new-duty-free-gatwickTravellers from Gatwick Airport will be able to enjoy a new shopping experience this year, as the operators opened a brand new duty free store.

Now, passengers can access the World Duty Free store as they leave security, giving them an opportunity to complete their seasonal shopping. The new retail area covers just shy of 2,000 square metres, and replaces the former store in a new location.

Much research has gone into the new duty free store, and this includes the use of some of the latest innovations in technology to help create a personalised experience for shoppers. The layout of the store has been carefully decided, to ensure shoppers have options to suit their own way of browsing. They will be able to find what they are looking for quickly under the new system, or equally, they will be able to browse at a slower pace to suit the time they have available.

Inside the new retail development is the addition of a dedicated beauty area measuring an impressive 628 square metres. The beauty area will feature new brands to Gatwick Airport, and a wide choice for shoppers with boutique stands from Chanel, Lancome, Clarins and Clinique to name a few. There are also make up, fragrance and skincare ‘zones’, stocked by some of the best brands in the world, and staffed with specialists to ensure a premium shopping experience akin to some of the world’s best designer High Street areas.

The selection of spirits in the retail area has also changed, as Gatwick embrace some of the UK’s best brands, such as the local ‘Silent Pool’ gin, distilled in Surrey, and local whiskies. The tasting bar is already proving popular to travellers, and the new digital signage offers the retailers the chance to entice shoppers through the doors with personalised content and dynamic updating.

The introduction of the latest innovations is opening up a new world to shoppers, who are able to interact with the technology to make their decisions, even including a comparison application for fashion that can be used with social media platforms.

With a massive selection of quality brands for toys, watches, jewellery, sunglasses, Fortnum and Mason hampers and more, passengers travelling from Gatwick will need to arrive early!

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As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, uncertainty is still very much the biggest challenge for those speculating about the impacts of the decision.

The Brexit campaign centred on border control, and the promise that the UK would regain control of her borders, yet as the debates continue, the only certainty that remains is that the impact on border control will be determined by the UK’s position within the European Economic Area, and any decisions made on free movement of people and goods.

With little more than a year to go, the challenges that may be faced need to be addressed now, if major delays or flight cancellations are to be avoided.

Although a ‘business as usual’ approach is being discussed, it is impossible to judge the true impact until firm decisions have been made. Speculation states that the following additional measures and challenges may appear:

  • Additional clearance approval – this is likely to occur for UK citizens travelling throughout the EU
  • Visa completion – a likely addition for citizens on both sides of the border
  • Ground delays – these will be likely, as additional border control clearance processes are carried out
  • Longer queues – these are inevitable, at least during the early stages, as pressure increases on border control personnel
  • Increased security checks on cargo and goods – the removal of tariff-free trade agreements will inevitably increase the time spent on checks. Currently, paperwork checks are seamless and minimal under the EU guidelines
  • Longer waiting times for cargo trucks – an inevitable by-product of additional security and paperwork checks. Current infrastructure could struggle with additional pressure
  • Rising costs – again, inevitably, additional resources, time and regulatory approval will drive up the cost of moving goods and passengers around the UK and the EU

Although these challenges could pose major problems for the countries on either side of the UK border, the introduction of advanced technology and solutions could help to minimise the impact of additional security measures. The latest advancements and applications are designed to maintain maximum efficiency, while ensuring compliance at regulatory level.

There is little doubt that the aviation industry, travellers and manufacturers will feel the initial effects of Brexit, taking a hit to infrastructural demand. It remains to be seen whether decisions can be made quickly to enable operators to put the solutions in place in time.

New Departure Hall B Opens at FRA | Airports NewsFrankfurt Airport’s new Departures Hall B within Terminal One has been completed and opened in time to give passengers a new departure experience over the Christmas holiday season.

Travellers will now be able to enjoy freshly-baked bread and pizzas around the clock in the new Airport Bistro, in addition to new, comfortable waiting areas, concept lighting and brand new information desk.

Airport operators, Fraport, are delighted with the new facility, and hope that passengers will enjoy the new meeting, waiting, eating and passenger information areas.

The new departure hall has the addition of careful planting, and the new areas have been created with an enhanced passenger experience in mind. Frankfurt Airport already offers an exclusive shopping experience, with many top designer stores on site, such as Versace and Pfueller, superb duty-free areas and a personal shopper service.

Find out more about Frankfurt Airport here.

Trace Detection System Approved by TSA | Airport Security NewsIt has been announced that the TSA has approved the first trace detection system on the Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL).

