Angela Gittens at the ACI Conference | Aviation BlogThe 28th ACI Europe/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition is approaching fast, and there are just a few weeks left before some of the airport industry’s biggest names and leaders join the leadership panel in Brussels to discuss some of the most important issues facing the aviation industry.

The leaders panel has now been finalised, and attendees can look forward to hearing keynote speakers over three full days:

  • Bongani Maseko, CEO, Airports Company South Africa and chair of ACI World
  • Arnaud Feist, CEO, Brussels Airport Company
  • Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO, Munich International Airport and president, ACI Europe
  • Thomas Woldbye, CEO, Copenhagen Airport
  • Joseph Lopano, CEO, Tampa International Airport
  • Martin Eurnekian, Executive Director, Corporacion America, and vice-chair, ACI World
  • Fred Lam, CEO, Airport Authority Hong Kong.

The theme this year is ‘Airports as Brands and Businesses’ and the conference will be looking at the evolution of the airport into a business building a brand relationship with its customers.

The conference and exhibition will also be focussed around the ever-increasing challenge of airport capacity as passenger numbers continue to grow year-on-year. How do airports ensure that they maintain mandatory compliance, keep passengers moving, look after baggage, maintain watertight security and at the same time make sure that passengers stay happy and bottom line operational budgets stay intact?

Attendees at the conference will find out what the biggest names in the industry think about these challenges, and how the industry itself is working to meet these demands while keeping systems and processes efficient and cost-effective.

ACI World director-general, Angela Gittens said, ‘Our assembly provides a unique opportunity for industry leaders from all regions of the world to share their expertise and experience and debate and explore ways we can continue to adapt and grow. ACI is the only truly global voice for the airports industry and our assembly is the perfect venue to foster dialogue among airports as well as with stakeholders in the aviation industry as a whole.

The exhibition promises to deliver a wealth of networking opportunities, and will showcase a wide range of airport solutions, including, but not limited to:

  • IT solutions
  • Bag drop systems
  • FIDS
  • Passenger boarding bridges
  • Duty free retailers
  • Commercial technology
  • And much more.

To find out more about the conference and exhibition, and to register for your place, please click here.

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Stansted Airport Opens New Check In Area | Airports NewsFlight passengers using London Stansted Airport this month will experience a new section of check-in area, opened earlier this month as a part of its £600 million transformation project.

The latest milestone marks success for London Stansted’s transformation programme, as passenger numbers increase steadily. The eight new check-in desks are hi-tech and ready to meet the growing numbers of travellers using Stansted. Eventually, plans are for a total of 30 new counters to help create an improved passenger experience and enhance the operational productivity of the airport.

Paul Willis, London Stansted’s transformation director said, ‘We’ve been working hard since the end of last year and it’s been fantastic to watch the project move away from the planning stage and come to life. We’re delighted to reach this major milestone in our transformation programme.’

Other plans included in the first phase of the transformation programme are:

  • Upgrades to the airfield
  • Upgrades to the car parks
  • New upper deck seating areas

Airports of all sizes around the world are turning to the latest passenger check-in innovations to improve operations and increase the experience for passengers moving through the airport environment.

There is a passenger processing revolution occurring in the world’s busiest airports, and the addition of self-service kiosks and biometrics technology is helping to strengthen airport security – meeting increasing mandatory requirements, while reducing queues and helping airports manage costs.

What’s next for Stansted’s transformation project?

Phase two of the project will be focussed on the construction of a new arrivals building, which is expected to open in 2020 at a cost of £130 million. The new building will include enhanced baggage reclamation points and immigration department, improved access and a new retail shopping area, in addition to a larger public forecourt for passengers arriving at the airport.

The project is expected to be fully completed in 2022.

WestJet Launch New Service from Halifax to London Gatwick | Airports NewsIt was announced a few days ago that WestJet, Canadian low-cost airline, has launched a new daily non-stop direct service from Halifax-Stanfield International Airport and the UK’s London Gatwick.

The new service will run initially until 26 October 2018 and will be served by the B737-8 MAX – the latest addition to the airlines’ fleet.

The new service marks an important link to the UK and connections to Europe, and according to the Minister of Business and Tourism for Nova Scotia, Mr Geoff MacLellan, will help to ‘further connect our people, cultures and business, making it even easier for UK tourists to visit.

The airline hopes that the new service will strengthen its commitment to develop new links to European markets, and believes that the Boeing MAX demonstrates its commitment to using fuel-efficient, guest-friendly aircraft as a part of its future.

Tom Coyle, WestJet’s interim executive vice-president said, ‘This service also demonstrates our commitment to support efforts on the part of Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada to enhance trade and tourism, and grow the economies of both Canada and the United Kingdom.’

Not only this, but also a major milestone for the airline will be another inaugural flight, planned for 31 May 2018, which will leave Halifax land in Paris, marking the first time the airline will land on mainland European soil. Exciting times ahead for WestJet, and we wish them every success.

Find out more about WestJet on its official website here.

Budapest Airport Achieves Carbon Neutral Status | Airports NewsBudapest Airport has happily flexed its green muscles this week, by achieving the coveted Carbon Neutral status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation program.

Hungary’s major airport worked hard to meet the criteria, implementing a range of energy-saving features throughout the terminals and making changes to critical services over the last ten years – and they’re still not done with the carbon-saving initiatives!

