Archive

Monthly Archives: July 2018

Munich Airport Security Breach Leads to Hundreds of Cancelled Flights | Airports NewsAround 200 flights were cancelled, and two terminals evacuated at Munich Airport on Saturday, following reports of an unauthorised entry to a secure area by an unidentified adult female.

According to the reports, the woman entered a secure area of Terminal 2 with no security checks and then disappeared. This was originally reported to the Police at 06:45am local time. An extensive, five-hour search of Germany’s second-busiest airport followed, and the terminal remained closed between 07:47am and 12:44pm while Police conducted a thorough investigation, and flights resumed at 1pm GMT.

Delays have led to the continuation of cancellations, and the airport warned airlines more cancellations could follow. By Sunday afternoon the number had risen to 300 cancelled flights, which left more than 32,000 passengers stranded.

According to local newspaper reports, Police have identified the 40-year-old woman, who was not considered to be an ‘extreme danger’. It is not yet clear if she will face any criminal charges for the airport security breach.

The breach was taken extremely seriously, and restaurants and duty-free stores also closed during the search. Passengers who had already cleared security areas were redirected through the arrivals lounge to pass through security again. Delays were severe and led to hundreds of passengers taking to social media to voice their concerns and in some cases, fury at the temporary closure.

The incident delayed sixty flights on the ground, which led to chaos in the airport. Passengers have since said that there was a worrying lack of information surrounding the situation, which was made worse by searing temperatures and led to several passengers being treated by Paramedics. According to local news, at one point, the Munich fire department was called in to blow fresh air into large ventilators in an attempt to cool down the airport.

Terminal two airlines were most badly affected, and inside around 700 people spent the night on camp beds in the terminal, as local hotels did not have sufficient capacity.

Thousands of passengers returned to rebook flights on Sunday, as delays continued throughout the day as airlines and airport operators struggled to deal with the backlog.

The airport is advising passengers to be patient and to contact the airline before attending the terminals.

Advertisements

San Antonio International Airport Breaks Records | Airport BlogTexas’ San Antonio International Airport (SAT) has been experiencing record growth for two years, but this June has seen a record-breaking 887,000 passengers through its doors, marking the most passengers served in a single month since the airport opened.

Russ Hardy, aviation director for the City of San Antonio, is delighted with the record numbers and said, ‘If the numbers continue to grow as we anticipate, we could realistically exceed the 10 million mark in passengers for 2018. This is a benchmark we would happily like to achieve this year.

The figures represent an increase of 6.8% compared to the same period last year for domestic travellers. There was, however, a drop in international passenger numbers of 4.6%.

Looking ahead, SAT is already looking to break more records. It is expected to outdo last years’ figures with preliminary releases scheduled to deliver 10% more passenger seats sales in the later half of this year, including the busy summer season.

Cargo handling has also increased for the airport. Figures show an 8.2% increase in cargo during June, which translated into more than 22,000,000 pounds in weight. This could represent another record level, as the recent upturn in figures is almost double the average growth in cargo transportation for the airports of North America.

Automated Screening in Airports | Airport BlogAll over the globe, airport operators are seeking the seamless passenger experience for the traveller journey, from arrivals to departure.

Automation in airports is bringing this closer, particularly in the area of airport security.

It has been announced that the UK’s Department of Transport is looking to use automation technology for the screening of liquids, which currently are limited to just 100ml. This could mean the end of such limits in the UK, which currently has some of the strictest security measures in the world, according to a Department of Transport spokesperson.

The limit on carrying liquids onto aircraft was imposed in the summer of 2006, when a bomb plot was uncovered on a passenger flight. The chemicals were discovered in an ordinary drinks bottle, which at the time, would have been relatively simple to smuggle on board the aircraft.

The latest automated baggage screening technology uses 3D imagery, which can look at items in passenger baggage from all angles, and explosive detection technology, currently being trialled in the UK, could lead to the elimination of current liquids restrictions.

Reducing passenger security screening time

The time passengers spend in security lanes is already being reduced with the latest screening technology, and passengers are moving through these areas with greater efficiency than ever before, but, according to industry professionals, this can be improved even further with the latest in automation, enhancing passenger facilitation across the entire airport environment.

Some of the industry’s leaders, such as Rockwell Collins, have introduced solutions for passenger facilitation, including options for biometric identity management, boarding pass verification and automated border control. Using automation is universally accepted in the aviation industry as being the way forward for future travel, and passenger experience is high on the agenda.

If passengers no longer have to empty their hand luggage completely, remove liquids and other items to be screened separately, it is easy to see how this is going to speed up the process of security screening. There won’t be many passengers complaining about that!

Manchester Airport Drop-off charges introduced | Airports NewsThe UK’s third-busiest airport at Manchester is introducing a new drop-off charge this month in a bid to address congestion, which is currently increasing significantly. The new fee will be £3 for five minutes or £4 for 10 minutes. It is hoped that the new fee structure will reduce the number of vehicles entering the busiest parts of the airport site.

COO of Manchester Airport, Tricia Williams said, ‘Manchester Airport has seen a significant increase in passenger volumes in the past five years and is heavily investing in further growth and improvements to the customer experience, most notably through our £1bn transformation programme.

Manchester Airport has said that it will use the proceeds from this new tariff to set up a public transport fund. This is in partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire East Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, who will administer the fund.

A dedicated drop-off point has been created further away from the busiest terminal areas in readiness for the fee system launch, which will be serviced by a free shuttle to ferry passengers to their departure terminal. Support for measures to improve accessibility to the airport site will be considered, in addition to access to public transport.

Ms Williams also said, ‘We are committed to ensuring people can still be dropped off for free at the airport, which is why we have invested in the creation of a dedicated drop-off site and free shuttle service. The location of the site has been carefully chosen due to its proximity to all terminal and the motorway network. We have listened carefully to issues raised by passengers since announcing our plans and have been able to respond to many of the concerns raised. Staff will be on hand prior, during and after the go live date on Tuesday July 10 to assist any passengers who need guidance or help.