JetBlue Airways to manage terminal construction project at Fort Lauderdale Airport

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Broward County Aviation Department has appointed JetBlue Airways to manage the construction of a five-gate US$300m passenger terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in Florida, US.

The new facility is part of the airport’s master plan to provide much needed growth in terminal gates in response to airline and passenger demand. To deliver programme management services for the development of Terminal 5, JetBlue Airways has contracted Parsons Corporation. The aviation infrastructure provider has contributed to the planning, design and management of more than 450 airports around the world.

“Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest-recovering US airports, with passenger traffic approaching 2019 pre-pandemic levels,” said Peter Torrellas, president, connected communities, for Parsons. “As we continue a return to air travel, it is critical for airports and airlines alike to prepare for passenger and service expansion. Our aviation experts have served South Florida for more than 20 years and we look forward to building on that legacy in partnership with JetBlue and the Broward County Aviation Department.”

Henderson leads the charge on Kansas City’s $1.5bn airport project

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Building systems design firm, Henderson Engineers, is leading the charge on cementing the new $1.5 billion single terminal Kansas City International Airport (MCI).

Henderson’s array of building systems design services includes acoustics, audio-video, electrical, fire alarm, mechanical and plumbing. The firm is also working closely with project partner Siemens to equip MCI with innovative technology for a cutting-edge experience for both passengers and the airport’s operations team.

Having designed the technological infrastructure that enables features including touchless kiosks, intuitive display systems and video walls and visual paging boards for passengers, Henderson’s mission is to make it easier for passengers to navigate through the facility. James Dietz, Aviation Practice Director at Henderson Engineers, commented: “A key advantage we bring to the table at MCI is more than 50 years of expertise in design and construction. We help merge wonderful ideas from various partners and make sure they’re constructable and that they work together both aesthetically and functionally.”

Henderson is also helping with the planning and coordination of the installation of biometric equipment, which will enable passengers to use facial recognition as boarding passes during check in and boarding for international flights.

Dietz explained that safety is also a key touchpoint with Henderson using 3D BIM software to determine the best placement for security cameras, to minimise blind spots at the expansive 1,000 000 sq. ft. terminal. “Convenience, well-being and safety are front and centre of the work we’re undertaking, and we believe it will resonate well with the passengers and airport staff once the terminal opens in early 2023,” he noted.

To evaluate what cameras would capture at various locations throughout the terminal, engineers used a virtual replica of the facility. In addition, Henderson is collaborating with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) throughout the selection and installation process for security systems to ensure the terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art safety technology.

Once completed MCI will need to transition smoothly away from its current outdated three-terminal layout to the new single terminal with airport operations remaining functional during this process. To ensure the smoothest possible transition, Henderson collaborated with SITA to design a virtualised IT network that will prevent interruptions to security and other vital systems.

“Virtually every design that is going into this project has an eye toward the future,” said Dietz. “We’re making sure it’s innovative now but can easily be updated as technology evolves and in case the requirements surrounding airline travel are updated. This flexibility will help keep MCI at the forefront of travel for decades to come.”

Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) is the lead architect and Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate is the developer of the new single terminal Kansas City Airport.

Servy marks its Canadian airport debut at Montréal-Trudeau

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Servy has launched its first airport progamme in Canada at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. The launch of its Grab Airport Marketplace at the Canadian mark marks Servy’s entry into 13 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

The platform, which launched in November is present in nine restaurants across the airport, including Archibald Microbrasserie, UBar and Pork & Pickle. It is estimated that 40 stores within the airport will be added to the platform, which gives travellers the options to order food and beverages from their own device. This is also the first multilingual Grab Airport Marketplace to launch this year with customers able to choose between French and English.

“We are excited to be expanding into a new region, providing safer ordering options and convenience to more travellers and airport employees,” said Jeff Livney, Chief Experience Officer at Servy.

Sebastien Duteau, Marketing and Commercial Director at ADM Aeroports de Montreal at YUL, added: “We are continuing to do all we can to ensure our airport is a safe and reassuring environment, and our partnership with Servy is an important element in a comprehensive suite of measures. Once travellers begin to return, we’ll be prepared to welcome guests and offer service in a format that works best for them in changed circumstances. We’re looking forward to rolling out the platform across the airport in the future, creating an even more seamless travel experience at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport.”

Frankfurt Airport selects SITA to transform passenger experience

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SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, has been selected to deploy its biometric-enabled kiosks and baggage messaging services at Frankfurt Airport, in line with the airport’s plans to increase operational efficiency and improve the passenger experience.

The installation of 87 SITA TS6 kiosks is expected to be completed later this year. The versatile biometric-enabled kiosks, which work alongisde SITA Flex, enable passengers to check in quickly and obtain bag tags for later self-bag drop services. The new SITA TS6 kiosk was the winner of the 2021 IF Design award and was credited for its slick, sustainable and adaptive design, which can be tailored to suit the airport’s brand design and specific customer requirements. Its modular design also mean modifications and enhancements can be made without replacing the entire kiosk.

