Solar Farm at Dublin Airport | Airports NewsAn energy agreement between DAA, the Irish airports operator, and ESB energy provider has resulted in the opening of a 268-panel-strong solar farm at Dublin Airport.

The solar farm has been installed on top of a reservoir system, which provides 500 million litres of water to the passenger terminals, offices and businesses located on the airport grounds. The new solar farm is expected to deliver over half the airport’s energy requirements of the water system.

The agreement was put in place to attempt to achieve energy targets of a 33% reduction in consumption for the airport by 2020, and the partners have been working closely together to determine the opportunities to implement low carbon technologies.

This achievement will also build on Dublin Airport’s current reputation in a European carbon management certification program, under which it is already Airport Carbon Accredited.

Dalton Phillips, DAA’s Chief Executive, said, ‘Over the past three years Dublin Airport succeeded in reducing its carbon footprint by 5,000 tonnes, which is equivalent to a 10% reduction in carbon emissions under its control.

We are looking forward to building on this performance and making even more energy savings that will also benefit the travelling public through sustainable environmental performance and annual cost savings.’

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Arthur Collins | Aviation NewsThe aviation pioneer and founder of Rockwell Collins, Arthur Collins, is to join more than 80 other aviation heroes to feature on Norwegian Air’s Boeing 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner aircraft this year as a part of the airline’s Tailfin Hero program.

Norwegian Air’s Tailfin Hero program has been part of its identity since 2002, when it began.

Our tailfin hero program was created to honour individuals who have pushed boundaries, made a difference and inspired others,’ said Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian Air. ‘Through our partnership with Rockwell Collins, we learned of Arthur Collins’ story, whose innovative spirit reflects those characteristics, making him a perfect tailfin hero and part of the Norwegian family.’

Arthur Collins founded today’s aviation giant, Rockwell Collins, at the age of 15 in his basement with his ham radio, following the achievement of his radio license in 1923. The original company was called Collins Radio Company, was formally incorporated in 1933 and designed and produced shortwave radio equipment.

He gained fame in 1925 by reaching John Reinartz using his radio system, who was in Greenland on a scientific expedition and had lost contact with the US Navy. The young Arthur Collins would famously ride his bicycle down to the Cedar Rapids telegraph office to relay the messages he received about daily scientific findings to Washington. This won him deserved acclaim and kick-started his career in earnest.

Norwegian Air Tailfin Hero | Arthur CollinsArthur Collins will feature in the aircraft Tailfin Hero program throughout 2018.

LAS Passenger Technologies | Airports BlogLas Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) has recently renewed a 20-year long-standing contract with Rockwell Collins to further focus on improving passenger technologies.

As a part of its Terminal 1 upgrade, LAS will replace 176 common-use self service kiosks with new units and hope to maintain its position as one of North America’s leading international airport hubs.

Our team is constantly evaluating the airport’s infrastructure and operations seeking ways to enhance customer service, maximize efficiencies and increase flexibility,’ said Samuel Ingalls, assistant director of Aviation over Information Systems for LAS. ‘Over the past two decades we have had great success in managing our soaring passenger volume through the implementation of common use processes and other cutting-edge technologies such as those provided by Rockwell Collins.

LAS will adopt and implement a range of Rockwell Collins solutions to strengthen its position and improve passenger experience:

  • ARINC cMUSE – the cloud-native passenger processing system offers increased flexibility and reduced support and implementation requirements.
  • ARINC SelfDrop – Rockwell Collins’ automated self-service baggage system is undergoing trials at LAS which will continue under the renewed contract.

Additional airport systems from Rockwell Collins will continue to be supported:

  • ARINC MUSE – the reliable CUPPS system to enhance airport operational cost-effectivity.
  • RFID bag tags – providing advanced baggage tracking features.
  • ARINC BagLinkTM – improving accuracy and efficiency for baggage loading.
  • Self-Boarding Gates – automated gate technology.
  • Local DCS – delivering a stand-alone check-in and boarding system.

Tony Chapman, senior director, Airport Systems Marketing and Strategy for Rockwell Collins said, ‘Rockwell Collins and LAS work together on a continual basis to ensure our solutions are meeting and exceeding the demands that passenger influx has on its airport operations. As we look further into the future, the integrated working team will look even closer at how biometrics and other disruptive technologies will enhance the curb-to-curb airport experience.’

vMUSE_MexicoThe industry-leading Common Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) from Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airports, ARINC vMUSE, has been selected by Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (OMA) for implementation in eight Mexico airports in a bid to streamline check-in processes, gate services and resource management.

