Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are soon to be operational at Birmingham and Luton airports, and will be free to use for drivers of electric vehicles using the car parks. These will become the first off-airport parking facilities to offer free vehicle charging.
The airport car parking facilities, run and managed by Airparks, will see the EV stations installed by POD Point, the leading provider of electric car charging units in the UK. Erik Fairbairn, CEO of POD Point noted that ‘this is a move that simply makes sense for all parties.’ Continuing, he said, ‘It not only gives EV drivers a clear destination of choice for knowing their car will be secure and well managed while away, but also peace of mind of knowing that whatever time of day they land back, their car is charged and ready to go.’
Airparks, the latest partner for POD Point, is proud to be the first off-airport car park to offer the free facility. Andrew Bird, GM at Airparks said, ‘We’re committed to constantly evolving our products to benefit our customer’s needs; and this new service means that people driving electric vehicles can use Airparks’ car parks and return from their trip to a fully charged vehicle. The EV market is growing year on year and we hope that Airparks will be the car park of choice for EV owners flying from Birmingham and Luton.’
It has been announced that a 2-year old memorandum of understanding between Air China and Lufthansa will be implemented at the beginning of the summer season of 2017 to provide jointly-operated flights in and out of China-Europe.
The joint venture will enable the two airline operators to collaborate more closely to increase the number of code-share flights and will also include subsidiaries of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International.
Carsten Spohr, of Lufthansa said, ‘This ground-breaking joint venture will fundamentally strengthen our competitive position on routes between Europe and China.’
Chairman of Air China, Cai Jianjiang said, ‘[The joint venture] is another major step of Air China’s globalisation strategy. We will further expand network coverage in China and Europe, enhance the flight connections in beyond markets and optimise flight schedules.’
Ireland’s Shannon Airport has become the first international airport in the world to take part in a pioneering EU-funded trial for passenger screening using a new pre-clearance check point.
The initiative takes a combination of European and US pre-clearance check points, and amalgamates the best of each into one new concept, designed to comply with dual regulations.
The trial will focus on improving passenger experience, while making the most of the technology to enhance airport security screening. Currently, US-bound passengers must move through two separate screening systems, and queue separately each time. The new system utilises just one check point, performing both screening requirements for compliance with each mandate.
Today, passenger experience is high on the priority list for airport operators, where traffic is increasing at an average rate of 5% every year. It is critical to maintain passenger flow to minimise airport congestion, yet equally, if not more important to realise security goals concurrently.
The trial of the new passenger screening check point will begin this month and run for an initial ten-week period.
The ILA Berlin Air Show saw Rockwell Collins’ latest training systems last week, as the company featured its Common Architecture Avionic System (CAAS) and Cockpit and Joint Secure Air Combat Training System (JSAS).
CAAS reduces crew workload with integrated multiple communications, weapons and mission sensor subsystems and navigation, focussing on increased safety and operational awareness.
JSAS delivers the first certified, four-level Multi Independent Levels of Security (MILS) training equipment for both ground-based and airborne applications.
In addition, Rockwell Collins featured its Flight Mission Computer FMC-4000 radios and TELDIX space wheel.
Since the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in March 2014, the aviation industry has held global flight tracking standards under close scrutiny, led by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
ICAO want to have global flight tracking standardised, with positioning reporting at 15-minute intervals under normal flight conditions, and reporting every minute for aircraft under ‘distress’ conditions. The body authorised by the UN, overseers of aviation safety in this respect, has asked that these conditions be mandatory by the end of 2018.
ICAO is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to ensure, through simulations, that the proposed tracking standard is possible in what they deem to be ‘real-world conditions’.
The technology is already in place to determine safe and reliable flight tracking on a global scale. Providers of flight tracking systems and aircraft communications, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINC AviNet, rely on a robust system architecture, and multiple data sources, to deliver accurate aircraft positioning via Inmarsat satellite communications.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has announced its frustration with TSA screening processes after a breakdown last week resulted in significant baggage systems delays. The airport joins a queue of other airports in the US, who are growing increasingly concerned with TSA systems.
The delays last week were caused by a technical system breakdown that resulted in delays for 16 airlines, and more than 3,000 checked-in bags being left behind.
Airport staff used their initiative to forward around 1,000 bags to Las Vegas airport for screening, as luggage began piling up.
An increasing number of airports around the world are moving to automated baggage handling systems and employing outside agency help for screening. Common bag drop solutions are growing in popularity with the option for multiple airline bag drop kiosks and off-site passenger check-in.
It has been announced that Pentastar Aviation and Chicago Jet Group have formed a strategic alliance for the provision of CPDLC FANS 1/A STC for Gulfstream business aircraft.
Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) will give access to designated airspace that will reduce flight time and fuel burn, and has been introduced to enhance efficiency for flight deck communications as air traffic continues to increase year-on-year.
FANS technology delivers flight tracking and text messaging capabilities to flight decks to enable clear and concise aircraft communications across the world.
Providers of CPDLC support aircraft operators as they move towards a single directive for air traffic communications.