Category: Airport Feature

Ground access solutions deliver passengers choice

Just as air travel has changed dramatically in recent years as more of us fly more often, getting to the airport has become an important part of passengers’ overall airport experience. With the route to many major airports contending with day-to-day metropolitan traffic, airports have been looking for new solutions to keep pace with changing passenger needs as a growing number of people visit their terminals each day.

For Australia’s largest airports, investing to provide a wider range of choice has been a key part of ensuring passengers’ journeys start with a good experience getting to the airport.

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New services deliver freight benefits at Australian airports

Air cargo is seeing a global renaissance, with international air freight trends looking good at Australia’s major east coast airports as they welcome more overseas carriers with passenger services and accompanying cargo space.

The latest figures from the International Air Transport Association show global freight demand grew by 6.8 per cent in February which, when adjusted for distortions caused by the Lunar New year, translated to a 7.7 per cent increase.

This was the strongest start to a year since 2015 and saw demand outstrip capacity for the 19th month in a row.

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New service agreements embrace the age of the customer

With more and more businesses embracing the age of the customer, airports are contending with a challenging proposition: enhancing the customer experience at the same time they must meet fast-growing demand for air travel.

Far from struggling to meet the needs of record growth, Sydney Airport has improved customer satisfaction scores in recent years, even as they have welcomed more passengers than ever before. Its success has been attributed in part to the airport’s new international Airline Service Agreements (ASAs), signed in 2015 and recognised by the industry as the way forward for airline agreements.

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“Transport cathedrals” critical to international growth

Tourism Australia boss John O’Sullivan believes the importance of airports to the tourism industry cannot be understated, labelling them the “transport cathedrals” of their home cities and towns. Airports are, he observes, the first and last touchpoints for international visitors and have a critical role in terms of the impression they make.

“From a Tourism Australia point of view, airports are incredibly important not just because of the supply they bring in in terms of aviation seats but from an experience point of view as well,’’ O’Sullivan says.

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Changing the future of airfield runways

Airfield pavements are not like ordinary roads, driveways or car parks. With some aircrafts weighing tens of thousands of kilograms, and airports facilitating millions of flights every year, airfield pavements are a crucial part of any airport’s infrastructure.

Runways, taxiways, apron and parking areas demand high maintenance to ensure the safe operation of the airport, and resurfacing is a costly procedure. The Australian Airport Association (AAA) supported Airport Pavement Research Program (APRP) at the University of the Sunshine Coast is working to address the long-term lack of research and development in Australian airport pavement technology and practice upkeep.

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First impressions count as Gold Coast Airport gets set for the games

The old adage ‘if it doesn’t rain it pours’ has taken on new meaning for management at Gold Coast Airport. Not only are athletes and spectators arriving for the Commonwealth Games ahead of their start on April 4, but this has coincided with an early Easter and the popular international music festival Bluesfest at Byron Bay.

The airport had a dress rehearsal of sorts on January 7 when a record day for passengers saw more than 25,000 travellers arrive and depart.

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Senate committee endorsement an important step for land use planning

As our cities become more populated, the safe and effective management of developments on and near airport land has become an increasingly important issue. While it’s an issue airports have managed effectively through extensive planning and legislative processes for many years, development just beyond the airport boundary operates in a different regulatory environment.

The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has long advocated for closer alignment between the guidelines for development on and near airports to ensure effective land use planning that delivers safe outcomes, meets community need and promotes a sustainable aviation industry.

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Brisbane highlights growth potential as Routes Asia kicks off

When more than 970 delegates converge on Brisbane for Routes Asia this weekend, they’ll be welcomed by a city ready for the next surge in international passenger growth.

The key route development event for the Asia Pacific region arrives off the back of Brisbane’s strongest year of international passenger growth in the last decade. With new infrastructure projects at the airport and across the city coming to life, the potential for further increasing capacity in the region is significant.

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Aviation connects Bardi people with oil and gas opportunity

It’s an essential operation supporting multi-billion-dollar Browse Basin resources projects, and runs like a well-oiled machine as it services up to 24 helicopters a day.

It also gives members of the Djarindjin community the opportunity to work on their own land while gaining valuable aviation industry skills. A partnership between the Djarindjin Aboriginal Corporation and Broome International Airport (BIA) has provided a huge boost to the Bardi people living on the Dampier Peninsula, about 170km north of Broome.

