Queue in Airport Set to Reduce with Cashless System | American Airlines Go CashlessAmerican Airlines is moving towards a cashless transaction experience in airports all over the US, as it removed cash payment options at Miami Airport this week, making the total number now 50 airports.

The airline says that moving away from cash assists its customers more efficiently, and adds, ‘It also reduces the complexity of work for our agents who will no longer have to worry about handling cash, find exact change or close out a cash drawer at the end of the day. In general, our ticket counter agents support the transition to a cashless environment.

Beginning tomorrow at Miami International Airport, passengers will be advised to bring credit and debit cards only, although, having partnered with Ready Credit, American Airlines check-in desks will have ReadyStation kiosks nearby, providing prepaid Visa debit cards up to $1,000. There will be a $5 surcharge for this service.

American Airlines spokesperson, Aran Coello, has acknowledged that this new system may cause problems for foreign passengers, rather than native Americans, but also says, ‘we have noticed that many travellers who are returning to a country where [U.S. dollars] is not the accepted currency will often add more funds to their cards as it is a cost-effective method of converting [U.S. dollars] to other currencies.

With successful operation of the scheme in 50 other locations in the US, including JFK International Airport, LaGuardia, LAX and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, American Airlines believe that the move to a cashless environment is the right step to take in the modern airport.

Most travellers already use debit and credit cards for expenses such as excess baggage, additional flight upgrades and other necessary fees, but it is accepted that some travellers, particularly those from foreign countries, will have exchanged currency into dollars in cash for use on their journey, but the prepaid Visa debit cards will often give a much better rate of exchange for passengers.


Scotland Airports Record Busiest Year in 2017 | Airports News UKAccording to recent passenger figures, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports have recorded that 2017 was their busiest year to date, with over 13 million people moving through Edinburgh Airport, and almost 10 million using Glasgow’s international hub.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief exec. is delighted by the announcement, and said ‘This is a fantastic achievement for Edinburgh Airport – to welcome more than 13 million passengers is a real triumph and one that we are delighted by.

December proved to be an outstanding month, despite adverse weather conditions in the north of the UK, which saw Edinburgh Airport process more than 900,000 passengers, and Glasgow over 600,000.

Glasgow’s MD, Amanda McMillan, said ‘2017 was a fantastic year for the airport. To carry more than 9.9 million passengers is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work put in by more than 5,000 people across the airport.

Ms McMillan also added that she was pleased to have ‘considerably’ increased connectivity for Glasgow Airport, with the addition of 30 more routes and services during 2017, particularly across Europe.

Aberdeen Airport also enjoyed a great year, although not reaching record-breaking numbers for them, but passenger traffic was up 1.8% on 2016 figures. December marked the eighth consecutive month of increasing numbers for them, which gave them a total for 2017 of just over 3 million passengers. Airport officials guess that there was a strong demand for winter sun for Scotland’s residents, with a growth recorded for the winter months of 4.6% for domestic service and 8.7% for international travel.

Interestingly, there was a drop in helicopter traffic out of Aberdeen Airport last year, the reason being, according to Carol Benzie, the MD of Aberdeen Airport, who said, ‘Domestic fixed-wing traffic has driven much of the total passenger increases which has, in part, been due to chartered services being used by offshore workers to reach destinations such as Sumburgh and Wick, to then connect offshore via helicopter. This has, as a result, contributed to the decrease in helicopter passengers travelling directly from Aberdeen.

Common Use Passenger Processing System in the Maldives | Airports NewsThe Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) has announced that Velana International Airport and Gan International Airport (GAN) are now using Rockwell Collins’ ARINC vMUSE passenger processing platform in a bid to improve passenger experience and airport security in the region.

Velana renewed its existing contract with the aviation industry giant, and GAN has signed a brand-new agreement for the provision of the efficient, cost-effective check-in solution.

ARINC vMUSE is increasing check-in speeds and simplifying the entire process at airports of all sizes around the world. With the Maldives’ tourism industry growing even more busy, there has never been a better time to improve critical airport processes, and the Rockwell Collins Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) has a proven track record across the board, offering airlines cost-sharing applications, options for off-site check-in and more.

The M.D. of MACL, Mr Adil Moosa, said ‘We have embarked on the biggest project in the history of Maldives to develop MLE. More than a billion-dollar (U.S.) investment was made to improve the airport infrastructure. Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives so our airports, and the experience our passengers have, is incredibly important to our overall economy.

Using Common Use airport innovations, airport operators can strengthen and consolidate infrastructure without making additional investments in this area. With web-based, proven platforms and robust system architecture, Rockwell Collins solutions offer access to next-generation technological solutions, using existing hardware, or off-the-shelf peripherals.

Copenhagen Airport to Upgrade Cargo Facilities | Airports NewsCopenhagen Airport has announced plans to develop a brand new, 20,000sq m cargo centre in a €40million project that is expected to take two years.

Currently, the airport handles cargo transported by passenger aircraft, known as belly cargo. It has been an important mission for the airport operators, who realise that cargo is a big part of the business model. According to Peter Krogsgaard, chief commercial officer for the airport, ‘This cargo can make up more than 10% of revenue on a route. Today, belly cargo accounts for 40% of the total tonnage at CPH and is up 7% this year.

The new cargo facility will be sited within the current cargo processing centre at the airport, which will be redeveloped over the next two years to ensure minimum disruption. Plans for the facility include implementation of the latest airport technology, supporting both manual and automated processes to increase efficiency and create a robust platform for future cargo handling.

A refrigeration area, which the airport’s pharmaceutical clients will find particularly attractive, is planned for the facility, amongst other separate areas to address safety and storage issues.

As the European region approaches major changes over the next few years with the Brexit process, the airport operators also realise that cargo handling will also change, and they want to make sure they are ready. ‘We see huge potential in developing air cargo at Copenhagen Airport. In the coming years, there will be an even greater need for good air cargo facilities for handling the growing cargo volumes to and from China and other places.’

It is not just the airport that understand the need for improvement, as noted by Claus Lonborg, CEO of Copenhagen Capacity, the official organisation for Greater Copenhagen’s investment and business potential, when he said ‘Greater Copenhagen is increasingly popular amongst international logistic companies. The new €40 million air cargo centre will not only strengthen the competitiveness of Nordic and international import and export companies, it will also create a platform for further growth.’

The airport is also working to attract new business already to the new facility, with plans to add more long-haul routes as part of a wider strategy.

Rockwell Collins Special Meeting Over Acquisition | Aviation NewsFollowing the recent announcement of Rockwell Collins’ proposed acquisition by United Technologies Corp., a special meeting of shareholders is to take place on January 11, 2018, when a vote will be taken on the proposals in connection with the deal.

The details are currently lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the form of a definitive proxy statement and prospectus filed by the two companies at the beginning of December. All Rockwell Collins shareholders will be entitled to vote, providing they were on record by the end of play on December 8, 2017. This document will be sent separately to shareholders directly.

This special meeting will handle the shareholder vote only, and will not affect the scheduled Annual Meeting of Shareowners on February 1, 2018.

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!


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.