• 12-02-2019
    Midnight runway race at Birmingham Airport raises £15,000 for charity
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    Midnight runway race at Birmingham Airport raises £15,000 for charity

    A midnight fun run down the runway at Birmingham Airport has raised over £15,000 for Acorns Children's Hospice.

    More than 120 staff, friends and family took part in the run, braving cold and wet conditions at just past midnight to tackle the three kilometres of the airport’s runway, which was specifically closed for the charity run.

    The money will help pay for the vital services Acorns provides to life-limited children and their families across the Midlands.

    Birmingham Airport has been a long-time supporter of Acorns and has used the Airport infrastructure to raise funds before - back in 2016, 50 employees raised £12,000 in a 100-foot charity abseil from the roof of the Airport’s headquarters, Diamond House.

    Andy Holding, corporate responsibility manager at Birmingham Airport, said: “We’ve partnered with Acorns Children’s Hospice for ten years and it’s a charity that’s become very close to the hearts of many of our employees. 
    Birmingam outside2
    "We knew people would be excited by the prospect of running the length of the runway – it’s not the sort of thing you get to do every day, after all.

    “It costs Acorns £7,000 a day to run their services and with the money we’ve raised we can pay for two days care - something we’re extremely proud to be able to do. I would like to thank all those who took part and all those who supported them with their sponsorship.”

    Amanda Smallman, senior fundraising manager for corporate and community at Acorns, said: “What a fantastic donation! The runway run has to be one of the most unusual ways for supporters to raise money for Acorns – and in freezing temperatures, too. 

    "The determination and commitment of participants is wonderful. Thank you to everyone who took part, this money will make a real difference to the children and families we support.

    Airport CEO, Nick Barton, is pictured above with Richard Gill, who took the title of top fundraiser with an impressive total of £1,775, and Acorns' corporate fundraising manager, Natalia Keene.

  • 12-02-2019
    Top four drone and airspace predictions for 2019
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    Top four drone and airspace predictions for 2019

    Passenger numbers in the UK have increased by 20% in the last five years, with 268 million travellers passing through country's airports in 2018, and the government predicts that this number will increase to 410 million by 2050.

    In light of this, more than ever before the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) needs to ensure that it can safely and sustainably accommodate this drastic increase in flights, without significant delays and cancellations, providing the connectivity for an open and global Britain.

    Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, are also operating in this airspace – and in increasing numbers.

    These drones are already serving local communities in countless ways, including public safety and law enforcement, power line inspections by utility companies, and even saving lives in disaster recovery efforts.

    On December 17, 2018, the UK's government gave the green light to change its airspace regulations for the first time since 1950, in part to accommodate UAV flights at scale. And in 2019, we will see other countries across Europe follow suit to enable the future of flight across the globe.

    Over the course of the past year, AirMap has identified four key trends that will impact airspace in 2019.

    Trend #1: Basics Are Not Enough

    Since the launch of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 remote pilot certifications in the United States, we’ve seen countries around the world start with basic safety rules.

    With more awareness around the potential challenges of managing fast-growing drone activities in low altitude airspace, this year we expect to see the continuing increase in countries adopting basic safety regulations. Primarily, these rules relate to basic Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) operations and requirements to register all drones, as well as their responsible operator, and pilots in a national registration system.  

    As technology advances, we’ll see drones that can fly farther, in swarms, and in places previously thought impossible.
    drone-1142182 960 720
    Advanced commercial opportunities overwhelmingly require more regulations than today’s basic rules enable. Yet, without enabling regulations for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), night time, flights over people, or electronic identification, countries will face the same stalled environment that has for years plagued even the most progressive drone economies.  

    Trend #2: Permission-Based Access to Airspace Continues to Build Towards Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM)

    Countries around the world are beginning to recognise the benefits of opening airspace through more streamlined forms of authorisation.

