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Automated Immigration | Airports NewsInteresting reading this week from Rockwell Collins, as we reviewed an article about how baggage systems must keep up with the latest advancements in automated immigration systems.

Rockwell Collins’ Tony Chapman spoke about some of the challenges faced by airport operators with the enhanced performance of systems such as the US’ Automated Passport Control, ‘APC allows travellers to use self-service kiosks to speed the immigration process,’ he said. ‘For airports, driving the pre-clearance process to other countries eliminates immigration queues on arrival to the U.S., as passengers have gone through the process before landing.

This means that baggage handling systems must be able to keep up with the latest expedited clearance solutions, or risk severe ground delays and queues as passengers wait for their luggage.

This challenge is added to an already-growing pile of challenges airport operators are facing. With strict regulations across the entire operational environment, airports already have to maintain compliance, meet bottom-line budgets and increase passenger experience.

The introduction of automated baggage handling solutions is aiming to create a seamless passenger journey through the airport environment, and Rockwell Collins do know what they are talking about.

Read the full article here to find out more.

Hamburg Airport Launch Self Bag Drop Kiosks | Airports NewsPassengers flying out of Germany’s Hamburg Airport with KLM, Air France and easyJet, will now be able to enjoy an enhanced travel experience with the introduction of ten Self Bag Drop kiosks, unveiled officially for use last week.

The Director of Aviation at the airport, Johannes Scharnberg, notes that the kiosks, provided by a German supplier, have already been a success and said, ‘Already after just a short period of operation, we can see that our passengers are not having any problems with the new equipment.  And we are very happy with the system’s stability. Many of our passengers have already discovered the benefits of the kiosks for themselves and given us very positive feedback.’

Self service applications are growing in popularity for airports of all sizes around the world, increasing efficiency, improving passenger experience and moving towards a seamless airport passenger processing system.

The Self Bag Drop kiosks will eventually serve more airlines, with common-use technology and the added benefits of cost-sharing. Airport operators can also optimise resource management within the entire airport environment using self-service applications.

More than 80% of airport check-ins now happen away from the traditional terminal counter, as more and more passengers use the online check-in facility offered by most airlines. Travellers are gaining greater control of their journey and can arrive later at the airport terminal than ever before. The use of Self Bag Drop means that passengers can simply arrive with a pre-printed boarding pass, which can be scanned and used within the kiosks to produce a baggage tag that the passenger can attach themselves and send the baggage through for security screening and automated transfer to the aircraft.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Self Bag Drop solution – ARINC SelfDrop – can process tagged bags in as little as 10 seconds, making a clear case for enhanced efficiency and promising to transform airport terminals on a truly global scale.

Improving Passenger Facilitation with Self-Service Bag Drop | Business Aviation NewsToronto Pearson International Airport has announced that it is to implement a new self-service bag drop system to improve operational productivity and passenger experience.

Canada’s largest airport, who saw 41 million passengers through its gates in 2015, look forward to automating the baggage handling process, which is set to give airlines greater flexibility, and improve the efficiency of the entire check-in process for passengers, who can use mobile devices to check-in online and download their boarding passes.

All over the world, international airports are seeking new, technologically-advanced methods to streamline the passenger processing systems; making the process easier and less time-consuming for travellers, while maintaining critical airport security and improving resource management.

Providers of airport passenger facilitation systems, such as Rockwell Collins, are driven by IATA standards, the need to increase passenger experience, and the use of biometric solutions to ensure airport security remains of paramount importance.

The automation of baggage handling systems in airports is the way forward, giving passengers greater control of their journeys, cutting waiting time and reliance on IT infrastructure, and improving passenger flow with identity management solutions.

With more than 80% of the world’s airline passenger traffic now checking in online, and arriving at the airport with pre-printed boarding passes, it is clear that automation, and the introduction of self-service bag drop features is set to change the way the public travel.

baggage-handliing-systemsAlaska Airlines, and its baggage handling contractor, Menzies Aviation, has been fined what could amount to $62,000 for breaches of industry regulations for the handling of passenger baggage.

Inspectors have reported 16 violations, 12 of which they deem as serious, including failure to provide adequate safeguards for baggage handling personnel at Sea-Tac International Airport.

Other violations include failure to inspect baggage trailers and trucks, which often report issues such as failed brake lights and inadequately service steering systems.

As airports move into automation for baggage handling, many of the issues and violations could be avoided, particularly as Menzies Aviation have attempted to let employees take the blame with allegations of misconduct.

An appeal is expected to be raised against the fines. The ongoing proceedings, and the outcome will not affect passengers, the company insists.

Baggage Handling Systems ProvidersThe Guam International Airport Authority has announced plans to install a state-of-the-art baggage handling system which they hope will be completed by the middle of next year.

Funded by the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, the $26million project has been in the planning stages since July last year.

The new baggage handling system is expected to double the handling capacity for GIAA and will incorporate baggage screening capabilities. Using the latest technology allows airports to free up valuable terminal space with multi-airline check in and ticketing and multiple airline bag drop.

Passenger experience is also enhanced with improved baggage handling systems, reducing queuing and allowing passengers to shorten waiting times within the terminal.

Other Leading Baggage Systems ProvidersIt has been announced that London Heathrow Airport has awarded its portfolio of baggage handling systems projects to Beumer Group UK via the main contractor, Balfour Beatty.

The baggage handling systems projects will consist of the installation and integration of more than 30 standard baggage screening machines, the installation of a new tilt-tray baggage sorter and the major asset replacement of the baggage handling control systems in Terminals 1 and 4.

Following multiple phases, the huge projects will take place throughout the duration of the so-entitled Q6 projects at Heathrow. Beumer Group was selected via a tender process and will ensure that no disruption to the current baggage handling systems is caused while the new systems and integration processes are taking place.

Providers of Baggage Handling Systems in AirportsA £1 billion investment plan has been announced for Gatwick Airport as it marks its five-year milestone of independent ownership.

The airport has seen improvements to its South Terminal and the next investment plans are for the North Terminal, where £36 million will be spent on a brand new check-in area, featuring what is hailed to be the world’s largest self-service bag drop zone. 60 bag drop units will be expected to virtually eliminate queueing and will free up valuable terminal space while helping airlines with cost-sharing opportunities in a multi-airline bag drop facility.

A new security area will benefit from £30 million and is expected to open in 2016. Gatwick anticipate that the streamlined process of passenger screening will enable them to handle 5,000 passengers per hour with new features such as reconfigured lanes and floor wayfinding; systems that have been rigorously tested during the ‘Generation 2’ trials.

Queues are also expected to be reduced by the introduction of 15 new e-gates, effectively speeding up the passenger processing system and greatly enhancing the experience for travellers.

Stewart Wingate, CEO at London Gatwick is delighted with the new plans and said, “It’s been an incredible five years and this is just the start. Gatwick is changing for the better and the fresh £1 billion investment is a clear signal that we intend to become London’s airport of choice.”