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February 6, 2020

January’s top news stories

Malaysia Airports opened refurbished immigration arrivals hall at klia2 and American Airlines and British Airways are set to start work on JFK Terminal 8. wraps up key headlines from January 2020.

Malaysia Airports opens refurbished immigration arrivals hall at klia2

Malaysia Airports opened the newly refurbished immigration arrivals hall at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2).

Opened in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020), the arrivals hall can now accommodate twice the number of passengers than before.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) is a mega terminal that replaced the airport’s older, low-cost terminal.

American Airlines and British Airways to start work on JFK Terminal 8

American Airlines and British Airways announced the construction of New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 8 with an investment of $344m.

According to American Airlines president Robert Isom, the firm’s investment will enable the 14 daily flights from JFK to London that are offered in partnership with British Airways to be handled at the same terminal.

The JFK Terminal 8 investment aims to provide customers with a premium check-in space, new joint lounges and a wider range of retail and dining options.

Southwest Airlines opens aircraft facility at William P Hobby Airport

Southwest Airlines opened a maintenance facility at William P Hobby International Airport in Texas, US.

The 240,000ft² maintenance complex became the airline’s largest facility. It features offices, training facilities, warehouse space and a 140,000ft² hangar facility for technical operations.

The new facility enables around 400 technical operations employees in Houston to simultaneously work indoors on six 737 aircraft. It can also accommodate eight additional aircraft outside the bays.

San Diego Airport receives approval for $3bn Terminal 1 replacement

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board approved the Environmental Impact Report to replace Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport in California, the US.

The Board of Directors unanimously gave their approval for the $3bn airport development plan (ADP).

The new terminal, which will replace the existing 53-year old terminal, will have 30 gates compared to the 19 gates in the existing building.

Heathrow Airport installs anti-drone technology to detect threats

The UK’s London Heathrow Airport installed an anti-drone system designed to block drones entering its airspace after a slew of attempts threatened the country’s busiest travel hub.

The anti-drone solution, which is also used at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, is a holographic radar system developed by UK-based Aveillant. It is able to detect drones as far as five kilometres in all directions and alert the airport’s operators, according to the company.

Alongside detecting drones, the technology is also able to identify the location of the drone pilots themselves, enabling law enforcement to quickly find and stop them.

Queen’s University researches how to reduce airport security times

Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, initiated research to develop a solution for safer and faster airport security scanners.

Headed by Dr Okan Yurduseven, the research received the £1m Leverhulme Research Leadership Award and aims to develop a solution that can reduce the security scan time from ten seconds to less than a tenth of a second.

An internal investigation conducted by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) found that, in 95% of trials, undercover investigators could sneak in mock explosives or banned weapons via the tested security checkpoints.

GMR to sell 49% airports subsidiary stake to Tata Group-led consortium

GMR Infrastructure brokered a deal to offload 49% of its stake in GMR Airports to a consortium led by Indian conglomerate Tata Group.

The consortium comprises Tata Group subsidiary TRIL Urban Transport and its overseas partners Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and SSG Capital Management.

The latest agreement revises the deal agreed last year in which the group of investors agreed to acquire the 45% stake in GMR Airports for Rs80bn ($1.2bn).

Sheremetyevo Airport’s Terminal C opens for public

Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, opened the first phase of its new international terminal.

The construction of the Terminal C building entailed an investment of around $500m.

In November, the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency granted approval to Sheremetyevo Airport to commission phase one of Terminal C.

Coronavirus: Airports worldwide start screening passengers from China

Airports around the world started screening passengers arriving from China, including Hong Kong, for the deadly coronavirus.

At the time, the new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China in December had killed six people and infected hundreds.

The coronavirus is part of the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which claimed lives of more than 700 people in 2002 and 2003.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to open Terminal 3 next month

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in the US is set to open its Terminal 3 North Concourse early this February.

The terminal has undergone extensive modernisation under the $590m Terminal 3 upgrade project.

The North Concourse, which is the last component of the project, features ten airline gates, as well as new shops, restaurants and other customer amenities.

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