“Offering passengers innovative, safer, and smarter ways to travel while also ensuring we have resilient and efficient airport operations is vital as our industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic. SITA supports us in achieving this ambition and we look forward to welcoming more passengers back to the skies,” said Pierre-Dominique Prumm, Executive Director Aviation and Infrastructure at Fraport.

The deployment at Frankfurt Airport marks SITA’s largest implementation in Europe.

Seattle Airport unveils concourse modernisation project

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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport(SEA Tacoma) has opened its new N Concourse, known as the North Satellite Modernisation Project. The opening took place on 4 November with the airport debuting its first-ever art and cultural festival. A dedicated performance stage hosted live music performances, a poetry reading and spoken word.

“This event celebrates the natural and cultural richness of the Pacific Northwest,” said Port of Seattle Commission President, Fred Felleman. “The building embodies our values of creating economic opportunities in an inclusive and environmentally responsible manner.”

The airport’s newly renovated N Concourse – by Design Architect Fentress Architects and Architect of Record AECOM with construction company, Hensel Phelps – features modern amenities, seismic upgrades, sustainable features and improved building function.

Fentress Architects’s Principal in Charge of Design, Curtis Fentress, said the N Concourse, which took four years to complete, is now “emblematic of the Pacific Northwest, its majestic sights and sounds. Every element of the design works in concert to orient travellers, as it greets visitors and welcomes home residents.”

Passengers will benefit from a brighter, bolder space with more dining and retail options, as well as a diverse art collection that reflects the culture, spirit and history of the region, nature inspired design and a brand-new performance stage.

The concourse also features 10 new passenger gates, an impressive Alaska Airlines Lounge and to demonstrate the sustainability of the project the airport’s first system to collect and reuse rainwater. Rainwater captured from the roof is used to flush toilets, which will save 2.8 million gallons of potable water annually, the equivalent of 4.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In addition, 20,000 tonnes of construction waste was recycled and thus diverted from landfills, and nearly $21m of recycled materials were used on the project. Energy efficient LED lighting, heating and cooling methods save approximately 1.7 million kWh annually, which is equal to the annual energy usage of 170 homes.

Memphis Airport partners with Amadeus to support transformation to ‘origin and destination’ hub

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As part of its transformation over the past few years from a regional hub to an ‘origin and destination’ airport, Memphis International Airport in Tennessee has diversified its number of carriers rather than serving as a transfer hub for one primary airline. The airport is now working to actively recruit additional airlines, including ultra-low-cost-carriers that fly point-to-point routes. To complement its concourse redevelopment, the airport has also teamed up with Amadeus to acquire a new generation of IT systems to support this transformation.

“Our modernisation project will reinvent the travel experience for the Memphis passenger, and welcome millions of travellers to our great city. This technology will be a key part of our modernisation and our operations moving forward,” commented Scott A. Brockman, President and CEO, Memphis International Airport.

With a more diverse range of airlines using the airport, Memphis has sought to enhance its operational capabilities with technological upgrades that include several Amadeus Airport Management Solutions.

The introduction of a new Airport Operational Database (AODB) provides information that includes airline flight schedules a year in advance, so all systems and partners at the airport have a consistent, long-range operational view. Meanwhile the Amadeus Resource Management System (RMS) will help with managing the transition to shared gates, ticket counters, and baggage drop-off points, based on a real-time view of demand from different airlines. The airport will also use the Amadeus PROPworks contracting and billing management system.

Elena Avila, EVP Airport IT and Airline Operations, Amadeus noted that: “Airports across the United States are adapting to the operational shifts ongoing in aviation. Our technology is specifically designed to help manage the complexity of terminals and resources that are shared by multiple carriers, which will prove critically valuable in this ongoing transformation. In particular, we’re excited to support this important transformation at Memphis.”

Eezeetags agrees collaboration with Sihl to expedite self-service check-in at airports

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With the aviation industry gearing up for a restart following the global pandemic, the demand for self-service solutions is greater than ever before.

Borry Vrieling, Founder and Managing Director of eezeetags says he is expecting “an increase in the demand for eezeetags on a level not previously seen,” following the global pandemic.

In line with this increased demand for self-service solutions eezeetags in collaboration with German label stock manufacturer Sihl group has agreed a future-oriented cooperation to expedite self-service check-in at airports.

eezeetags is already well-known throughout the airport and airline community for its top quality and easy to use baggage tags which are printed on PRESSURETAC, for which Sihl is the patent holder and producer. The self-adhesive labels don’t require silicone paper, making them environmentally-friendly as less waste material is produced and the base material is FSC-certified. The risk of accidents is also considerably reduced as no slippery silicone paper is left on the floor, while tags can be removed without leaving residue on luggage items.

