June's top stories: Gatwick Airport's carbon neutral status, American Airlines to invest $1.6bn

Gatwick Airport achieves Level 3+ carbon neutral status, and American Airlines to invest $1.6bn to improve Terminals 4 and 5 at LAX. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June, 2017.


Gatwick Airport achieves Level 3+ carbon neutral status

London Gatwick Airport secured the carbon neutral status from Airports Council International (ACI) Europe through its use of 100% renewable electricity and Gold Standard carbon credits to mitigate ground fuel emissions.

As stated by ACI Europe director general Olivier Jankovec, Gatwick was officially recognised as the first carbon neutral airport in London and the second busiest in Europe.

The award demonstrated that Gatwick completed Level 3+ airport carbon accreditation last year for all ground operation emissions, such as fuels, electricity and business travel, that the airport controls.


American Airlines to invest $1.6bn to improve Terminals 4 and 5 at LAX

American Airlines committed to investing more than $1.6bn over the next 15 years to improve Terminals 4 and 5 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the US.

A letter of intent (LoI) with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) set the framework to negotiate a new agreement for a 15-year lease at the airport, which will enable American Airlines to receive additional gates and deliver airport improvement projects.

Over the next seven to ten years, the airport improvement projects to be delivered include a new vertical circulation core with a connection to the landside automated people movers (APM) train system.


Dubai Airport unveils sleep ‘n fly facility at Terminal 3

UAE’s Dubai International Airport (DXB) launched its new sleep ‘n fly lounge at Terminal 3 to provide an additional relaxation option for passengers.

Featuring a Scandinavian-design, the new lounge comprised 20 advanced ‘igloo’ sleep pods and seven premium double cabins, Yawn, with pull-out children’s beds.

Covering a 4m² area, each Yawn cabin features reading lights, a coat hanger, a full-size mirror, a bedside table, carry-on baggage storage, and a fold-down table attached to the wall adjacent to the bed.


Greece’s HRADF accepts AIA’s €600m bid for Athens airport concession extension

Greek development agency Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) accepted the improved €600m offer submitted by the Athens International Airport (AIA) for a 20-year extension to the airport's concession agreement.

HRADF accepted an improved offer based on two independent evaluations and the positive opinion of a board of experts.

For the total extension period, it has been estimated that additional expected revenues from the payment of the annual remuneration, already provided for in the concession agreement, will amount to about €894m.


Fraport to provide consulting services for new terminal at Bahrain Airport

Fraport Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide launched a multi-year project to provide Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) with comprehensive operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT) consulting services for the development of new passenger terminal at Bahrain International Airport.

Under the terms of the deal, Fraport will also offer services for the apron area, fire station, fuel farm and aircraft maintenance facilities at the airport.

The German airport operator will provide its complete range of ORAT services in three consulting phases that would continue for a period of 32 months and require a total of 4,700 project man-days.


Trump administration unveils plan to privatise FAA’s air traffic control operations

US President Donald Trump proposed the creation of a new non-governmental entity to manage the country’s air traffic control (ATC) operations, as part of the administration’s reform agenda focused on infrastructure.

The administration was planning to build on the proposed Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act which was introduced last year by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to create a not-for-profit, independent entity for ATC.

The decision to transfer ATC operations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is aimed at improving infrastructure, accelerating the introduction of new technology, reducing aircraft delays, and expand the National Airspace System (NAS) availability for all users.


Airport Authority plans upgrade projects for Terminal 1 at Hong Kong Airport

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) is set to carry out a series of major improvements of existing airport facilities at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), which will involve an investment of about HKD7bn ($897m).

Upgrades will be made at Terminal 1 to enhance the airport's handling capacity, in addition to offering a wide range of new experiences for the passengers.

AA CEO Fred Lam said: “The enhancement projects for Terminal 1, together with the three-runway system in 2024, will increase the airport’s handling capacity, as well as bring a fresh look and feel.

“Passengers from around the world will enjoy an experience tantamount to travelling through a new airport.”


Gerald R. Ford Airport opens new consolidated security checkpoint

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) in the US has opened its new consolidated security checkpoint for all passengers travelling to and from the airport.

The checkpoint is a part of the airport’s $45m gateway transformation project and is currently processing passengers at both Concourse A and Concourse B.

The scope of the project also covers the installation of new terrazzo flooring, lighting fixtures, nursing rooms, family restrooms, business centres, and a new retail area.


New data shows US airlines collected over $1bn in baggage fees in Q1 2017

New data published by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics revealed that airlines have collected more than $1bn in baggage fees during the first quarter of 2017.

The achievement marked the fourth consecutive quarter that baggage fees surpassed $1bn.

In addition, the carriers collected another $723m in reservation change or cancellation fees during the same period.


IATA study shows Kenyan air transport industry adds $3.2bn to nation’s GDP

New data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has shown that the air transport sector in Kenya contributes $3.2bn or 5.1% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

It also supports approximately 620,000 job opportunities, including tourism-related employment in the East African nation.

The new findings are included in ‘The Importance of Air Transport to Kenya’ study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of IATA.