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Rockhampton plans for future as regional gateway

With a terminal that can accommodate up to 1.6 million passengers and a 2628-metre high-strength runway, Rockhampton Airport can – and does – handle pretty much anything that arrives there.

Military exercises at the nearby Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area bring in the big freighters and widebody long-haul passenger aircraft, while single-aisle planes are operated by Qantas, Virgin Australia and JetGo to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Mackay and Townsville.

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Chinese New Year highlights tourism growth story

Australia’s airports have once again seen another busy Chinese New Year period, with a range of targeted activities to welcome this important market. The Chinese visitor economy is now worth more than $10 billion and has grown significantly in recent times.
Major airports across Australia hosted in-terminal activations to support the influx of passengers during the popular Chinese New Year holiday period, ensuring the visitor experience got off to the best possible start as tourists touched down on Australian soil.

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Hobart Airport runway extends Tasmanian opportunity

As Hobart Airport celebrates the extension of its runway this week, the occasion marks more than the successful end of the project. While it may simply seem like an extra 500 metres of tarmac for many, that additional length will open up direct access from Hobart to the global market.

The $40 million runway extension signals the airport’s new capability for direct flights to Asia, creating significant tourism and freight opportunities for the state.

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Canberra connects to the world with new services

Once one of the few global capitals without an international air service, Canberra now has two of the world’s best airlines slugging it out for the capital’s affluent passengers.

The arrival of Qatar Airways on February 12 gave Canberra Airport its first ever daily international service and set up a new competitive dynamic for Canberrans.

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Year of growth for Australian airports

Strong international traffic growth helped records tumble at Australian airports in 2017 with major airports posting strong rises in overseas traveller numbers.

Chinese carriers again featured prominently in traffic growth at major airports but there was also pleasing capacity increases from other regions. Airports also reported bumper pre-Christmas travel with a number setting new single-day passenger records, particularly on December 23.

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Sydney Airport rolls out the welcome mat for Chinese growth

The arrival of two new direct services to China in two days marked a busy week, even for an airport that has established itself as one of the world’s most popular destinations for Chinese airlines.

Sydney Airport now serves 17 mainland China destinations with direct flights and is joining other major Aussie airports in welcoming increasing numbers of Chinese tourists.

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Perth Airport Lights the Way for WA Tourism

Perth Airport expects a new Category IIIB instrument landing system to become operational in 2018 will make it easier to attract international flights and boost Western Australia’s tourism potential.

The upgrade to CATIII infrastructure, due to be approved by the end of June, has been five years in the making.

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Checking In? How KATE the Robot is Beating the Queues

If you find yourself in an airport being followed by a check-in kiosk at some stage you’ve likely encountered KATE, a robotic kiosk that can take itself to busy areas as needed to relieve pressure.

It’s one of the ideas technology companies are putting forward as the number of travellers doubles over the next two decades.

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Marathon route planning requires maximum effort

Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting managing director Oliver Lamb urges communities wanting to attract regional airlines to begin the process by building a database on their market.

Mr Lamb told attendees at this year’s Australian Airports Association national conference that intelligence such as surveys were invaluable to airlines looking to enter a market.

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Industry-wide approach required in changing cyber-security environment

The head of technology at the nation’s biggest airport has called for an industry-wide conversation on the threats posed by cyber-attacks.

Sydney Airport general manager technology Stuart Rattray made the call during a presentation at this year’s Australian Airports Association annual conference that outlined the increasing sophistication and rapidly changing nature of cyber security threats.

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Sydney Data to Help Passengers

Sydney Airport is pursuing an “open data” strategy designed to give passengers key information across a range of platforms that allows them to take charge of their journey and reduce the stress of air travel.

The strategy aims to use data collected by the airport and its partners to improve efficiency and ease a customer’s journey by delivering helpful information such as queue wait times.

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CASA’s Drone Delivery Road Test

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority is working with Google parent company Alphabet to “road test” ways of assessing the risks involved with using drones to deliver packages and other items.
The move comes as CASA is working its way through more than 900 responses to its review into drone safety and estimates of the number recreational and professional drone users in Australia may have topped the 100,000 mark.

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Tourism Industry Has Room to Grow

China may be the inbound tourism flavour of the decade, but Australia’s peak tourism body has urged airports not to forget other promising markets such as India and the US.

