Arconas unveils new seating, power and lighting collection

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Arconas has unveiled is new furniture collection of seating, power and lighting designed for public interiors, including airports. The Hopscotch collection is a series of innovative and streamlined modular components inspired by minimal yet playful playground sketches.

The Hop bench is characterised by its minimalistic and sculptural design and features full upholstery over plush padding for comfort. The robust structure is designed to withstand high-impact spaces. The Surge power station meanwhile doubles as a table or work surface, as well as providing a place to charge personal electronic devices. It features eight USB ports, four AC plugs and two wireless charging spots. And the Beacon light station is a triangular LED floor lamp created to softly illuminate a space and can be place in a space by itself or beside other furniture configurations.

“The Hopscotch collection offers a myriad of combinations, provides a touch of luxury to public space furnishing, and makes comfort available to all users. This is high density seating with a modern touch,” said Keith Rushbrook, Partner at REPUBLIC of II BY IV, the firm tasked with designing the collection.

Pablo Reich, Executive Vice President of Arconas added that, “The multiple configuration options provide flexibility to create customised social stations – which include but are not limited to – temporary waiting areas, short-term work spaces, charging stations, reading zones, coffee corners and conversational hubs.”

fort lauderdale hollywood airport biometric amadeus

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport introduces biometric boarding with Spirit Airlines

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fort lauderdale hollywood airport biometric amadeus

Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida has partnered with Amadeus to enable biometric boarding for all international departures with Spirit Airlines.

Using Amadeus’ facial-recognition technology passengers departing from the Florida hub can now scan their face instead of their boarding pass when boarding their flight. The upgrade delivers a touchless boarding experience whilst complying with the US Customs & Border Protection Agency (CBP) requirements for all international travellers to biometrically validate when they have left the country.

Spirit Airlines, which is rolling out reduced-contact experiences for travellers across the country, is the first carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood to use the new touchless technology. “Biometric technology will let us make the trip from curb to gate faster and easier, and it’s part of what we call the ‘Airport of the Future,’” said Spirit Vice President of Airport Services, Mike Byrom.

Passengers are verified to depart when they step in front of one of the new ‘Biopods’ from ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, installed at 14 of Spirit’s traditional departure gates in Terminal 4. Each ‘Biopod’ features a high-resolution 3D camera and secure encrypted connectivity to the CBP Traveller Verification System (TVS). The image captured at the boarding gate is then matched against the images stored by CBP. In line with privacy regulations, no personal biometric data is stored by Spirit, the airport, other airlines or Amadeus.

Once passengers have been verified, a unique tokenised identity representing the respective traveller is generated. The airline is alerted to the fact that passenger is now boarding the aircraft.

Commenting on the new service, Mark Gale, CEO/ Director of Aviation at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport said: “If they wish, international departing passengers from Fort Lauderdale can now choose a completely automated and technology-enabled experience during boarding, without the need to interact with an agent.”

Betros Wakim, President Airport IT Americas, Airport IT, Amadeus added: “Our mission is to deliver a safer and more streamlined passenger experience. We have therefore built an end-to-end and scalable biometric solution that is flexible enough to deploy any biometric hardware device from check-in kiosks to self-bag drop devices to biometric boarding gates. The solution is easily integrated with airline systems allowing an airport to rapidly add biometric capability,”

Torino Airport takes the win at ACI Europe Best Airport awards

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Torino Airport

Torino Airport in Italy has cause for celebration having been named the Best Airport in the Under 5 million passengers category at Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s airport awards. The ceremony took place during the association’s annual congress and assembly, which was live streamed from the Skyhall at Brussels Airport on Tuesday 17 November.

Torino was recognised for its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the implementation of health and safety protocols in collaboration with local authorities to maintain operational continuity. In particular, the airport was praised for the rapid introduction of body temperature screening, testing of passengers coming from areas severely affected by COVID-19 and the use of innovative technologies to ensure a touchless and safe passenger experience.

Judges also highlighted the airport’s commitment to staff training and its insurance policy for employees affected by COVID-19, as well as its efforts to support the local community and help those in need.

