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Tag Archives: border security

passenger-processingVirgin Atlantic has spoken out in a call to the UK government to take action to reduce immigration waiting lines, asking that its passengers receive the ‘welcome visitors deserve.’ The US airline spoke out following reports that waiting times for passenger processing through immigration had reached up to two and a half hours.

The airline say they have been ‘doing their bit,’ providing additional staffing and refreshments for queueing passengers, but they understand that their passengers are left ‘frustrated before they’ve even started their trip’ and are calling the wait times ‘unacceptable’.

Virgin Atlantic has experienced significant increases of up to 20% in traveller numbers to the UK, possibly due to increased opportunities to benefit from Sterling exchange rates, and events such as the Royal Wedding, but it operates 23 flights per day into London Heathrow and its meet and greet service is doing little to help ease and improve passenger experience.

The latest figures show that Heathrow’s UK Border Force sometimes falls far short of its commitment under its Service Level Agreement (SLA) to pass 95% of its non-EEA passengers within 45 minutes. There was just one day during July 2018 when this SLA was met.

With airports in other countries performing to a greater extent, there is a growing concern that this news about ‘unacceptable’ immigration processing times across the UK are poorly timed, particularly with uncertainty already surrounding the first half of 2019 as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Although all aviation industry participants understand the importance of security and immigration in today’s current climate, questions are being raised and pressure placed on the UK government to streamline immigration processes as quickly as possible.

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Airport Systems Integration Solution | Streamlined Airport OperationsThe demands and challenges faced by modern airports today are continually increasing. Passengers require more flexibility, fewer and shorter queues, and a streamlined security experience, while global government departments increase mandatory requirements.

Airport systems integration could provide the answer, as when systems and processes work seamlessly together, airport operators are able to better manage day-to-day operations and resources from a holistic perspective.

Airport management is more than just flight scheduling and passenger processing. Airports are also working businesses with bottom-line budgetary requirements, personnel, retail units and back-office applications. All these processes and systems can be integrated into managed platforms that give the airport operators and owners enhanced control and management capabilities.

Some of the working airport systems that can be integrated include:

  • Passenger processing
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Baggage handling systems
  • Security
  • Maintenance scheduling and management
  • Resource management
  • Car parking
  • Flight scheduling
  • Flight operations and ground handling
  • Retail unit management and revenue
  • Aircraft communications
  • Advance Passenger Information – collection, storage and handling
  • And much more.

Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Airports Managed Services provides comprehensive support via a unique platform, which can also integrate third-party applications and systems. They can work with airports of all sizes to ensure they receive a tailored solution that works for not only their current requirements, but remains scalable for future planning.

As master systems integrators, AMS approaches every project with a clear focus on individual needs and requirements, from both a technical and financial perspective. They can offer solutions that are right for a specific operation, whether their solutions, or those from other vendors.

When an airport has the right balance of solutions, each working with the other seamlessly, then the focus can shift to operational management of the airport, streamlining the passenger experience and making the best use of resources and valuable terminal space.

Watch the video to find out more about Rockwell Collins’ AMS, or visit the website now.

Biometric Airport Technology | Airports NewsSince biometrics were introduced to the US airports market more than a decade ago, the uptake has still been pretty slow in adopting broad biometric measures.

Recently however, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been making sounds in favour of the introduction of greater levels of biometric technology across the country, particularly facial recognition.

How does facial biometric recognition work?

Facial biometric recognition technology can process information quickly – near real-time – and unobtrusively within the airport environment.

In simple terms, the way the system works places a camera within the airport, typically at passport control or other security area, and compares a live image of the travellers’ face with their travel documentation to determine an exact feature match. Using an automated biometric facial matching identification system, the process can be completed in seconds, speeding up the system of passenger processing significantly.

This increased efficiency is key to improving airport operations, particularly when integration with other airport systems can take place.

The trouble is that in the US, governments and departments cannot decide whether investment into biometric technology, both financial and resources, is for the public or the private sector. However, inroads are being built, as the CBP has announced the intention to use biometrics for foreign nationals leaving the US.

There is little doubt across the aviation industry, particularly within the commercial airlines sector, that biometric technology is the way forward for airport security and borders management. One of the key factors in favour of biometrics, aside from the efficiency factor, is the elimination of potential human error in checking travel documentation.

