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  1. Analysis
March 6, 2019

China’s first airport in Antarctica, in latest issue of AIR

In this issue: the human factor in ATC, an urgent call to optimise European airspace, airlines' role in forced deportations, ecological projects at airports and more.

By Eva Grey

China recently announced it was preparing to build its first permanent airport in the South Pole in order to increase its authority in the airspace and provide support to future scientific expeditions. We find out what the logistical challenges and the geopolitical implications of this project are.

We also take a look at the gruelling reality of forced deportations, after the International Transport Workers’ Federation put out a call to commercial airlines to take greater responsibility for the safety of their crew and passengers and refuse to assist in the practice.

Following a worrying incident where a lone ATC worker begun slurring her words while on duty, confusing many pilots waiting to land, we analyse the pressures employees feel on the job and see how regulations are about to be changed to stop such incidents from happening again.

Finally, we find out what airports and retailers need to do to keep consumers engaged, and round up some of the most impressive ecological projects at airports around the world.

Read the issue in full here.

In this issue

Polar air: a look at China’s first permanent airport in Antarctica China recently revealed it is aiming to build its first permanent airport in the South Pole, joining the likes of the US, UK and Australia. Ross Davies looks at the geopolitical ramifications of the move, as well as the logistical challenges of constructing a hub amidst some of the most extreme conditions on earth. Read the article here.

An urgent call to optimise European airspace European airlines have called on the EU to radically reform air space architecture and unlock more efficient routes. A declaration signed by A4E, airlines, partner associations and Eurocontrol argues that doing so would deliver faster routes, improve punctuality and cut CO2 emissions. But what needs to happen for this to become a reality? Patrick Kingsland explores the options. Read the article here.

From making honey to restoring wetlands: ecological projects at airports From a project to revive local wetlands in Sydney, to Dublin Airport selling homemade honey, Patrick Kingsland rounds up some of the most interesting ecological projects being supported by airports around the world. Read the article here.

Forced deportations: the role of commercial airlines Forced deportations are a gruelling reality, and commercial airlines and their staff have regularly found themselves embroiled in violent arrests on board planes. Recently, the International Transport Workers’ Federation put out a call to commercial airlines to take greater responsibility for the safety of their crew and passengers and refuse to assist in forced deportations. Adele Berti investigates. Read the article here.

Acknowledging the human factor in air traffic control Recent events in the US have shone a spotlight on human factor issues in air traffic control. What procedures are in place to manage a controller who has become incapacitated, and how can air traffic control service providers ensure that their controllers can handle new sources of stress as technology develops? Joe Baker investigates. Read the article here.

Why airport retailers have never had it so good Once the sole preserve of duty free and drab restaurants, the world of airport retail is as thriving and diverse as it’s ever been. Ross Davies talks to Alex Avery, managing director for airports, travel and commercial spaces at Pragma Consulting, to find out why high-profile brands choose to swap the high street for the terminal. Read the article here.

Manchester becomes UK’s first 5G airport Holidaymakers travelling from Manchester Airport were treated to super-quick mobile connectivity, with 5G letting them download television entertainment for their flights in a quarter of the usual time. Priya Kantaria reports. Read the article here.

Next issue | April 2019

A public vote was recently opened for the winning design of the brand new $8.5bn Chicago O’Hare Airport terminal, primed to open in 2026. The public were invited to choose between five 3D designs submitted by some of the world’s most distinguished architectural firms. We look at the plans for the terminal and ask how much the public should weigh in when it comes to matters of airport design and construction.

We also tackle the drone panic as of late, after multiple airports had to suspend their operations due to drone sightings near the airfield. With drones increasingly commonplace in our skies, we ask: how can airport operations be protected from further disruption and danger?

We also debate whether flying with emotional support animals should be regulated, but ultimately accepted as par for the course, and describe the latest technology to aid blind people as they navigate through the chaotic environment of an airport in a special audio feature.

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