The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) saw a steady increase in cargo activity during 2017, with 79,595 cargo landings, an increase of 4.6% compared to 2016.
The increase in cargo landings brought an added US$7 million to the Alaska International Airport System. Passenger traffic in 2017 was stable at over 5 million, and ANC remained third in North America for concession sales per passenger at $13.93.
All ANC revenue is used to operate the airport as a self-sustaining entity, which is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport said the strong revenue numbers this year allows ANC to provide a low-cost environment for its customers.
“The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport continues to be a strong performer in Alaska’s economy,” said Alaska governor Bill Walker. “We highly value the central role that Anchorage plays in transpacific air cargo. As we continue to strengthen our relationships in Asia we will keep working hard for continued growth at ANC.”
In 2018 the airport is to see an additional Saturday flight to Minneapolis from Sun Country Airlines.
“We are excited that Sun Country is adding an additional flight this summer,” said ANC airport manager, Jim Szczesniak. “This flight will bring in more passengers and that will have a direct impact on Alaska’s tourism industry.”
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is utilised by 22 major international air cargo carriers and nine domestic cargo carriers.
Denmark’s Billund Airport is to expand its hub connectors to 11 airlines starting on 2 July when LOT Polish Airlines commences operations from its Warsaw Chopin base.
Operating 12 times weekly, the Star Alliance carrier will service the route with a mixture of its E170 and E175 fleet.
“We are proud to welcome LOT to Billund and delighted that it has seen the potential in the West Denmark market,” says Kjeld Zacho Jørgensen, CEO, Billund Airport. “The airline’s schedule provides excellent connectivity to its destinations in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as all its intercontinental destinations in Asia and North America.”
Indirect traffic from West Denmark to Warsaw has grown by 22% last year. “More than 22,000 Polish people live in our catchment, and 40,000 West Danes visited Poland last year,” adds Zacho Jørgensen. “We also know that the potential demand on LOT’s onward network via its hub to destinations like Beijing, Singapore and New York is around 435,000 passengers per year.”
This new service joins the airports existing link to Chopin, flown twice-weekly by Wizz Air who also operate a three times weekly service to Gdansk, while Ryanair offers twice-weekly flights to Poznan.
Prior to LOT’s announcement, the Polish market was expected to be Billund’s 12th largest country market, offering close to 37,000 seats during S18, as a result of this expansion the country market is anticipated to top 50,000 seats this summer.
Low-fare airline Allegiant has announced plans to invest more than $49 million to establish a year-round base of operations at Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) in Florida, which will house two Airbus aircraft.
The airport, which offers regional and low-fare services, will become the airline’s 14th year-round aircraft base. The carrier used the airport as a seasonal base during summer 2017.
As part of Allegiant’s growth in Florida, the company anticipates adding more than 65 new, high-wage jobs during 2018.
“We are excited to continue our growth in Florida’s Emerald Coast by establishing a full-time base at Destin-Fort Walton Beach,” said Maurice J. Gallagher, Jr., Allegiant’s chairman and CEO. “The base will not only afford many more options when it comes to adding routes and expanding service, but will also give us the opportunity to contribute even more to the community and the state’s economy.”
The aircraft base is expected to bring an anticipated $418 million to the region’s economy in tourism revenue on a five-year horizon.
Allegiant employs more than 4,000 team members across the country, and plans to immediately begin hiring pilots, flight attendants, maintenance technicians and ground personnel to support its operations.
Allegiant’s service in Destin-Fort Walton Beach began with six routes in 2016, and expanded to 16 cities in 2017. In celebration of the new base, the carrier has announced new, seasonal services to five cities, bringing the total number of cities with service to the Emerald Coast to 21.
“We are thrilled! Allegiant’s model fits like a glove at VPS and a year-round base will bring monumental widespread economic impacts to our region. We look forward to Allegiant’s continued success at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport,” said Tracy Stage, Okaloosa County’s airports director.
The new routes will operate twice weekly, and will bring nearly 25,000 additional visitors to the area.
Florida Governor Rick Scott called Allegiant’s announcement, “a great reminder of how our tourism industry supports Florida business and communities and creates new opportunities for our families.”
Scott added: “Tourism partners like Allegiant work hand-in-hand with VISIT FLORIDA to bring more visitors to our state and we must make sure this success continues by fully funding VISIT FLORIDA at $100 million. I look forward to seeing Allegiant’s success in Destin and across the state as we continue to welcome families from all across the world to Florida.”
London Southend Airport has become the first airport in Britain to deliver a purpose built aircraft de-icing facility, aiming to increase efficiency and the speed of de-icing.