Cork Airport (which has previously won the award) was highly commended in the under 5 million passenger category.

Prioritising passenger concerns

In the 5-10 million passenger category, Malta International Airport took the win. The airport has introduced a raft of measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of passengers and staff. These include the extensive use of partition walls and auto alerts as well as a dedicated Airport Care Team to address passengers who are not socially distancing. Judges also highlighted Malta’s online engagement with passengers and the incorporation of passenger feedback, which has enabled health and safety measures to be prioritised around passenger concerns. The airport’s strong focus on staff wellbeing was noteworthy, including the work from home policy, regular, temperature checks at the workplace, free health insurance and an annual wellbeing allowance. Malta Airport was also the winner of the HR Excellence award.

Larnaka Airport in Cyprus was highly commended in this category.

Engaging communications

In the 10-25 million passenger category, Hamburg Airport in Germany took the win  – with its dedicated podcasts credited with being a smart and engaging way to communicate with staff during remote working. The airport was also selected for its continued work towards aviation decarbonisation and its focus on passenger needs with the emphasis on promoting a contactless and safe passenger experience.

Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport in France was highly commended in this category.

‘Biometrics on the move’ in Lisbon

Lisbon Airport in Portugal was named the 25-40 million passenger category winner with judges noting that the airport excelled in ensuring a contactless and safe passenger passenger experience, namely with the roll-out of the ‘Biometrics on the move’ project and the introduction of advanced UV disinfection technology.

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport in Turkey was highly commended in this category.

Leading the way for primary hubs

Meanwhile Rome Fiumicino Airport – which introduced a drive-in antigen test centre earlier this year and a ‘smart helmet’ to monitor passengers’ body temperature via thermal radiation – took the win for the ‘over 40 million passenger category’. Istanbul Airport was highly commended in this category and took the win for the Digital transformation award.

Eco-innovation, accessible airport and business partner recognition

Budapest Airport was given the Eco-innovation award and commended for its strong focus on enhancing e-mobility with partner companies and travelling public/ employees, leading to emissions reductions both landside and airside.

This year’s Accessible Airport award was given to Copenhagen Airport in Denmark. Judges were impressed with the efforts made by the airport’s high-quality facilities and services, including an interactive PRM-friendly wayfinder, e-gates and check-in desks for PRMs. Meanwhile Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport in Spain was highly commended for this category.

Finally the World Business Partner Recognition award was given to To70, which has provided significant input to ACI Europe’s ‘Off the Ground’ recovery plan.

Miami introduces sunflower lanyards for passengers with hidden disabilities

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Miami International Airport (MIA) has become one of 10 US airports and 34 global hubs to provide sunflower lanyards free of charge to passengers with hidden disabilities. These include disabilities that are not visible, such as autism, hearing loss, and PTSD.

The lanyards serve as a discreet indicator to airport employees that the wearer may need some extra time or assistance during the travel process. The airport has also unveiled a second multi-sensory room to provide young travellers with cognitive and developmental disabilities with a calming place to relax before flying.

“Our highest priority at MIA continues to be making the joy of air travel easily and safely accessible for all our passengers,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO. “We are proud to be one of a growing number of airports worldwide providing sunflower lanyards, and to add another multi-sensory room to our terminal. We look forward to continue working closely with our local advocacy partners, to make MIA eve more accessible for all.”

Staff at MIA have also received customer service training to ensure best practices when catering for passengers with hidden disabilities.

Vanderlande unveils innovative security screening solution

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In response to the global airport requirement for increased checkpoint capacity Vanderlande has launched an innovative airport passenger checkpoint solution – PAX MX2  – that factors in space and human resource limitations within an airport.

The dual-lane screening concept has been designed to help airport operators optimise their equipment and CAPEX, in an environment where new and advanced technologies, such as CT screening, are increasingly being deployed in checkpoint areas.

