JOhn Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport records significant increase in passenger traffic in July

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JOhn Wayne Airport

Los Angeles’ John Wayne Airport has noted that passenger traffic in July 2021 (890,185 passengers) increased 272.3% when compared with July 2020 passenger traffic (239,120 passengers). The figures for this year mark a decrease of just 5.9% when compared to July 2019 when 946,111 passengers travelled through the airport.

Commercial aircraft operations increased 85.9% commuter aircraft operations increased 14.6% when compared with July 2020 levels. Comparing July 2021 to 2019 levels, commercial aircraft operations of 7,294 decreased 5.5 % and commuter aircraft operations of 527 increased 0.8%.

In addition, the airport also noted that total aircraft operations increased in July 2021 compared with the same month in 2020 with 31,998 take-offs and landings in July this year compared to 23,694 total operations in July 2020 (a 35% increase). Aircraft operations also increased 16.3% compared to July 2019 when the airport saw 27,520 aircraft operations.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 75.5% of the total aircraft operations during July 2021, increased 25.4% when compared with July 2020, and increased 25.8% when compared to general aviation activity of 19,194 in July 2019, which accounted for 69.7% of total aircraft operations.

London Southend welcomes return of canine companions back to the terminal

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London Southend Airport has once again welcomed the AirPaws team of dogs and their handlers to its terminal to help calm anxious passengers and staff.

The medical profession endorses findings that dogs can bring comfort to those vulnerable to mental health issues and anxiety. Therapy dogs can help even the most nervous of fliers regain their confidence. The dogs being used at London Southend are trained by Canine Concern to bring comfort and reduce anxiety – particularly around nervous people, or those experiencing stress. The AirPaws Crew and their accompanying handlers are a great addition to the airport customer service team.

“Following a temporary hold on visits from the airport AirPaws team of therapy dogs and their handlers due to COVID-19, we are pleased to confirm that they are returning to the terminal on selected dates,” said Glyn Jones, CEO of London Southend Airport.

“The team offer support to anxious passengers and were recently on hand during our terminal tours, which offered a trial run to individuals who wanted to experience the new safety measures or who suffer from mental health or anxiety,” he continued.

Tina Jullings, Essex Coordinator and Trustee for Canine Concern added: “It was great to be back in the terminal for the recent tours and we are pleased to support further dates and passenger flights in the coming months. Mental health is more important than ever and the AirPaws dogs enjoy visiting the airport to offer their calming services.”

Plattsburgh FBO joins Avflight network

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Avflight corporation has welcomed its 24th FBO: Avflight Plattsburgh at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York, serving the Plattsburgh, Montreal and Lake Placid region, including upstate New York, southern Quebec and Vermont. It will provide customers with convenient access to a number of local attractions and areas of interest including: Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, outdoor guide services, museums and golf resorts.

“The addition of Avflight Plattsburgh provides a key position for the Avflight Network in the Northeast,” said Gartett Hain, Avflight’s Vice President of finance. “This location serves as the ultimate gateway to thriving international businesses and leisure destinations throughout the region. We are proud to bring Avflight’s expertise and passion for aviation, backed by a network of 24 FBOs, to PBG, connecting our loyal customers with the facilities and services they expect in the Avflight Network.”

As the sole full-service FBO at Plattsburgh Airport, Avflight Plattsburgh offers 24-hour fuelling services, US customs, aircraft parking, hangar space, expert ground handling, a GPU/ power cart, courtesy transportation, rental cars, catering, aircraft maintenance, weather service access and professional concierge services.

The new FBO facility will include a 12,852 sq.ft. heated hangar, two 10-bay T-hangars; more than 100,000 gallons of fuel storage; a self-serve avgas pump; a 200,00 sq.ft. ramp and a 5,600 sq.ft. FBO terminal building.

With Avflight’s agreement with the airport finalised, the fuelling company will turn its attention to modernising the facilities in line with the Avflight brand, including new signage, design elements and décor. Once updated the FBO will feature well-appointed passenger and pilot lobbies, a flight planning room, a snooze room and a conference room with full A/V and seating for 12.

China’s new Qingdao-Jiaodong Airport now open with capacity to handle 35 million passengers

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Qingdao-Jiaodong Airport in east China’s Shandong Province officially opened in August connecting passengers travelling from the region with around 130 domestic destinations, including most major Chinese cities and regions. International and regional air routes will link the airport with around 50 overseas destinations.

The airport, which has replaced the Qingdao Liuting International Airport and was built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), is the first in the Shandong Province to be ranked 4F – the highest in China’s airport class capable of handling large aircraft, including the Airbus A380.

In addition to being able to handle an annual passenger throughput of 35 million, the first phase of the airport is also able to handle a cargo throughput of 500,000 tonnes, and 300,000 aircraft take-offs and landings by 2025. Offering a multi-modal transport hub, the airport provides access to the metro and high-speed rail services as well as ample car parking and all major cities around Qingdao city can be reached within two hours. Once the second phase of the airport is complete it will be able to handle 55 million passengers annually, one million tonnes of cargo and 452,000 aircraft take-offs and landings by 2045.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the airport is one of the first in China to make full use of high-tech tools such as big data, cloud computing, the internet of things and mobile internet.

