the crucial discussions.

A statement from the alliance read: “Our goal is for Europe to return to its place as the leading tourist destination in the world – and a safe one. As EU vaccination programmes progress and protect the most vulnerable citizens, we must jointly prepare for the restart of travel. There is simply no time to lose – preparations on a common approach should begin now, in order to restore public confidence by the summer. Our recommendations detail a joint way forward towards restoring travel & tourism and freedom of movement on behalf of European citizens. We look forward to working with EU leaders to put this plan into action as soon as possible.”

A summary of the recommendations to EU Member States includes:

  • The creation of an EU Task Force to restore freedom of movement of people.
  • Coordination of travel restrictions
  • Testing: A harmonised EU framework for travel-related testing should encompass member states to ensure affordable testing, sufficient capacity, mutual recognition of tests between Member States and continuous work at international level for the mutual recognition of tests, as well as the validation of the use of antigen and other rapid tests for travel and tourism purposes.
  • E-Health certificates: EU coordination of national initiatives is urgently needed too avoid having 27 different certificates covering testing, vaccination and/ or immunity.
  • Coordinated reopening of tourism activities – once the health situation allows it, it is crucial to restart tourism and leisure activities alongside re-establishing freedom of movement for EU citizens.


Nashville Airport highlights importance of sustainable design

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Designed by Fentress Architects, Nashville Airport’s new Concourse D has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, in recognition of the project’s sustainable, wellness-oriented design and construction process.

The certification makes Nashville’s new $292 million, 115,000 sq. ft. concourse one of only five constructed airport facilities in the US, and one of nine airport facilities worldwide, to earn LEED Silver under the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) rigorous LEED v4 standards.

The most widely used green building rating system in the world, LEED is seen as an international symbol of excellence. The programme’s performance-based approach and progressive sustainability benchmarks are designed to optimise building performance and support occupant health and wellbeing.

“Fentress Architects has been at the forefront of green building design for over four decades,” said Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, Principal in Charge of Design at Fentress Architects. “Energy conservation is a key element of not only our design approach, but our values as a firm. We are proud to have leveraged our expertise, along with the commitment of all partners involved in this significant project, to realise BNA’s forward-thinking sustainability standards.”

The expansion of the airport’s concourse was completed in July 2020 and has elevated the airport as a world-class facility with six domestic aircraft gates, public art, diverse traveller amenities, and improved ramp amenities and function space.

Commenting on the LEED certification as a coveted mark of environmental distinction, Nashville Airport’s President and CEO Dough Kreulen said: “We’re building not only a bigger airport, but also a better, greener, more sustainable airport. I’m proud of our commitment to these principles and appreciative of all the hard work that went into obtaining this recognition.”

The project’s green design and construction components include: electrochromic glass that blocks out excessive sunlight and heat for passengers’ comfort while reducing glare and energy consumption for climate control; energy efficient and programmable lighting that dims when natural light is adequate for visibility; a focus on human health and wellness with features including an abundance of dayglighting, green cleaning practices and water bottle filling stations; light-coloured building and paving materials that retain less heat, reducing energy use while mitigating heat-island effect; geothermal cooling; water-conserving plumbing and recycling bins throughout the concourse and 80% of construction waste diverted from landfills.

“At every stage of the project, from the design process to construction, the project team remained committed to aligning our approach with the airport’s sustainability targets,” said Deborah Lucking, AIA LEED AP BD+C, Director of Sustainability at Fentress Architects. “Fentress is committed to advancing sustainability and human wellness in the built environment and achieving LEED  v4 Silver showcases the project team’s dedication to going far beyond the minimum LEED requirements to achieve certfication,” she concluded.

To find out more about terminal architecture and design trends for regional hubs check out the latest issue of Regional Gateway magazine.

daa International named as operator of new Red Sea Airport

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Dublin Airport Authority (daa) International has been named as the operator of a new airport at Saudia Arabia’s Red Sea Development Project.

