Transoft Solutions unveils new features for SkySAFE

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Transoft Solutions has updated its aviation obstacle clearance and limitation tool, SkySAFE.

An advanced CAD-based software tool, SkySAFE is primarily used for safeguarding the operational areas in and around airports and assists planners with obstacle limitation analysis and clearance compliance. Being able to analyse the impact of permanent and temporary obstacles both at the airport and within its extended operational environment is a vital safety task for every airport.

SkySAFE can be used to assess compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations, as well as several other national regulatory frameworks. In addition, it allows accurate and efficient analysis of fixed and temporary obstacles, to avoid penetrating or threatening the obstacle limitation surfaces defined in regulatory guidelines.

SkySAFE offers several new and improved functions, with the most significant being an all-new command to perofrm ICAO, EASA and PSA (France) PAPI/ APAPI surface analyses. The tool can be used to define the PAPI/ APAPI parameters for each runaway end in terms of the glidepath slope, the pilot’s eye height in relation to the instrument landing system (ILS) antenna (if applicable), the main gear height above the runway as it crosses the threshold and the wingbar displacement from the runway end. This is to ensure the proper light colour visibility for the pilot upon approach.

Air bp exceeds 500,000 overwing fuellings with Airfield Automation safe2go misfuel prevention app

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Air bp has surpassed a major milestone, completing more than 500,000 overwing fuellings using its Airfield Automation misfuel prevention technology via its ‘safe2go’ app.

First rolled out in 2018, Airfield Automation has now been deployed at more than 490 locations in 44 countries around the world and a total of 2.8 million fuellings have been processed using the technology.  The 500,000th refuelling taking place at Hamburg Airport in Germany.

Olivia Stone, Vice President Technical Services and HSSE, Air bp said: “We are delighted that more than 500,000 overwing fuellings have benefitted from our safe2go app misfuel prevention technology. Not only does Airfield Automation safe2go technology provide an additional technological barrier to help prevent misfuelling but it also enhances efficiency and reliability in refuelling operations. These combined benefits are attractive to both operators within the bp network and those outside who are looking for this type of technology.”

The app on a handheld device in fuelling vehicles consolidates data on airport fuelling operations, verifies fuelling requirements and captures an acknowledging signature from the pilot or airline representative. Aside from the enhanced safety barrier, operators benefit from faster, more comprehensive and more accurate fuelling as well as data delivery.

New services were added to the cloud-based platform in 2021 enabling operators to benefit from the opportunity to further enhance efficiency. Upgrades include real-time, two-way connection between the flight crew and fuel operator during the aircraft turnaround at the airfield. From receiving the preliminary order through to a revised final order and concluding with an electronic ticket sign off, Airfield Automation provides instant visibility and more efficient refuelling operations.

Airport leaders address open architecture for security screening technology

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Airports and industry stakeholders, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the European Organisation for Security (EOS), Airports Council International (ACI) Europe and Avinor, have agreed in principle to open architecture for security screening technology throughout Europe.

Around the globe, transportation security equipment is moving towards a concept of open architecture – a technological framework that facilitates collaboration, shared resources and an outcome in which common goals are achieved. Open architecture principles will facilitate uniform standards and allow for a more agile response to emerging threats by focusing on open data formats, standard interfaces and the establishment of an operationally viable and cyber-secure approach to security systems.

“Technology and innovation within transportation security is evolving at a rapid pace and open architecture promises to improve how all transportation security agencies share data, integrate emerging technology at speed, remain cyber resilient and advance our mission,” said TSA Administrator, David Pekoske. “We remain committed to innovation and working collaboratively with our partners to increase the security baseline and improve the travelling experience.”

Meanwhile, ACI Europe’s DG, Olivier Jankovec, agreed that the collaboration of stakeholders has “the potential to unlock future applications, partnerships and solutions.”

In recent months, TSA has been working in collaboration with its international partners and stakeholders to update the Open Architecture for Airport Security Systems document, initially published in July 2020. To ensure the objectives and benefits set out in the document could be achieved, ACI Europe partnered with EOS to establish a structure where stakeholders can collaborate to develop  the necessary technical recommendations and address questions on key areas, including liability and the protection of intellectual property.

In line with this latest collaboration, stakeholders are actively working to implement open architecture principles into the security screening system, focusing on open data formats such as Digital Imaging and Communications in Security (DICOS), standardised interfaces and establishing an operationally viable and cyber-secure approach to accessible property screening, on-person screening and identity verification.

IATA calls for greater support in safe transportation of lithium batteries

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on governments to further support the safe carriage of lithium batteries. The association wants to see global standards for screening, fire-testing and incident information sharing being developed and implemented around the world.

The challenge is the rapid increase in global demand for lithium  batteries (the market is growing 30% annually) according to IATA, which in turn is bringing new shippers into air cargo supply chains. Subsequently a critical risk that is evolving is incidents of undeclared or mis-declared shipments.