Travellers, according to the experts, could expect to be using their faces as boarding passes within the next three to five years, once infrastructural and operational challenges and investments can be shaken out within the industry. As passenger experience seems to be high on the agenda for the major players in the industry, biometric technology could be a real possibility.

Gatwick airport runway expansion | Business Aviation BlogAccording to a UK government poll, around 63% of London councillors are prepared to support Gatwick airport’s plans for expansion, compared to just 44% for Heathrow.

The announcement from Gatwick, who has also pointed out that it will require no public funding, unlike Heathrow, comes as both airports reiterate that a new runway is necessary for the UK since the Brexit result has continued to damage the country’s economic position.

Gatwick and Bechtel can deliver second runway by 2025

Gatwick airport has also announced that it is ready to deliver its second runway by 2025, following a strategic partnership with Bechtel, one of the world’s longest-standing, respected engineering companies, who work with clients to increase economic growth.

If the UK government give the go-ahead to Gatwick, the expansion project can begin almost immediately, with significantly lower environmental impact, and lower financial risk.

Bechtel’s Amjad Bangash, general manager for infrastructure said, ‘We are delighted to be confirmed as Gatwick Airport’s partner for the second runway programme. We have provided Gatwick with robust plans for a second runway and are confident that this low risk project can be built to the highest quality, safely and sustainably – and that it can be operational by 2025.’

Beating the queues and improving security through technology | More about passenger facilitationAs the world remembers the 15th anniversary of the tragedy that was 9/11, the latest border scheme to come out of the UK has been branded a ‘gimmick’ by staff unions, who called for increased staffing instead.

The UK Home Office has said that under the new scheme, travellers could choose to pay between £5 and £17.50 for a ‘fast-track’ passage through its borders. The proposed scheme will not be available at all airports, and will be trialled at Gatwick airport, leaving skeptics in some doubt that current staffing levels will be sufficient to cope with the different lanes. Concerns have also been raised for passengers who will not be willing to pay being left facing longer delays than they were before.

Branding the proposal as ‘ridiculous’, a spokesperson for the Public and Commercial Services union said, ‘This is a ridiculous idea that exposes just how understaffed our borders are. What happens if everyone opts to pay £5? We’re back to square one. Instead of gimmicks like this, the Government needs to properly invest in staff to work at ports and airports because the shortages are there for all to see.’

Nick Trend, consumer expert for Telegraph Travel said, ‘This confirms a growing trend of airports charging for services which should be efficient and free,’ following news that some UK airports already charge for a fast-track service. Continuing, he said, ‘The risk from the consumer point of view is that airports deliberately allow the queues to build up so that frustrated passengers feel the only way to have a decent experience of the airport is to pay more for the privilege.’

Technology is in place to streamline passenger facilitation and processing in an increasing number of airports around the world. Strengthening border control is of paramount importance in a world that has seen dramatic improvements since 9/11. Border technology providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC airports, aim to improve passenger flow with Common Use Identity Management – using integrated systems to increase airport resource management, security and passenger experience.

AviSec_Feature-01Zambia is getting ready to adapt its border control as a part of its program to target 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The deployment of electronic border management will address four of these goals in Zambia’s preparations to include migration and human mobility.

Already launched last year, the e-VISA is an additional part of the program, aimed at implementing procedures to protect vulnerable migrants.

The introduction of electronic border management offers increased flexibility and efficiency, while maintaining key border security, protecting both the traveller and the country’s borders.

The latest border management systems include integration and support for evolving technologies and an additional layer of security for the advance screening of passengers and flight crew, with entry and exit management procedures streamlined to enable enhanced coordination of resources for airlines, airports, customs and immigration.

Lufthansa Select vMUSE Mobile | Business Aviation NewsRockwell Collins’ new ARINC vMUSE mobile passenger processing platform will be launched by Lufthansa as they become the first airline to implement the technology.

This latest innovation in passenger processing promises to speed up the check-in process, which can be carried out by personnel on the ground using tablet devices, wherever they can get an internet signal and connection, even in the hotel foyer.

ARINC vMUSE mobile is based on an entirely mobile common-use passenger processing system (CUPPS) and is the first of its kind in the industry. Enabling cost-sharing and space-saving in the terminal, the solution paves the way for greater flexibility within the airport environment.