Now, to meet the growing challenges in ensuring worldwide availability and consistency of their baggage tags, Sihl and eezeetags are growing the ‘eezeetags family’ with a global network of bag-tag manufacturers licensed to produce eezeetags under the eezeetags brand and specifications.

In Europe, Turkey and North Africa Security Label GmbH in Sarstedt Germany will service the market and in East Africa, India, the Indian subcontinent and GCC states, Kimoha Enterprises in Dubai will service the market. Meanwhile in North America George Schmitt & Co in Connecticut will manufacture the tags while Gateway Business Communications will handle sales.

Pristina Airport in Kosovo rolls out Amadeus’ automated check-in and bag drop technology

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Passengers travelling through Pristina Airport in Kosovo will now be able to check-in and drop bags independently with Amadeus’ solutions.

The Kosovo hub has been steadily modernising its services since the government entered a 20-year franchise with infrastructure management specialist, the Limak Group in 2011. In line with that agreement, in 2018 the airport had already deployed Amadeus’s Altea Departure Control for Ground Handlers and Baggage Reconciliation System to improve services while reducing costs by 20%.

“With the COVID-19  pandemic travellers demand on automated, quick, convenient and contactless experience at the airport, which is why we’re giving them the option to do self-service bag drop. It is the most important step as it drastically reduces crowding and complements our high rate of online check-in, which is already over 90%,” said Gökmen Aritay, COO, Pristina Airport.

The latest phase of modernisation will see Pristina upgrade its self-service check-in and bag drop so passengers benefit from a smooth experience and can take greater control over every stage of their journey through the airport.

The project will see 10 Auto Bag Drop (ABD) units from ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, deployed for the benefit of airlines and their passengers in time for the summer season. The ABD units will help to automate the process of check-in and bag drop, whilst reducing interpersonal contact as a response to COVID-19. They will be implemented as a retrofit solution, equating to a third of Pristina’s traditional check-in counters.

Richard Dinkelmann, CEO, ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company commented: “Despite the challenging environment airports continue to prioritise an automated passenger experience. Contactless, biometrics and self-service are key tools to help airports restore traveller confidence whilst lowering operational costs. We’re pleased to expand our partnership with Pristina to deliver on its vision for a safer, more automated airport.”

Kerry Airport unveils Ireland’s first Quick Personnel Security scanner

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Rohde & Schwarz has installed Ireland’s first Quick Personnel Security (QPS) scanner at Kerry Airport. The state-of-the-art technology enables a high throughput, enhanced security, and increased safety for airport customers and staff.

The latest generation R&S QPS201 was originally launched in 2020 and features improved second-generation algorithms that increase sensitivity to further boost threat detection, while minimising false  alarms, reducing processing times and subsequently reducing physical contact.

In addition, a more efficient scanning time balances the effects of incoming new X-ray inspection systems, which scan items inside baggage that previously had to be removed, such as laptops. Leveraging Rohde & Schwarz expertise in millimeter-wave technology, and utilising machine-trained software algorithms, the scanner can detect all types of potentially dangerous objects whether metal, ceramic, plastic or liquid. .

Easy to use, the system allows for hands-down posture for scanning while its intuitive graphical displays  require minimal training and enable operators to quickly achieve full proficiency.

“Now is the right time for this investment in the future of Kerry Airport, to meet the heightened expectations for safety and security within our industry,” said Tom O’Driscoll, Chief Security Officer, Kerry Airport. “Having recently installed explosives detection systems for cabin baggage (EDS CB), we are proud to now also adopt this state-of-the-art technology in Ireland, which will set new standards for service and wellbeing.”

Rohde and Schwarz’s Gary Walker added that he was “confident that Kerry Airport and its customers will appreciate the enhancements to service, security and safety, and that others in Ireland will follow their lead.”

Riga Airport welcomes introduction of passenger registration system

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Riga Airport has welcomed the government’s decision to set up an electronic passenger registration system. Introduced on Monday 12 October, the electronic confirmation can be easily completed by passengers online and will contribute to public safety by allowing state services to identify and warn travellers more efficiently where passengers develop COVID-19 after their flight.

Previously passengers had been asked to provide paper certificates that were not only inconvenient for most passengers but also required disproportionate resources for collecting, sorting and handing over to public authorities. Further processing of paper questionnaires by the State Police and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (SPKC) was also inconvenient and time consuming.

By completing the certificate online at before arriving in Latvia, travellers will be complying with national epidemiological precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 infections. Passengers are then issued a QR code on the website and in their email, which will need to be presented on a mobile device or in printed form before boarding their flight. Airlines have the right to refuse flight to passengers who do not have the QR code.

With the control of completing e-certificates in line with applicable laws entrusted to the airlines themsevles, Riga Airport will provide support to carriers operating at the airport.  The airport will also monitor the existence of QR codes for arriving passengers and provide assistance to those who have not filled in the questionnaire.