Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

Airport apps a thing of the past

The airport app is dead, long live the chatbot or virtual assistant. Brisbane Airport head of technology Dirk Hus told the Australian Airports Association national conference on the Gold Coast that his airport had recently implemented a chatbot in Messenger and Twitter. Acknowledging that airports were lagging other industries when it came to chatbots, Hus said passengers could chat to the virtual assistant and it would provide information on flights, retail and ...

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Airports must plan for drones future: Airservices Australia

Drones are here to stay and airports need to start thinking now about the opportunities they provide as well as the infrastructure needed to take advantage of the sector’s phenomenal growth. That was the message from Airservices Australia executive general manager customer service enhancement Michelle Bennetts at this year’s AAA National Conference as she outlined the steps needed to address the issue. Bennetts painted a picture of autonomous aircraft entering multiple facets ...

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Flight path to Brisbane’s new runway future goes online

It’s an Australian first, it’s packed full of information and it’s been accessed by more than 105,000 people since it launched last November. Brisbane Airport’s flight path tool has been a big success in terms of giving the residents across the city an insight into how the airport’s new runway might affect them. A product of a collaboration between the airport and Airservices Australia, it shows jet arrival and departure paths for ...

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Airservices builds information management capability

Airlines may be the direct beneficiaries of a recent two per cent reduction in Airservices Australia’s aviation charges but Chief Financial Officer Paul Logan says the cuts are part of a philosophy to foster and promote the entire industry. The cuts, which included a four per cent cut to enroute charges, were praised by the International Air Transport Association as a positive example of the partnership between airlines and air navigation ...

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Airservices plans for next generation of fire-fighting

Recently returned Airservices Australia executive Rob Porter is on a mission to modernise the nation’s aviation rescue and fire-fighting services and take them from “the Flintstones to the Jetsons”. The former general manager of Mackay Airport and deputy chair of the Australian Airports Association board returned to Airservices in January as executive general manager aviation rescue and fire fighting (ARFF), after 11 years away. One of his first acts was to issue ...

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New crop reaps climate rewards

The impact of climate change and the potential for more days of extreme heat are concerns for airports around the world but Adelaide Airport is investigating ways to use water to lower ambient temperatures. A trial involving SA Water and Adelaide Airport to assess the use of stormwater to irrigate big buffers around the airport has produced promising early results, demonstrating the cooling effect of lucerne hay. The trial compared lucerne against ...

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Road to runway renewal loses its grooves

A new approach to airport pavements in Australia that could reduce maintenance costs and improve the durability of runways could be just around the corner. University of the Sunshine Coast research student Sean Jamieson will present a potential alternative option at the AAA Pavement Technology Workshop next month. The workshop will also give delegates the opportunity to hear about other industry research and technology standards, along with an international perspective from the ...

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Digital future brings new solutions, but ignore the hype

Start with the problem you want to solve and then work out whether technology will solve it for you. That’s the advice from digital futurist Hugh Bradlow who also worries too many people are getting taken in by hype. Dr Bradlow told the recent Australian Airports Association national conference in Brisbane that people who tried to apply a technology such as artificial intelligence where it wasn’t applicable would be disappointed. “And you’ll make ...

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Airports to ponder holograms, chatbots in digital future

Airports have been urged to be creative with technology but not get so carried way with digital transformations that they forget the human element of passenger interactions. SITA vice president Catherine Mayer unveiled a smorgasbord of hi-tech possibilities airports could use to boost customer engagement. These ranged from holograms to service robots and chatbots. She suggested holograms could be used to give people weather reports in aerobridges, help non-English speakers navigate food menus ...

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