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A wave of ultra long-haul routes between distant airports have entered the market this year, offering travellers non-stop flights in aircraft configured especially for flying times of over 17 hours. Given that these routes were phased out in the past due to lack of passenger demand and unsustainable fuel costs, we find out what’s changed.

We also round up the airports that are pushing the boundaries of luxury entertainment into the virtual realm, learn more about Heathrow’s sustainability agenda, and ask whether airports should be doing more to help stranded migrants.

Finally, we find out whether Detroit Airport has a future after the city turned down a $4m offer from private investors to build a modern terminal and hangars at the site, and explore the world’s busiest airports – which handled 1.5 billion passengers last year – in a special map feature.

In this issue

Airports tap into virtual reality for passenger entertainment
While some airlines have already pioneered in-flight virtual reality, a number of airport lounges are also starting to experiment with the technology. Frances Marcellin looks at the immersive entertainment systems that are taking off in airports.
Read the article here.

In it for the ultra long-haul
This year has seen the start of a wave of ultra long-haul routes, offering travellers non-stop flights in aircraft configured especially for longer flying times. Given that these routes were phased out in the past, Joe Baker finds out why they’re making a comeback.
Read the article here.

Heathrow’s environmental mitigation: does the strategy hold up?
After a controversial national debate, Heathrow Airport has received backing for its third runway project. The airport has gone to great lengths to prove it is embarking on a journey to sustainable growth, but is its environmental strategy convincing enough? Eva Grey reports.
Read the article here.

Migrant crisis: airports caught in the middle
The modern surge of migration, driven by those seeking economic opportunity or fleeing from war or persecution, is a defining geopolitical issue of our time. How are airports affected, and is there a solution? Chris Lo reports.
Read the article here.

Will anyone save Detroit Airport?
Lying in a perennial state of decay, Detroit airport is the subject of a fierce debate over whether it should remain open. As the city continues its recovery from bankruptcy, Ross Davies considers its future as an aviation hub.
Read the article here.

Movers and shakers: tracking the world’s busiest airports
Airports Council International recently unveiled its preliminary world airport traffic rankings, highlighting 2017’s busiest airports worldwide. Joe Baker finds out where they are, and what this tells us about global air travel.
Read the article here.

Next issue

Technology is making life easier for air traffic controllers, with automation set to play a key role. The FAA’s NextGen programme will provide increased automation and decision support tools to ATC specialists, which could one day mean they are no longer involved in controlling every flight. We examine major automation projects in the world of ATC and ask what problems automation could solve in the future.

In security, we speak to Unisys about its plans to supply microsegmentation cybersecurity technology across 400 US airports, and find out more about the latest trend of flight sharing, which involves sharing the costs of private flights between a licensed pilot and their passengers.

Finally, we talk to some of the winners of the ACI Airport Service Quality customer satisfaction survey, map out some of the most exciting African airport projects set to drive air industry growth across the continent, and profile Mexico’s new airport, which is set to be the country’s most expensive endeavour in a century.