Tourism in Australia is booming, growing four times faster than the overall economy with annual visitor numbers expected to almost double to 14.2 million by 2026.

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Top End to Benefit from New Narrow Body Jets

Airports in northern Australia are likely to benefit from the flexibility new fuel fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft give airlines, CAPA Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison has predicted.

Single-aisle aircraft from the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737MAX families are set to make their presence felt on trans-Atlantic routes thanks to airlines such as budget carrier Norwegian Air.

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Solar just the start for Brisbane Airport’s Sustainability Focus

It will be the southern hemisphere’s biggest commercial rooftop solar array, an 11,675 square-metre field of 7,133 solar panels covering Brisbane Airport’s international terminal.

And that’s only part of a bigger 6 megawatt system spread across six Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) sites. At 36,000 square metres, the overall system is twice the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and will need 200kms of cabling to hook it up.

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RFDS Warns Airstrip Upkeep is Essential for Rural Health Services

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program may operate under the auspices of Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester, but Royal Flying Doctor Service chief Martin Laverty sees it as an essential health service for rural Australians.

His argument is straight forward:  if RFDS flights can’t land in an emergency or if they can’t ferry in GPs, dentists and psychologists for vital preventative health services, it means rural people do not have access to basic services that people in the city take for granted.

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Airports Need To Expand Collaboration

Airports will not be able to cope with predicted growth unless they continue to reap the benefits of the broader aviation ecosystem by increasing cooperation with other stakeholders, Airservices Australia chief executive Jason Harfield has warned.

Harfield says a move by operators to take part in programs such as Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is helping to boost efficiency not just at airports but for the industry as a whole.

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NT Airports Harnesses Business Clout to Promote Growth

Airports who want to exert an influence in their regions would do well to emulate an initiative started in Darwin, according to Northern Territory Airports Chief Executive Ian Kew.

Kew was watching the Territory’s economy soften as tourism stagnated and the resource boom ended when he decided it was time to take action.

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New CASA Chief to Push Hard on Reg Reform

A year after moving into the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) top job in an acting capacity, director of aviation safety Shane Carmody is pushing hard to break the authority’s legendary regulatory logjam.

While that’s been an aspiration of every incoming CASA boss for the past two decades, Carmody has an advantage over some of his predecessors: he’s been there before.

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Hood Hits his Stride in Revamped Safety Bureau

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Chief Commissioner Greg Hood reckons his current job is the best he’s ever had.

It isn’t so much the often-grim subject matter that appeals to him but the dedication of the organisation’s team of highly-trained investigators and the opportunity to save lives and make a difference.

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Biometrics the New Face of Airport Technology

Beacons and biometrics are expected to be among the hot emerging airport technologies as IT spending in the sector picks up.

Information technology spend as a percentage of airport revenue fell globally in 2016 but technology company SITA expects a resurgence this year and next.

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Proprietary Binders the Latest Weapon in Strengthening Runways

Proprietary binders are the latest weapon in an ongoing battle to make runways more resilient and last longer but experts say they have yet to gain universal acceptance.

They join an arsenal that has steadily increased since bigger and heavier planes — coupled with a desire to boost the lifespan of runway paving from 10 to 15 years — saw a move away from unmodified bitumen almost two decades ago.

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Double Airline Blow Turns into Twin Successes for Narrabri

The collapse of Brindabella Airlines in late 2013 and the similar fate suffered six months later by replacement Vincent Aviation was a double blow for the NSW regional town of Narrabri.

QantasLink, which offered relief fares from nearby Moree after the Vincent insolvency, made it clear it did not intend to fly to Narrabri and the town was left without a regular public transport (RPT) service.

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International Traffic Keeps Airport Revenues Aloft

International traffic is offsetting a lacklustre domestic market and underpinning the credit outlook for Australian airports, according to ratings agency Moody’s Investor Services.

Australian airports have had a stable outlook since 2009 and Moody’s says in a recently released report that it expects this to continue thanks to revenue growth over the next 12 to 18 months in the mid-single digit percentage range.

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Reducing the Impact of Disruptive Weather on Airports

Weather delays are the bane of every airport manager’s existence and by-products of nature that seem unavoidable.

While nothing can be done about the weather itself, an innovative move by Airservices Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and major airlines to combine weather forecasting expertise is helping to offset the impact on aircraft arrivals of disruptive weather.

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Australian Airports Association