IATA has long been calling for governments to increase enforcement of safety regulations around the transport of lithium batteries. It would like to see these regulations including stiffer penalties for rogue shippers and the criminalisation of egregious or willful offenses. Additional measures it would like to see being introduced include: The development of safety-related screening standards and processes for lithium batteries; the development and implementation of a fire-testing standard that addresses lithium battery fire containment; enhanced safety data collection and sharing of information between governments.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General commented: “Airlines, shippers, manufacturers and governments all want to ensure the safe transport of lithium batteries by air. It’s a joint responsibility. The industry is raising the bar to consistently apply existing standards and share critical information on rogue shippers. But there are some areas where the leadership of governments is critical. Stronger enforcement of existing regulations and the criminalisation of abuses will send a strong signal to rogue shippers. And the accelerated development of standards for screening, information exchange and fire containment will give the industry even more effective tools to work with.”

Smiths Detection

Incheon Airport partners with Smiths Detection for supply of security screening equipment

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Smiths Detection has been awarded a contract to supply Incheon International Airport in South Korea with checkpoint security screening equipment. The agreement was made through Smiths Detection’s local partner, Donggok Precision, to supply a suite of passenger baggage screening equipment at the airport’s Terminal 1.

Incheon Airport previously partnered with Smiths Detection to provide its high-speed explosives detection system, HI-SCAN 10080 XCT for hold baggage screening in 2021 and successfully trialled the security screening specialist’s Ultraviolet (UV) light tray disinfection kit in 2020.

This latest agreement will see Smiths Detection provide the air transit hub with ten HI-Scan 6040 CTiX scanners, nine iLane ASC automatic tray return system (ATRS) units and an advanced checkpoint and screening management solution, Checkpoint.Evo, to connect all x-ray units and operator workstations.

The scanners which use Copmuted Tomography (CT) technology can generate 3D images that deliver a very high level of detection and low false alarm rates. Meanwhile the ATRS units will increase baggage throughput and alleviate bottle necks during the passenger screening process. To accommodate specific local space requirements the units will be customised to allow for fire shutters to close through the lane in case of an emergency. According to Smiths Detection, the introduction of Checkpoint.Evo will enable Incheon Airport to become one of a handful of airports currently able to conduct remote screening.

In addition, Smiths Detection will deliver a comprehensive training programme, which will include face-to-face training.

Commenting on the contract Aurelien Guilbert, Smiths Detection’s Managing Director of North & South Asia, said: “we’re delighted to have been chosen by Incheon International Airport to supply a range of our products, continuing to delivery leading-edge technology for security and efficiency. Our technology will further enhance ICN’s existing security measures while streamlining the passenger journey from check-in to take off. As the travel industry continues its steady recovery there is no better time to introduce new security technology.”

South Bend Airport names TSA its partner of the year

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The St. Joseph County Airport Authority has presented the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with its Partner of the Year award for services offered at South Bend International Airport in Indiana.

According to a statement from the airport TSA officers have been on the frontline to provide safe screening services for all travellers throughout the ongoing pandemic. The team at South Bend Airport has done so while maintaining smiles and excellent customer service.

“We regularly hear about positive experiences travelers have when going through security at SBN,” said SBN CEO and Executive Director Mike Daigle. “The Transportation Security Officers engage with a smile and positive attitude that directly impacts the travel experience. We are proud to have such a great people working for TSA in South Bend.”

Baggage screening upgrades underway at Perth Airport

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In line with the Federal Government mandate to further strengthen Australia’s domestic and international aviation security, Perth Airport is set to commence a $13m upgrade to its Checked Baggage Screening system across all terminals.

Perth Airport CEO, Kevin Brown, remarked the airport’s top priority is to ensure the safety and security of passengers and their loved ones.

“While security efforts at passenger screening points is obvious, what people don’t see is that each checked-in bag is screened prior to being loaded onto an aircraft,” said Brown. He explained that this behind-the-scenes process is crucial to ensuring safe, secure air travel.

“With the introduction of CT x-rays for all international and domestic checked baggage screening processes, the new state-of-the-art equipment will improve the efficiency of the screening process.

“The new CT x-ray machine will use 3D technology to ease detection of suspect goods in passengers’ checked baggage.”

The airport has engaged local construction company Georgiou Group to deliver the project, to ensure it’s a local investment in local jobs.

Steve Okill, Georgiou Building General Manager, said the company would leverage its experience to deliver the project at Perth Airport.

“We have a solid understanding of what Perth Airport expect when it comes to infrastructure upgrades and look forward to delivering another high-quality upgrade to PAPL,” he said.

“As this project spans all four terminals, our priority will be to minimise disruption to operations while utilising innovation to provide time and cost savings.”

