May’s top stories: IT glitch affects UK airports, Hamad Airport opens in Doha

1 June 2014 (Last Updated June 1st, 2014 18:30)

UK airports were hit by an IT glitch on Border Force computers, Doha’s Hamad International Airport opened for business, while Gatwick Airport announced the second phase of its airspace consultation. Airport-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from May 2014.

May’s top stories: IT glitch affects UK airports, Hamad Airport opens in Doha

IT glitch

Passengers across UK airports face long delays over IT glitch

Airports across the UK were hit by an IT glitch on Border Force computers, resulting in extended queues at immigration desks and long delays for passengers.

As a result of the error, passport scanners stopped working, which forced UK Border Force to manually enter the details for those arriving in the UK rather than simply scanning documents.

The problem, which affected both immigration booths and e-passport queues, had a significant impact on non-EU passengers.

Heathrow Airport outlines new expansion plan

UK-based Heathrow Hub announced a second and final expansion plan for submission to the UK Airports Commission in an attempt to win approval.

As part of the plan, there would be no third runway, but the existing runway will be extended at its northern side to develop two separate sections for takeoff and landing.

The new plan also included a new passenger facility in the north of the airport, which would connect the airport to the Crossrail and the Great Western Line rail services, while offering a second access point for road travellers arriving from outside London.

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport announces second phase of airspace consultation

London Gatwick Airport launched the second phase of its airspace consultation, which aims to 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 will run for 12 weeks between Friday 23 May and Friday 15 August.

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

Ukraine's military regains control of Donetsk Airport

Ukraine's military gained full control of Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk after armed pro-Russia separatists attempted to take over the airport on 26 May.

Separatist militants entered and seized the airport, demanding the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces guarding the perimeter. The latest seizure came a day after Ukrainians voted in Petro Poroshenko as their new president.

The regions in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions had declared independence, in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula earlier this year.

Doha's Hamad International Airport opens for business

Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, began operations with the official landing of Qatar Airways' A320 flight, which hosted local dignitaries.

Hamad International Airport has been designed to accommodate 30 million passengers a year, growing to 50 million following full completion.

Spread over an area of 29km², 60% of the new airport is is built on land reclaimed from the Gulf.

Cloud systems can transform airport operations, says report

Airports are increasingly realising the need to shift to next-generation cloud systems to improve operational efficiency, according to a new report by travel solutions provider Amadeus.

The insight paper, titled 'IT makes sense to share: making the case for the cloud in common-use airport technology', collected feedback from over 20 senior IT leaders from the airport industry.

The report indicated that modernising approaches to common-use systems is one way to overcome challenges, such as making efficient use of IT resources, working more collaboratively with airlines and looking for alternative revenue streams to remain competitive.

Luton Airport

Luton Airport's expansion project receives UK Government approval

A major terminal upgrade at London Luton Airport was granted approval by the UK Government.

The Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that Luton Borough Council may proceed to grant consent for its airport planning application.

The expansion project will double the airport's capacity to 18 million passengers a year, with an investment of £98m.

Brazil's São Paulo-Guarulhos Airport opens new terminal

São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil opened its new terminal one month ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

Terminal 3 covers an area of 192,000m², which is larger than the combined area covered by the airport's other three terminals, and has an annual passenger handling capacity of 12 million.

With the move, the airport's overall annual handling capacity has increased to approximately 42 million passengers.