2014: The year’s biggest Airport Technology stories

7 January 2015 (Last Updated January 7th, 2015 04:09)

Copenhagen Airport has established a goal of CO2-neutral growth to 30 million passengers, and an objective to maintain that goal while expanding to 40 million passengers, while The European Investment Bank is lending €80m to support the public-private partnership project to expand Zagreb Airport in Croatia. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from 2014.

2014: The year’s biggest Airport Technology stories

Copenhagen-top

IATA projects passenger growth to double by 2034

IATA-1The International Air Transport Association (IATA) unveiled its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, which projects passenger numbers close to 7.3 billion by 2034.

This represented a 4.1% average annual growth in air connectivity demand, which will lead to more than double the 3.3 billion passengers that are expected to travel in 2014.

The report also suggested that China will leave behind the US to become the world's largest passenger market in terms of traffic to, from and within by 2030. By 2034, the number of passengers to and from China will reach 1.3 billion, which is 856 million more than 2014.

This projects an annual growth rate of 5.5%.

Copenhagen Airport establishes CO²-neutral growth goal

Copenhagen Airport (CPH) established a goal of CO²-neutral growth to 30 million passengers, and an objective to maintain that goal while expanding to 40 million passengers.

In January, CPH announced plans to expand the airport and increase capacity over the next few decades to handle up to 40 million passengers annually, which is nearly twice the number the airport handles currently.

CPH noted that the expansion plans are closely related to its objective of responsible growth.

London Gatwick Airport announces second phase of airspace consultation

Gatwick-1London Gatwick Airport launched the second phase of its airspace consultation, which will give local communities an opportunity to provide feedback on the development of specific new arrival and departures routes, east and west of the airport.

Based on feedback from the first consultation, the second phase is much more locally focused and will cover communities of Sussex, Surrey and Kent. It ran for 12 weeks between Friday 23 May and Friday 15 August.

This move came after the wider London Airspace Consultation, which closed in January 2014.

Majority of airports to offer mobile services by 2016

A report by air transport IT provider SITA found that a majority of airlines and airports will offer mobile services such as flight status, baggage status and airport directions by 2016.

The paper was based on global research and incorporates additional input from leading airlines and airports, including British Airways, Saudia, Dublin Airport Authority, London City Airport and Heathrow.

For the research, SITA asked airlines and airports to measure themselves in four categories of business intelligence best practice, namely data access and management, infrastructure, data presentation and governance.

EU funds worth €255m wasted on unnecessary airport expansion projects

EUwasted-1A report by the European Court of Auditors found that approximately €255m of funds granted by the European Union has been used for the unnecessary expansion of airports across Estonia, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

The report also stated that around 20 such airports misspent large sums of the EU taxpayers' money over the last decade.

The EU Observer reported that vanity projects in small regional airports, shoddy oversight by the European Commission, no local quality control checks and over-optimistic passenger number forecasts were among the list of problems that helped the overspending.

Homeland Security looking at expansion of preclearance programmes at foreign airports

US Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson revealed that the department is looking at expansion of preclearance operations at additional foreign airports to enhance national security.

The department said in a statement that travellers would now be required to undergo screening before boarding flights entering the US.

The preclearance facilities are staffed and operated by customs and border protection (CBP) officials. Before boarding their aircraft, ship or train, passengers have to go through immigration and customs, public health and department of agriculture inspections to streamline border procedures and reduce congestion at entry points.

Heathrow and Avianca partner to provide UK's first direct connection to Columbia

Avianca-1London Heathrow Airport announced a deal with Colombia's national airline Avianca to provide the UK with its first direct connection to Colombia for nine years.

As part of the Star Alliance, from July, Avianca's passengers will be offered four flights a week through Heathrow's new second terminal, which opened in June 2014.

Although initial discussions between Heathrow and Avianca took place in 2009, it took about five years for the deal to be established due to a connectivity crunch.

Australia sets up counter-terrorism units at two major international airports

The Australian Government set up two counter-terrorism units at Sydney and Melbourne Airports, following concerns over national citizens fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Prime minister Tony Abbott said operations have already started at both the airports, with the authorities intercepting one person of interest.

The government took this step in an attempt to crack down on Australian Muslims, who were suspected of joining extremist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Copenhagen Airport successfully trials Google Glass

googleglass-1Denmark's Copenhagen Airport approved the use of Google Glass technology, following a successful trial by its passenger services team.

As a result, it became the first airport in the world to use Google Glass.

The airport partnered a study team from air transport IT provider SITA for the trial and the results from both passengers and the airport service team have been positive.

European researchers develop EU-funded system to reduce energy costs in airports

EUfunded-1European researchers developed a new software and sensor system to lower carbon emissions and energy costs in airports by 20%.

The development was backed by funding from the European Commission, under the EU Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development.

The new system, known as CASCADE, will allow Italian airports to lower energy consumption by 6,000MW/h, which is equivalent to 42,000t of CO² a year.

EIB to finance Zagreb Airport expansion in Croatia

Zagreb-1The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided €80m to support the public-private partnership (PPP) project to expand Zagreb Airport in Croatia.

The project involved the design and construction of new passenger terminal building, and is the first EIB development under PPP financing in the Western Balkans.

The bank is financing for the first phase of expansion, comprising the construction of a 65,000m² passenger terminal building and associated landside and airside infrastructure.

Foster + Partners and FR-EE to design Mexico's new airport

mexico-1A collaboration of Foster + Partners, Fernando Romero Enterprise (FR-EE) and Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) won an international competition to design Mexico's new airport.

Once constructed, the 555,000m² facility will be one of the world's largest airports.

The compact single terminal will use less materials and energy than a cluster of buildings.