Budapest Airport’s environmental director, Gabor Szarvas, is delighted to receive this accreditation, particularly as they are the first airport in the Central-Eastern European region to qualify. ‘In Europe, only thirty airports are in the elite club of carbon-neutral operations, and in Central-Eastern Europe we are the first to receive this accreditation,’ he said.

The airport has reduced the CO2 emission per passenger by as much as 44% over the last five years, and is determined to go even further. Szarvas continued, ‘Since passenger traffic has been increasing significantly, we are continuously working on making the airport operation greener, in the framework of our Greenairport programme.’

The Greenairport program was launched just three years ago, and its aim was to make the operation of the gateway airport ‘sustainable via joint environmental actions.’

Still in the pipeline of improvements yet to come at Budapest Airport include:

  • Increase the number of electric vehicles at the airport
  • Commission charging stations
  • Completion of heating and cooling technologies in Terminal 2B

The installation of LED-based lighting systems, and the refurbishment of district heating pipes and water supply pumps has all contributed to the milestone achievement for the airport and it continues to work towards even greater carbon reductions.

In addition to achieving this coveted status, Budapest airport is also working to encourage its partners to adopt similar sustainable practices, and is promoting its success to show other organisations and authorities what can be achieved with determination, investment, commitment and a firm strategy in place.

Istanbul New Airport | Airport NewsIt has been announced that Yotel, the London-based hotel group, have been commissioned to build one of the largest airport hotels in the world at the almost-completed Istanbul New Airport.

The 451-roomed hotel will be located within the main airport terminal building and will have access from both air-and land-side, which will make it ideal for travellers and airline crew.

The airport operator, iGA, hopes that the new airport will ‘accelerate the growth of Turkish Airlines’, and has a focus to ‘bring an unprecedented passenger experience’ with the implementation of passenger technologies.

Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of iGA said, ‘Over the past 16 years, Turkey has visibly undergone a significant growth, development and reforms in its economy, tourism, infrastructure and standards of living and INA is a crucial part of this vision aimed at setting the bar higher and improving the quality of life for our citizens and visitors alike, l feel fortunate and privileged to be a part of this monumental project.

Yotel’s CEO, Hubert Viriot is delighted to be a part of the Istanbul New Airport project and believes that the ambitious vision to make INA the largest transit hub in the world is a great aspiration for success. He said, ‘Istanbul New Airport will only further increase Istanbul’s ever-expanding popularity and economy and YOTEL is delighted to be a part of it. The prevailing ambitious vision to make Istanbul New Airport the largest transit hub in the world made it very attractive for us to be there, and we are extremely honoured to be chosen for this exciting project. This city aspires to high growth success, just like YOTEL, so we are a perfect match.

Yotel operates four hotels in Europe at Gatwick Airport, London Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. This new development will be the largest. INA is expected to be able to handle up to 200 million passengers per year when it opens in the autumn of this year and will have three terminals and six runways.

Frankfurt Airport Roof Terrace Opens T1 | Airport Industry NewsPassengers will get a different view of Frankfurt Airport this summer, as the German operator opens a new roof terrace in Terminal 1’s transit zone.

The roof terrace, or Open Air Deck, as the largest airport in Germany has called it, overlooks the busy airside of Terminal 1, giving passengers a great view of the ‘back-end’ workings of the airport, such as the ground handling aspects, in addition to the take-offs and landings.

There is a weather monitor on the 1382-meter deck, in addition to comfortable seating and a free-to-use telescope if travellers want a closer look at their aircraft. Open between 5am and 11pm, the €1.5 million open air deck can be accessed by all passengers in the non-Schengen zone.

There has been a terrace for airport visitors at the airport for some time, accessible from Terminal 2 on Level 4, but this new addition is already garnering positive attention from flight passengers, who feel that some fresh air and a fresh view of the airport is a welcome change from waiting inside to board or arriving at the terminal after a long flight.

LAX Automated Passenger Screening | Airport Security News

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has almost reached its goal of opening 14 Automated Passenger Screening lines with just two units to go in the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

The new automated screening lines (ASLs), installed as part of a program with Los Angeles World Airports and the TSA, are expected to increase passenger screening by up to 30% compared to the previous systems, and will help to improve passenger experience.

According to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the new ASLs will provide ‘the foundation for future security enhancements’ and deliver faster, more efficient passenger security and screening. The new system gives greater flexibility and decreases passenger waiting times with the opportunity for up to five travellers being able to deposit their items in trays simultaneously without waiting for the previous passenger to pass through first.

The project to replace the current system began in summer last year, and has, according to LAWA, been completed ahead of the planned schedule and under budget.

Keith Jeffries, federal security director for the TSA at LAX said, ‘The completion of the Automated Screening Lane project at TBIT is indeed a milestone that was reached because of the outstanding partnership between TSA and LAWA. TSA pledges to continue its focus on security operations while embracing innovative technologies.’

Another benefit of the ASLs is that they are large enough to hold an onboard bag and 25% larger than a standard screening tray. In addition, the trays have RFID tagging in place, to ensure traveller-baggage accountability through the screening process.

This latest project takes LAX’s total number of ASLs to 27, including those located in Terminals 2, 4 and 7.

International travellers from around the world are recognising the benefits of automation across the airport environment. The latest technology in airport automation is reducing waiting times and ground delays and improving operational productivity across every critical process, including passenger check-in, baggage handling and security screening.