Birmingham Airport switches to renewable electricity

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With ambitions to be net-zero by 2033, Birmingham Airport has made the switch to using electricity generated from renewable sources.

Commenting on the latest step in its lower carbon journey, Tom Denton, Head of Sustainability for Birmingham Airport, said: “This reflects our sustainability ambitions and is a small but important step towards our eventual goal of net-zero carbon by 2033. We’re pleased, but, with so much more work still to do, it’s still way too early to celebrate.”

In recent years, the UK hub has reduced the carbon emissions it controls by 33%, by introducing low-carbon alternatives into its operation, including solar, electric vehicle transition and other energy-efficiency measures.

“We’re excited to be supplying Birmingham Airport with zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity and supporting them in their sustainability journey,” said David Taylor, Sales and Marketing Director of Bryt Energy. “We’re proud to be a part of it and look forward to helping them explore future opportunities for carbon reductions,” he added.

The airport’s contract with Bryt Energ runs until the end of March 2024.

Doncaster Sheffield welcomes Enterprise Rent-A-Car

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The UK’s Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car as part of its ongoing mission to offer an easy, friendly, relaxed experience to its customers.

Enterprise is recognised as a household name for frequent travellers and road trippers and its new branch at the air transport hub is the latest to join more than 450 branches across the UK. The car hire outlet will offer a range of vehicles and will create six jobs including four Management Trainees who are part of Enterprise’s award-winning graduate training programme.

“We’re delighted to welcome Enterprise Car Hire as a great addition to our customer offering ensuring a great end-to-end experience for passengers that travel through Doncaster Sheffield Airport,” said Ian Smith, Commercial and Passenger Experience Director, DSA. “This world-renowned brand shares our aspirations for exceeding customer expectations, and we are pleased to welcome them aboard.”

Describing Doncaster as one of the UK’s fastest growing airports, Thomas Worwood, Enterprise Manager added: ” We share very similar cultural ambitions to nurture new talent, foster innovation and deliver exceptional customer service, so DSA is a great fit for the brand.

“We are looking forward to a busy summer welcoming inbound and outbound tourists after such a long time without international travel. We hope that our combined expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction will lead to a bumper summer season ahead.”

Header image: Left to right – Tom Drury and Jake Coy of Enterprise with Ian Smith, Commercial and Passenger Experience Director, DSA open up the new branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car with Enterprise Branch Manager Tom Worwood.


Liverpool John Lennon gets ready to PLAY as new Iceland link unveiled

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Liverpool John Lennon Airport has welcomed its newest airline partner – Icelandic low-fare carrier, PLAY. The airline will link Liverpool to Reykjavik for the first time with seamless onward connections also available to their US services, including New York, Boston, Washington and Orlando.

Commenting on the new route, Birgir Jonsson, CEO of PLAY said: “The UK has always been a particularly important market for us, so to announce a second route within a year of launching is an exciting milestone for the company. We look forward to welcoming passengers from the northwest region and beyond, to help them on their journey to Iceland or to the US. We are a no-frills airline, but with our reliable and affordable flights, PLAY’s passengers can spend their hard-earned money in their holiday destination, rather than on getting there.”

Flights are due to commence in November and will be operated twice a week on the airline’s fleet of Airbus neo family aircraft. Paul Winfield, LJLA’s Director of Aviation Development expressed his delight at the airport’s expanding route network saying: “Iceland is a destination which we know will prove popular with our passengers, along with the airline’s excellent connections to the US. North America is one of the most popular destinations for North West consumers and it is great that passengers form across the region will soon be able to fly from Liverpool direct to Iceland and onward seamlessly to the US.”

He added that this will be “another important link for the region’s visitor economy too, making it easy for Icelanders and Americans wanting to visit the Liverpool city region, the northwest and North Wales to fly to Liverpool.”

VolkerFitzpatrick awarded runway refurb contrat for Gloucestershire Airport

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Gloucestershire Airport has appointed VolkerFitzpatrick, one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction companies, to deliver a Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) approved upgrade to Gloucestershire Airport in 2022.

The work will be carried out in four phases, with the primary focus being the resurfacing of the crosswind and main runways. There will also be new runway lighting and upgrades to signage and drainage, as well as the installation of below ground infrastructure in readiness for a new radar system.

One of the airport’s three runways will remain open while works are carried out, albeit operating at reduced capacity. When all work is complete, the airport’s existing ‘north/south’ runway will permanently close to make way for the development of the new business park, CGX Connect.

Starting in January 2022, the first phase will see the crosswind runway resurfaced with work taking place through the night to avoid any disruption to operations. Phases two and three will follow in Spring 2022, with work taking place during the day and throughout the night. This phase will see the resurfacing of the main runway, new runway lighting installed, upgrades to signage and draining, and the installation of below ground infrastructure.