New masterplan in the pipeline for Guernsey Airport

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Infrastructure consulting firm, AECOM, has been appointed to deliver a new masterplan for Guernsey Airport – a gateway to the Channel Islands which is owned and operated by Guernsey Ports. The masterplan will shape the airport’s business priorities and investment opportunities over the next 15 years.

AECOM will work with a number of sub-consultants to deliver the project, including air navigation and airspace experts Egis, aviation traffic and economic specialists York Aviation, and a local planning and property specialist firm in Guernsey, Strategic Property and Planning Ltd.

Key priorities of the masterplan include looking at ways of increasing non-aeronautical revenue and how best to improve the passenger experience. The consulting firm will also consider how the airport can maximise land and property values through new commercial opportunities and it will explore improvements to the existing terminal building that will help increase commercial returns and optimise airline operations. Other areas covered in the masterplan will include the future of air navigation services, as well as the provision of fuel and cargo infrastructure.

“The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on aviation mean airports the world over are looking for ways to strengthen and diversify in addition to air travel,” said James Bruce, AECOM’s Director of Aviation Master Planning. “There is a real opportunity for Guernsey Airport to become a catalyst for commerce on the island and our masterplan will look to maximise the potential for new revenue streams. We bring global expertise in the delivery of aviation projects across the world, working at airports large and small, and will work with local specialists to deliver a plan focused on improving commercial returns over the next 15 years.”

The masterplan will be delivered in two phases with AECOM appointed to deliver Phase One by the end of the year. The final masterplan is expected at the end of 2022.

Avports reaches ‘major agreement’ in extending partnership with Tweed-New Haven Airport

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US airport operator, Avports, has reached a “major agreement” with the Tweed-New Haven Airport Authority that will result in Avports serving as Tweed-New Haven Airport’s (HVN’s) long-term operator in exchange for investing more than $100m in significant capital improvements at the airport in the coming years.

Avports has been the airport’s operator for more than 20 years already and submitted an unsolicited proposal to the authority to transform the airport via a modest runway extension and a new terminal, which together will provide improved passenger service to more destinations, greater passenger convenience, enhanced airport safety, environmental sustainability and carbon-neutrality, a diverse and inclusive local workforce and service providers, and significant economic and community benefit to the adjacent municipalities and region. The authority has agreed to negotiate a final agreement with Avports and not to entertain any other offers so long as the parties are in negotiations.

“Avports is proud to be a long-term partner to HVN and the surrounding community, and now we are proud to come to an agreement that would extend our successful relationship well into the future to the benefit of the community the airport serves,” said Jorge Roberts, CEO of Avports.

“We’re confident that our decades of experience operating and developing regional airports will serve HVN and the community well. We look forward to working together with HVN and the community as we continue to ensure the safest possible air travel and the highest level of service at HVN.”

The airport operator’s $100 million investment will boost the local economy and employment opportunities with the creation of up to 11,000 direct and indirect jobs and $47 million in State and local taxes, according to economic impact analysis commissioned by Avports. The plan will make the airport financially sustainable and eliminate the need for existing subsidies from the State of Connecticut and the City of New Haven, once a lease is finalised.

“This expansion has been discussed for longer than I can remember, and it’s now finally coming to fruition, in part because we have the right partner in our existing operator Avports,” added Sean Scanlon, Director of the Tweed Airport Authority. “Having worked with Avports for some time, I’m confident they will bring high levels of managerial experience as we develop operations at HVN to the benefit and convenience of our flyers and community.”

To find out more about Avports, read the current issue of Regional Gateway featuring an exclusive interview with Avports CEO, Jorge Roberts.

Clermont Ferrand becomes first airport in France to offer SAF on ongoing basis

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Manged by the French airport operator,  VINCI Airports, Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is the first French airport to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) available to its users. The SAF is being supplied by Air bp.

The airport’s first SAF fuelling took place on 19 April when Air bp customer, Michelin Air Services, uplifted the fuel. Michelin will be supplied according to agreed commitments for ongoing supply at the airport with all its volume supplied as the SAF blend. This demand from Michelin means that approximately 30% of the airport’s total volume will be supplied as this SAF blend.

Other customers are also encouraged to come forward and work together with the airport and fuel supplier to establish an agreement for the supply of SAF. The SAF supplied by Air bp is made from waste based sustainable feedstocks such as used cooking oil, which is blended with traditional jet fuel. The SAF supplied is around 35% SAF and the SAF component provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of around 80% compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

The supply of SAF is one of the key items on VINCI Airports’ environmental commitment to decarbonising aviation, as they can be implemented easily, while other technological innovations, such as hydrogen-powered aircraft are still being developed.

“Sustainable biofuels are a short-term solution to decarbonise aviation, and are an integral part of the ambitious environmental strategy we have been pursuing since 2015 to reduce our carbon footprint and engage our stakeholders in the same movement,” said Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and Chairman of VINCI Airports.

Highlighting the importance of collaboration between fuel supplier, airport and customer in driving demand for SAF, Corine Brunet, CEO Michelin Air Services said: “With Air bp, Michelin Air Services has found a partner that listens, makes proposals and is efficient in its implementation of this shared approach to seeking lower carbon options in the aviation sector.”