    Permission-based access to airspace allows regulators to open airspace that would otherwise be closed to certain operators who have not met specific requirements or operational parameters. For example, the FAA Low-Altitude Authorisation and Notification Capability Program (LAANC) allows Part 107 operators who have passed a knowledge test and are flying drones less than 55 pounds in weight to submit digital requests for authorisation to fly in controlled airspace.

    What previously was often a months-long process now has commercial operations approved in a matter of seconds.

    As the rules around Remote ID are finalised in the United States, and registration increases in other countries, permission to access restricted airspace will follow the LAANC model and become increasingly automated and even safer.

    Trend #3: Increased Focus on Risk-based, Performance Authorization Will Lead to Advanced Operations

    Countries are shifting towards digital authorisation, led by the FAA and LAANC. We expect to see more authorities experiment with standardising their waivers process for complex operations, accelerating the timeline for new commercial models.

    The Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems (JARUS) Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) model currently in development for widespread adoption creates a framework to systematically and consistently evaluate the risks of particular drone missions. This will give regulators and air traffic controllers an unprecedented ability to quantify and specifically describe the risk a particular mission may entail.
    The SORA approach analyses the overall complexity of UAS operations, along with various risk mitigations. This allows UAS Traffic Management (UTM) platforms to ingest risk-based data sets and provide a consistent framework for authorities to implement more automated authorisations of drone flights.

    Switzerland has already been using a risk-based model to support hundreds of safe drone operations, including BVLOS deliveries in urban environments.

    We expect other countries, including the United States, China, and EU member states, to continue exploring the use of SORA and UTM to pave the way for risk-based authorisations of advanced operations.

    Trend #4: Increased Collaboration Across All Levels of Government

    Collaboration across all levels of government is essential for a healthy drone ecosystem to emerge and grow at the pace of what is technologically possible. We expect this to increase as countries with intra-government collaboration see the accelerated opportunities for complex operations.

    Truly high-volume drone operations can only happen when local authorities are involved as stakeholders because they are closest to the complexity of low-altitude airspace. This makes them essential partners for safe drone integration.

    By necessity, local law enforcement will increasingly engage in enforcing the rules around flying drones. By providing controlled access to information regarding the identity of operators, as well the needs and concerns of the communities where drones are operating, UTM infrastructures and services will be key enablers for greater and more complex commercial operations.

    • Bill Goodwin is General Counsel at AirMap 

  • 12-02-2019
    Dublin Airport launches A-CDM initiative to improve traffic flows
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    Dublin Airport launches A-CDM initiative to improve traffic flows

    Dublin Airport has launched a new initiative with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) in a bid to reduce delays and improve traffic flows.

    The initiative involves incorporating Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) into the management of daily flight operations at the airport.

    A-CDM is a Europe-wide initiative under the guidance of Eurocontrol, which is the European organisation for the safety of air navigation. 

    In this case, A-CDM will focus on aircraft turnaround times and pre-departure sequencing processes to boost air traffic flow and operational efficiency of all airport operators by reducing delays and increasing the predictability of events.

    It is hoped that the implementation of A-CDM will also increase capacity at participating airports and the capacity of European airspace by offering improved real-time information sharing between airport operators, aircraft operators, ground handlers and air traffic control.
    aircraft flying XL 
    In a nutshell, fewer late gate changes and faster taxi times will benefit airlines, passengers, the airport and the overall European aviation network.

    “We are delighted Dublin Airport is the first airport in Ireland to use the A-CDM process," enthuses Dublin Airport's managinbg director, Vincent Harrison.

    "We are fully committed to this initiative which will improve aircraft arrival, departure and turnaround times leading to greater efficiencies, and ultimately, improving the overall passenger experience."

    General manager for Irish Aviation Authority Terminal Services, Paul McCann, believes that implementing A-CDM at Dublin Airport will contribute to the reduction of aircraft ground congestion at peak times and should also reduce delays. 

    “By co-operating together on this project daa and the IAA are supporting, not just Dublin Airport, but the European air traffic network in general,” he says.

