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News & Updates

Airport Industry News: February 2014

Feb 20, 2014

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.



Basel Aero, part of Russia’s largest diversified industrial group Basic Element, said that more than 2,500 staff of Sochi International Airport, had completed “several educational programmes” ahead of the 22nd Winter Olympics. Among them are 1,620 of airport’s staff, 950 employees from other Russian airports and air carriers, as well as aviation cadets who have joined the Sochi Airport team. A total of 1,400 airport’s staff who work at the check-in desks, security checkpoints and information counters, have undergone Olympic hospitality training. The courses were organised by Basel Aero, together with Moscow-based AeroMASH-Aviation Security, a leading Russian provider of aviation security services, Russian largest air carrier Aeroflot, Sochi State University, Kuban State Technical University and Sberbank. A total of 65 airport’s specialists - as well as employees of Russian leading airlines, Transaero and Aeroflot - have completed disability awareness training. Basel Aero staff has also completed English courses organised by Complang language school, English First, Sochi State University and Kuban State Technical University. 


The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) has joined forces with Business Airport World Expo to host its Training Convention at BAWE 2014, which takes place at Farnborough Airport, U.K. on 26 and 27 March 2014. The convention will include practical training sessions, presentations and a series of open forums held across the two-day event. Topics on the agenda include ground operations and the U.S. approach to dispatch, security management systems, customs, human factors and how IT can support the industry. Mark Bailey, BBGA CEO, commented: “I don’t think we have ever had this type of operations training event in the U.K., and attendees will be able to gain a better understanding of what people are doing in ops training at this point in time.” 


Sustainable Aviation

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and SunEdison have opened a new airport solar power system at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, the first of its kind in the country. The new system combines ground-mounted, parking canopy, and roof-top systems to achieve higher savings while minimizing the use of space. The 19-MW DC installation is expected to cut annual costs at the airport by up to USD 627,000, based on current energy costs.

Parking canopies offer the benefits of covered parking while generating electricity at economical price. They use airport roof-top space, and the land surrounding the airport allows electricity to be generated at the point of consumption, eliminating the need for costly transmission lines. The SunEdison Renewable Operation Centre (ROC) will offer 24/7 solar system management and monitoring services to ensure the installation continues to perform as expected over the system’s lifetime.


London Heathrow Airport has been awarded The Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark Award for a sixth year in a row. Heathrow is the only airport to have been given this award. The airport actively manages around 100 ha across 13 sites for nature conservation, including four reserve areas that are open to the public. The Wildlife Trust independently judged more than 40 organizations’ commitments to biodiversity, visiting each site and measuring their compliance with stringent environmental requirements. Heathrow was awarded the Biodiversity Benchmark for its continued commitment to biodiversity by keeping a close eye on a wide variety of species in the area and managing the land to support them. Heathrow’s Sustainability Director, Matt Gorman, said: “We are delighted to have been recognized for our continued commitment to biodiversity around Heathrow, and winning the award six years running is an achievement we are really proud of.”

Heathrow recently won a Sustainability Leaders Award for the new Terminal 2 and was named ‘Champion of Champions’, winning four International Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice and Sustainable Development. The U.K.’s hub works with more than 320 businesses to establish innovative solutions and operating procedures needed to improve environmental performance.


Airport Security

Tensator has installed two of its Virtual Assistants in Heathrow’s Terminal 4 as part of the airport’s check-in and security process. The Tensator Virtual Assistant (VA) uses cutting-edge technology to project an image and create the illusion of a real person. Fully customizable, it brings messages to life and helps to engage passengers with consistent and clear communications. ‘Louise’, who wears a Heathrow Airport security uniform, is stationed at check-in and security and to inform passengers about acceptable liquids and other security processes. Heathrow purchased the VAs following a six-month trial, which resulted in a reduction in bag rejections. A number of major airports, both in the U.K. and abroad, have adopted the Tensator VA technology to convey compliance messages to passengers, and Heathrow is now considering adding two more during 2014. The airport placed one Tensator VA Premium in the security area, and one VA Ultra at check-in. The VA Premium is a next-generation digital signage solution designed to enhance both the passenger experience and the company brand. Features include a proximity sensor to ensure timely message delivery and up to 20 hr of non-stop operation time.  


Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), MD, has chosen Telos Identity Management Solutions to provide Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-approved Designated Aviation Channeling (DAC) services for processing employee and contractor background checks. “For the past three years, BWI has experienced record passenger traffic and has undertaken significant capital improvement projects,” said Telos ID President, Mark Griffin, adding: “Telos ID’s channeling service makes their employee vetting and badging efforts remarkably more efficient, flexible and scalable to support this growth.” Aviation channeling services are used to submit employee information to TSA to conduct employee background checks that are required for individuals working in an aviation environment. TSA requires assessments to be conducted for all aviation workers with access to the secure areas of an airport, including baggage workers, ground maintenance workers and restaurant and retail employees. Telos ID’s DAC services lets U.S. commercial airports more efficiently run their background check and badging operations. It meets TSA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations for handling personal identifiable information, and as a secure Web-based solution, it allows users to securely access the system wherever they have an Internet connection. Telos ID also provides additional customer service options and more visibility and flexibility for its customers.


Morpho Detection has announced that United Airlines has ordered a total of 54 Itemiser® DX desktop explosives trace detectors (ETD) to screen air cargo for explosives. Under the terms of the contract, all systems were deployed domestically and internationally at United Cargo locations to replace legacy systems and maintain compliance with enhanced U.S. TSA cargo screening mandates. Karen Bomba, CEO of Morpho Detection, said: “The ability of Itemiser DX to detect and identify explosives in challenging environments, combined with Morpho’s global service teams, gives air cargo companies the capability to maintain regulatory compliance while ensuring peak performance and maximum system uptime.” A lightweight, portable desktop system, Itemiser DX can detect residue from explosives on parcels, bags, cargo, skin, clothing, vehicles and other surfaces.


Future Fibre Technologies (FFT) has released a new enhanced version of its market-leading Central Alarms Monitoring System (CAMS) 3 v3.9.5, with more advanced features and an easier user experience. CAMS is a key component of FFT’s fibre optic security detection and location systems. It is designed to display, monitor and control alarm signals from individual or multiple sensing controller units. CAMS integrates intrusion detection systems with video surveillance, third-party devices, and high-level security management and access control systems. It provides end-users with a simple-to-understand, yet extremely powerful, alarm monitoring system. The key features of the latest release include a ‘super client’ designed to connect to and control multiple servers to help clients centralize their FFT PIDS security monitoring, and manage multi-sites perimeter intrusion detection systems with greater simplicity.


Thermal imaging cameras at airports could calculate queues and check-in times better than systems that make estimates using Bluetooth and WiFi on passengers' mobiles.

Current security control procedures at Værnes Airport in Norway use two infra-red thermal imaging cameras and strategically located optical sensors to provide an estimate of how long the queue will take to pass. Researchers at SINTEF ICT have been working with the video surveillance company Detec AS to develop a passenger counter using these sensors. These counters provide results that are more accurate than systems based on Bluetooth and WiFi. This is partly because many people often turn off these services in order to save power. Surveys have shown that less than 30% of people have one or both of these services turned on. At Værnes, two infra-red thermal imaging cameras and strategically located optical sensors provide an estimate as to how long people will spend in the queue.

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