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Airport Industry News: May 2013

May 1, 2013

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

Managing Editor / Publisher: Martin Lamprecht

This information is provided by Momberger Airport Information as part of its partnership with Brainseed Global. Read about the partnership here.


Airport Developments Around the Globe 


The Government will invest around USD 120 million on building new airports and improving others, according to the Minister of Public Works, Vladimir Sanchez. He explained that the main airports in the country, those in the departments of Cochabamba, La Paz, and Santa Cruz, will be improved up to the third quarter of 2014, with a view to maintain and improve their conditions to welcome international flights. The Minister also confirmed that preparations are made for the opening of international airports at Oruro and Uyuni and that the airports of Chimore (Cochabamba province), Copacabana (La Paz) and Monteagudo (Chuquisaca) are under construction.


The scheduled opening on 1 April 2013 of Doha's new international airport was indefinitely postponed after it failed to meet security standards. The head of Qatar's civil aviation authority, Abdel Aziz al-Nuaimi, said in a statement that the delay was due to "Hamad International Airport not meeting the newly introduced safety and security requirements of the Civil Defence Department." The CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar al-Baker, blamed Bechtel Corp., the principal contractor of Hamad International Airport, for the delayed opening. He told a news conference in Chicago that EPC contractor Bechtel had been "complacent" in ensuring the project met regulatory requirements. -- Contractors working on the airport had already issued international certificates in the domain of safety and security, without giving a new date for the opening. In February, the civil aviation authority had set 1 April as the date for the opening of the new airport.


Dubai World Central (DWC), the emirate's second airport, is to open for passenger flights from 26 October 2013 with two carriers operating, following repeated delays. Saudi Arabia's Nasair will operate over 50 flights a week between Dubai and destinations in the Kingdom, while Hungary-headquartered Wizz Air is to fly non-stop routes from Central and Eastern Europe. Construction of DWC's passenger terminal building was completed in 2012. Upon opening, the new facility will offer full retail as well as food & beverage amenities. It is serviced by one A380-capable runway, 64 remote aircraft stands and has capacity for up to 7 million passengers per year. The terminal will undergo a full testing and trial programme over the coming months to ensure a seamless opening.

Dubai World Central, launched at the height of Dubai's rapid economic growth, is set to become the world's largest airport when completed, with an annual capacity of 160 million passengers. But it began operations for cargo only in June 2010 and quickly established itself as an emerging cargo airport in the region with 36 airlines (scheduled and chartered) handling 219 092 tonnes of air freight on 16 317 aircraft movements during 2012. While general aviation operations at DWC started on 28 April 2011, the date for full passenger operations was pushed back.  --  Dubai International, the Emirate's main airport, is already the busiest in the region. The airport, a popular stop on routes between Europe, Asia, and Australasia, handled 57.68 million passengers (+13.2%) in 2012.


Operating Aspects 

Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) CEO Hartmut Mehdorn has presented SPRINT, his action plan for a speedy opening of the future Berlin to the supervisory board of the airport operating company ‘Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH'. Mehdorn said during a press conference: "We are making a fresh start in various parts of the organization. This entails changes with regard to personnel as well as processes to accelerate the opening of BER." Other decisions taken by the supervisory board included the approval of the revised business plan for the current year. In addition, Elmar Kleinert was appointed Head of Operations for Schönefeld and Tegel Airports as well as for the future BER. Mehdorn will personally oversee SPRINT, which will bring together all processes that are related to the opening of BER, from the remaining construction work to approvals, trial runs and the opening itself. SPRINT will be coordinated by a dedicated project management office which will be located at BER. SPRINT will also establish a centre of competence that will oversee all technical aspects of the project such as the evaluation of the current state of the construction work, liaison with companies involved in the project and documentation. Moreover, all training necessary for the move to BER and to ensure the operational readiness of the new airport will become part of SPRINT. Mehdorn said: "The remaining work at BER will be divided up into 20 to 30 modules. The managers responsible for each module will be announced over the coming weeks. Our technical centre of competence will rely on both internal and external know-how, and we will talk to everyone who can make a positive contribution to the swift opening of BER." 

Airport Training

A new Melbourne Airport training facility in Australia will prepare fire-fighters to tackle the "one in a million" chance of a commercial airliner becoming engulfed in flames. The recently opened AUD 22 million ‘Hot Fire Training Ground' creates engine, ground and fuel spill fires on a mock-up aircraft fuselage. The mock aircraft is modelled on sections of the Airbus A380 and Boeing 767 aircraft designs. Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Smith said that the training site would help prepare recruits for a real plane fire. "It is a very good simulation but it's not an actual plane crash. It's as close as you can get without putting our people at risk," Smith said. -- More than 700 staff are involved in emergency response at Australia's airports.