Using vMUSE, the airports can make the most of existing infrastructure, and enable sharing capabilities for multiple airlines. This gives another layer of flexibility for airport operations and enhances passenger experience simultaneously, due to reduced queueing instances and greater management of peak flow passenger traffic.

The benefits of vMUSE for operators

The implementation of vMUSE can help to reduce the challenges posed by operational inefficiencies, and helps to redirect capital investment in other areas, due to the use of existing terminal equipment and infrastructure. The reduction in valuable terminal space is an added bonus, with fewer dedicated check-in counters needed, which also helps airport operators to better manage airport resources and personnel to further streamline and enhance operations, thus boosting productivity while simultaneously improving passenger experience and ultimately, satisfaction.

Mazatlan and Zihuatanejo airports currently do use vMUSE, but by 2019, passengers and airport operators should be able to enjoy the benefits at the following locations:

  • Acapulco
  • Culiacan
  • Chihuahua
  • Monterrey
  • Reynosa
  • San Luis Potosi

The teams at Rockwell Collins work closely with clients to determine the right fit of solution to meet the unique challenges in operations. Without a structured, tailored approach to the individual needs of the airport, regardless of size, flexibility and scalability become challenging in any airport.

Our Latin American team worked closely with the OMA Group to accommodate its need to leverage existing virtual infrastructure at each airport,” said Yun Chong, global head of sales, Airport Systems for Rockwell Collins. “Our customized solution will offer OMA’s airports increased operational efficiency as travel demands increase in the region.”

Birmingham Airport Passenger Experience Investments | Airports NewsIn readiness for a busy summer period, Birmingham Airport has announced its investments to improve passenger experience in the journey through the airport, including new flight information displays and digital signage, redevelopment of security areas, boarding gates and a refurb of the current passenger waiting areas for boarding and security.

The whole airport site will enjoy some investment, as new restaurants and eateries, retail areas and a new 178-room Hilton Garden Inn are set to open later this year.

The major airport hub has experienced record growth, as have many airports around Europe during last year alone. This year will also see new long-haul routes for Birmingham, including to New York, Toronto and Boston, in addition to more short-haul destinations.

Airports all over the world are now putting more importance on passenger experience, and investments are becoming commonplace as passenger traffic increases. Infrastructure investment has been key during the last decade, to ensure a scalable approach is taken to rising passenger numbers, increasing mandatory regulations and the surge in passenger expectation.

Birmingham airport has confirmed that additional staff will be recruited in key ‘front-of-house’ locations, and the latest in digital signage will be in place before the beginning of the busy summer season.

FMG,Pepper Roboter,Flughafen MünchenPassengers using Munich Airport at the moment will be greeted by its newest staff member, affectionately known as Josie Pepper. Josie is the first humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence, and Munich Airport and Lufthansa are very proud of her.

Josie Pepper stands just over a metre tall, and she is on duty in Terminal 2, greeting passengers as they arrive, and helping them with their enquiries. According to her creators, Josie has ‘sparkling round eyes and a pleasant voice,’ and is currently working within a test phase to gauge passenger reactions to her.

Josie has been hailed as ground-breaking, and she actually speaks to passengers, not just delivering pre-defined speech, but with a ‘brain’ that interacts with airport data via the cloud.

The idea is that she will ‘learn’ about airport systems and will gradually become more proficient with her answers to passenger questions. The system is believed to steadily improve as she learns more, which will lead to more detailed responses over time.

Josie was named by airport staff when she arrived, and was created by SoftBank Robotics, a French company. She speaks fluent English and is equipped with IBM Watson IoT artificial intelligence.

London City Airport WWII Bomb Scare | Airports NewsLondon City Airport was forced to close earlier this week following the discovery of an unexploded WWII bomb at George V dock during planned airport works.

The bomb, a 500kg device, was discovered on Sunday and forced immediate closure of the airport and led to the evacuation of local residents while Metropolitan Police and the Royal Navy examined the device and attempted to remove it.

The airport remained closed on Monday, affecting as many as 16,000 passengers due to use the airport as flights were cancelled. The airport reopened for business as usual during the early hours of Tuesday morning, and affected passengers were urged to contact their airlines for further flight information.

According to local historians, it is believed that up to 10% of the bombs dropped on London during the Blitz did not detonate as planned. As the number of bombs dropped is estimated at around 20,000, there is little wonder that discoveries of WWII devices are still happening more than 70 years later.

The airport, the only one located in the City of London made a statement to affected passengers and local residents thanking them for their patience and understanding, and thanked Police and the Royal Navy for their efforts to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

Flights are now operating as expected, and affected passengers should contact their individual airlines to find out more about their flight status.