Passenger Terminal Expo 2018, Stockholm: Day two

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The end of the second day of Passenger Terminal Expo marked another busy day of conference sessions and exhibitor visits, before finishing off with the Skytrax World Airport awards.

During a morning session about running and developing energy efficient airports, Anna-Mart Jander, head of business development, Swedavia Energy and Swedavia energy specialist, Elisabeth Celsing, took to the floor to explain why Stockholm Arlanda is a pioneer when it comes to energy efficient airports. Both Jander and Celsing revealed how as a result of more than 10 years of dedicated work with energy efficiency at Stockholm Arlanda Airport there has been 30% energy reduction and 100% green energy supply based mainly on profitable investments.

Airport cities 

Airport cities and urban planning have been consistent themes throughout the first two days of the conference and speaking as the president and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority in Canada, Barry Rempel stated that “managing political realities at municipal, provincial and federal levels is key to creating a successful airport city.”

Speaking on behalf of another regional airport in Canada, Tom Ruth, CEO and president, Edmonton International Airport declared that creating an airport city in a non-hub market presents unique challenges. Explaining that innovation plays a key factor in the development of passenger satisfaction and non-aeronautical revenue he highlighted how Edmonton has created a number of strong local partnerships to drive economic growth in tandem with regional plans.

One of the partnerships the airport has formed has been with Aurora Cannabis, a medical marijuana producer which is building the largest licensed cannabis facility in the world at Edmonton Airport.

The airport also works closely with tourism groups and the local business community as part of its strategy to align with partners in order to foster growth.

Other talks throughout the latter half of the day focused on matters ranging from increasing non-aeronautical revenue in India’s airports and improving security and operational planning at London Luton Airport to carbon, air quality and cost savings as a result of using low-carbon heating and cooling solutions at Liverpool John Lennon Airport..

Skytrax awards

Saving the best till last, the day finished up with the Skytrax World Airports awards ceremony where among various other awards regional airports around the globe were recognised for their achievements over the last year.

Centrair Airport in Nagoya, Japan was declared the overall world’s best regional airport, while King Shaka in South Africa, Hamburg in Germany, Christchurch in New Zealand, Haikou Meilan in China, Bengaluru in India, Denver in the US, Quiport in South America and Kazan in Russia, were all declared regional airport winners for each of their respective regions.



Glasgow Prestwick ready for lift off

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With the Space Industry Act receiving Royal Assent last week and the news that a regulatory framework is now in place, Glasgow Prestwick Airport is all set to step up its activity to become the first fully operational, licensed spaceport in the UK and Europe.

“We are delighted the enabling legislation is being enacted. It is a very significant stage in the process,” said Richard Jenner, director of Glasgow Prestwick’s Spaceport project.

Last week’s announcement means the path is now paved for commercial UK space launches and Glasgow Prestwick Airport aims to offer horizontal launches of orbital and sub-orbital missions for satellite launches, micro-gravity experiments and passenger spaceflight experiences.

“We have had a professional technical assessment of our infrastructure and facilities conducted by independent consultants and we confidently meet all the technical criteria set out by the Department for Transport. These include our favourable meteorological conditions, relatively clear airspace and excellent transport links, as well as our ability to meet the needs of industry with many aerospace businesses on our doorstep and the room on site to accommodate more. As such, we believe that our airport is able to move at pace with the legislative process equipping us to become the UK and Europe’s first space launch site with minimal investment.”

With the space industry predicted to be worth £400bn globally by 2030 and the UK aiming to target 10% of that business by then, Jenner added: “We are confident we can help the government to meet its commitment to have space launch capability in the UK by 2020. A UK Spaceport based in Prestwick would be an economic win for Scotland and the UK.”

Passenger Terminal Expo 2018, Stockholm: Rotterdam The Hague Airport partners with Vanderlande

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Reinforcing its commitment to innovative solutions, Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA) signed a landmark agreement with Vanderlande on Tuesday 20 March, to have the first live baggage handling operation carried out by FLEET – Vanderlande’s future-proof baggage logistics solution.

Expected to go live in September 2018, FLEET is a flexible and sustainable solution that utilises autonomous vehicle technology, replacing the need for fixed sorting systems. It also consumes up to 50% less energy compared to traditional baggage handling systems.

The agreement with RTHA will allow the airport to expand and improve its baggage sorting systems; handle a larger number of flights and passengers; improve ergonomic working conditions for ground staff; and future-proof baggage handling solutions.

Using autonomous vehicles which can determine an optimal route through an airport, FLEET has been designed to seamlessly grow alongside an airport, match its operations, and allow it to adapt to changing security and screening regulations.

“FLEET aligns perfectly with our overall vision of becoming an innovation hub,” said Ron Louwerse, managing director, RTHA. “It is future-proof and scalable, will make a positive impact on our sorting efficiency and improve the ergonomics for our baggage handling team. We’re pleased to have signed the agreement, because we believe that FLEET will become a key part of our operations and the best way to help us to connect with our future strategy.”

