Industry News




Changi Airport handled more than 65 million passengers in 2018

Passenger traffic at Singapore Changi Airport increased by 5.5% in 2018 to 65.6 million, backed by 386,000 landings and take-offs.

December was the busiest month of the year for the airport with 6.13 million passengers and 33,400 aircraft movements.

Airfreight throughput surged by 1.4% to reach 2.15 million tonnes, though this figure was hindered by a 3.8% decrease in December.

Changi Airport’s top 10 routes remained unchanged despite slight changes in the rankings. Bangkok and Denpasar (Bali) each moved up one place to second and sixth position, respectively.

Changi Airport said that several airports in the top 20 saw an increase of at least 5%, including Denpasar (Bali), Manila, Melbourne and London.

Guangxi Beibu Gulf Airlines, LOT Polish, and Shandong Airlines started offering services from Changi Airport in 2018.

Seven new passenger city links were also started to China (Nanchang), Germany (Berlin), India (Guwahati, Pune, Vijayawada), Indonesia (Belitung), and Poland (Warsaw).

Changi Airport Group Air Hub Development managing director Lim Ching Kiat said: “We are pleased with the introduction of new city links, as well as the growth of long haul routes from Changi Airport, including the launch of the world’s longest service between Singapore and New York.

“Our newest terminal T4 completed its first year of operations and served 8.3 million passengers in 2018. Later this year, Jewel Changi Airport will open its doors to the world.

“With aviation facilities, retail offerings, and play attractions, Jewel will augment Changi Airport’s status as an air hub. Terminal 1’s expansion will also be completed, increasing the airport’s handling the capacity to 85 million passengers per annum.”

More than 100 airlines are providing about 7,400 flights from Changi Airport to 400 cities across the globe.




Scotland’s economy gets £1.44bn boost from Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport adds over £1.44bn per annum to the Scottish economy and supports over 30,000 jobs, according to a new report published by economists York Aviation.

The report states that the airport will contribute £2.54bn (GVA) to the economy, support more than 43,000 jobs and handle nearly 17 million passengers per year by 2040 if it continues to grow as outlined in the master plan.

York Aviation also highlights Glasgow’s pivotal role as a gateway for exports and imports, with the airport managing more than £3.5bn in goods in 2017.

However, issues such as motorway congestion have had to be dealt with and the delivery of the planned rail link needs to be resolved for the airport to achieve its growth potential.

Glasgow Airport managing director Mark Johnston said: “This study confirms the huge economic benefits the airport generates for the city and Scotland each year.

“With a total annual economic impact of £1.44bn supporting over 30,000 jobs nationwide, the findings are very encouraging and show that when Glasgow Airport succeeds Scotland shares the benefit.

“These findings are hugely significant and we want to continue to grow in a sustainable and responsible manner.

“We have invested more than £130m in our facilities since 2011 and have a strategy in place through our master plan to put us on the path to becoming a 17-million passenger airport by 2040.”

A new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) situated adjacent to the airport is expected to create up to 10,000 new jobs.

Two anchor tenants have so far been confirmed, including the £56m Medical Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) and the £65m National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS).

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: “The results of this study further reinforce the view that Glasgow Airport is the west of Scotland’s most important transport hub and strengthens the case for it having a nationally-funded direct rail connection.”




ACI seeks industry collaboration to protect airports from drones

Airports Council International (ACI) has urged aviation industry, governments, and law enforcement agencies to take collective measures to protect aircraft and airports from drones.

The trade association of airports worldwide has published a list of recommendations to help airports address the risks posed by drone-related disruption to aircraft operations.

Recent chaos at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow Airports and a temporary halt to some operations at Newark Liberty International Airport caused by drone sightings have prompted ACI to discuss the best approach to preparing for and dealing with drone-related issues.

ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “The recent drone-related disruptions at airports in Europe, and their potential impact on airport safety and operations, have raised significant questions for airport operators around the world on their preparedness to handle situations like this.