In a bid to develop in-house capabilities in air navigation services, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has joined with American technology provider MITRE Corporation to set up a high-tech research, development and training facility in Hyderabad. The proposed technical centre would provide comprehensive laboratory capabilities to support AAI's daily air traffic management operations and maintenance, besides carrying out performance analysis and R&D. The AAI and the MITRE Corporation have signed two agreements to establish the Hyderabad centre and for transfer of technology and knowledge. The facility will be equipped with the technology to train air traffic controllers including ‘Human-in-the-Loop' (HITL) computer simulation capability, AAI officials said. HITL simulation is a virtual, real-time ATC simulation that requires human interaction with airborne and ground automation to manage air traffic in an operational scenario. It helps identify ATC problems, develops solutions for them and achieve cost-efficient deployment of the new solutions. MITRE is also offering its portable ATC simulation system that can be used to train personnel at any location with the use of a few laptops.

AAI, which has partnered with MITRE since 2006 for many of its Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Air Traffic Management (CNS-ATM) activities, is the first sponsor of MITRE for HITL Technology. By virtue of this, AAI becomes only one of the very few advanced aviation research organizations in the world to possess such a capability, AAI said.


Airport Security 

Morpho Detection has received a USD 100 million contract from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) for the delivery of explosives detection systems. As part of the five-year contract, the company will deliver its high-, medium-, and low-speed and over-length explosives detection systems (EDS) to support CATSA's next-generation baggage screening programme. Initially, Morpho Detection will deliver eight compact CTX 5800 and four high-speed CTX 9800 DSi systems for deployment at Canadian airports in 2013.

The CTX 9800 DSi system features a new data acquisition system, which generates high-resolution 3D images, while its user interface assists operators to maximize the value, detail and threat separation leveraging the high-resolution 3D images. The CTX 5800 EDS incorporates high-definition 3-D imaging baggage screening and form factor which helps in addressing screening challenges. Both of the EDS systems are loaded with Multiplexing, which is the software and hardware that networks the systems with the user and control interfaces for remote screening of checked baggage. Additionally, the systems are certified by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and approved by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) as complying with European Union Standard 3 requirements.

The Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) of Jamaica, with support of IT provider SITA, has incorporated APIS data in its border management system. The solution is part of a security and tourism initiative to improve passenger facilitation and to manage security resources effectively. It involves intelligent pre-departure analysis of data for outbound passengers, eliminating the need for outbound passengers to queue at immigration checkpoints at the country's two major airports, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.

The new service will process and manage API data from the more than 40 carriers serving Jamaica. This data comprises the standard information contained in each passenger's passport which is combined with flight information, and then sent by airlines to relevant border control agencies, usually after aircraft departure. With SITA's iBorders technology, PICA will receive the data systematically before flights depart Jamaica allowing it to conduct risk analysis before passengers leave the island.

Information for more than 4.8 million passengers will be processed by SITA's systems each year, with Jamaica receiving the data to perform risk analysis. This intelligent pre-departure analysis has the added benefit of removing the manual immigration check for outgoing passengers at the airports. If flying with one of the airlines that are active on the system, passengers can go straight to the lounge and shopping areas after clearing security and completely avoid queuing at an immigration checkpoint. The new system went live in January 2013 with many airlines already using the system. 

MB Telecom was recently awarded the First Prize at the International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, for their latest device that will tighten airport security. Roboscan 2M AERIA is their solution for aircraft scanning, able to fully X-ray small to medium-sized aircraft in order to detect threats, illegal or undeclared goods. It comprises a MAN truck with an extensible crane arm holding a high-performance scanning device. In operation, the truck is positioned in a clear flat area, the crane arm is fully extended with the detection module placed directly beneath the scanner. A radio-controlled tug unit is then attached to the aircraft's front landing gear, and the aircraft is pulled through the scanning ray.

Ghana Immigration Services (GIS) is implementing an electronic visa and border management solution designed to improve security at airports across the country in response to rapidly escalating cross-border travel in the region. The initiative is part of the eGhana project, an ambitious programme, with backing from the World Bank, to create a modern IT infrastructure that can support the country's sustainable development plans in the years ahead. GIS has appointed Gemalto, a provider of digital security services, as primary contractor and turnkey supplier to provide a centralized electronic visa and border control solution powered by biometrics. The e-Immigration solution is expected to promote and improve intelligence sharing between GIS officials and other security agencies. GIS agents will be able to supervise automated passport inspection and track border crossing events using data captured by the system. The solutions will be deployed at Ghana's main ports of arrival, where a fully computerized system for the processing and issuing of visa and permit applications through biometric technology will be implemented. The project also covers the setting up of an online portal for visa applications, and the implementation of electronic gates at Accra's Kotoka International Airport, for rapid, convenient and automated border control of arrivals and departures.

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