A major development project being built over 28,000 square km on Saudi Arabia’s west coast, the Red Sea Project has been billed as a luxury tourism destination. The first phase of the project, which includes the construction of the new airport, as well as up to 3,000 hotel rooms, recreational facilities and residential properties, is due to be completed by the end of 2022.

The Red Sea International Airport, which is being designed by architecture firm Foster + Partners, is set to serve one million passengers annually by the project’s completion in 2030, with a peak capacity of 900 passengers per hour.  The terminal has taken its inspiration from the local landscape and aims to provide a tranquil and memorable experience for passengers from the moment they arrive and aims to emulate the experience of a private aircraft terminal to every passenger.

A subsidiary of daa, which operates Dublin and Cork airports, daa International has been operating Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, since it opened in 2016. As the operator of Saudi Arabia’s new airport it will provide airfield and terminal operations, aviation services, facilities management and it will oversee commercial activities, as well as corporate and financial services.

“Our state-of-the-art airport will provide a unique gateway for guests arriving at our destination, and this announcement is an important step in bringing the experience to life, ahead of welcoming visitors by the end of 2022,” said John Pagano, Chief Executive of TRSDC. “daa International was selected because we are confident that they can deliver not only an airport experience worthy of our luxury destination, but for their commitment to ensuring our sustainability goals are met.”

Nick Cole, Chief Executive daa International added: “The Red Sea International Airport will become a fundamental part of each visitor’s journey to this unique destination, and we believe their holiday experience should start from the moment they land. We intend to deliver a seamless airport experience for passengers, underpinned by a commitment to achieving the development company’s stringent sustainability goals.”

Stage one of managing the new airport’s operations will involve ensuring that all airport designs benefit the customer. Stage two will cover planning a full and seamless operational model for when the airport opens to the public, while the final stage will be to manage and operate this plan, maintaining the highest standards in customer experience and sustainability, while prioritising safety and security.

Construction of a runway, seaplane runway, taxiways, helipads and a road network for the airport is already well underway. On completion in 2030, the Red Sea Project will comprise 50 hotels, up to 8,000 hotel rooms and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

Arconas unveils bullet- and blast-resistant seating at Brownsville Airport

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Airport seating and furniture manufacturer Arconas has partnered with Amulet Protective Technologies to unveil an industry first: bullet- and blast-resistant airport furniture at Brownsville/ South Padre Island International Airport in Texas.

The Arconas Flyaway tandem seating with Amulet Ballistic Barrier technology integrated during the manufacturing process are designed to shield travellers in the event of an act of violence in a public space. The barriers are designed to be uniquely compatible with interior furnishings and meet the criteria for handgun, rifle and explosive-device threats. The seating is part of the Brownsville Airport’s new terminal, which covers 91,000 square feet and will be able to accommodate more carriers and passengers than the existing 50-year-old terminal.

According to Bryant Walker, the airport’s Director, “The new terminal incorporates the latest technology and features, including seating that can protect passengers and first responders if needed. Providing for the safety and comfort of our passengers is our top priority. We have no reason to believe we would ever need this technology, however, we try to plan for the unexpected. The decision to use Arconas seating with integrated Amulet barriers was an easy one to make.”

Commenting on the new seating solution, Arconas VP of Business Development, Lynn Gordon, said: “Arconas recogonises that our airport and transportation clients are looking for more options in their furniture. Terminal operators always take a safety-first approach to their facilities, so providing clients features that improve safety and protect lives has been incredibly well received.” She added: “We’re focused on improving the airport experience, which includes highly functional, durable, attractive, and now protective furniture.”

According to Amulet Protective Technologies President and CEO, Jeffrey Isquith, acts of violence in the public space have become a common occurrence. “Our No. 1 goal is to save lives – and this technology adds a critical layer of protection for the public. Amulet Ballistic Barriers are a 21st Century solution to saving lives and reducing injuries to innocent people.”

ʻInvisibleʼ technology such as Amulet’s barriers has fast become a key component of the physical security market, which is expected to double within the next few years.