Phase four will be the testing and commissioning phase of the project in readiness for anticipated completion and resumption of normal operations by Summer 2022.

“We’re well versed in working on projects like this, having completed similar works at Glasgow, Birmingham and Gatwick Airports. These upgrades will place Gloucestershire Airport firmly at the top end of aviation standards and technology, which will help unlock numerous opportunities and benefits for the airport and surrounding area,” commented Kevin Berry, VolkerFitzpatrick Operations Director.

“These are transformational times for Gloucestershire Airport,” continued Karen Taylor, Gloucestershire Airport Managing Director. “These upgrades are essential to the continued smooth running of operations and, along with CGX Connect, will really elevate the quality and status of the airport, along with its profile as a ‘gateway for growth’ for all those significant developments being brought forward across the region.

Ridge & Partners LLP will work alongside VolkerFitzpatrick, providing project and commercial management services for the runway upgrade. Justin Wright, Senior Project Manager at Ridge & Partners LLP explained how the work will be carried out.

Britten-Norman extends presence at Solent Airport

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British aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman, is strengthening its presence at Solent Airport in the UK, having agreed a new 15-year lease of its civil aircraft manufacturing and maintenance facilities. The signing of the new lease signals a period of growth for Britten-Norman and includes the extension of its lease for its third purpose-built hangar, which is part of Fareham Borough Council’s newly established aviation park.

Open seven days a week, Solent Airport is a gateway to the region’s diverse range of thriving economic hubs, including the Daedalus – Solent Enterprise Zone, while London is a 20 minute helicopter transfer away. Since moving its airside operations to the airport in 2010, Britten-Norman has invested more than £20 million into the local community and created in excess of 100 job opportunities. The company has also purchased nine aircraft from the UK Ministry of Defence to repurpose and reinvent for the civilian market.

“The signing of the new lease signals a period of growth, innovation and further success across its 34,000 sq. ft. stronghold at Solent Airport,” read a statement from Britten-Norman.

Despite its strengthened presence at Solent and its global footprint spanning across Europe and North America, Britten-Norman proudly maintains its presence at its ancestral home base at the Isle of Wight’s Bembridge Airport.

Manchester celebrates non-stop transatlantic links with Aer Lingus

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The UK’s Manchester Airport has celebrated the departure of its first Aer Lingus transatlantic flight to Barbados. Travellers in the North of England can now enjoy two weekly flights to the Caribbean destination until the end of April.

The brand new EI 31 service departed Manchester on 20 October at 10.15 marking a major milestone for the Irish flag-carrier’s services from the UK. A Barbadian steel band, Band One, were on hand to entertain customers checking in for the inaugural flight.

From 1 December Aer Lingus will expand its transatlantic network even further from the UK hub with the addition of non-stop direct flights to New York’s JFK Airport. And on 11 December Aer Lingus will start its third new route from Manchester to Florida.

Karen Smart, Manchester Airport Managing Director, noted, “Not only is it great to see the airline put this route on at Manchester, giving passengers additional choice and flexibility for this popular destination, but it is also a huge boost for the region with Aer Lingus choosing uas as its first UK base for transatlantic flights.”

She added that the Irish carrier’s new routes will no doubt be hugely popular with the airport’s 22m catchment population. “Furthermore, the routes and base here at Manchester will be welcomed by the hundreds of people who will have access to the jobs created here.”

London Southend partners with Smiths Detection to unveil new baggage x-ray machines

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With air travel continuing to rebound London Southend Airport has invested in two new baggage x-ray machines which together are capable of processing up to 3,600 bags every hour.

The airport recently unveiled a new trial lane within security which allows passengers to leave liquids and laptops within bags taken onboard their flight. Developed by Smiths Detection, the Hi-SCAN 10080 XCT x-ray scanning equipment offers a next generation high speed checked baggage system. Data generated from baggage passing through the system provides the highest resolution images possible to optimise detection performance while also offering 3D technology. Each machine can process up to 1,800 bags per hour.

Robson were contracted to supply the conveyor system as well as local businesses to complete the installation.

“As travel restrictions ease, so too will passenger confidence and demand,” said Glyn Jones, CEO, London Southend Airport. “We believe the airport has a bright future and continue to invest to bring local economic benefits, from connectivity to employment. The new hold bag system will ensure efficiency when processing passengers bags onto flights whilst maximising security via new x-ray screening technology.”

Meanwhile, Richard Thompson, Global Director for Aviation at Smiths Detection added: “We are delighted that London Southend Airport chose us as their partner to deploy the latest and highest specification security screening equipment. These systems will provide operational efficiencies and passenger experience improvements behind the scenes, all of which will be invaluable both as air travel picks up and many years into the future.”