“It is incumbent on all industry stakeholders, however, to take action to protect the safety of aircraft operations in coordination with these agencies. Airport operators should be aware of national laws and regulations pertaining to drones, with an understanding that these may reside outside of civil aviation.”

ACI has proposed that the industry stakeholders should develop a risk-based approach to dealing with the risks of drone incursions. It recommends that the approach should consider the impact on aircraft operations and available mitigation measures, including anti-drone actions.

The organisation also suggested that industry stakeholders should collaborate with national authorities to develop regulations governing the operation of drones in the adjacent areas of the airport.

ACI said airports should identify geographic boundaries of ‘No Drone Zones’ in the surrounding area of the airport and collaborate with the regulators to seek guidance for the deployment of anti-drone technologies.

Periodic airport security risk assessment is a must take measure to deal with security risks associated with the malicious use of drones, the trade association added.




Heathrow Airport’s expansion plan should be scrapped, says report

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport should be cancelled and measures should be taken to improve airspace in London, according to a new report by London Assembly Environment Committee.

The Aircraft Noise report states that noise nuisance levels are unacceptable and calls for a halt at air traffic growth at Heathrow and London City airports.

It suggests that the expansion of the airport and the proposed third runway will adversely affect Londoners due to an increased level of noise pollution caused by aircraft.

The Environment Committee chair Caroline Russell said: “The experiences of residents living with the daily nightmare of overhead noise are deeply worrying. There are significant health impacts that follow from an inability to sleep, relax and concentrate.

“This drive towards filling airspace capacity must be checked. For too many people, including children, aircraft noise is a major dominant intrusion into their everyday lives. It is not an acceptable price to pay for air travel. It isn’t right and must be challenged.

“We have already made clear our objection to the expansion of Heathrow but aviation authorities and operators must prioritise the health and well-being of Londoners and give us a break.”

The Aircraft Noise report calls on the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise to use lower thresholds for disturbance, allowing residents to leave their windows open when they need to.

It also recommended that air traffic controllers should minimise continuous stacking and maximise descent and ascent to keep airplane further from the ground for longer. They should also minimise overlap between City and Heathrow flight paths.

The committee recommended that there should also be no night flights, and restrictions on early morning flights should be strengthened, with all London airports providing predictable periods of respite.




Israel opens new Ramon Airport near Red Sea

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has inaugurated the country’s new Ramon International Airport near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

The new airport will serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport.

Netanyahu was quoted by i24NEWS – AFP as saying: “Israel is opening up to the world. No longer an isolated corner, it’s becoming a hub in international terms.”

Ramon Airport is capable of managing up to two million passengers per annum and will have its capacity expanded so that it can to welcome 4.2 million travellers by 2030.

It is equipped with a 3,600m-long runway and has apron parking space that can accommodate up to nine large and wide-body aircraft. The airport also features freight-handling services.

The facility will initially handle only domestic flights operated by Israeli airlines Arkia and Israir. International airlines including Ryanair, Wizz Air, easyJet, SAS, Finnair and Ural will start offering services at a later date.

A total of NIS1.7bn ($455m) has been invested in the development of the airport since construction started in 2013.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) changed the original plans for the Ramon project during the 2014 Gaza war.

“In an emergency, not only will Israel’s entire passenger air fleet be able to land and park there, but also additional aircraft,” the IAA told the publication.

A 26m-high, 4.5km-long ‘smart’ anti-missile fence has reportedly been installed in and around the airport to protect flights landing and taking off from the Ramon Airport as the airport lies close to the border with Jordan.

The new airport is named after Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon.




New York PSC approves solar power projects at John F Kennedy Airport

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has secured permission from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to set up solar power projects at John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

The PSC’s permission means the Port Authority will now join hands with New York Power Authority (NYPA) to establish more than 10MW of on-site solar facilities at JFK, including a 5MW solar generation plant that will provide electricity at reduced rates to local communities.

