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UK Air Routes Agreements Offer Reassurance Post-Brexit Passengers travelling to Canadian airports can continue to enjoy clear passage after Brexit, according to the UKs Transport Secretary, following an aviation agreement made between the two countries at the end of last month.

The agreement spells good news for the aviation industry, which has been surrounded by uncertainty following the UKs decision to leave the EU in 2016. The UK-Canada arrangement will replace the current EU aviation agreement, thus assuring continued access to the aviation routes the UK currently enjoys with Canada.

This follows the UK government’s announcement last month of a new Open Skies agreement with the United States, which will also mirror and replace the current EU arrangement.

The recent agreements will ensure continued access to vital air routes that carry millions of people across the Atlantic every year, will also make sure business operators will not lose out, and will pave the way for future trade deals supported by air travel.

The UK-Canada air route has been steadily growing over the past six years, and more than 3.5 million passengers were transported last year alone.

This is all good news for the aviation industry, and for global trade opportunities, which rely on the UK as a major European hub. These two latest arrangements with the US and Canada come after an announcement that another eight bilateral arrangements have already been concluded with other countries – Switzerland, Israel, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Georgia and Morocco.

UK transport secretary, Chris Grayling said after the US agreement, ‘Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies. This new arrangement and those concluded with 8 other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.

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.

Aviation News | Airline Strategy Awards 2017This years’ Airline Strategy Awards has now officially launched, and is open for nominations. The 16th annual awards will be held at the Middle Temple Hall, London on Sunday 9th July 2017, and will be delivered and hosted by FlightGlobal and Korn Ferry.

Michael Bell, who has worked in partnership on the awards since they began back in 2002, is ‘delighted that FlightGlobal has agreed to continue our strong partnership from [his] new home at Korn Ferry.’

The closing date for nominations will be Thursday 13th April 2017 in six main categories:

  • Executive Leadershipwon in 2016 by Michael O’Leary – Ryanair
  • Regional Leadershipwon in 2016 by David Neeleman – Azul
  • Low-Cost Leadershipwon in 2016 by Enrique Beltranena – Volaris
  • Financewon in 2016 by Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic
  • Marketingwon in 2016 by JetBlue
  • Network Strategy won in 2016 by Emirates Airlines
  • Flight Airline Business Award won in 2016 by Tony Tyler – IATA

Visit the Airline Strategy Awards website to place nominations or to find out more.

Rockwell Collins' Bag Drop technology in action | Business Aviation NewsA two-phase project at Dublin Airport has seen a dramatic reduction in passenger check-in times with the introduction of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC vMUSE, self-service kiosks and the latest bag drop solutions.

Frances O’Brien, VP PMO at DAA (Dublin Airport Authority), spearheaded a campaign to streamline airport operations to address the challenges she recognised within the airport. Speaking about the implementation of CUPPS by Rockwell Collins in 2015/16, she said, ‘We worked with Rockwell Collins to implement systems that enable our airlines to share workstations, helping us make the best use of our current resources. As we embarked on this new initiative, our existing relationship plus Rockwell Collins’ extensive industry expertise made them the right partner for us.’

The first phase of the project began in December 2015, with the introduction of 19 Common-Use workstations. This quickly expanded to 64 units through spring 2016 with no issues, described by O’Brien as ‘a painless process.’

The self-service bag drop stations now number 20 in Ryanair’s hub, Terminal 1, and 16 in the Aer Lingus check-in area in Terminal 2. Jim Rogers, the Aer Lingus bag tag and drop off project manager said, ‘Some of our guests have told us that this technology is a key differentiator on whether they would fly with Aer Lingus again. Our fleet size is increasing by about 10 percent this year, and this type of technology allows us to increase throughput without capital expenditure on building and facilities.’

Automated Check-in Agreement | Rockwell Collins and Falcon AviationFalcon Aviation, based in the UAE at Al Bateen Executive Airport, delivers a range of services to clients throughout the Middle East, including charter of helicopters and private jets, aircraft maintenance and management services and flight support. It also provides an authorised service centre for Embraer and Airbus Helicopters, a warranty service centre for Gulfstream and is a founding board member of the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA).

The implementation of Rockwell Collins’ ARINC LocalCheckSM Local Departure Control System (L-DCS), improves the efficiency of check-in and boarding processes through automation of key processes, such as passenger processing, baggage tags and passenger reconciliation.

Captain Raman Oberoi, Falcon Aviation, said, ‘Over the years, Falcon Aviation has become synonymous with safety, quality and excellent customer service. We have built a reputation for delivering high-quality products and innovative services to our loyal customers, and Rockwell Collins’ airport solutions are helping us deliver on that promise.’

Paul Hickox, head of Airport Systems Sales at Rockwell Collins, said, ‘Rockwell Collins airport solutions are used throughout the world to help airports improve efficiency and enhance operations. This win is an excellent example of how we can tailor our solutions to meet the requirements of both large international airports as well as smaller regional airports and private business terminals.’

Smart device apps making airports efficient | Aviation Industry NewsAs airline passenger numbers continue to increase around the world, airports are making sound investments in apps to assist passengers with self-service and automated solutions to make the processes of check-in, security and baggage handling easier. Airports are realising that these investments are already paying off in increased passenger experience and in the increased efficiency for the airport operator.

Common-use check-in and bag drop desks have been operating in global airports successfully, and with an estimated 80% of passengers now checking-in online using smart devices and their desktops, the introduction of apps has further streamlined the entire process of checking-in. Airports are also able to provide additional travel information to passengers via these innovative applications, which is another way travellers are gaining even greater control of their journey, increasing passenger satisfaction significantly.

Large airport services providers, such as Rockwell Collins, deliver technological advancements that enable airport operators to achieve greater efficiency across the airport environment, with solutions such as automated check-in kiosks, bag drop facilities and more common-use applications that can be accessed directly from smart devices. The addition of ARINC ExpressDrop has given airports the opportunity to address off-site baggage handling, further adding to efficiency, and helping to reduce waiting and queueing times.

As air travel continues to increase by an average of 5% every year, self-service passenger processing innovations seem an obvious path for airport operators to take.

Vladivostok International Airport Acquired | Aviation NewsIt has been announced that Russian Vladivostok International Airport has been acquired by a consortium, including Basic Element, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Changi Airports International (the investment arm of Changi Airport).

The consortium aims to ‘create a high-tech aviation facility’ to raise standards in the region and to create a key hub. Already, the consortium has begun to expand the airport’s route network, and believes that the location of the airport is ideal to become the ‘gateway between Russia and the Asia-Pacific’.

Changi Airports International CEO, Lim Liang said, ‘Together with our partners, RDIF and Basic Element, we will develop Vladivostok International Airport as one of the best air hubs in the region with strong air connectivity and top-class service – two of our priority areas. We will showcase the uniqueness and vibrancy of Vladivostok and Russian Far East to the rest of the world through the airport, and open up this region to the vast opportunities in international trade and tourism.’