April’s top stories: Heathrow’s new terminal, San Diego’s solar system

4 May 2014 (Last Updated May 4th, 2014 18:30)

Borrego Solar was contracted to install a 3.3MW solar system at San Diego International Airport, while the Queen is set to open Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 2 and Australia is to build a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from April 2014.

April’s top stories: Heathrow’s new terminal, San Diego’s solar system

Heathrow T2

The Queen to open Heathrow Airport's new Terminal 2

Heathrow Airport will officially unveil its new terminal on 23 June, as part of an on-going transformation project.

Heathrow Airport has invited the Queen Elizabeth II to officially open Terminal 2, named The Queen's Terminal.

The new Terminal 2 had an investment fund of £2.5bn and was developed by luis vidal + architects. It has taken five years to complete.

Borrego Solar to install 3.3MW solar system at San Diego International Airport

Borrego Solar

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems developer Borrego Solar Systems was contracted to install a 3.3MW solar system at San Diego International Airport (SDIA), which will provide up to $8m in energy costs savings over the next two decades.

Borrego Solar's system will feature solar panel arrays on the roof of the newly expanded Terminal 2 West at SDIA and in a section of the Terminal 2 short-term parking lot adjacent to the terminal.

Following completion of the installation, the system will generate an estimated 5.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation.

Australia to build second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek

Tony Abbott

The Australian Government approved construction of Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek for an estimated cost of A$2.4bn, as part of a strategy to boost infrastructure and create new jobs.

Located in Western Sydney, it is expected to create nearly 4,000 jobs during the initial construction phase, while the airport development is expected to create 35,000 by 2035, increasing to 60,000 over time.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: "It is essentially going to be an infrastructure package for Western Sydney ... that does also involve an airport."

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.

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

According to the paper, flight status updates are currently a mainstream mobile service and will be offered by the vast majority of airlines and airports by the end of 2016.

It also predicts that bag status updates will be offered by 61% of airlines, and 79% of airports will offer status notifications such as queue times through security and walking time to gate. More than three-quarters will also be providing navigation / way-finding at the airport through mobile apps.

Kuntur Wasi wins contract to build international airport in Peru

Kuntur Wasi, a consortium formed by Peru's Andino Investment Holding and Argentina's Corporacion America, won a contract to build a new international airport in the town of Chinchero, Cuzco, Peru.

The new airport, which will be built with an investment of up to $658m, is expected to attract global tourists to Peru's popular Machu Picchu ruins.

The airport will be capable of handling around five million passengers per year initially and is expected to increase its capacity to eight million in the future.

US FAA completes infrastructure upgrade for NextGen aircraft tracking system

The US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) completed the equipment installation of the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) radio network, a next-generation aircraft tracking system.

As part of an infrastructure upgrade across the nation, ADS-B will allow air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability, while giving pilots more information in the cockpit.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said: "This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides controllers [with] a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system."

Dubai Airports to start runway upgrade project in May

Dubai Airports

Dubai Airports began work on a major runway upgrade project at Dubai International as part of its strategy to enhance safety, service and capacity levels.

The project, starting from 1 May, is expected to last for 80 days. The southern runway will be closed from 1 May to 31 May, and the northern runway from 31 May to 20 July.

In addition to a modernisation of runway lighting and the construction of additional taxiways and rapid exits on the southern runway, the 4,000m-long northern runway will be resurfaced.

GMR-Megawide signs agreement to develop Mactan Cebu International Airport

The GMR-Megawide Consortium paid PHP14.4bn ($320m) to the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority in the Philippines as an upfront premium for the award of the concession of the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Following the transaction, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Republic of Philippines and Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) signed the concession agreement with GMR Megawide Consortium.

This is the beginning of a transition phase before the operations of Mactan Cebu International Airport are formally handed over to GMR-Megawide later in the year.