The briefing on airports

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

The briefing on connected aviation

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

News in numbers


Additional CAPEX investment that would be required at the top 50 European airports to get their passenger terminals to net-zero carbon emissions, according to preliminary estimates by the ICF cited by an ACI Europe report


Airport-related construction has the highest value in the pipeline in the Asia Pacific region at $322.4bn, according to GlobalData’s Project Insight: Global Airport Construction Projects’ report


The number of geese deployed in a four-month study at Chicago’s Midway International Airport to discover whether structures near airports increase the risk of ‘aeroplane‑goose collisions’


The amount invested across more than two thousand US airports by the Trump Administration as of the end of November 2019, according to the Federal Aviation Administration


The percentage increase of airfares in Europe in the past decade, according to an ACI Europe report citing Eurostat’s Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices


The rough number of jobs that could result from aviation‑related employment growth in Africa, according to President of the ICAO Council, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu

In quotes

ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec, regarding news at the 3rd Airport Investment Symposium that Europe is facing a €12.3 billion airport investment gap over the next five years:

Today’s priorities should be about sustainability, capacity and consumer interest. It is high time regulators start focusing on these, rather than airlines’ interest.

IATA regional vice-president for Europe Rafael Schvartzman, following the launch of an IATA study into Netherland’s aviation regulation:

We urge the government to remember the lessons from last time. Instead of taxes, if strategic policy support for sustainable aviation fuels is given, carbon emissions can be cut faster, without restricting access to air travel for those on lower incomes.

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens, following the launch of a new report into autonomous vehicles at airports:

It is becoming clear that autonomous vehicles do have a role to play at airports, but adoption of this new technology is at a very early stage. It is therefore critical in this stage of the technology’s lifecycle for the aviation industry to identify key opportunities and concerns as it relates to autonomous machines at airports.

Top stories

Spanish airline company Iberia has commenced trials of facial recognition enabled aircraft boarding at Terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain. The technology is expected to remove the need to produce travel documents. It is being trialled in collaboration with Spanish airport operator Aena, IECISA, Gunnebo, and Thales. The trial will be carried out for six to 12 months and is been launched for passengers travelling with Iberia to Asturias or Brussels. Passengers can register themselves with an app or kiosks at check-in counter 848 and the T4 security control area. In addition, the technology has been deployed at boarding gates J40 and J58 at T4. Passengers will have to link their boarding pass to the biometric profile. This enables the system to enable facial recognition for security and boarding. Passengers will have to register only once during the trial.

Source: Airport Technology

Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) in the US and Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG) in Canada have unveiled details from their trials of WHILL’s autonomous driving personal electric vehicles (EVs). Semi and fully autonomous trials at DFW were conducted on 14 and 15 November. Semi-autonomous trials at YWG are scheduled to be carried out on 12 and 13 December. The move aims to help passengers with reduced mobility to navigate the airport. The EV uses WHILL’s airport model and can return to its original docking station independently after taking passengers to their required airport destinations. Using sensors and automatic brakes, the airport model is capable of detecting and avoiding obstacles. WHILL partnered with personal transportation solutions firm Scootaround to develop the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) model that can navigate indoors and across uneven terrains. Both companies aim to implement their MaaS services in all airports for an improved travel experience.

Source: Airport Technology

British Airways has initiated the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure the timely departure of flights at Heathrow Terminal 5. This is part of the airlines’ £6.5bn investment plan to improve the customer experience. When passengers disembark an aircraft, the airline staff are required to carry out manual checks and record the details of 18 different activities such as aircraft interior cleaning and the unloading and reloading of catering before the next journey. In the case of an issue, the entire process may be stopped, leading to delays on the next flight’s departure. British Airways has partnered with start-up Assaia to install a network of cameras around the aircraft stand. For the first phase of the trial, four cameras have been deployed on three stands. The technology uses advanced neural networks or AI to compare proposed schedules with live footage of the process. In case of any issues that could cause delays, the manager is alerted via a smartwatch so that appropriate action can be taken. As well as decreasing instances of delays, the airline intends to use the data for boosting the efficiency of fleet operations.

Source: Airport Technology

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