The announcement of the agreement at Passenger Terminal Expo in Stockholm this week comes hot on the heels of Vanderlande announcing last month that it has signed a strategic baggage cooperative agreement with Canada’s Vancouver International Airport, which serves a large number of low-fare and regional flights.


Inset image: FLEET’s Koen Evers (left) and Rotterdam The Hague’s Ron Louwerse sign letter of intent on Tuesday 20 March at Passenger Terminal Expo 2018, Stockholm. 

Passenger Terminal Expo 2018, Stockholm: HIAL partners with Flight Solutions

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The Highlands and Islands (HIAL) group announced on Tuesday 20 March that it has awarded a contract to Flight Solutions, the UK-based airport technology provider, to install its innovative eScan Passenger Verification System across eight of its airports.

The new system is expected to be installed at Inverness, Benbecula, Dundee, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Wick in time for the busy summer season. In addition to confirming that every passenger is on a valid flight and permitted to proceed through security to the departure gates, the system will also provide real-time passenger data to HIAL, which the group can use to measure passenger flow and queue times.

Inverness Airport will also benefit from an airport-wide rollout of Flight Solutions’ passenger processing systems, including its common use system (CUTE) and common use self-service (CUSS) products. In total ten common-use check-in desks, six self-service check-in kiosks, seven self-service bag drops and six boarding gates are due to be installed at the airport by June 2018.

Commenting on the announcement, which was made at Passenger Terminal Expo 2018 in Stockholm, where Flight Solutions made its exhibitor debut this week, Cheryl Campbell, customer services manager at Inverness Airport, said:

We are experiencing terrific passenger growth. Having a common use passenger system will allow us to be flexible when it comes to looking after passengers. For example, it will be much easier to share check-in and boarding gate equipment between various airlines for departing flights. We will be able to make swift changes to initial plans should the need arise, without delaying passengers or causing congestion in the airport. Flight Solutions is helping us work towards our long-term growth plans.

Paul Secker, founder and CEO of Flight Solutions added: “In a constantly changing environment like a busy airport, we recognise the need for both hardware and software to be as simple and adaptable as possible. Getting rid of legacy solutions and capitalising on the new technology offered as part of our passenger processing and passenger verification systems are helping to future-proof airports while improving the passenger experience.”

Guwahati Airport new terminal construction underway

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Construction work at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, north-east India, is now well underway.

A foundation stone for the new integrated terminal building was laid by Union Civil Minister, Ashok Gajapati Raju, and India’s Chief Minister, Sarbanand Sonowal, earlier this year in January. The project is due for completion in 2021 at an estimated cost of US$193 million.

The 9,000sqm terminal is expected to transform the gateway and its operational capabilities, with the airport positioning itself as North East India’s gateway to Southeast Asia.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that the new terminal building will be capable of handling 3,100 peak hour passengers at a time. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art passenger facilities, while the interior design will reflect the local style and culture featuring spaces allocated to local artisans to produce local handicrafts on site, as well as murals depicting popular tourist destinations around Assam.

To conform to a 4-star Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), the city side of the new terminal building will be landscaped with green areas, while a small internal forest feature will be integrated into the overall design.

Other green features incorporated into the new terminal’s design include the installation of photovoltaic panels capable of generating almost 500KW of solar energy on the car park roof, as well as an efficient solid waste management system and the reuse of treated water for flushing and horticulture purposes.

The design of the terminal’s exterior takes inspiration from Icarus, the mythical figure who dared to fly.

According to Design Forum International, one of the firms working on the design of the project: “The majestic centrepiece looms over the departure concourse, its arms outstretched as it reaches out to the sky. The floating form doubles up as the canopy for the drop-off zone. ”

Belfast International Airport makes case for APD removal

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Belfast International Airport has set out a case for the removal of Air Passenger Duty (APD) in its formal submission to a Government consultation.

The airport said the APD is an economic impediment that denies Northern Ireland the opportunity to expand its destination network and create new jobs in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors.

“We now have a golden opportunity to convince the Government of the uniquely challenging burden which the continued application of Air Passenger Duty creates in Northern Ireland,” said Belfast International Airport managing director, Graham Keddie.

He added: “This tax makes us less able to compete on a level playing field with the Republic of Ireland where passenger tax was very deliberately consigned to the bin to reap dividends from the continued application of this onerous tax ‘up the road’ in Northern Ireland.”

Keddie suggested that the “millions that would flow” to HM Treasury coffers as a result of increased personal taxation from thousands of new jobs, would surpass the amount raised by APD.

He went on to say: “Airlines have already told us that if the Government removed the burden of APD, they would invest massively in Northern Ireland with more based aircraft and a plethora of new mainland European destinations.