The portable system has been designed to detect tiny quantities of explosives within moments, in addition to the capability of detecting trace amounts of narcotics like fentanyl.

The flexible trace detection system has the ability to operate using batteries to enable seamless operation within a dynamic environment, and is perfect for screening cargo ‘on-the-go’ kerbside.

Plans are now in place to submit the trace detection system for testing and approval at other airport checkpoints, further improving security screening. The new system has been designed to operate in a similar way to previous versions, reducing the training time needed for the new devices. The provider also suggests that the units are easier to maintain, and will save time and resources over their lifespan.

Physical security in airports of all sizes around the world is increasing, and the pressures are growing for operators with mandatory regulations. Operators are looking towards the latest airport security technology to improve operations, increase efficiency and flexibility, while maintaining the highest levels of security within the airport environment.

Proven systems and solutions need to be in place to enable operators to rise to meet the challenges the latest security mandates and security threats place on the aviation industry. A wide range of security measures must be met, including:

  • Access management
  • Intrusion detection
  • Biometric identity management
  • Vehicle and personnel identification
  • Explosive detection
  • Narcotics detection
  • And much more.

Physical security solutions providers are embracing the latest technology to ensure airport operators can achieve maximum security at every level, and meet the mandatory requirements without creating undue ground delays that can result in fines and a reduction in passenger experience.

Solutions such as the trace detection system can help airport ground handling personnel to confidently expedite cargo, while maintaining efficiency and operational productivity.

Record-breaking Passenger Numbers in October for Dublin Airport | Airports NewsDublin Airport has announced the busiest October for passenger handling since it was opened 77 years ago. The record-breaking figures show a 6% increase over 2016, at over 25.3 million passengers through its doors so far, this year.

The number of passengers in October were broken down as follows:

  • European travellers increased by 5% with 1.3 million passengers
  • Travellers to and from the UK decreased by 2% on last years’ October figures
  • North American destinations saw a 14% increase, handling more than 300,000 passengers last month
  • Other destinations, including the Middle East and Africa had an increased number of passengers by 16%
  • Irish domestic routes also experienced an increase in passengers, up 6% from last October
  • Dublin Airport has recorded a whopping 36% increase in its hub traffic

Dublin Airport is delighted with its increased passenger handling, and is enjoying a new era of development with its next-generation business hub, offering domestic and international connections. The airport is continuing to grow and expand, and its modern terminals offer passengers a relaxed environment where they can work, shop, eat and be entertained while waiting for flights.

Find out more about Dublin Airport Central.

airport security measures UKThe US has begun a series of new security measures this week, which will focus on the threat of hidden explosives.

Passengers and their devices will be given extra attention at airports across the US operating commercial flights into the country, which could spell security checks and interviews during the departure process.

Passengers planning to fly to the US have been advised to attend airports up to three hours before departure to allow for the additional security measures.

Earlier this year, the US government announced a temporary ban on electronic devices larger than a phone carried in cabin baggage from eight specified countries. This latest move is much wider, and follows fears that an attack by terrorists could be likely, using an explosive device concealed within an ordinary laptop or other electronic device.

Global Airports News | Manchester Airport ImprovementsManchester Airports Group (MAG) will install new passenger bridges to enhance and improve aircraft boarding and turnaround management as a part of its plans in the Manchester Airport Transformation Program – a project that will see around £1 billion in investment.

The plan for the new passenger boarding bridges will roll out gradually over 2018 and 2019, and are set to deliver greater flexibility and efficiency to the airport turnaround management. Additionally, passengers will receive welcome relief from the UK weather, being completely protected within the new bridges, which will be enclosed with glass sides.

Aircraft turnaround management is a critical process, which can lead to expensive ground delays if not handled to its greatest effect. Many global airports employ a turnaround system in real time, and some have mobile capabilities, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AirTQM, for example.

MAG’s grand plan for Manchester Airport, which will continue until 2020, will give the airport greater capacity to handle 45 million passengers annually, almost 20 million more than it can today.

Airports across the globe are focussing increasingly on passenger experience and customer service. A seamless airport experience is being worked towards all over the world, and is challenging for airports of all sizes, particularly in the current climate, with security at the top of all priority lists. Delays and queuing are constantly monitored with passenger experience high on the agenda.

The new passenger boarding bridges at Manchester Airport are expected to increase efficiency initially at Pier one of Terminal two, and should, once the project is completed, help Manchester Airport to achieve greater efficiency and enhance productivity considerably.