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Leeds Bradford Airport to be Acquired for £220 million | Airport Industry NewsIt has been announced that AMP Capital are to acquire Leeds Bradford Airport in a deal reportedly worth £220 million. The deal will involve investors in AMP Capital’s global infrastructure equity platform, which also holds stakes in Australia’s Melbourne and Port Hedland International airports, and owns the UK’s Newcastle Airport.

Leeds Bradford airport (LBA) handles four million passengers annually, and has a varied airline base of low-cost carriers, charter flights and international airlines. With domestic destinations and short-haul international flights as its mainstay business, Leeds Bradford Airport is a handy hub serving a wide area with a catchment of up to 5.3 million people. Almost 3 million people live within an hour of the airport, and the region is one of the fastest-growing currently in the UK.

AMP Capital will own the freehold of the airport and grounds within the deal, and recognise the potential of the airport, its diverse airlines and large catchment area, in addition to the already well-invested infrastructure.

AMP plan to harness these benefits, and enhance performance through strengthening customer service and working closely with local governments and businesses. The company will also look to improve routes development and use extensive airports experience to enhance commercial opportunities.

Simon Ellis, Head of Origination at AMP Capital for Europe said, ‘We believe there is a clear opportunity for performance enhancement through tailoring and improving the customer experience and working collaboratively with our key partners including airlines, government and local businesses. In addition, the airport serves the Yorkshire and the Humber region, one of the fastest-growing regions in the UK with a population growth of 6% since 2001 and there is also potential for further route development.

There is no further information about when the deal may be concluded, and the investment figure is currently an estimation. We will bring you the facts as we find out more.

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107 Projects to Benefit from Sydney Airport Lost Property Auction | Airports NewsSydney Airport has announced that local creative arts charity, 107 Projects, is to benefit from a grant of up to $100,000 AUD funded by the proceeds of the airport’s lost property auction within Sydney Airport’s Bid for Good program.

Many unclaimed items are left at the airport every year, and the Bid for Good event, in partnership with the Sydney Community Foundation, attracts hundreds of keen bidders looking for a bargain and at the same time, support the distribution of funding for local, grass roots charities.

Goods of all kinds are available in the auction, including lost or left luggage, photographic equipment, computer equipment and devices, and much more.

Kerrie Mather, CEO and managing director of Sydney Airport said, ‘We’re delighted to award the major grant to a charity that is creating a real sense of community in the local area. The grant will help fund 107 Projects’ newest space for emerging creatives, following the strong success of its Redfern facility. This is another way we’re supporting the arts within the Sydney basin, and creating spaces that unite people and foster brave new ideas in the airport’s local community.

107 Projects encourage creativity within cultivated spaces, and is enthusiastically supported by the Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore. She, and the Sydney residents have enjoyed watching the growth of 107 Projects over the past 15 years, and look forward to their latest project at Green Square – the Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, which will occupy the former nurses’ quarters in the Esme Cahill Building, and is expected to be opened later this year.

Creative space will be available to rent, and exhibitions will be held throughout the year.

The Mayor said, ‘It’s fantastic that Sydney Airport’s Bid for Good programme is enabling great community initiatives such as this, which focus on enriching our community.

Auckland Airport Fuel Shortages | Airports NewsFollowing an incident earlier this month, when a fuel supply pipeline was severed accidentally by the oil refinery after a digger crashed into the pipe, Auckland Airport has restricted the sales of airline tickets.

Many flights were cancelled after the incident, and fuel uplifts were down to just 30% of their regular fill capacity. It has been reported that 3,000 passengers were affected, after other flights were redirected to other airports for refuelling.

The Marsden Point oil refinery is taking steps to repair the pipeline, but Auckland Airport is taking no chances, and has restricted ticket sales for all but essential flights. The damaged section of pipe connects the Marsden Point refinery to Wiri Oil Services, the Auckland-based company that supplies the airport’s operating airlines with aviation fuel.

The disruption is hoped to be a temporary measure, and additional staff have been employed to address passenger concerns and to assist with rescheduling.

The airport has issued a warning to passengers to check scheduling before arriving at the airport.

