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April 13, 2015

March’s top stories: Hong Kong $17.2bn expansion, Yemen airport seized by rebels

Hong Kong International Airport received government approval for a three-runway system worth $17.2bn to handle growing passenger numbers and air cargo, while Houthi rebels took over an international airport in south Yemen as the UN declares the country to be at the edge of civil war. wraps-up the key headlines from March 2015.

By Priyanka Sunder

hong kong

Hong Kong airport gets government approval for $17.2bn expansion project

The Hong Kong Government approved the expansion of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a three-runway system worth $17.2bn to handle growing passenger numbers and air cargo.

The project would include the construction of a new runway, taxiways and aprons, a third runway concourse, an expanded Terminal 2, an automated people mover and a baggage handling system.

The Airport Authority (AA) Hong Kong said that it would need eight years to complete the project and is hoping to complete the construction by 2023.

Houthi rebels seize airport in Yemen

Houthi rebels took over an international airport in south Yemen, with the UN declaring the country to be at the edge of civil war.

CNN reported that the rebels had taken over the airport in Taiz as they swept across the city and neighbouring provinces.

Apart from the airport, the rebels have also seized security and intelligence buildings in Taiz and set up checkpoints in the area.

London Mayor denies permission for London City Airport’s £220m expansion

londonLondon’s Mayor Boris Johnson denied permission for the expansion of the London City Airport that would have cost around £220m.

In a letter to the Newham Council, the mayor instructed the local authority’s development control office to refuse planning permission for expanding aircraft infrastructure and passenger facilities on noise grounds.

The airport had asked for permission to build additional parking spaces and new taxiways for accommodating larger planes, which was granted by the council in February but was still subject to the mayor’s approval, reports BBC.

Improved baggage handling helps air transport industry save $18m in 2014

SITAAir transport communications and information technology specialist SITA released a report that said the air transport industry has decreased the rate of mishandled bags by 61.3% across the world since 2007.

The investment of airports and airlines in the latest technology for enhancing passenger and baggage processing has contributed in reducing the number of such incidences.

According to the latest report, the rate of mishandled bags has gone down from 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers in 2014 which has helped the industry save close to $18m.

UK launches £2.8m project to address airport capacity congestion issues

UK experts started work on a £2.8m project to handle the country’s airport congestion, without depending completely on new airport building and expansion.

The OR-MASTER Programme Grant (Mathematical Models and Algorithms for Allocating Scarce Airport Resources) is being led by a team at Lancaster University Management School along with Computing, Science and Mathematics researchers at the University of Stirling.

The research is the result of growing concerns regarding airport capacity, rising demand and the effect of congestion on both the travels and the air transport industry. It is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

ACI: Dubai international airport received maximum international passengers in 2014

A preliminary passenger traffic survey by ACI for 2014 revealed that the airports in Atlanta, Beijing, London-Heathrow and Tokyo-Haneda are the four busiest airports in the world.

While the report said that the Dubai airport ranked sixth in total passenger numbers, it ranked one when considering international passenger traffic.

Istanbul, that saw a 10.7% rise in traffic, moved from 18th to 13th rank and was said to be the fastest growing airport in the world’s top 20 airports.

Brisbane Airport starts trial of digital departure card

digitalBrisbane Airport (BNE) along with Queensland University launched the trial of digital departure card for international passengers, said to be an Australian first.

The card has been built within the scope of the airport’s mobile app. The technology will allow passengers to enter and save their personal information for the departure card onto their mobile phones before their arrival at the airport.

The saved information is then converted into a QR code, scanned and printed at a tailored kiosk located at the airport’s international terminal.

UK to introduce new laws to prevent citizens from joining ISIS

UK Home Office announced new laws in an attempt to prevent airlines from carrying potential passengers who could join Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

As per the proposed laws, the UK Home Secretary will be able to stop airlines from carrying passengers, including children, if they are suspected of travelling to take part in activities related to terrorism in places like Syria.

The move comes weeks after three London schoolgirls fled to join the Islamic State through Turkey. It has been estimated that close to 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq with the intention of joining militant groups.

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