“The transformation for our entire tourism sector and its positive impact on the local economy would be immense, which is why we will be making the strongest possible case for the removal of this retrograde tax.”

Keddie said Belfast International Airport is heading for a record-breaking year, but “much more could be delivered if we were successful in equalising our air tax status with that in the Republic of Ireland.”

San Francisco welcomes new low-fare links with Mexico

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Interjet, the low-fare Mexican carrier has today (Wednesday 14 March) launched its new nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and two cities in Mexico: Cancun (CUN) and Guadalajara (GDL).

SFO is the Bay Area’s largest airport connecting non-stop with 83 cities in the US on 13 domestic airlines and is served by a number of low-fare airlines. It is the 10th US airport on the Mexico City-based carrier’s network and flights will operate 3 times a week on both the SFO-CUN and SFO-GDL routes using Airbus A320s seating 15- passengers.

The inaugural flights were celebrated at SFO with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and welcome speeches attended by representatives of SFO, City of San Francisco and Interjet.

Jose Luis Garza, Interjet’s CEO described San Francisco’s Bay Area as “a thriving centre of arts and technology, business, sports and innovation.”

He added: “We’re delighted to be able to offer business and leisure travellers to Mexico, our unique brand of low-cost prices with free checked bags on select fares, more legroom between seats and great service that has been embraced everywhere we fly.”

Inset image: The inaugural Interjet flight landing at San Francisco International Airport
Sabiha Gocken Airport

Fly Baghdad plans route expansion to airports in Europe.

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Fly Baghdad entered the regional air travel market at the end of 2017 with the launch of a service from Baghdad International Airport to Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Since then, the Iraqi low-fare carrier has launched flights to Ankara’s Esenboga International Airport, also in Turkey, Amman in Jordan and Beirut in Lebanon.

Plans are now afoot to expand the Iraqi low-fare carrier’s network beyond the Middle East to Europe and India.

The airline, which also serves Erbil International Airport and Sulaimaniyah Airport in Iraq, was  re-launched early last year to compete against the state-owned Iraqi Airways and several other private carriers.

Ali al-Hamdany, CEO of the Baghdad-based airline told reporters at a conference in Dubai last year that Iraq has a huge population of cash rich travellers, but not many places to visit and “everyone is talking about travelling”.

This year the airline is hoping to add flights to Frankfurt in Germany, Malmo in Sweden and Delhi in India as part of a network expansion that is also expected to include Dubai.

Header image: Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey.

OneJet launches new city pairings in US

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Kansas City Airport and West Palm Beach will welcome a new link later this month with Pittsburgh, thanks to OneJet – the US carrier operating regional aircraft and small business jets.

Established to provide consumers increased access to nonstop travel in the small to medium markets at relatively low cost, OneJet typically uses the normal passenger terminals and gates of the airports it flies to rather than operating from a private terminal or fixed-base operator (FBO) facility.

The new routes to West Palm Beach in Florida and Kansas City in Missouri will provide fast and reliable flight options to regional business travellers, including those employed by major corporate customers in the Pittsburgh area.

The launch of the Pittsburgh route will coincide with the introduction of the airline’s new OneJet Plus service, which will offer an enhanced service and amenities onboard larger ERJ135 aircraft. “For the past two years, OneJet’s right-sized, point-to-point , nonstop services have met our customers’ demand for expedited travel between key business and leisure destinations,” said OneJet’s CEO, Matthew Maguire.

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO, Christina Cassotis told reporters “OneJet’s unique business model that caters to corporate travellers is a key part of the regional network strategy of Pittsburgh International Airport.”

bmi increases flights to Paris from Bristol hub

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Bristol Airport is to see additional service to Paris Charles de Gaulle with bmi, in response to customer demand.

The airline currently flies twice daily between its Bristol hub and Paris, but will be adding a further flight three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“Having consistently invested in our service offering from our Bristol hub, manifesting itself in increased frequencies on key business routes as well as new destinations such as our recently launched Bristol to Gothenburg service, we believe these additional flights between Paris and Bristol will offer our customers an even greater choice, with greatly improved convenience and flexibility, alongside the continued service, efficiency and value that our customers expect from bmi,” said Jochen Schnadt, chief commercial officer of bmi.

Adding, “With the strong affinity between the Paris Metropolitan region and the South West / South Wales, especially in the energy and aerospace industries space, increasing our service offering now to 14x weekly flights in either direction, we are looking to directly address our customers’ needs.”

Nigel Scott, business development director, Bristol Airport said, “We are delighted bmi regional will increase the capacity on flights between Bristol and Paris (Charles de Gaulle) airports. This will provide improved services to a European hub airport offering world-wide connections whether for business or leisure.”

This spring also marks five years of bmi’s successful Frankfurt and Munich routes from Bristol which, since launching in March and May 2013 respectively, have consistently grown to become two of the airline’s hallmark services.