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News & Updates

Airport Industry News: December 2013

Dec 16, 2013

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

Managing Editor / Publisher: Martin Lamprecht

The articles compiled for Brainseed and made available here represent only a very small sample of news from some of the 8 modules of the biweekly newsletter which includes the modules: Airport Development (DEV), Airport Operations (OPS), Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Air Traffic Services (ATC), Consultant & Contractor (CON), Airport Information Technology (AIT) and Maintenance Base (MRO). An extensive Calendar of Events (CAL) is part of every subscription.



Airways New Zealand has entered into a partnership with a Chinese aeronautical training institution to share the organization’s aviation management expertise with its Chinese counterparts. The Civil Aviation Management Institute of China (CAMIC) will send groups of 20 managers to New Zealand to study airspace planning and related topics with Airways. The groups are from engineering and management backgrounds in organizations across China, and will study for three weeks. Sharon Cooke, Airways’ Head of Training, said that knowledge sharing was an important component of the partnership. “CAMIC has been impressed with the new technological developments coming out of Airways in the past few years. With technologies in use such as Performance Based Navigation and multilateration, Airways is at the forefront of global thinking. Our Chinese colleagues are eager to learn from our experience, and we’re also keen that this is a two-way exchange,” she said. Ms Cooke said that the course would be delivered by Airways subject matter experts, as a practical programme. “We’ll be customizing this course to create a package that meets the learners’ needs, and using case studies such as our Performance Based Navigation implementation in Queenstown.” The first course started on 18 November 2013 at the Airways Training Centre in Christchurch.


Lithuania-based Baltic Aviation Academy has added a ground handling training programme to its wide range of services offered. Training programmes will include a large variety of aircraft handling, equipment handling, passenger handling, dangerous goods and safety courses. Baltic Aviation Academy’s ground handling training programmes are designed according to IATA and EASA ground handling training requirements. This assures that the training provided is optimized and harmonized with the safety standards for ground operations in all the regions. Baltic Aviation Academy’s ground handling training courses and recurrent trainings will be conducted by the certified instructors using all the required technical equipment available on base. Depending on the difficulty of the course and service, theoretical training time will range from a two-hour class up to a two-week course. Ground handling training courses will be offered in Vilnius or at any other location which is convenient for the customer.


Airport Security

On 21 November 2013, JetBlue Airways joined the U.S. TSA’s Pre™ programme, which allows participating customers to expedite security by leaving their shoes, belt and light outerwear on, and in most cases keep their laptop computers and ‘3-1-1’ compliant liquids and gels in their carry-on bag. JetBlue customers who are members of one of the certified ‘trusted traveller’ programmes, as defined by TSA, may add their ‘known traveller’ number to their reservation, and check in via JetBlue’s mobile app in order to receive expedited screening benefits at any of the 22 JetBlue locations where it is available.

Initially, TSA Pre™ will be available to JetBlue customers who are U.S. citizens and members of one of the following certified ‘trusted traveller’ programmes recognized by the TSA: Global Entry; NEXUS; and SENTRI. JetBlue will expand its participation in TSA Pre™ to include paper boarding passes printed at home, from the check-in desk, or from the kiosk in the departure lobby by the end of the first quarter 2014.


The U.K. Department for Transport (DfT) will install security scanners in 11 more airports, in a move to detect threats posed by non-metallic improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The security scanners are already in place in 10 airports in the U.K., and are set to be added in Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Prestwick, Cardiff and Belfast City airports. U.K. Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said that passengers who opt out of being screened by a security scanner would be allowed a private search alternative. The alternative arrangements will be analyzed in order to ensure that high levels of security are maintained. Passengers who oppose security scanners will not be allowed to fly if they refuse to undergo an alternative security scan. The scanners were installed in response to threats perceived from non-metallic IEDs, which are difficult to be scanned with the conventional screening.


Security portals have been installed at two airports in the North Eastern U.S., preventing passengers from backtracking into secure areas of the airport once they have left the concourse. Security officers have been replaced with the unmanned portals at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, NY, and Atlantic City International Airport, NJ. Manufactured by security services provider Eagle Security Group, the bulletproof glass pods prevent unauthorized individuals from entering secure areas of the airports, and eliminate the need for law enforcement or other security personnel to monitor the exit lanes. The most recent models, Eagle II Exit Lane Breach Control Portals, were installed by the Eagle Security Group at Atlantic City Airport in November 2013.

The portals may soon be rolled out in airports across the U.S. after an announcement from the TSA earlier in 2013 ordered airports to take over the monitoring of exit lanes in early 2014, stating that the agency does not consider exit lanes part of its screening function. Transferring the task to airports will allow TSA “to focus on the priority of screening passengers and baggage” and cut USD 88.1 million a year from its budget, said a TSA spokesman. However, in response to TSA’s calls to shift exit-monitoring duties to local airports, U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania, Robert Casey, wrote a letter to TSA Administrator, John Pistole, on 25 November calling on the agency to reverse course on its plans. Casey said the move would force airports to use direct employees for the function or hire contract security personnel, adding additional expense to airports.


An advance in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology may allow for a breakthrough for screening liquids at airport security, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the U.S. recently reported. Scientists at Los Alamos added low-power X-ray data to the existing MRI technology to unlock a new way to detect dangerous liquids using a system known as MagRay. The goal of MagRay is to help airport security to distinguish between visually identical liquids. “One of the challenges for the screening of liquids in an airport is that, while traditional X-ray based baggage scanners provide high throughput with good resolution of some threats, there is limited sensitivity and selectivity for liquid discrimination,” Michelle Espy, the MagRay project leader, said. “While MRI can differentiate liquids, there are a certain class of explosives, those that are complex, homemade, or may have mixes of all kinds of stuff that are more challenging.” The system examines a liquid through a three-dimensional MRI, while calculating its X-ray density and proton content. By using the three different measures, benign liquids and threat liquids are easily distinguishable. The MagRay project is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.

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