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August 5, 2018updated 06 Aug 2018 3:45pm

July’s top news stories

French aircraft maintenance and modification services provider Sabena Technics decided to invest in a new hangar in its facility at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport, and Singapore Airlines’ low-cost carrier Scoot renewed its long-term communication network services contract with IT and telecommunication provider SITA. wraps up the key headlines from July 2018.

Sabena Technics to open new hangar at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport

French aircraft maintenance and modification services provider Sabena Technics decided to invest in a new hangar in its facility at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport in France.

The new facility will enable the company to expand its capacity to support civil and military customers as the number of long-range, wide-body aircraft continue to increase in Europe.

Spanning across an area of 10,000m², the new hangar can accommodate, in maintenance or modifications activities, a long-range wide-body aircraft up to A350-1000/B777-9X, or up to three military transport aircraft simultaneously, such as the A400M.

Scoot renews SITA’s technology contract to connect new routes

Singapore Airlines’ low-cost carrier Scoot renewed its long-term communication network services contract with IT and telecommunication provider SITA, as the airline continued to expand to new locations across the globe.

Scoot is using SITA AirportHub to simplify its central IT systems connections to the airports in its rapidly-growing network of routes across Asia, Europe, Africa and America.

The new technology has enabled the airport to deploy IT and telecoms infrastructure within three weeks.

Heathrow Hub backers to start legal battle over £14bn runway expansion

The backers of Heathrow Hub, a rival project to Heathrow Airport’s expansion scheme, launched a legal battle against the UK Government’s decision to approve the construction of a third runway at the airport.

According to Sky News, supporters of the Heathrow Hub scheme, which promotes the extension of the airport’s existing second runway rather than the construction of a third one, will bid to stop the £14bn plan from being realised.

In late June, the UK Parliament voted in favour of the third runway with an overwhelming majority, triggering controversy among MPs and criticism from environmental campaigners, members of the public and local residents.

UK Government to fund projects that enable greener aerospace travel

The UK Government announced it will set aside £343m to fund projects aimed at developing innovations in electric aircraft, hybrid-electric propulsion systems and future materials for manufacturing.

Speaking at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced that the investment will help the UK’s aerospace sector enter a new era of cleaner, greener flight.

Of the total money invested, £255m will be destined for 18 research and technology projects, including those planning to develop cleaner and greener hybrid aircraft. This investment will be supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) and UK Research & Innovation (UKRI).

USDOT announces $660m in grants for airport upgrades

The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Aviation Administration awarded $659.8m in airport infrastructure grants for the modernisation of 390 airports.

The capital assistance, part of a $3.18bn Airport Improvement Program, includes 450 grants.

New grants constitute the second round of funding and will support 664 projects such as terminals, aircraft rescue, runways, taxiways, aprons, firefighting vehicles and snow removal equipment.

Cairns Airport embarks on domestic terminal revamp programme

Cairns Airport in Australia revealed plans to upgrade its domestic terminal in a bid to accommodate more passengers while offering an improved travel experience.

Traffic through the domestic terminal is expected to increase by 40% to approximately six million travellers per annum over the next 10 years.

The upgrade work, estimated to cost A$55m ($41m), will involve the expansion of the departures hall to 10,000m². The extended space will provide additional seating and improve the layout for travellers’ convenience.

Melbourne Airport plans A$3.5bn upgrade works

Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport revealed a A$3.5bn redevelopment plan that includes the construction of a new runway, an expanded international terminal and a transport hub, in an effort to meet the increase in passenger traffic expected for the coming decades.

“The vision for the terminal is to get to 100 million passengers, so to be able to meet that 70 million passengers by 2038 we absolutely need another runway, that is part of the planning,” Melbourne Airport parking and ground access chief Lorie Argus told 3AW.

Argus said that the airport will launch a consultation with the community airlines about the project, which will also overhaul how passengers reach and leave the airport. He added: “For anyone who arrives into Melbourne today, that area the arrivals hall is quite constrained, so we’re looking at a large expansion there of the international terminal to really bring us up to the world’s best class.

Sydney Airport and Qantas to trial facial recognition technology

Sydney Airport and Qantas teamed up to trial facial recognition technology that will allow passengers to go through most stages of airport checks without a passport or boarding pass.

As part of the first stage of ‘couch-to-gate’ biometrics trial, four key steps in the journey will be tested, which includes automated check-in, bag drop, lounge access and boarding.

The trial has been extended to Qantas passengers on selected international flights. In future trials, the technology will also include mobile check-in and automated border processing.

FAA proposes fine against VIPA for alleged safety rule breaches

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a $1.4m civil fine against the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) for alleged violations of airport safety regulations at two US airports.

The FAA examined Henry E Rohlsen Airport in St Croix and Cyril E King Airport in St Thomas in late January and early February this year. During the inspection, the watchdog found that a number of violations took place at both the airports.

Blasting the VIPA for violations, the federal agency said that VIPA did not have qualified personnel to manage airport operations and carry out daily inspections, airport rescue and fire-fighting (ARFF) operations.

WSA Co awards contracts to build Western Sydney Airport

Australian Government-owned entity WSA Co awarded two contracts for the construction of Western Sydney Airport.

WSA CO awarded the contracts to build Western Sydney Airport to a CPB Contractors Lendlease joint venture and Bechtel.

The CPB Contractors Lendlease joint venture will start work on the site by the end of the year.

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