May’s top news stories

5 June 2018 (Last Updated June 6th, 2018 09:21)

Brighton City Airport was forced to interrupt operations on Wednesday after workmen on site recovered what appeared to be a bomb dating back to the Second World War; and United Airlines partnered with The Private Suite to give the airline’s customers access to a new private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the US.

May’s top news stories
United Airlines and The Private Suite create a new luxury experience at LAX. Credit: PRNewsfoto/United Airlines.

Brighton City Airport forced to shut down following discovery of WW2 device

Brighton City Airport was forced to interrupt operations after workmen on-site recovered what appeared to be a bomb dating back to the Second World War.

According to Sussex Police, contractors found the device about 700m away from the runway and within 100m of the perimeter road, leading to the closure of the airport and the suspension of all flights.

Fire crews, disposal experts and the police arrived at the scene, where they identified the 1ft-long device as an ‘inter practice round’, a non-explosive dummy device, which was removed later in the day. The airport reopened later that day.

United Airlines unveils Private Suite experience at LAX

United Airlines partnered with The Private Suite to give the airline’s customers access to a new private terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the US.

Passengers who purchase access to the terminal will be able to use private and personalised check-in and baggage handling services, as well as private screening by officers of US Transportation Security Administration, and Customs and Border Protection.

United customers going through the new terminal will be provided with a BMW 7-Series sedans to drive them across the airfield directly to their aircraft.

London Southend Airport forms partnership with TRG

UK-based London Southend Airport (LSA) formed a partnership with The Restaurant Group (TRG) Concessions to modernise the food and beverage outlets at the airport.

As part of the collaboration, TRG will invest approximately £5m in developing the F&B offer at LSA over the next ten years.

Stobart Aviation CEO Glyn Jones said: “We know from customer feedback that improving our food and beverage offer is the main way we can make their experience even better, so this new partnership with TRG Concessions, which will bring recognised brands to London Southend Airport, is fantastic news for passengers.

“It is also a great vote of confidence in the UK’s fastest growing airport, another step along our road to becoming both bigger and better.”

Study reveals EU could face major pilot shortage

The lack of collaborative action taken by the EU in the past two years to tackle the pilot skills crisis could result in a major pilot shortage in the future, a report by UK-based aviation recruitment specialists AeroProfessional revealed.

In a study titled ‘Grounded before take-off: EU regional pilot shortage perspective two years on’, the firm said that staffing issues and shortfalls within European airlines are expected to worsen in the coming years, with 95,000 new commercial pilots required across the continent by 2034.

AeroProfessional added that the pilot skills shortage may further increase due to the growing rates of staff poaching, operational disruptions and an ever-rising industry demand in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Sakaeronavigatsia opens ATC centre at Tbilisi International Airport

Georgian air navigation services provider Sakaeronavigatsia opened a new air traffic centre (ATC) building and a training centre at Tbilisi International Airport.

Sakaeronavigatsia’s decision to build a new ATC centre was aimed at addressing the growth of air traffic in Georgia.

Georgia Prime Minister George Kvirikashvili said that the opening is another step forward to increase flight safety and to develop the ATC industry in the country.

Siemens to deliver new baggage handling system at Bangkok Airport

Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) secured a contract to supply a tray-based baggage handling system and software for the new satellite terminal at the International Airport of Bangkok in Thailand.

The new tray technology will provide the much-needed expansion of the hub’s processing capacity, enabling it to achieve a peak throughput of 10,800 pieces of baggage per hour.

Siemens has collaborated as technology leader for the project with Thai infrastructure company Loxley, which integrates the system, together with further partners.

Vancouver International Airport installs self-service bag drop unit

Vancouver International Airport’s (YVR) Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS) and New Zealand-based Glidepath completed the deployment of the first CHECKITXPRESS self-bag drop unit at the airport.

The system will provide travellers with accessible and intuitive self-service bag drop at the Canadian airport.

Glidepath and ITS lowered the profile of the conveyor to 4in above the floor and created durable ramps to wheel bags onto the conveyor to incorporate ergonomic design principles.

Citadel to establish aircraft centre at Chennault Airport in US

Citadel Completions finalised an investment of approximately $17.6m to set up an aircraft centre dedicated to interior jet modifications and maintenance at Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles, Louisiana, US.

The aircraft centre is expected to commence operations by the third quarter of this year.

Citadel will deliver full-scale interior completions for luxury and commercial aircraft at the new centre, including Boeing 737, 747, 767 and 777 jets, as well as Airbus A330 and A340 jets.

UK airport limitations lead to 23% fall in operators since 2010

UK airport limitations considerably decreased the number of passenger air transport operators since 2010 according to an industry trends report published by Swinton Business.

Restricted growth of UK’s airport sector also adversely affected the number of businesses working in the sector from 1,065 to 820, which conveys an overall decline of 23%.

An excessively high number of small firms have been affected due to limitations placed on British airports. Acquisitions are the main form of entry into the market.

Gatwick Airport to launch first trial of biometrics technology

Gatwick Airport is collaborating with airline easyJet to launch the first trial of end-to-end biometrics to simplify and accelerate the passenger screening process while decreasing the risk of human error.

During the three-month trial, personal data gathered at the airport’s self-service bag drops will be recognised by automated self-boarding gates that will identify each passenger and verify that their passport, face, and boarding card match.

The complete process is expected to take less than 20 seconds.