Meanwhile, Andreea Moyes, Sustainability Director, Air bp, said: “We are excited to see our first ongoing SAF supply in France. Air bp is a strong facilitator in the supply of SAF and recently announced a number of agreements in the UK. This underlines bp’s commitment to working with stakeholders to explore its viable sale and purchase, which we believe is one of the aviation industry’s key routes to reducing carbon emissions and supports bp’s net zero ambition.”

The supply of SAF at Clermont Ferrand follows the ongoing supply of SAF at three UK locations in the last month: London Biggin Hill, Airbus-owned Hawarden Airport in North Wales and Centreline FBO in Bristol.

Skelleftea Airport in Sweden unveils unique disinfection system for safe travel

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Sweden’s Skellefteå Airport is the first airport in the world to install several disinfection systems to reduce the spread of infection and increase the health and safety of passengers.

The disinfection units, which have been supplied by Whitebox, have been installed in various areas, including the baggage hall to disinfect suitcases before they’re rolled out on the conveyor belt, as well as the security checkpoint, where it enables trays to be cleaned automatically after each use. The solution is based on safe, well-tested technology and uses UV light to disinfect contact surfaces and air without chemicals. “The technology has been tested on COVID-19 and the underlying virus of the pandemic SARS COV-2 and the results are assured in a laboratory environment and show that the technology used by Whitebox products kills these viruses with 100% certainty,” said Joakim Wincen, Co-founder Whitebox.

Describing the installation as an “investment in sustainable travel during the ongoing pandemic, but just as much for the future,” Robert Lindgren, CEO and Airport Manager, added: “It is not only during times of crisis that we need to work with reduced spread of infection. That we now have the new solution already is very positive. For Skellefteå Airport, it is important to constantly improve secure travel in every way possible.”

He also noted that being able to participate in developing the technology with Whitebox to help solve one of the biggest societal challenges of all time made him proud. “That we managed to be the first airport in the world to do this is great. Now, we would like to assist with our knowledge and experience – we are happy to advise other airports on how they can improve secure travel too.”

Bristol celebrates becoming 10th UK base for Jet2

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Bristol Airport in the UK is to become the 10th UK base for Jet2 with flights beginning in April 2021. Tickets are already available to 33 destinations from the airline’s new UK hub, four of which are exclusive and new to Bristol.

Izmir in Turkey, Kalamata and Lesvos in Greece and Costa de Almeria in mainland Spain are all new destinations for the gateway to the West of England’s leading hub. The leading leisure carrier will base three aircraft at Bristol and will fly passengers to a wide choice of European destinations including mainland Spain, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Madeira.  It’s an exciting programme for the company’s first summer of operations from Bristol, representing 450,000 seats on sale. Both Ryanair and easyJet also fly from Bristol to a variety of Mediterranean destinations, while the holiday giant Tui also has a significant presence at the airport.

“Never has the time been more important for the region to look to the future in a post-Covid world and Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have shown the confidence in the strength of the region to open up their tenth UK operating base at Bristol Airport,” said Dave Lees, Bristol Airport’s CEO. “This exciting news is a major step towards the future by creating job opportunities, providing significant investment and an increase in the choice of destinations and holidays available to customers in the region.”

The arrival of Jet2 at the UK’s  gateway to the south-west and south Wales marks significant investment for the region with more than 200 new jobs expected to crated ranging from flight and cabin crew, to engineers and ground operations staff.

“The announcement of our tenth UK base reflects our long-term strategy to continue growing our successful business and become the UK’s leading leisure travel business,” said Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2Holidays. Noting how the company is not just making an economic contribution but also providing those travelling to and from the region with greater connectivity, Heapy said: “We know how much demand there is, because we have been listening to customers and independent travel agents in the region for some time.”

Staff at Newcastle Airport in Australia face uncertain future

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Airport staff at Newcastle Airport in Australia are facing an uncertain future without access to JobKeeper because the business is ineligble for the government subsidy.

In a statement the airport said that, “Given the state of our industry and the level of uncertainty that continues to grow, we need to undertake necessary changes to ensure a viable business in the long term. Therefore we have applied to the Industrial Relations Commission for orders allowing us to temporarily stand down workers due to the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our business.”

Despite passenger traffic and related revenues being decimated since late March, the airport has managed to keep most of its permanent staff employed throughout the pandemic.

“While the airport can and does have a large impact on our region, we are not a large company in terms of workforce. Our staff are incredibly important part of who we are, which makes this course of action particularly difficult to take. However, our responsibility is to ensure we have a strong viable airport to service our region well into the future,” the statement continued.

According to a report in Australian Aviation, it is thought that the business can’t claim for the JobKeeper handout because of its local government ownership structure. Despite continuing to prosecute its case with the ATO, the lack of JobKeeper support has placed additional financial strain on the airport.

Although the airport management team remains confident about tourism in the region and the plans for developing the airport, the news that it hasn’t been able to secure JobKeeper funding serves as a reminder of the need for the government to invest in its aviation industry.