Development of solar power projects at the JKF will take place at the airport’s long-term parking space.

Upon successful commissioning, the project will also help the Port Authority to meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of 35% by 2025 and long-term reduction goal of 80% by 2050.

JFK’s solar plant is likely to cut CO2 emissions by 4,374 tonnes per annum.

Priority will be given to local people, especially low-income groups, to purchase solar-generated renewable energy at a cheap rate compared to their normal utility bill.

New York State Public Service Commission chair John Rhodes said: “The Port Authority’s ambitious solar development plans represent a true success story. New York state has ambitious clean energy goals that require the smart, aggressive development of renewable energy.

“Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced the landmark green new deal which mandates 100% clean power by 2040. This Port Authority project will support the achievement of these goals as well as promote the commission’s interest in increasing access to clean energy in the local community.”

In October last year, the Port Authority board signed the Paris Climate Agreement, becoming the first transportation agency in the US to do so. The Port Authority’s office of environmental and energy programmes subsequently solicited proposals from developers for the JFK solar project.

The Port Authority and NYPA officials requested PSC to accept a petition for the project due to lack of clarity in the applicable electricity tariff.

There are now plans for the Port Authority to sign a lease agreement with a solar developer to develop a 5MW community solar project at the JKF.

The Port Authority will also develop an additional 5MW-8MW solar system at the site for its own consumption at JFK.




Chicago aviation department unveils designs for O’Hare terminal

Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has unveiled five shortlisted designs for the new O’Hare International global terminal.

The short-listing of designs for the terminal is said to be the next step towards appointing a lead architect for the airport’s $8.5bn expansion.

Chicago residents will now review the designs and share their views.

The winning team will be tasked with create designs for a new, modernised terminal to impress the tens of millions of visitors to the city every year.

O’Hare’s new international terminal is expected to span across 2,250,000ft² and will be among the largest terminals in the US.

CDA commissioner Jamie L Rhee said: “The new O’Hare Global Terminal is at the centre of our plans to transform O’Hare from curb to gate. The new O’Hare Global Terminal represents an opportunity not only for O’Hare and its airline partners to grow, but also will fuel new opportunities for residents and businesses from our 77 communities.

“We are thrilled to engage the public now in the first of many public feedback opportunities as we embark on our expansion programme.”

The five shortlisted designs were submitted by Fentress-EXP-Brook-Garza Joint Venture Partners, Santiago Calatrava, Foster Epstein Moreno Joint Venture Partners, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) and Studio ORD Joint Venture Partners.

Five 3D models have been displayed at the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), situated on 111 E Upper Wacker Drive.

Chicago residents and airport passengers can view the new terminal designs and submit feedback until 23 January, either by visiting the terminal models at the CAC or by viewing online at




Sea-Tac aims to become first 100% natural gas heated airport in US

The Port of Seattle is set to make Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport the first in the US to be heated completely by renewable biomethane.

The Port has solicited proposals to supply biomethane to Sea-Tac Airport’s boilers and bus fuelling systems that account for more than 80% of the Port-owned emissions.

The fuel is produced by the decomposition of organic matter.

Port of Seattle aviation environment and sustainability director Arlyn Purcell said: “The Port can play a major role in creating a renewable natural gas market because we offer a stable, long-term use of gas.

“If we can attract a project developer to supply the airport, this will spur more opportunities to feed the current gas pipeline with RNG rather than have landfills or digesters flare the gas on-site or allowing their methane emissions to escape into the air.”

The Port of Seattle has adopted greenhouse gas reduction goals as part of its ‘Century Agenda’ and is looking to cut emissions from its own operations by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

It believes that replacing fossil natural gas with RNG will place the Port ahead of its 2030 target and well on the way to achieving the 2050 goal.

The Port’s top legislative priority is advocating for a clean fuel standard for the state of Washington in the upcoming legislative session.