2015: The year's biggest Airport Technology stories

UK recommends Heathrow Airport expansion, UAE to invest $32bn in airport development while construction of LaGuardia Airport to begin in 2016. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from 2015.


heathrow

UK Airports Commission recommends expansion of Heathrow Airport

The UK Airports Commission recommended the construction of a new northwest runway at the Heathrow Airport, in its final report on the expansion of the country's aviation capacity.

The commission argued that the new runway at Heathrow offers maximum benefits to the economy as it would lead to the introduction of 40 new destinations from the airport and create more than 70,000 new jobs by 2050.

A new runway at Heathrow would be less costly and require the removal of lesser homes, and will not increase noise above current levels, the report observed.

UAE to invest $32bn in airport development

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The UAE Government announced plans to spend nearly AED120bn ($32.67bn) on the development of airports that are seeing growth in passenger and cargo movements.

Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) president and Dubai Airports chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum made the announcement in the latest edition of the DCAA newsletter.

The UAE airports have handled around 101 million passengers in 2014, 71 million of which were served by the Dubai International Airport alone.

$4bn first half construction of LaGuardia Airport to begin in 2016

New York's LaGuardia Airport will have a unified main terminal, with work on its $4bn first half likely to begin in 2016.

According to the plans revealed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and US Vice-President Joe Biden, the New Unified Terminal Structure will provide expanded transportation access and taxiway space, and better passenger amenities.

Cuomo said: "We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York."

India's Cochin International Airport installs 12MW solar plant

India's Cochin International Airport (CIAL), located in the state of Kerala, installed a 12MW solar plant to address its energy requirements.

Installed with an investment of around INR620m ($9.5m), the solar plant comprises of more than 46,000 panels spread across 45 acres, and is likely to produce 52,000 units of solar power daily, reported the Hindu.

CIAL managing director VJ Kurien said: "With the commissioning of the plant, Cochin International Airport will become the world's first airport to be completely powered by solar energy, as its entire power requirements of about 50,000 units each day will be met through solar energy generated from these plants."

Ethiopia confirms $4bn international airport project

The Ethiopian Government finalised plans for the construction of an international airport in the country's capital city Addis Ababa with an investment of around $4bn.

The airport will be built within a radius of 100km from Addis Ababa and will be developed in several phases in a span of about eight years.

On completion, it will feature four runways and an undisclosed number of passenger terminals with a capacity for more than 100 million passengers annually.

Beijing Capital International Airport's fourth runway to open in 2018

Beijing capital International

Beijing Capital International Airport's new fourth runway is set to enter operational service in 2018, as part of efforts to increase capacity and ease traffic congestion.

To be built as a short auxiliary runway for the east runway, construction on the 2,800m-long runway will soon start and on completion it will be used for arriving aircraft, reported China Daily.

Airport planning and development department head Luo Liang was quoted by the news agency as saying: "The construction of the new runway will start soon and be finished before the end of 2017."

South Korea plans to build $3.5bn second airport on Jeju island

South Korea reportedly revealed plans to build a $3.5bn airport on Jeju island, in a bid to meet the increasing passenger traffic.

AFP reported the country's Land and Transport Ministry as saying that the new airport with one-runway will be constructed on the eastern part of the island.

The ministry also added that the project is expected to be completed as early as 2025.

Germany's Fraport signs €1.2bn deal to manage 14 Greek airports

German airport operator Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide and its Greek partner, Copelouzos Group, signed a €1.234bn deal to operate, develop and maintain 14 regional Greek airports.

The 40-year concessions agreements were signed with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).

The transaction is expected to close during the autumn of 2016. HRADF selected the Fraport consortium as the preferred bidder in November 2014, while the international tender process for the regional airport concessions was launched in 2013.

Libya to rebuild Tripoli international airport

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The heavily damaged Tripoli international airport in Libya will soon be renovated with the rebuilding of its terminal and other structures.

The announcement comes a week after the internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni's Government announced its decision to rename the airport as Idris International Airport after King Idris who was removed from power by Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1969.

The airport was destroyed by Libya Dawn rebels in 2014 after a five-week siege. The airport has been out of action since then.

US and Cuba agree to resume scheduled air services

The US and Cuba entered into a bilateral arrangement to establish scheduled air services between the two countries for the first time after the US trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1962.

Last year, US President Barack Obama expressed desire to restore diplomatic ties that were broken after the Cuban revolution of 1959.

Though the US law continues to prohibit the US citizens to fly to Cuba for tourist activities, this arrangement will strengthen the civil aviation relationship between the countries, thus increasing the rate of authorised travel.

Jordan protests Israel airport construction near its border

King hussein airport

The United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is investigating a complaint filed by the Jordan Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC) against the construction of Timna airport in Israel.

Located near Jordan's southern borders, the airport is likely to pose safety issues to the aircraft using the nearby King Hussein international airport in Aqaba, Jordon authorities contended.

The CARC complained that the airport is not compliant with the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation and specified public safety requirements to be followed for new airport constructions.

Israeli firm trains mice to detect explosives at airports

Israel-based security firm X-Test is working on a system that will train mice to detect explosives at airport security checkpoints.

Carried in cages at checkpoints, the rodents will be made to sniff people and their luggage for identifying certain substances, reported the Independent.

The animals will be trained to signal when they detect a threat. The company believes that rodents are more effective than humans, dogs or machines at detecting explosives.