Tardiest Airline and Airport Announced | UK Airports NewsCivil Aviation Authority data on arriving and departing British and Irish aircraft for the past two years has been examined by the BBC Data Unit, and the results are in.

It has been noticed that during the traditionally busy months of June, July and August in 2015 and 2016, passengers using easyJet and Gatwick airport have experienced the most delays, with an average ‘tardy time’ rate of 24 and 27 minutes late (respectively) for both offenders.

Luton Airport only just escaped the award, at 24-minute average delay time, while British Airways managed to come in third place with 18 minutes.

Which airports and airlines performed best?

Aer Lingus were noted to have given the best performance of all the British and Irish airlines, with an average delay time of 12 minutes, rivalling Ryanair, coming in just three minutes later. Of the UK airlines, Flybe performed most efficiently, with just a 13-minute delay record, and Monarch airlines tied with the Irish Ryanair at 15 minutes.

Among the best performing airports were Leeds Bradford, who tied with the George Best Belfast City airport at just 10 minutes average delay. Birmingham International and Edinburgh did not fare too badly, sharing an average delay time of 18 minutes, but were narrowly beaten by Manchester, Glasgow and Stansted airports with 17 minutes.

French ATC strikes during the summers of 2015 and 2016 did not help easyJet or Gatwick airport’s position, as its location does attract French visitors and tourists moving in both directions.

easyJet released a statement in its defence, saying [of the air strikes], ‘Despite a number of adverse external factors like increasingly congested airspace, particularly in the London area, and record numbers of Air Traffic Control strikes, over the last year easyJet has actually reduced the proportion of flights delayed by more than 3 hours. We work hard to minimise disruption and fully comply with all relevant regulations.

A Gatwick airport representative also spoke to the BBC, and said, ‘Gatwick has made it a priority to address punctuality and, in partnership with our airlines and ground handlers, we are already seeing the benefits of a new wide range of measures that have been implemented to improve punctuality.’

Finavia Recruit 200 Test Passengers at Helsinki Airport | Airports NewsIt has been announced that as a part of Finavia’s opening of the new south wing at Helsinki Airport, it will be recruiting 200 volunteer test passengers to test operations and facilities before opening.

The development program, estimated to be costing in the region of one billion euros, will create additional operational and passenger-oriented facilities within the new terminal.

The test day, scheduled currently for the first week of July, will be open for the test passengers to experience the new facilities, such as disabled access, new doors, moving walkways and departure gates access. The test group may also be offered the chance to look behind-the-scenes in a unique day, designed to offer insights to Finavia about passenger experience.

The director of Finavia, Ville Haapasaari, said, ‘The test day is arranged to ensure a smooth, pleasant travel experience, which is the cornerstone of all of our services. Test passengers will have a unique day at the airport and have the possibility to look behind the scenes. The feedback we will receive from the test passengers is valuable, because we can then take passengers’ wishes and needs into consideration in finishing off the south wing.

Belfast Airport Solar Success | Airports NewsBelfast International Airport has announced the success of its dedicated solar power plant, with more than £100,000 worth of savings during the first ten months of operation.

Located just a third of a mile away, and cited as being the largest solar energy connection in the UK and Ireland to an airport, the £5million solar plant, named Crookedstone Solar Farm, is generating over 25% of its yearly electricity requirements.

In addition to the financial rewards, the solar plant, operated by Lightsource, is also contributing to the reduction in carbon emissions. It has been estimated that Crookedstone will save 2,100 tonnes in carbon emissions in each year of operation, improving environmental performance.

Belfast International Airport has a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Lightsource for 25 years.

Protesters at Airports in the U.S. | Business Aviation NewsAirports all over the U.S. have erupted into chaos this week following the Executive Order issued by President Trump.

The temporary travel ban placed on seven majority-Muslim countries has sparked protests from citizens, whether affected or not. Hundreds of people came out at airports nationwide to express their horror for travellers, some of which were detained as they arrived on American soil, and others left stranded in airports around the world as they are refused boarding passage.

The Executive Order is expected to continue to delay travellers for a period of up to 90 days.