PAX-MX2 delivers the efficiency of two conventional automated screening lanes of the same length by allowing passengers to divest and collect their belongings on either side of the screening machine. By increasing the throughput in these areas, the system allows for the CT scanner to work at full capacity while using minimal floor space and allowing for a more efficient use of staff.

“Airports are continually looking for ways to reduce their expenditure, increase their return on investment, and guarantee a positive passenger experience,” said Andrew Manship, Vanderlande’s Executive VP Airports and Board Member. “This is especially true in these challenging times. However, we’re confident that PAX MX2 will allow us to offer additional support to our customers and partners, helping them to achieve their goals and make their checkpoints future-proof.”

A prototype of the PAX MX2 is already showing promising results at Vanderlande’s facility in Santepdor, Spain where it has been deployed. Designed to be integrated with the PAX Multiplex screening software, the solution is expected to reach a throughput of up to 400 passengers per hour.

Milano Prime strengthens BMW partnership with introduction of green vehicles

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Milano Prime, the sole airport manager of business and general aviation infrastructures for Linate and Malpensa airports in Italy, has further strengthened its partnership with BMW by renewing their contract and introducing electric passenger transfer vehicles.

As part of the renewed agreement Milano Linate Prime’s fleet of vehicles dedicated to business aviation flights and their passengers will now feature two new BMW i3 fully-electric cars. The adoption of the two new vehicles is in line with SEA Prime’s commitment to sustainability at Milan Linate and Malpensa airports, both of which are accredited to level 3+ of carbon neutrality on the airport carbon accreditation programme.

From the vehicle production, which uses 100% renewable energy and zero-emission circulation, to the reuse of various materials and recycling of 95% of car components at the end of use, the BMW i3 reflects the group’s approach to sustainable mobility.

“We are proud to announce the renewed collaboration with BMW, which allows us to offer excellent services to our customers and to pursue SEA Prime’s sustainability objectives,” said Milano Prime CEO Chiara Dorigotti. “We therefore continue to guarantee quality and safety: essential factors in recent periods, which have contributed to the recovery of business aviation traffic at Milano Prime.”

The partnership between the two companies began with the opening of the BMW Business Centre at Milano Prime’s Linate facility in 2016.

Nice Cote d'azur

Nice Côte d’Azur partners with Smart Flows to monitor passenger flow

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Nice Cote d'azur

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has teamed up with software editor Smart Flows to implement a solution for the real-time monitoring of passenger flows through its terminals.  The aim is to optimise the entire passenger experience and identify the risks of high passenger density in one area, in accordance with new health protection requirements.

Due to the small size of Nice Airport’s terminal buildings passengers can quickly access their boarding gate, but the drawback is that certain areas are at risk of becoming saturated during peak times.

Smart Flows’ Passenger Flow Monitoring Solution is expected to be fully operational by December 2020 and works by using anonymous Wi-Fi logs to monitor the density of passengers in the airport’s boarding areas. It then alerts the operational teams in the event of crowding at certain points where passengers tend to gather, such as washrooms, checkpoints, boarding gates and shops.

Describing the Passenger Flow Monitoring system as a highly valuable addition to existing measures that will further improve the passenger experience and enhance safety and wellbeing of passengers and staff, Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board for Côte d’Azur Airport group said: “For our staff in the terminals as well as our partners, airlines or commercial operators, this innovation represents an undeniable asset to better calibrate their actions with passengers’ expectations or needs.”

Bruno Dreyfuss, CEO at Smart Flows, added, “We are particularly proud to have been selected by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport to deploy our Passenger Flow Monitoring solution that, while strictly respecting the GDPR, will allow the airport to improve how they welcome and serve their passengers by using detailed and quantitative knowledge of their behaviour in the airport.”

ACI study finds almost half of those surveyed want to travel again soon.

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According to a Global Traveller Survey conducted by Airports Council International (ACI) World to help airports plan for future demand almost half of those surveyed want to travel again soon. This can be attributed to a strong level of confidence in the environment safety provided by airports and airlines.

