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Airport Industry News: January 2013

Jan 25, 2013

Published biweekly –  available by annual subscription only (at a discounted rate through Brainseed) –

Managing Editor / Publisher: Martin Lamprecht

Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, TX, has launched its official mobile app for smartphones, giving customers the latest information and updates about flights, parking, shops, restaurants and airport services. According to a release, the DFW Airport mobile app, which was developed with feedback from DFW customers, is now available as a free download at the iTunes App Store, Google’s Android Play Store and BlackBerry App World. “The DFW Airport mobile app represents a breakthrough in the way the customers can navigate DFW Airport,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW. “This is the first airport app that notifies DFW travellers about gate changes through a push notification, and it can also help you determine parking availability or find a bite to eat in one easy solution.” The mobile app’s push notification feature is a first for airport-developed apps, notifying passengers who request information about changes to flight details.

DFW said the new app contains a wide variety of customer-requested features including flight information and tracking; flight and gate updates with alert notifications; parking availability, locations and rates; and restaurant and shopping locations. 


Atlantic Canada is embarking on a “new era in air service” with the opening of the newly extended main runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, said Airport Authority CEO Tom Ruth. “The extension of our main runway provides Atlantic Canada with new economic development opportunities, particularly in the air cargo sector,” Ruth said. “This new era in air service was made possible by investments from both the federal and provincial governments. This development will create positive economic spin-offs that will benefit our community, our province, and our region.”

The CAD 28 million runway extension was officially opened on 21 January 2013. The Government of Canada provided up to CAD 9 million in funding in support of the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy. The Province of Nova Scotia invested CAD 5 million in the project and the remaining CAD 14 million was provided by Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA). Construction to lengthen the runway from 8800 ft to 10 500 ft began in September 2011. The runway was declared operational on 15 November 2012, allowing it to handle larger wide-bodied and heavy aircraft year-round, thus enhancing Halifax Stanfield’s position as a key international air cargo and passenger hub. 


Duluth International Airport, MN, officially opened its new world-class passenger terminal on 12 January 2012. The USD 78 million terminal replaces the original building constructed in 1973, which no longer met the post 9/11 regulations, FAA requirements or traveller needs and expectations. The new terminal will provide passengers with a spacious, 400-seat passenger seating area, complete with WiFi, TVs, multiple in-floor outlets for travellers’ electronics, a restaurant and lounge, gift shop, vending and restrooms. The new terminal also meets FAA compliance requirements, Department of Homeland Security post 9/11 requirements, and Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility guidelines. 


Qatar’s New Doha International Airport will be renamed Hamad International Airport when the much delayed hub finally opens in the second half of 2013. The announcement was made in a statement by Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi, Chairman of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority. The USD 15.5 billion airport missed its most recent scheduled opening date of December 2012, and has now been put back to the second half of 2013 as a legal battle ensues between airport authorities and a major contractor. Airport operator Qatar Airways said in December that it planned to file a USD 600 million legal claim against German-Emirati joint venture construction company Lindner Depa Interiors (LDI) after it claimed LDI’s failure to complete the USD 250 million fit-out of 19 airport lounges by the summer of 2012 had resulted in significant delays to the opening of the project.

Phase one of the new airport is designed to handle more than 28 million passengers a year, with the capacity expected to more than double by the time the airport is fully operational in 2018. 


Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the UAE is set to commence work on refurbishment of Terminal 1 in the first quarter of 2013. Expected to be completed by the end of 2014, work includes streamlining of baggage screening in the departures hall, the replacement of all check-in desks, modernization of baggage systems and the upgrade of all public areas. Upon completion of the project, the new baggage screening processes are expected to offer enhanced passenger flow by eliminating queuing point, reducing the time taken by passengers to move from the forecourt in Terminal 1 to the departure gates. Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said that the airport operator was working to enhance its services while expanding its facilities to meet the rise in passengers using the airport. “In addition to significantly increasing our capacity, the upgrade of Terminal 1 together with the construction of Concourse D will offer our passengers a more inviting and comfortable environment in line with the newer facilities across the terminals at Dubai International,” Griffiths said.

The project also includes utilization of the additional space created by the streamlined baggage process to make the departures hall more spacious and will be merged with modernized wayfinding signage to improve passengers’ accessibility to the building. Work also includes rebuilding and expanding the arrivals hall, incorporating an air-conditioned space with new food and retail outlets. Upon completion of Terminal 1’s refurbishment, it will be connected through a new elevated train system to Concourse D, which is currently being built to accommodate 100 airlines that fly to and from Dubai International when it opens in 2015. 


Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata, India, has opened its new integrated passenger terminal, tripling the airport’s passenger handling capacity. The Indian Government has invested about USD 420 million in the expansion and modernization of the airport. India’s President Pranab Mukherjee said that the upgraded facility would be useful given that Kolkata is set to be an important destination for the ‘Look East’ government policy.

Built by a joint venture of ITD Cementation India and its parent firm Italian-Thai Development Public (ITD), the terminal will initially be used for international flight operations, while complete operations are expected to commence by the end of March 2013. Following the commencement of full operations, the existing international terminal will be closed and used for the airport’s future expansion. Features of the integrated passenger terminal’s departure area include 48 international and 80 domestic check-in counters, 38 immigration counters, 23 international and 33 domestic security gates with frisking booths. The arrivals area of the terminal features 40 immigration counters, 26 conveyor belts, 6 customs counters and 18 passenger boarding bridges. 


Significant long-range airfield enhancements to the secondary runway and reconstruction of several commercial aircraft ramp areas have been completed at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, CA. The USD 35 million infrastructure improvements will enhance safety, accommodate increased capacity and minimize the airport’s environmental footprint, all at no cost to the airport or the City of Fresno. The widened and lengthened secondary runway will enable operation to continue during times when the primary runway is out of service due to maintenance, construction, or is occupied by other aircraft. In addition, having two fully capable runways provides the option to operate one runway for flight arrivals and the other runway for flight departures. Some 95% of the funding for both projects came from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Programme grants. The remaining 5% was paid for using matching Measure C Regional Transportation funds. -- Nine carriers (Aeroméxico, Alaska Air/Horizon, Allegiant, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways, and Volaris) currently offer Valley passengers approximately 40 daily domestic and international departures from Fresno.


Airport Security

Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) has released the latest camera integration to its world leading fibre-optic perimeter intrusion detection systems. This integration from FFT’s PIDS systems to more than 500 different ONVIF-compliant security cameras delivers a seamless solution for controlling high quality CCTV images whenever a perimeter intrusion alarm is received. Alec Owen, International Client Manger of Future Fibre Technologies, said: “Driving this IP-based physical security standard is the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), an open industry group formed to standardize on how IP-based security devices including CCTV video surveillance and other IP-based products and systems communicate with each other, independent of the manufacturer. This gives users the freedom to choose from hundreds of ONVIF compliant cameras and camera control systems without being locked into one specific vendor and their particular range of offerings.”

Key features of this FFT CAMS™ integration include sending ONVIF cameras to presets when an intruder is detected; displaying a live video stream from these cameras; flexible interfacing to a broad range of security management systems through the FFT CAMS™ graphical user interface. 


The U.S. Transport and Security Administration (TSA) will remove all 174 of OSI Systems’ Rapiscan body scanners from airports, following serious concerns over their inability to protect the privacy of passengers. The USD 5 million contract Rapiscan had with the TSA will come to an end, leading to the removal of the invasive machines from all US airports. The contract has been terminated as a result of the company’s inability to meet TSA requirements that their machines develop software to produce less invasive images of passengers.

The need for a speedy adjustment intensified in November 2012, when a press report said that Rapiscan may have been manipulating the results of tests on integrated privacy software that they were supposed to have been implementing. As a result of the outcry that followed these accusations about the then-current software, the TSA ordered the manufacturer to adjust the machines so that an avatar of a miscellaneous body was displayed in place of the individual being searched. Rapiscan indicated that they would not be able to meet the TSA’s demands until 2014. TSA Assistant Administrator Karen Shelton Waters said that it “became clear to TSA they would be unable to meet our timeline.”

The TSA has been using two companies to conduct the searches, outsourcing to both Rapiscan and L-3 Communications Holdings to produce the machines. While the Rapiscan machines have been utilizing weak X-rays to create what appears to be a naked image of the subject, the machines of L-3 Communications Holdings use radio waves to depict concealed objects on an avatar image on a screen, and will continue to be used by the TSA.  The Rapiscan machines will be replaced by 60 units supplied by L-3. 


In Washington, DC, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of civil aviation security with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It was signed by Dr Faisal Bin Hamad Al-Sugair, GACA Vice President, and John Pistole, TSA Administrator. The signing of the MoU is said to be based on both sides’ interest in the development of administrative, technical and operational cooperation in the field of civil aviation security and an affirmation of common interest to strengthen efforts to address threats and reduce risks in civil aviation. The MoU includes a number of cooperation activities between the two parties, such as providing expertise to help develop, improve and operate the infrastructure for the civil aviation’s security, standard rules, procedures, policies, training and equipment.

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