Instead of de-icing when the plane is on its stand and fully loaded with passengers, an aircraft can push back and taxi to the Centralised De-icing Facility. With engines running, the plane will be efficiently de-iced before taxiing for take-off.
This facility enables more aircraft to de-ice more quickly and to get to the runway for departure well within hold-over times.
The de-icing fluid is captured by the pads drainage and taken for specialist treatment before being safely disposed of.
Glyn Jones, chief executive officer of Stobart Aviation, the owners of London Southend Airport, said: “This new de-icing facility is another example of London Southend leading the way within the aviation industry, using innovative, brand new technology to provide a much better airport experience for our partners and passengers. For both travellers and airlines there is nothing more frustrating than bad weather leading to delays, so we’ve, quite literally, invented a solution to try and minimise that.”
Construction of the facility started in October 2017 and it has now been tested and approved by the airport’s airline partners easyJet and Stobart Air.
“We’re delighted to see the introduction of a new de-icing facility at London Southend Airport,” said Graeme Buchanan, managing director of Stobart Air. Stobart Air is dedicated to providing a convenient and seamless service to passengers and partners and this facility strengthens our position. In a UK first, the new de-icing facility is a demonstration of cutting edge technology and we will continue to push the boundaries of innovation.”
Captain Chris Foster, flight operations performance manager, easyJet, welcomed the new de-icing facility, and said: “The new facility has the potential to help us further improve our already industry-leading on-time performance, getting passengers flying with us from London Southend into the air and on to their destinations quickly and safely.”
SITA has won the Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards for its work with jetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) to deliver a new self-boarding process using biometric technology at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
In a world-first, the biometric boarding system uses just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks.
Working with jetBlue and the CBP at Boston Logan Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve.
The technology removes the need for boarding pass scanning and passport checks; passengers just look into the camera for a quick photo.
The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can have a seamless experience, and demonstrated how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.
Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, said: “Our vision is to make air travel easy, for airlines, airports and, ultimately, for passengers. Integrating biometrics with the industry’s existing infrastructure, IT systems and processes, along with multiple security and border control systems, can be complex but it delivers a remarkably simple solution. Our work with jetBlue and the US CBP shows how SITA delivers secure and seamless travel to the industry today.”
Dalibard added: “The ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence in the air transport industry, looking in particular at outstanding performance, innovation and superior service. I am very proud that the innovative work of the SITA team has won this award and would like to thank our partners, in particular jetBlue, for recognizing our expertise to develop this technology for them.”
Bristol Airport has appointed Dave Lees as its new chief executive officer, he is to take up his new role on 1 August.
Lees is currently managing director of Southampton Airport, which has achieved record passenger numbers and customer satisfaction scores during his time in the role.
Before becoming managing director, Lees served as operations director and planning and development director at Southampton Airport and prior to this he was head of service improvement at Heathrow Airport.
This appointment follows the departure of Robert Sinclair in October 2017. Since then Bristol Airport’s chairman, Janis Kong, has been operating as interim chief executive, a role she will continue in until August.
Commenting on the appointment of Lees, she said: “I look forward to welcoming Dave to Bristol Airport. He brings with him a track record of success and wide-ranging experience at major UK airports. Dave joins at an exciting time as we look to the future as part of the process of preparing a new Master Plan. He joins a successful team which has consistently delivered results for passengers, airline customers and shareholders.”
Lees said: “This is an exciting opportunity, and I am looking forward to working with the team at Bristol to build on the Airport’s success and ambitions for the future.”
London City Airport confirmed it would be open as normal on Tuesday after the discovery of a World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock caused it to close on Monday with all flights in and out of the airport cancelled.
Following the safe removal of the ordnance from the dock, the airport is now open. CEO Robert Sinclair said: “The World War Two ordnance discovered in King George V Dock has been safely removed by the Royal Navy and Met Police. As a result, the exclusion zone has now been lifted and the airport will be open as normal on Tuesday.”
Sinclair thanked the Navy, Police and the London Borough of Newham for their professionalism and everyone affected by the disruption for their patience.
In a news report on its website, the Metropolitan Police said that the unexploded WWII ordnance was discovered as part of pre-planned work at London City Airport and reported to the police on Sunday 11 February. Specialist officers and the Royal Navy confirmed the nature of the device.
On Sunday evening the decision was made with the Royal Navy to implement a 214-metre exclusion zone to ensure the ordnance can be safely dealt with whilst limiting any risk to the public.