In addition to improving its baggage screening processes, Perth Airport has also embarked on an upgrade to its passenger screening infrastructure across all terminals.

Can flow analytics help airports manage restroom safety and cleaning efficiency?

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While airports have always had to maintain high hygiene standards, according to Veovo’s Christian Bugislaus Carstens, the pandemic has forced a renewed focus on how high-touch, high-traffic areas are used, cleaned and sanitised.

Previously, it might have been enough to ensure all facilities were regularly cleaned, on schedule, to maintain a predetermined standard of hygiene. Now the challenge is significantly more complex. Restrooms must be kept clean and free of crowds. An influx of passengers can no longer be left to their own devices to find their way to the nearest facilities.

Airports must ideally understand facility usage, react quickly to ensure sanitation and reduce crowding, and have the ability to plan custodial tasks more efficiently.

Bugislaus Carstens underlines that many airports are turning to a combination of sensors and machine learning to track and analyse people’s movements within the airport to manage restroom usage.

Occupancy and density analysis enables operators to understand how many people may use a specific restroom at a particular time, based on counting and controlling the situation of each bathroom in real time.

When presented with live occupancy data, passengers can make informed decisions about which facility to use – including information on the walking times to alternative, less crowded restrooms.

By combining live occupancy data with passenger flow analytics, operators can also measure and predict crowding events ahead of time. This enables the airport to direct the flow of passengers across restroom facilities before they become too busy – for example, including messages on digital displays to encourage dwell time in less active zones or dynamic directions via wayfinding apps.

Shifting to need-based cleaning

Rather than a static, rota-based cleaning and sanitising schedule, airports would benefit from moving to a needs-based system.

Armed with historical usage insights, custodial service managers can align cleaning plans to forecasted usage and flight schedules while monitoring staff activity for accurate cleaning-time display.

Deploying custodial resources to the busiest facilities, as needed, makes sense. Therefore, services that can adapt easily to being responsive, even predictive, to shifting flight schedules and people movements will be the most efficient and effective.

A straightforward extension for passenger flow platforms

For many airports, especially those that already have passenger flow systems in use, it’s a simple matter of expanding their data-capture capabilities to include restroom facilities or, in many cases, integrating existing sensor outputs into one common platform.

This extension fits neatly with the already proven benefits of airport flow management, including real-time responsiveness to handle challenges on the go, predictive analysis that improves efficiency, and cost savings by ensuring resourcing matches demand.

For example, airports can understand the impact of gate changes on restroom crowding. They can predict how security bottlenecks affect lounge dwell time and facility usage and determine the optimal custodial response.

Understanding how events affect passengers’ show-up profiles, movement, dwell habits and facility usage throughout the airport makes it possible to automate the appropriate responses.

By using programmes such as Veovo’s airport-wide flow management technology, airports can connect passenger flow analytics, occupancy, and density analysis with operations. The technology means airports will also have the appropriate tools for more intelligent, predictive decision-making from passenger arrival to departure and at every point in between.

US Department of Homeland Security partners with Vanderlande for security screening solution

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Vanderlande’s concept for a self-screening passenger security checkpoint solution for airports has been selected by the US department of Homeland Security (DHS) for further design, development and operational testing. This will be carried out as part of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Screening at Speed programme to improve screening efficiency and the passenger experience.

Vanderlande’s concept will include the supply and integration of screening lanes with its smart virtual divest assistant solution. Alongside its partners Rohde & Schwarz and dormakaba Group, Vanderlande will deliver a fully integrated and self-screening passenger checkpoint concept, as well as an operational prototype for assessment by the DHS. Dormakaba Group will provide its market-leading secure access control systems, while Rohde & Schwarz will supply its Quick Personnel Security scanner.

Andrew Manship, Vanderlande’s Executive Vice President, said: “There has been a clear trend towards passenger self-service solutions at airports, allowing for more efficiency and independence for passengers. We are excited to explore the potential of self-service security checkpoint solutions together with our partners and the US Department of Homeland Security.”

Westminster Group secures screening and surveillance contract for two African hubs

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The technology division of global security solutions provider, Westminster, has been chosen to design, supply and install advanced screening and surveillance equipment to two airports in Southeast Africa.

The contract will see Westminster offer a full turnkey solution and includes the upgrading of security equipment, including new x-ray screening and metal detection equipment, as well as an advanced CCTV surveillance system and new control and command centres at both airports. Westminster will also establish an engineering presence in-country for future maintenance and support services.

Commenting on how the contract is yet another example of Westminster’s growth, Westminster CEO, Peter Fowler said: “It is yet another example of [our] growing global reach across a wide range of disciplines and demonstrates our ability to secure business in new territories. Not only does this contract open a new region for our international operations, but we believe it creates an exciting opportunity for our Managed Services division in developing a wider scope of works and long-term support services at the airports.”