November’s top stories: Scotland buys Glasgow Prestwick, airports invest in IT

1 December 2013 (Last Updated December 1st, 2013 18:30)

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is now in public ownership after it was bought by the Scottish Government from Infratil for a cash consideration of £1, while airports around the world are boosting their investment on IT to $6bn in 2013. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2013.

November’s top stories: Scotland buys Glasgow Prestwick, airports invest in IT

Airport image

Scotland acquires Glasgow Prestwick Airport for £1

Scotland image

The Scottish Government has acquired Glasgow Prestwick Airport from New Zealand-based Infratil for a nominal consideration of £1, bringing the airport into public ownership.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "This acquisition secures continuity of service and we will now begin work, with our local partners, on developing our vision for the business so we can maximise its contribution to the local, regional and national economy."

Infratil has now exited two British airports, last month it divested the Manston Airport in Kent to Stagecoach co-founder Ann Cloag for £1.

Bayanat Airports partners Lockheed to install WindTracer lidar in Middle East

Bayanat Airports Engineering & Supplies, a leading airport system integrator in the Middle East, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, has installed the region’s first WindTracer lidar (light detection and ranging) system at Dubai International Airport.

The companies are currently installing the second and third lidar systems.

WindTracer, which is produced by Lockheed Martin, collects data on turbulence arising from approaching and departing aircraft.

FCC to refurbish Juan Santamaria International Airport

Juan Santamaria International Airport

FCC, a global infrastructure and environmental services group, has been awarded a contract to refurbish Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica, for €25m.

The project, which spans an area of 21,894m², involves the construction of a hangar or a main building; a number of ancillary buildings for workshops; a building for general use; a building for storing flammable liquids and materials; and a car park with 150 spaces.

The hangar will be established 150m away from the runway and will be capable of accommodating six aircraft, when Boeing 757-300 is taken as a reference aircraft.

Swiss air traffic management boosted by Skyguide

Skyguide, a provider of air navigation services, is set to adopt electronic coordination at its two area control centres in the next few weeks in order to further modernise its Swiss air traffic management services.

The new procedure will be introduced at the Area Control Centre (ACC) of Geneva on the night of 4-5 November and at the Zurich ACC on the night of 9-10 December.

Skyguide noted that the new electronic coordination is one of the most important developments in Swiss air traffic management in the last 30 years.

Puerto Rico unveils plan to develop regional airports

Puerto Rico image

The Puerto Rican Government plans to invest $38m to develop regional airports, as part of its efforts to boost tourism and create jobs.

In a statement, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said that the project will be funded with $13m of federal and Puerto Rican government funds, and $25m from the private sector.

The project is expected to create 200 service sector jobs as well as 400 jobs during the construction stage.

Airports to invest $6bn in information technology, says SITA survey

Airports around the world are boosting their investment on information technology (IT) to $6bn in 2013, according to the 2013 SITA/ACI/Airline business airport IT trends survey.

Nearly 90% of the airports surveyed see their IT spending increase or remain stable in 2013, with a particular focus on improving the passenger experience.

In the past three years, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in IT investment was 12%, which outpaced airports’ 2.83% CAGR in revenue.

EC approves €150m public subsidy for French airport Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Nantes Atlantique Airport

The European Commission has approved a public grant of around €150m to Société Aéroports du Grand Ouest in order to build an airport.

The subsidy will be used to construct the Notre-Dame-des-Landes Airport, just more than 20km to the north of Nantes.

Notre-Dame-des-Landes will be the new site of Nantes Atlantique Airport, which was unable to cater to regional development requirements.

UK Department for Transport to install security scanners in 11 airports

The UK Department for Transport will install security scanners in 11 more airports, in a move to detect threats posed by non-metallic improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The security scanners are already in place in ten airports in the country, and are set to be added in Stansted, Luton, Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Prestwick, Cardiff and Belfast City airports.

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the latest scanners do not pose health risks and the automatic threat recognition software does not require an image of a passenger.