In a statement on Monday, Sinclair said: “All flights in and out of London City on Monday are cancelled and an exclusion zone is in place in the immediate area. I urge any passengers due to fly today not to come to the airport and to contact their airline for further information.”
Sinclair added: “I recognise this is causing inconvenience for our passengers, and in particular some of our local residents. The airport is cooperating fully with the Met Police and Royal Navy and working hard to safely remove the device and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
The Metropolitan Police said: “While we endeavour to progress the operation as quickly as possible and minimise disruption, it is important that all of the necessary steps and precautions are taken to ensure it is dealt with safely. We would like to thank everyone affected for their patience and cooperation.”
London City Airport confirmed it is back to ‘business as usual’ on Tuesday.
The German air navigation service provider, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, has completed on-site testing of the Frequentis Remote Virtual Tower (RVT) solution for Saarbücken Airport, a hub for regional carriers in Germany.
The two-week testing phase took place in October 2017, with a number of air traffic controllers testing the image quality and performance of automatic object detection and camera tracking solutions, during the day and night, and in various weather conditions.
“Remotely controlled towers are a hot topic in air traffic management – both the concept of providing aerodrome control service from any location and the ability to control several airports from a centralised location,” said Robert Schickling, managing director operations at DFS.
“This solution promises significant cost savings and increased efficiency while utilising advanced technologies that provide an enhanced view of the airfield in all weather conditions,” he continued, before adding: “We are now ready to take the next steps with the airports in Erfurt and Dresden.”
DFS and Frequentis have been working on the implementation of a remote tower concept since 2015, with control services to be carried out from the Remote Tower Centre at Leipzig Airport in Germany, 400 km away from Saarbrücken.
“Saarbrücken will be an important reference in the Remote Tower market,” said Hannu Juurakko, vice-president ATM, Frequentis AG. “We will be the first manufacturer to provide remote tower ATC services at a complex, medium-sized airport. The planned additions of Erfurt and Dresden airports, to come under remote control from Leipzig, demonstrate the confidence DFS has in our solution and the expansion of it.”
Consisting of high-performance infrared and visual cameras, a newly designed controller working position in the Remote Tower Centre in Leipzig and a secure, high-speed network connection, Frequentis’s solution has proved an important milestone on the way towards the go-live of the RVT solution.
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Airports Council International (ACI) Europe has declared 2017 “a vintage year” for air passenger traffic, with volumes growing by +8.5% across Europe’s airport network.
The increase in traffic has been attributed to both the return of a growth dynamic across non-EU markets and a healthy expansion of passenger volumes in the EU.
In non-EU airports, passenger traffic increased on average +11.4% (compared to a decrease of -0.9% in 2016). Airports in Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Iceland grew in excess of +20% on average, while Russian and Turkish airports also bounced back with increased passenger volumes from a year earlier.
Among EU airports, the highest growth was achieved by airports in East and South of the EU. Airports in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Portugal all recorded impressive double-digit growth.
Commenting on this increase in traffic, Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe said: “2017 marks the best year for European airports since 2004, when air traffic was boosted by the accession of 10 countries to the EU – the single largest expansion of the bloc. That parallel is quite something when you consider the current climate includes Brexit and all its uncertainties.”
But Jankovec went on to warn that “such significant growth is putting more pressure on airport facilities and staff with more and more airports reaching their capacity limits – especially during peak hours.” While big hitters (with over 25 million passengers per year) such as Moscow, Manchester, Amsterdam and Barcelona all reported impressive growth as expected, smaller airports welcoming less than five million passengers per year also fared well.
Bucharest BBU (+208.9%) and Craiova (+100.6%) both in Romania, Nis (+167.8%) in Serbia, Batumi (+67.2%) in Georgia and Kaunas (+60.2%) in Lithuania all reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during 2017 for the small airports category.
The top five European airports – London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul-Ataturk, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Frankfurt – collectively welcomed an additional 18 million passengers in 2017 (+5.5% growth from the previous year). This increase reflected of the continued expansion of low-fare carriers in primary markets and the better fortunes of these airports’ hub carriers.
“The good news is that the European economy and the Eurozone in particular are set for further expansion – with economic sentiment now close to a 17-year high,” Jankovec said.
On the flip side of this though, he highlighted that looking ahead it’s clear the industry needs to be mindful of rising oil prices and consolidation, which is placing more market share with a handful of powerful airline groups. “Couple that with the fast-approaching Brexit deadline and it’s not hard to see why Europe’s airports can expect the temperature to rise, as airlines get even choosier about where they maintain existing capacity or open new routes,” concluded Jankovec.