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Denver International Airport Launches Off-site Bag Drop | Baggage Handing SystemsDenver International Airport (DEN) has launched a new facility to assist passengers with their baggage. The off-site bag drop is located in the car park of the airport and offers passengers and personnel much greater flexibility.

Passengers can use the facility, in the Pikes Peak or Mt. Elbert parking areas to drop off baggage and print boarding passes before boarding shuttle busses to the terminals. The initiative will also create additional space on the shuttle busses and make travel easier for passengers, who can simply arrive at the terminal without their luggage, streamlining the check-in process simultaneously.

Maintaining compliance and security and increasing passenger experience

Baggage handling is an important part of the airport operational environment, particularly since new tracking regulations were introduced earlier this year. With strict guidelines for baggage handling and reconciliation, airlines and airports have been looking for new systems and solutions that maintain security yet make the passenger experience more enjoyable.

Baggage management systems are gaining new ground in airports of all sizes all over the world, and offering flexibility is a major part of airport standards. The latest baggage management solutions incorporate seamless tracking and reconciliation solutions, enabling compliance while meeting growing passenger demand.

If passengers are happier, operations run smoothly as a result, and airports can maintain flexibility in terms of resource deployment throughout the airport – and now that can begin before passengers set foot in the terminal environment. Off-site check-in solutions are not new, but the latest technologies are being utilised to revolutionise passenger experience.

Instances of misplaced baggage have historically cost the aviation industry millions of pounds every year, and the latest regulations are in place to drastically reduce this expense for airlines and airports globally. IATA Resolution 753 promises to deliver enhanced tracking and baggage reconciliation around the world for member airlines to ensure costs are reduced, efficiency is increased, and passenger satisfaction achieved.

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Airports Integrate Systems Software to Improve Efficiency and Passenger SatisfactionAirports all over the world are investing in the latest software solutions to reinforce their commitments to improving efficiency and passenger satisfaction. In today’s airport environment, greater efficiency is being achieved via systems integration and this is an area that can benefit the airport in many ways, from the back office to the terminal front line.

At this year’s Airport IT & Security 2018 conference in Amsterdam, held next month at Schiphol Airport’s Hilton, attendees will be invited and welcomed to the seminar – Keeping Pace with the Challenges of Security and Operational Efficiency.

The seminar will focus on the importance of drawing together disparate, new technologies and systems, integrating them to deliver greater situational awareness, enhanced analytics and ultimately increased efficiency.

What airport systems are integrable?

Within the airport environment every system and operational solution should be integrable. Only when systems can communicate with each other can a truly seamless airport operational environment be created.

For example, when access to airport and airline systems can be launched from any workstation, the operational environment becomes much smoother in its approach to check-in, loading and flight control, or when airport messaging happens in a secure, integrated environment, greater security is achieved, and reporting is made simpler.

In a world where security, efficiency and passenger experience is paramount, it is clear to see how systems integration can benefit airports of all sizes.

About the conference

Visitors to the exhibition and conference will have an opportunity to discover how airports can begin to work more closely with airlines and third-party providers in terms of messaging and real-time information-sharing. Connecting government agencies, customs and security providers, emergency services and local authorities delivers more flexibility and offers a transparent, yet seamlessly secure environment via automated, real-time messaging.

A-FIDS _ Flight Information Display System | Increasing passenger experienceAccording to the latest analysis from the Airports Council International (ACI), global passenger satisfaction levels are on the rise again. Comparing Q3 of 2018 to 2017, ACI noted that levels increased to 4.21 from 4.17, and have remained stable since the start of this year.

The survey revealed that passengers are scoring airports higher in all categories from security to wayfinding, proving that investment in the latest technologies for Flight Information Display Systems, for example, has been worth it. Even the smallest global airports are receiving praise for their efforts.

Some industry professionals are not surprised at all by the revealing insights. As airline and airports competition increases, passenger satisfaction becomes ever-more important. When airports rise to the challenge of increasing passenger experience, (and airports around the world have been) they begin to consider all operational aspects, such as queuing, which has been successfully reduced by the introduction of CUTE systems and self-service applications.

As systems and solutions begin communicating, integration becomes more important, as does scalability when airport operators consider how to address critical flow times and exceptional circumstances. The world’s most innovative systems and solutions are often highly integrable, which makes day-to-day operations simpler and more streamlined – opening the door to automation.

The highest increase noted in the recent analysis was in the facilities category. This includes airport eateries and shopping, which are increasingly important for travellers, especially those that are no longer waiting in long queues.

When airports consider the planning aspects of facilities, and have greater capacity with streamlined services and processes, they can make better use of airport resources and terminal space. As passenger demand increases for higher levels of service and facilities, these types of reports and subsequent analysis can really help airports to serve as a model for passenger expectation.

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.

IATA Resolution 753 White Paper | Download your copy todayThere are just weeks left before IATA Resolution 753 comes into force, and around the aviation industry, there are still some who are not prepared for the most stringent regulations yet in the area of baggage handling.

It is hoped that the new baggage tracking regulations will dramatically reduce instances of baggage mishandling, yet will provide greater opportunities for reuniting baggage that does still get mishandled.

Rockwell Collins has produced a White Paper this month, which is available for free download here.

The paper outlines key points that airport operators may want to consider, such as:

  • The impact on airport operations
  • Challenges to face with implementation
  • Who is ultimately responsible
  • How to prepare operations to ensure compliance

Rockwell Collins is able to assist operators with solutions to help them remain fully compliant with IATA Resolution 753, while making sure that a cost-efficient solution is in place.

Baggage handling is an area of aviation travel that has suffered over recent years, and this has led IATA to review best practices and introduce a standard that is designed to track each piece of passenger baggage at multiple checkpoints throughout the journey.

Montreal Airport Green Airport Transport | Airports NewsCanada’s Aeroports de Montreal (ADM) has taken another important step in its bid to become more environmentally aware this month, as it received its first electric vehicle conversion as a part of the Quebec government initiative – Ride & Drive.

The new truck, which is 100% electric, will be used primarily by ground handling personnel in a maintenance role, as they inspect runways, and supervise outdoor maintenance and emergency tasks.

The reusable electric drive motor is said to have an incredible lifespan of a million kilometres and should lower greenhouse gasses by up to nine tonnes per year. This system is also expected to reduce vehicle operating costs for the airport by 80% and maintenance costs by half.

The environmentally-friendly airport has done much over the past year to improve its vehicle record, including an initiative to make airport taxis friendlier. Since November last year, 70% of taxis working out of the airport have a hybrid engine, which in itself has an estimated impact of reducing C02 by 8,700 tonnes.

There has also been an effort to encourage users of hybrid and fully-electric vehicles with the installation of additional charging stations at the airport site. By Autumn 2018, there is a plan in place to double the current figure of 28 stations. The airport has plans to introduce a bus service for passengers to and from the terminals, which will be eco-friendly.

Investment in the projects has been healthy, and the airport announced it has spent more than $2.8 million in just eco-friendly solutions just last year. The airport operators feel that this initiative is super-important, and is really making a difference.

Sustainable development has become an essential condition for the success of organizations and Aéroports de Montréal is committed to this new reality,’ said Martin Massé, ADM’s vice president of public affairs.

In this regard, ADM’s commitment is resulting in concrete actions. In 2017, we invested more than $2.8 million in environmental protection projects which, like this initiative, are making a difference in our day-to-day operations.

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.