November’s top stories: Australia reviews airport security, UK to cut disruption

8 December 2014 (Last Updated December 8th, 2014 06:19)

Australia's Office of Transport Security recommended a review of security measures being carried out at airports, while the UK Civil Aviation Authority released a practice guidance to minimise the impact of disruption on passengers. Airport-technologygateway.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2014.

November’s top stories: Australia reviews airport security, UK to cut disruption

Australia-top

Australia reviewing airport security policies

Australia's Office of Transport Security recommended a review of security measures being carried out at airports and also put forward a suggestion of allowing small scissors, tools and metal cutlery on flights.

The government was also in the process of reviewing the expedited screening of low-risk airport passengers to allow a more intense focus on high-risk ones, though it wasn't specified how the authorities will go about identifying high-risk passengers.

As cited in Sydney Morning Herald, Office of Transport Security executive director Sachi Wimmer said that the government was working on introduction of sensible security measures specific to airports that present more or less of a risk rather than the 'one-size-fits-all' approach of the past, despite having lifted the terror alert to high.

ACI and Eurocontrol launch collaborative environmental management specification for airports

eurocontrol-1Europe's organisation for the safety of air navigation Eurocontrol launched the collaborative environmental management (CEM) specification to control environmental impacts in and around airports.

The specification was released at the ninth Annual ACI airport exchange conference and exhibition held in Paris, France.

The specification called for a collaborative approach by airport and airline operators, airport navigation service providers (ANSPs) and other stakeholders to reduce gaseous and noise emissions, as well as improve local air quality around airports.

CAA releases guidance to help UK airports deal with disruptions

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released a practice guidance to minimise the impact of disruption on passengers and help the airports to handle it better.

The guidance dealt with setting out principles and practices to help airports to work in partnership with airlines, ground handlers and other organisations working within airports.

The key principles covered collaboration with other organisations operating at airports, identification and management of potential risks, planning and deploying contingency measures, communication with passengers so they know their rights and the latest situation, practising the procedures they have in place to make sure they are fit for purpose and learning lessons from past experiences.

London's Gatwick Airport records busiest six months

Gatwick-1The UK's London Gatwick Airport recorded its busiest ever six months with an 8% increase in passenger numbers.

Considered to be London's second busiest airport, Gatwick recorded a turnover of £391.6m for the first six months which was an increase of 8.6%.

The airport said that combined with carefully controlled cost management, this increased turnover resulted in an increase of 12.7% in EBITDA to £221.6m and a profit before tax of £122.4m.

SITA/ACI survey reveals airports wish to enhance IT services for 'connected' travellers

A survey found that upgraded security and passenger processes are the topmost information technology (IT) investment priorities for airports around the world.

According to the 11th edition of SITA / ACI Airport IT Trends Survey, approximately 47% of the airports put passenger and airport security at the top of their IT agenda.

More than 80% of the airports said that they would invest in the IT to give their passengers a more connected experience in the next three years. Self-service and mobile-based services were key areas of investment.

Frankfurt Airport to install Safran's explosive trace detectors

Frankfurt-1Airport operator Fraport selected Morpho (Safran) to supply 45 Itemiser DX explosives trace detectors (ETD) to be installed at Germany's Frankfurt Airport.

The light and portable desktop system detects traces of explosives on skin, clothing, carried items, bags, vehicles and other surfaces.

Installation of the detectors will enable Frankfurt meet the European Union's latest regulations on screening of personnel, materials and concessions entering secure areas of airports.

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.

US witnesses increase in near collisions between drones and aircrafts

drones-1The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that there has been a sharp increase in near-collisions between drones and aircrafts across the country in the last six months.

As cited in Washington Post, records have shown that commercial airlines, private pilots and air-traffic controllers have alerted the FAA to close to 25 incidents since June, in which small drones came within a few seconds or a few feet of crashing into much larger aircraft.

The FAA stated that many of the close calls occurred during takeoffs and landings at the nation's busiest airports, which were coming across as an emerging threat to aviation safety after decades of steady improvement in air travel.