    A-CDM will make it easier for airports, aircraft operators, ground handlers, the IAA and Eurocontrol to know exactly where an aircraft is through every step of the departing flight process.
    Dublin gates
    Benefits will be achieved for airlines, ground handling operators, the IAA and Dublin Airport through improved use of aircraft parking stands and boarding gates resulting in fewer late changes in those areas. 

    The improved collaboration between these organisations provides a better understanding of aircraft traffic flows resulting in reduced taxi times and fewer queues and congestion on runway, taxiway and apron areas. 

    “Importantly, A-CDM will help reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions from aircraft and vehicles operating on the airfield. Dublin Airport is mandated to implement A-CDM by January 1, 2021 and we are delighted to have the initiative in train about two years ahead of schedule,” notes Harrison.

    A-CDM has already been implemented at 28 European airports accounting for 37% of departures across Europe.

    Dublin Airport and the IAA will now enter into a six-month data verification exercise with the European network manager, with the aim of becoming a fully certified A-CDM airport by this summer. 

    The Irish gateway secured €356,000 in European funding for the programme under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport.

  • 12-02-2019
    Eilat's new greenfield gateway opens for business
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    Eilat's new greenfield gateway opens for business

    Israel has opened its first commercial greenfield gateway, Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport (Ramon Airport), located 18 kilometres north of the Red Sea resort city of Eilat.

    Commissioned by the Isreal Airport Authority (IAA) and designed by a team led by Mann-Shinar Architects and Moshe Zur Architects, the new airport will replace the existing downtown gateway in Eilat.

    According to the design team, the airport features a minimalist and futuristic design and is located on a 1,250 acres in the Negev Desert.

    The architects served as project planning managers, leading more than 45 consulting firms, nearly all local Israeli engineers, alongside ARUP London's aviation team.

    It is widely believed that the new airport will become a major game changer for the region's local and international tourism to Israel, Jordan and Egypt's Sinai Desert.
    Its facilities include a 50,000sqm passenger terminal building, a 3,600 metre long runway and taxiway, along with forty aprons, that will allowing for domestic and international traffic. 

    The two support structures surrounding the terminal measure a combined 36,210 square-metres with a 45 metre-high Air Control Tower. 

    Mann-Shinar Architects and Moshe Zur Architects led the entire design team of the project from the masterplan to the construction documents of each individual check-in counter. 

    The project's design programme claims that it was influenced by the futuristic world of aviation and the seemingly timeless natural surrounding of the airport's desert location.

    According to the design team: "The mushroom-like rock formations found in Israel's National Timna Park served as inspiration for the initial geometry of the Passenger Terminal Building and create a self-shading volume. 
    "The expansive views are placed on centre stage for each traveller to encounter throughout their journey. The minimalist interior scheme is based on a tightly organised high-ceilinged hall with low-level furniture and pavilions acting as dividers."

    It notes that Ramon Airport's envelope consists of a steel and concrete skeleton structure, cladded to the exterior with insulating pristine-white aluminum triangular panels.

    The building's interior features a contrasting bamboo-wood cladded scheme. 

    Both the interior and exterior claddings are continuous from wall to roof, forming a singular cohesive and complete architectural space and object. 

    It adds that the opaque volume of the airport is 'carved' by the designed movements of its passengers, inspired by the desert boulder's formation by the motions of wind and water. 
    Glass curtain walls divide the Passenger Terminal Building at its entrances, exits and patios, sectioning the passenger traffic and controlling the security processes.

    While light wells allow sunlight to penetrate the depth of the building, allowing "spatial incisions to enrich the interior by making all streams of passenger movement visible for the incoming and outgoing traveller."

    The design team concludes: "The design introduces the building into the desert landscape through exterior patios and a central open-air café with a biological pool and garden. The result is one continuous spatial experience for the passenger on a single level.

    Ramon Airport is expected to handle around 2.25 million in its first year of operations, with the figure expected to rise to 4.25 within a few years.

