Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

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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Business park innovation to meet community demand

Innovative ideas aimed at addressing community shortfalls are helping drive the development of business precincts at Australian airports. A number of airports are thinking outside the box to harness demand for facilities that are unavailable or in short supply in the regions they serve. When Darwin International Airport looked at rebranding its business precinct, it did a gap analysis to see which areas of Top End culture were not being addressed.

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Melbourne looks towards swing gate solution

Melbourne Airport is looking to join the worldwide trend towards swing gates as international traffic numbers continue to grow and it seeks to offer airline customers cost-effective access to aerobridges. Melbourne has been one of Australia’s stars when it comes to international passenger growth and its latest master plan forecasts it will see almost 20 million international passengers and over 81,000 international aircraft movements annually by 2038. International one-way peak passenger ...

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Infrared cameras improve sights on security

When Evan Collins wanted to find a new way to monitor Perth Airport’s airside perimeter fence, he looked to the skies for inspiration. The airport’s new approach to its perimeter patrols was developed in an Australian airport first after seeing the effectiveness of videos used on police helicopters. Inspiration struck as Collins’ team sought to improve aviation protection officers’ ability to more accurately monitor the airport’s expansive fence line.

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Sunshine Coast in carbon neutral first

When Airports Council International director general Angela Gittins recently praised Australian airports for their strong environmental stewardship, she singled out the Sunshine Coast Airport for its achievement in becoming Australia’s first carbon neutral airport. There are now 12 other Australian airports participating in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Program — more than a quarter of the 44 involved in the Asia-Pacific — but Sunshine Coast was the pioneer.

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Flight training opportunity for Australian aviation

Paul Ferguson has a strong argument for why the Australian flight training industry should be taking up the opportunities stemming from burgeoning demand for pilots in South East Asia: the impressive development at the airport he runs. A partnership between leading flight training organisation CAE Oxford Aviation Academy and China Eastern Airlines has secured Moorabbin Airport a quality anchor customer that supports the airport’s long-term investments in aviation infrastructure.

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Innovation focus as Mackay prepares for new growth

The end of the resources boom meant tough times for Mackay Airport but general manager Rob Porter believes a focus on innovation and transformation means it is well placed to cater for passenger growth as the region recovers. The northern Queensland airport saw a 22 per cent rise in passenger numbers in March compared to the previous year, as it benefited from a recovery in the mining industry as well as ...

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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 ...

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