August's top stories: London Airport sale, Wellington Airport leaning ATC tower

Global Infrastructure Partners that owns a 75% stake in the London City Airport announced plans to put it up on sale, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged ACV to make an investment in the Long Thanh airport project development project, while Airways New Zealand received consent for the construction of a new ATC tower at the Wellington International Airport. Airport-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from August 2015.


London City Airport

Global Infrastructure Partners to sell London City Airport

US private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) that owns a 75% stake in the London City Airport is reportedly planning to put it up on sale.

The remaining 25% of the airport is owned by Oaktree Capital.

Having acquired the airport for £750m in 2006 from Irish financier Dermot Desmond, the company is currently in the process of appointing advisers for the sale.

Vietnam selects ACV to fund Long Thanh International Airport development project

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to make an investment in the Long Thanh airport project development project.

Located in the southern Dong Nai Province, the airport is expected to be Vietnam's largest airport, and will use modern technology in its building, operations and management, reported Viet Nam News.

Claimed to be of high international standards, the technology is expected to satisfy safety, convenience, quality and effectiveness parameters.

Wellington Airport gets approval for construction of leaning ATC tower

ATC tower

Airways New Zealand has received consent for the construction of a new air traffic control (ATC) tower at the Wellington International Airport.

Designed by Studio Pacific, the proposed 32m high tower would lean into the prevailing northerly wind at an angle of 12.5°, and will provide the airport's air traffic controllers with 360° views from the lookout area on the top floor.

The nine-storey tower will be located at the Wellington Airport retail shopping centre on Tirangi Road, Lyall Bay and will replace the existing control tower of New Zealand's air navigation service provider Airways.

US' inefficient ATC towers wasted more than $850m over six years: Audit

Inefficient air traffic control (ATC) towers at both hub and non-hub airports in the US have wasted $853m of the government's money between 2008 and 2013, an audit by the Transportation Department's Inspector General has revealed.

The audit report claimed that the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) stand-alone ATC towers at hub and non-hub airports functioned at different levels of efficiencies.

While the watchdog found more than 50% of the towers to be efficient in some years during the audit, there was a substantial gap between their performance and that of the less efficient towers.

Vinci partners with Philippines group to vie for $2bn regional airports contract

aircraft

French infrastructure group Vinci Airports has partnered with Philippines-based conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) to bid for five regional airports in the Philippines.

Vinci and AEV have formed a joint venture, Maya Consortium, which has submitted pre-qualification documents to the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), for the contract, reported the Inquirer.

Vinci operates 24 airports in France, Portugal and Cambodia.

 

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport shuts down diagonal runway

O'Hare International Airport in the US has shut down one of its diagonal runways despite opposition from lawmakers and residents.

The runway was stripped of its identification numbers, and its markings have been painted over, reported DNA Info.

Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Owen Kilmer said the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will turn off the runway's remaining navigational equipment to ensure that no signals are sent to the aircraft.

US FAA reports doubling of drone incidents this year

drone

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported an increase in the spotting of unmanned aircraft by pilots in the past one year.

According to FAA figures, the number of sightings has more than doubled from 238 in 2014 to 650 so far this year.

Pilots of a variety of different aircraft were said to have spotted around 16 unmanned aircraft in June of 2014, and 36 the following month.

Fentress Architects to design $1.8bn terminal at Orlando Airport

Fentress Architects will provide consultation and design services for the $1.8bn south terminal at the Orlando International Airport in the US.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) authorised the airport to start negotiations with Fentress to determine the outlook of the terminal, construction of which is expected to be completed by 2019, reported the Orlando Business Journal.

Fentress Architects president and CEO Curtis W Fentress said: "In Orlando, there's a lot of imagery in the plants and materials that are part of things here, and that's very exciting food for thought for architects.

Libya to rebuild Tripoli international airport

Tripoli airport

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.

Heathrow to trial steeper approach to reduce noise pollution

Heathrow plane

UK's Heathrow Airport plans to trial steeper angles of approach to runways for landing aircrafts in an effort to reduce noise pollution.

While planes currently land at the airport at a three degree angle, the new initiative will see planes approach the runway at a 3.2 degree, reported the Telegraph.

The plan is part of the ten practical measures included in the airport's 'Blueprint for Noise Reduction' aimed at reducing noise levels in the areas adjoining the airport.