  • 12-02-2019
    Fraport and Volocopter developing airport infrastructure and passenger processes for air taxi services
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    Fraport AG and Volocopter GmbH are collaborating with the aim of pioneering mobility of the future. They are developing concepts for ground infrastructure and operations required for air taxi services at airports. The cooperation focuses on smooth passenger handling and efficient integration into existing transport infrastructure. Fraport AG and Volocopter GmbH are collaborating with the aim […]

    The post Fraport and Volocopter developing airport infrastructure and passenger processes for air taxi services appeared first on Airport Business.

  • 12-02-2019
    Retailers recognised at Budapest Airport’s Annual Awards
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    The very best of Budapest were recognised during a special ceremony held on 7 February 2019 to mark the efforts of those business partners who play an integral role in the continued success of the Hungarian gateway. Serving a record 15 million passengers in 2018, Budapest recorded overall sales of €190 million for all commercial […]

    The post Retailers recognised at Budapest Airport’s Annual Awards appeared first on Airport Business.

  • 12-02-2019
    Finavia enhances customer experience at Helsinki Airport with opening of new Aukio extension
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    Helsinki Airport’s new extension, Aukio, opened on 8 February 2019. Its architecture, design and atmosphere are said to be a testament to Finnish skills. “Aukio can rightfully be described as a display window for our country, as millions of international passengers get their first taste of Finland at the airport,” says Helsinki Airport’s Director Joni Sundelin from […]

    The post Finavia enhances customer experience at Helsinki Airport with opening of new Aukio extension appeared first on Airport Business.

  • 12-02-2019
    European air passenger traffic up 6.1% in 2018
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    ACI EUROPE has released its traffic report for December, Q4, H2 and Full Year 2018. Passenger traffic across the European airport network grew by +6.1% last year, bringing the total number of passengers using Europe’s airports to a new record of 2.34 billion. ACI EUROPE has released its traffic report for December, Q4, H2 and Full Year 2018. It is the only air transport report […]

    The post European air passenger traffic up 6.1% in 2018 appeared first on Airport Business.

  • 06-02-2019
    Good year for Europe's airports but capacity and BREXIT concerns remain
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    Good year for Europe's airports but capacity and BREXIT concerns remain

    ACI Europe today confirmed that 2018 was a good one for Europe's airports, which saw passenger numbers rise by 6.1% to 2.34 billion.

    The new record means that passenger traffic across Europe has soared by 36% over the past five years.

    The 2018 total equates to 136.6 million more people than in 2017, with Europe's top five airports (London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt and Istanbaul Atatürk) welcoming an additional 16.5 million passengers.

    ACI Europe notes that while growth somehow moderated in 2018 when compared to the exceptional performance of 2017 (+8.5%), it remained very dynamic – especially considering underlying economic trends and geopolitical tensions.

    It adds that continued airline capacity expansion played a major role, as aircraft movements grew by +4% – even faster than in 2017 (+3.8%). 
    However, a slow down in freight, BREXIT and the fact that airport capacity constraints are becoming more widespread and evident is a concern for ACI Europe.

    Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, commented: “Managing such growth has been quite a challenge and the strain on airport facilities and staff is real.

    "Capacity and quality are now major issues for an increasing number of airports across Europe. This of course requires investment but also greater operational efficiency – through effective airport ATM [air traffic management] integration and alignment with all other stakeholders.” 

    Passenger traffic at EU airports posted an average increase of+5.4% in 2018 (compared with +7.7% in 2017) – with ATM disruptions, airline strikes and consolidation limiting gains in several markets up to the summer.

    Since then growth has been on an upward trend, with December closing at nearly +7%.

    Airports in the Eastern and Southern parts of the EU achieved the best performances, along with those in Austria and Luxembourg.

    Accordingly, the following capital and primary airports posted double-digit growth: Vilnius (+30.9%), Bratislava (+18.1%), Riga (+15.7%), Budapest (+13.5%), Tallinn (+13.4%), Malta (+13.2%), Warsaw-Chopin (+12.8%), Milan-Malpensa (+11.5%), Luxembourg (+12.2%), Athens (+11.2%), Vienna (+10.8%) and Helsinki (+10.4%).
    bag boy
    Conversely, the weakest results came from airports in Sweden (where passenger traffic stalled in the wake of the introduction of an aviation tax) and the UK (a reflection of mounting BREXIT fears on the economy).