While recovery is dependent on a number of factors, the survey found that 48% of travellers considered themselves likely to travel within the next three months. But to do so passengers expect certain measures to be put in place to address health risks. These include mandatory masks for passengers and staff, COVID-19 testing prior to the trip, hand sanitising stations, and the development of a more contactless airport experience.

“One of the keys to recovery will be the aviation industry’s understanding of the changing needs of passengers and ACI’s new survey provides insight into how COVID-19 is affecting passenger expectations and future travel plans,” said ACI World Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

While domestic travel will help aviation’s short-term recovery, in the long term the survey found an overall slight decrease in travel frequency is expected and a shift in the main reason to travel with slightly less business travellers, and more people travelling for personal reasons.

“It is reassuring that travellers are eager to travel again and our survey will help airports make the right decisions in providing the best and safest customer experience,” de Oliveira added. “Airports, airlines and their partners need to continue to increase the level of confidence in the entire passenger journey and provide and communicate the measures they are introducing to keep passengers healthy and safe. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme provides airports with not only a tool to assess their health measures against globally-recognised standards but also a way to communicate to passengers about these measures.”

Completion of the report was supported by KONE Corporation, as well as Munich Airport, Plaza Premium Group and POTLOC. Dr . Sascha Brozek, Senior Vice President, Major Projects, KONE Corporation said: “As air travel and the industry navigates changes in order to gradually return, there’s no doubt the way passengers move through airports has been changed permanently. In this respect, safe and efficient people flow management is vital. At KONE, we believe that technology and smart solutions will help us reconfigure environments like airport terminals, keeping safety and health as a top priority.”

Meanwhile, Munich Airport’s Managing Director, Dr. Ralf Gaffal, explained the results of the traveller survey will provide guidance for his airport to define its strategy and actions in order to maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. He said: “COVID-19 has a never-seen impact on our aviation industry – not only did it cause traffic movements to hit rock bottom, it also changed the overall behaviour and expectations of our passengers and requires the implementation of new processes and systems. As a global world-class airport operator, it is essential for us to understand all changes and requirements to quickly adapt processes, facilities and information flow.”

Rodolphe Barrere, Co-Founder & CEO at consumer research company POTLOC explained that airports with answers from customers will have more chances of overcoming a post-COVID world. “With this study we were able to reach far and wide, by extracting travellers’ insights via social networks, to get a clearer picture of where we stand now, and what the future holds for airports in their eyes.”

Created to help airports in the short, medium and long term, the report will enable airports to adapt their customer experience according to demand and to adapt the passenger experience accordingly .According to ACI, it will help them implement the right measures expected by travellers, improve the most stressful touchpoints throughout the journey, and understand passengers’ needs and expectations.



Munich named only five-star-airport in Europe

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Having been awarded 5-star status by the London-based Skytrax Institute for the first time in May 2015, then again in 2017, Munich Airport has once again maintained its high quality of service and hospitality and had its 5-star seal of approval extended yet again.

The Bavarian airport was subjected to a detailed evaluation by Skytrax auditors with all of its passenger facilities closely examined. Particular attention was paid to the new services that been added in recent years, such as the new lounges in Terminal 1, the redesigned arrivals area in Terminal 2, the security checkpoint in Terminal 2 that has been upgraded with innovative technology, the user-friendly online booking platform for parking customers and the airport’s updated website, which was launched in 2017.

Extensive measures introduced to protect against the spread of the coronavirus were also considered. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “Munich Airport has not rested on its awards, but with many attractive innovations has ensured that passengers have an even more pleasant stay at the airport. It is easy to see at this airport that the cooperation between all the partners on campus works perfectly well.”

Meanwhile Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport, added, “This is a great and motivating signal in a difficult time… I consider it particularly remarkable that we were able to maintain our high standards despite the many restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The fact that we will remain a 5-star airport in the future strengthens our resolve to overcome the current crisis together as an airport community. Certainly there will be a time after the pandemic crisis and I am confident that our hub will then be able to build on the successes of previous years.”

Munich is currently the only European airport to have been awarded the 5-star airport seal of approval. Doha, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo Haneda are the other international hubs ranking in the world’s top group of airports.