October's top stories: Emirates revamps business class, UAE and Nasa conduct ‘out of sight’ drones tests
Emirates has renovated its business class lounge in Dubai International Airport, and a team from Nasa’s Ames Research Center, along with FAA and other industry partners, has successfully conducted ‘out-of-sight’ drone tests in Nevada. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2016.
UAE-based airline Emirates renovated its business class lounge, situated at Concourse B of Dubai International Airport.
Carried out with an investment of $11m, the two-year revamp was part of the airline’s initiative to upgrade its services for travellers.
Measuring around 10,000ft², the revamped lounge can accommodate more than 1,500 customers, representing a 40% increase in seating capacity.
A team from Nasa’s Ames Research Center, along with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other industry partners, successfully conducted ‘out-of-sight’ drone tests at Reno-Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada, US.
The test aimed to enhance drones flying beyond the visual line of sight in US national airspace.
During the test, two drones flew beyond their commanders’ lines of sight, while other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) were separated by altitude and within sight of their operators.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the US completed runway safety area (RSA) improvements to its third runway, 6R/24L, under a mandate from the US Congress.
The runway was reopened following the completion of the project.
LAX was also set to begin RSA improvement works on its fourth and final runway, 7L/25R, by 22 October.
US-based airline JetBlue contracted SITA to support its 531 check-in and automated passport control (APC) self-service kiosks, situated across 56 airport locations in the US and Caribbean.
As part of the three-year deal, SITA will deliver round-the-clock remote and on-site services for JetBlue’s devices.
The newly signed deal also includes service level agreements (SLAs) for the end-to-end support of the kiosks.
Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport in the US secured four grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enhance its infrastructure.
Awarded under FAA’s airport improvement programme’s (AIP) voluntary airport low emission (VALE) scheme, the grants have a combined value of $40m.
Of the grants, a sum of $20m will be used to construct and expand the aircraft apron, south of Terminal D.
Rockwell Collins won a contract from International Airlines Group to provide its common use passenger processing platform (CUPPS) for Terminal 7 (T7) at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in the US.
Once installed, the CUPPS solution will replace the terminal’s current check-in technology.
Used by more than ten major international carriers, the ARINC vMUSE solution is said to enhance check-in experiences for passengers and their baggage.
A new air traffic management procedure was implemented at Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the UAE, in a bid to improve its capacity for air traffic movements and reduce fuel consumption.
The approach peak offload (APO) procedure is based on the possible re-allocation of aircraft with a lighter wake to one of two DXB runways, during peak times.
With the implementation of APO, DXB’s average air traffic movements for arrivals during peak hours increased from 33.2 to 34.8.
A new green terminal opened at Vadodara Airport in Gujarat, India, in order to increase its passenger handling capacity.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the terminal, which helped Vadodara to become India’s second green airport after Kochi Airport in Kerala.
The new terminal was designed and built by Airport Authority of India (AAI) with an investment of INR1.6bn ($24m).
The UK Government approved the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
A draft of the expansion scheme for the runway will now be taken forward for further consultation.
Expansion of the airport is part of the government's plan to improve the UK’s economy and connect the country to long-haul destinations worldwide.
Passengers will also be able to choose from a larger variety of airlines, destinations and flight times.
Construction of a new terminal started at Seletar Airport in Singapore with an investment of S$50m ($36m).
To be developed by Takenaka, the new terminal marks the next stage of the airport's redevelopment, which began in 2008.
The two-storey terminal is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018 and will have a total floor area of 9,500m², 500m² of which will be used to serve business passengers.