October’s top stories: UK Government planned to fund new airport screening, US Customs deployed facial recognition technology at JFK Airport

6 November 2017 (Last Updated November 10th, 2017 16:50)

The UK Government planned to fund new airport screening technologies, and US Customs and Border Protection deployed facial recognition biometric technology at JFK International Airport. Airport-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October.

UK Government planned to fund new airport screening technologies

The UK Government announced plans to provide a £3m grant to support research that will help develop new airport screening technologies.

Interested companies and universities will be invited to submit their proposals for the award, which will focus on the development of new solutions to detect explosive devices hidden in electrical items.

The government is also interested in proposals that intend to find new ways of detecting tampered or irregular electrical items.

US Customs and Border Protection deployed facial recognition biometric technology at JFK International Airport

US Customs and Border Protection deployed facial recognition biometric technology at one Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint in John F. Kennedy International Airport.

For the technical demonstration, CBP teamed up with TSA to make use of travellers’ photographs taken at TSA’s Terminal 7 international checkpoint to compare against travel document photographs.

Office of Field Operations deputy executive assistant commissioner John Wagner said: “As we continue to deploy technical demonstrations, CBP is assessing the use of biometric technology as part of a future end-to-end process, from check-in to departure, in which travellers use biometrics instead of their boarding pass or ID throughout the security and boarding process.

London City Airport unveiled £400m development plan

The UK’s London City Airport unveiled artist impressions of a planned £400m development programme.

The city airport development programme (CADP), which is expected to be completed in 2021, is aimed at developing seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway to maximise runway capacity, and a terminal extension to cater to growing number of passengers.

The improvements to the airport are aimed at allowing two million more passengers annually by 2025.

Dubai International Airport planned to install face-scanning virtual fish aquarium

Dubai International Airport planned to introduce a new aquarium equipped with facial recognition technology to its terminals from next year.

The virtual fish aquarium will feature 80 in-built cameras that scan a visitor’s face and verify their identity.

Foreign affairs chief Major Gen Obaid Al Hameeri told The National: “The fish is a sort of entertainment and something new for the traveller but, at the end of the day, it attracts the vision of travellers to different corners in the tunnel for the cameras to capture his / her face print.”

NATS launched electronic flight strip solution at two UK airports

UK air navigation service provider (ANSP) NATS introduced an electronic flight strip solution at Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport.

The ANSP successfully transitioned the two airports from paper to electronic flight strips after completing a ten-month programme using the new Hub and Spoke system architecture.

The new concept was introduced for the first time in the UK and will enable all airports in the Hub and Spoke system to be connected to a single set of data servers at NATS Swanwick Control Centre.

UK Government set out next steps for building new runway at Heathrow Airport

The UK Government outlined the next stage towards the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport, with the launch of a consultation process.

As part of the consultation process, the government is seeking a public response on the revised draft Airports National Policy Statement, which comprises long-term aviation forecasts and the new national air quality plan.

The decision to allow the delivery of a new north-west runway at Heathrow was taken by the government a year ago in a bid to open up new links between the UK and other global markets.

Adelte contracted to install new passenger boarding bridges at Manchester Airport, UK

Spanish company Adelte was contracted by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to design, develop and deploy 11 new passenger boarding bridges at Manchester Airport, UK.

The installation of new passenger boarding is part of the first phase of the £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

Adelte vice-president and commercial director Jordi Floreta said: “We are enthusiastic about returning to Manchester and being able to participate in this ambitious project of transforming the infrastructure and facilities of this modern airport so that it can receive in the best conditions the fast-growing number of passengers.”

CAG began operations at Changi Airport’s Terminal 4

Changi Airport Group (CAG) began operations at Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 (T4).

Construction of the new terminal occupies about 225,000m² and was completed in December 2016.

Since October last year, operational readiness trials, training sessions and workshops have been conducted to train the airport staff for effective functioning of the new terminal.

CANSO and EUROCAE collaborated to jointly develop aviation industry standards

The Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE) to jointly develop aviation industry standards.

Under the deal, the two organisations will primarily focus on improving standards for air traffic management (ATM) and will address major issues, such as cyber-security and the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in all types of airspace.

In addition, the collaboration will enable CANSO and EUROCAE to speed-up the implementation of new technologies that would ensure safe, seamless and efficient aviation across Europe.

Boeing received approval to build new hangar at Gatwick Airport, UK

The new hangar facility will support the Gatwick airline community’s immediate operational requirements and is also slated to help the airport to continue its growth.

In addition, the facility will assist long-haul flight services that have recently begun operation, or have recently been announced, by Boeing aircraft operators to the US cities of Denver, Seattle, Austin, Chicago, and Singapore from Gatwick.

Gatwick Airport chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson said: “Gatwick’s partnership with Boeing will deliver a boost to jobs on the airport, as well as providing close service support to Gatwick’s growing long and short haul Boeing fleet.