November's top stories: LAWA’s $14bn programme, SITA's automatic baggage robot

Vanir | ASL to support LAWA’s $14bn capital improvement programme, SITA develops automatic baggage robot Leo, Airport app flightSpeak introduces new security wait time feature. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2016.


Vanir | ASL to support LAWA’s $14bn capital improvement programme

Los Angeles City Council in the US awarded a $30m contract to Vanir | ASL to provide project and construction management services for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), as part of a $14bn capital improvement programme.

Vanir | ASL, which is a joint venture between Vanir Construction Management and ASL, will provide project, construction and design management services under the terms of the seven-year contract.

Other services include stakeholder coordination, constructability review, change management and LAWA divisional support.

SITA develops automatic baggage robot Leo

SITA's automated baggage robot Leo was showcased at the main COP22 convention centre in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, Morocco.

The robot was hosted by Royal Air Maroc, Morocco’s national carrier, and was on display from 7-16 November.

Leo was then moved to Marrakech Manara Airport and Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, in order to help delegates flying with Royal Air Maroc to check-in their bags.

Airport app flightSpeak introduces new security wait time feature

Global airport information mobile app flightSpeak introduced a new security wait time feature, CheckPoint, for business and leisure travellers.

Designed to help passengers better anticipate security line delays, the new feature provides estimated wait and screening times for security checkpoints at the busiest airports worldwide.

flightSpeak will provide advance notice to passengers and help them to arrive at the airport with enough time to clear potentially lengthy security lines.

FAA tests drone-detection technology at Denver International Airport

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), along with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), tested drone-detection technology near Denver International Airport.

The organisation noted that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that enter the protected airspace around airports can pose threats to safety.

The FAA’s other research partners included the US Department of Defense, the FBI, Federal Communications Commission, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, NASA, the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Prisons, the US Secret Service and the Capitol Police.

LAA starts construction of new terminal and runways at Liberia’s Roberts Airport

The Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) broke ground on the construction of a new passenger terminal building and the rehabilitation of runways at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Unification City, Lower Margibi County.

The project received a $50m loan from the China Exim Bank, while China Harbor Engineering Company and Sino Hydro are serving as partners.

The new terminal building will cover an area of more than 5,000m², and is designed to accommodate around 320,000 passengers annually.

TSA and United Airlines launch automated screening lanes at US's Newark Airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and United Airlines launched new automated security screening lanes at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C in the US.

The lanes incorporate checkpoint technology that improves security effectiveness and decrease the time spent by travellers in security screening by up to 30%.

TSA New Jersey federal security director Thomas Carter said: “Our main priority is to protect passengers travelling out of Newark Liberty in an evolving threat environment.

Motorola to upgrade Tetra digital radio system at Munich Airport

Motorola Solutions was contracted to upgrade its Tetra digital two-way radio system at Munich Airport in Germany.

With the new communications infrastructure, the airport will offer improved connectivity, interoperability and collaboration between various business and operational functions.

Motorola equipped the airport with a new MCC 7500 IP dispatch console within the framework of the new Tetra radio network.

Gatwick Airport to invest £250m in new projects

UK’s Gatwick Airport announced plans to invest £250m in various projects in 2017.

The investment was part of the airport’s five-year, £1.2bn plan to expand its terminal departure lounges and shopping facilities.

It will be used to construct a modernised railway station in conjunction with Network Rail, as well as increasing parking and optimising operations at the airport.

New European Aviation Network completes first flight trials in UK

The new European Aviation Network (EAN), an integrated satellite and air-to-ground network, successfully completed its first flight trials in the UK.

Conducted by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom in collaboration with technology partners Nokia and Thales, the testing marked a major milestone in the development of the EAN to provide an in-flight broadband experience for the aviation industry in Europe.

To be introduced in mid-2017, the S-band satellite and complementary LTE-based terrestrial network will enhance passenger connectivity for the aviation industry.

Canada's Fredericton International Airport to add new line at security checkpoint

The Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) was collaborating with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to add a second line at the airport's security checkpoint.

According to a statement, the installation of a second line will help reduce wait times at the terminal, which is currently operating 75% beyond capacity.

The latest addition will enable passengers to be screened quickly and reduce queing, but the departures lounge will need to be reconfigured for the additional equipment, according to FIAA.