Gatwick airport is directly contesting with Heathrow for an expansion of its facilities, as both airports vie for position in the race to build and operate another runway.
An additional runway at Gatwick could generate as many as 28,000 jobs, according to a new report issued recently by Arup. It is also estimated that an expansion of facilities and services could result in the stimulation of 120,000 UK-wide jobs, in addition to future opportunity for young people with the establishment of an apprenticeship fund that could amount to £3.75million.
A new initiative has recently gained ground for Gatwick airport in the form of a partnership alliance with three UK universities – Brighton, University College London and Imperial College London – offering three places each year for graduates to join the engineering teams at the airport.
A spokesperson for Gatwick has confirmed that the airport can also ‘deliver a new runway faster [than Heathrow], and have a spade in the ground before 2020.’
The airports expansion project has been big news in the UK for a number of years, following protests by residents near both sites concerning noise and environmental pollution issues.
The UK Government has delayed a decision about any airport expansion project until October 2016.
Miami International Airport has plans in place to begin an upgrade of its baggage handling systems, replacing a part of its security screening system and automated sortation.
The upgrades will also include modifications to baggage conveyancing, electrical and power distribution systems. The TSA is backing the project with a grant to Miami-Dade County of $101 million to support plans to build a 60,000ft2 extension to the current Central Terminal BHS, which will include a security corridor between Terminals G and H.
As advancing technology continues to offer opportunities for increased efficiency and security, airports around the world are looking to these next-generation baggage handling systems to deliver enhanced passenger experience, whilst making sure than capacity for expansion and adaptability remains at the forefront of all planning.
Ground delays are an expensive issue for both airlines and airports, and as passenger numbers continue to increase, operators must ensure that improvements work to significantly improve operational efficiency and security.
Miami-Dade County look forward to the project, which is hoped will create more than 600 local jobs for both direct and indirect employees.
Airports around the globe are pushing forward with self-service solutions to make passenger experience better, and to allow greater flexibility for resource and personnel management within the airport environment.
In addition to self-service check-in and baggage handling, the future of aviation travel may involve complete automation using the next generation of biometrics to handle passenger security screening, passport control and data sharing with government departments and agencies.
Rockwell Collins is a major player in the airports infrastructure sector, and has been working on and thinking about innovations in biometrics and identity management for almost a decade.
The use of biometrics, and in particular facial recognition technology, is faced with challenges in the aviation industry, quite aside from the privacy and data sharing issues that continue to be hotly debated around the world.
According to the Director of Strategic Programs for Rockwell Collins’ Global Airports business, Mr Tony Chapman, ‘Everyone is looking for something more unique than facial features. It’s good, but you have to look at the camera.’
Although the idea of complete, biometrics-powered automation is still some years away, it is good to know that some of the biggest innovators in the world are working towards a solution.