    Meanwhile, non-EU airports saw passenger traffic expand by +8.3%(compared to +7.7% in 2017). However, unlike in the EU market, growth has followed a downward trend throughout the year, from an impressive +14.6% in January to +3.5% in December.

    This, says ACI Europe, was mainly due to domestic demand at Turkish airports being affected by the country’s economic woes (total passenger traffic growth at Turkish airports stood at +0.9% in Q4), weaker demand at Norwegian airports and growth coming to halt at Icelandic airports towards the end of the year (-0.1% in December).

    Conversely, airports in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Israel, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina grew above the non-EU average.

    It reveals that the best individual airport performances came from Kutaisi (+52.5%), Antalya (+21.1%), Tbilisi (+20.4%), Kiev (+19.4%), Kharkiv (+19.3%), Bodrum (+18.8%), Rostov (+18.8%), Moscow-Vnukovo (+18.4%), Skopje (+15.5%), Pristina (+14.7%) and Moscow-Sheremetyevo (+14.3%).

    The ''Majors' (Europe’s Top 5 busiest airports) registered a +4.8% growth in passenger traffic in 2018, down from +5.5% the preceding year.
    According to ACI Europe, this lower performance compared to the European average reflected mainly capacity limitations, intensifying hub competition and hub by-pass developments as well as airline strikes. 

    Frankfurt achieved the highest growth amongst the league (+7.8% - 4th position with 69.51 million passengers), on the back of a successful traffic diversification strategy.

    Istanbul-Atatürk posted the second best performance (+6.4% - 5th position with 68.19 million passengers), but saw passenger traffic slowing down significantly towards the end of the year (only +1% in Q4).

    The Turkish hub was followed by Paris-CDG (+4% - 2nd position with 72.22 million passengers), where strikes at the home-based network carrier took their toll.

    Meanwhile, capacity constraints more than halved growth at Amsterdam-Schiphol (+3.7% compared to +7.7% in 2017 – 3rd position with 71.05 million passengers) and also limited gains at London Heathrow (+2.7%), which remained the busiest airport in Europe, with 80.12 million passengers.

    In contrast with passenger traffic dynamics, freight traffic decelerated sharply in 2018, with growth of only +1.8% compared with +8.4% in 2017.

    The deceleration primarily affected EU airports (+1.1%) and less so non-EU ones (+5.6%). It turned into traffic losses in November (-1.4%) and December (-2.2%).
    Cargo pallet
    Among the top 10 European airports for freight, only the following reported growth: Liège (+21.6% - 8th position), Istanbul-Atatürk (+9.6% - 5th position), Cologne-Bonn (+2.7% - 9th position) and Brussels (+3.7% - 10th position).

    Looking ahead Jankovec remarks: “The trend of decreasing freight traffic is hard to ignore. It reflects weakening economic data and contraction forces at play, not just in Europe but around the World.

    "These will ultimately translate into lower passenger demand. Adding to that, volatile oil prices, labour cost pressures and more consolidation should also lead airlines to be more cautious with capacity expansion.

    "So pressures on passenger traffic are likely to come both from the demand and supply sides in 2019.”

    He adds: “With less than 60 days left before the UK exits the EU, BREXIT remains the top immediate risk. However, the latest no-deal contingency measures from the EU no longer provide for a capacity freeze on EU27-UK air routes for UK airlines. This will very much help mitigate the impact and protect air connectivity.”

  • 06-02-2019
    L’UE et le Qatar concluent un accord aérien
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    L’Union européenne et le Qatar ont conclu les négociations sur un nouvel accord aérien bilatéral, sa finalisation devant encore prendre quelques semaines. L’accord historique donnera à toutes les compagnies aériennes …

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