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We shine the spotlight on a handful of technology driven initiatives designed to improve the operational efficiency of airports and hasten their recovery from the global pandemic.

Reinventing the management of airfields

Jacobs has developed a new proprietary cloud-based platform designed to enable the effective asset management of airfields.

Indeed, based on the success of trials across the world, it believes that the solution, called Pavy, will reinvent the way airports manage airfield pavements.

It states: “Airfield pavements are complex and extensive, and understanding how they perform is key to planning investment. Now more than ever, with the need to adapt to COVID-19 impacts, airport operators are looking for smarter ways to make strategic, cost-efficient decisions about their most important airfield assets.

“Built on the insight and experience of a network of aviation and asset management professionals at Jacobs, Pavy is a customisable platform that puts the airport in control, enabling strategic, data-led decisions about airfield investment.”

The asset management principles behind Pavy were originally conceived when London Heathrow commissioned a team of Jacobs specialists to create a solution to manage its four million square metres of airfield pavement.

Jacobs says that Pavy enables airports to:

  • Devise investment strategies over 5-year periods, connecting engineering and finance teams to help balance costs, risk and performance, particularly in the wake of the pandemic;
  • Work with optimised CAPEX spend profiles, whilst receiving client-decision support, immediate feedback and basic scenario forecasting combined with visual plans;
  • Harness the power of their data to build stronger business cases for additional funding requests.

“We work every day to tackle our clients’ toughest challenges, and airfield asset management is a recurring issue in the aviation industry, even more so now, as operators look for more agile ways to manage their operations effectively in response to COVID-19,” says Donald Morrison, Jacobs’ senior vice president and general for people and places solutions, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“With Pavy, our new cloud-based platform, airports around the globe can better plan pavement investments and prioritise critical interventions.”

Security upgrade at Hamad International Airport

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) continues to innovate, recently becoming the first airport in the Middle East to install Smiths Detection’s HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX machines, which utilise Computed Tomography (CT) technology to X-ray screen carry-on baggage at security checkpoints.

The new additions are expected to help expedite the security screening process by allowing passengers to keep electronic devices and liquids in their hand baggage, subsequently reducing wait times and boosting customer satisfaction levels.

The airport’s vice president of security, Saeed Yousef Al-Sulaiti, says: “Smiths Detection has a reputation for providing market leading solutions with world-renowned standards for quality.”

Stuttgart embraces cloud technology

Stuttgart has become the first airport in Germany to embrace Amadeus’ cloud computing technology for passenger services.

More than 200 check-in counters and gates, as well as 30 self-service kiosks have transitioned to the new technology, which Amadeus says ensures a smoother check-in experience.

Thanks to this technology, the migration was handled largely remotely, with only a skeleton team of engineers needed on-site at the terminal.

The major IT modernisation sees Stuttgart increase passenger self-service options with the installation of 30 self-service check-in kiosks from ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, as well as introducing self-boarding gates and Amadeus technology for passenger payments for additional services such as excess baggage.

The airport’s director of infrastructure and CIO, Dirk Spengler, commented: “We are an essential industrial and business hub for the entire region, and we’re committed to delivering a pleasant passenger experience.

“We especially appreciate that the new IT solution saves energy and will contribute to our sustainability efforts at Stuttgart Airport.”

Making air travel safer for all

AirAsia has become the first airline to deploy GrayMatter’s Scan2Fly digital solution that enables passengers to prove that they are COVID-19 free and fit to travel by scanning and uploading negative test results, if required, and other medical certificates during the online check-in process.

Javed Malik, AirAsia’s group chief operations officer, says: “AirAsia is all about value, choice and innovation. This system is highly effective for our airline, our guests and the respective government agencies, particularly in the current COVID constrained travel environment as it makes flying with AirAsia even safer and more convenient than before.

“We are looking forward to developing the use of this new technology system across all of our relevant destinations, which will play an important role to help ensure that air travel continues to be safe and more seamless than ever.”

The solution is designed to recognise multiple templates of medical documents across various countries even if the format is different from one country to another. The solution, says GrayMatter, is underpinned by machine learning and text analytics.

Its cloud-hosted system is very tightly integrated and tailored to AirAsia’s applications and is equipped with robust information security.

The technology also provides reports based on the details of the medical documents uploaded and the approval/rejection status, including the reason for any rejection.

GrayMatter Software’s CEO, Vikas Gupta, notes that the system has already gone live for a number of AirAsia flights from Malaysia’s Klia2 Airport to Singapore as well as to Surabaya and will soon be introduced for services to and from Jakarta.

He adds that the new technology will eventually be introduced to other AirAsia destinations, where valid travel documents are required prior to travel.

Gupta says: “We are glad to have had the opportunity to work with AirAsia for a pertinent cause like COVID prevention. I am happy to see GrayMatter delivering more and more value to the aviation ecosystem.”

CAPA – Centre for Aviation

Membership Region: Asia-Pacific

Contact: Daniella Baxter

E: dbaxter@centreforaviation.com

W: www.centreforaviation.com

Since its establishment in 1990, CAPA has developed a global network of aviation researchers and analysis located across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Part of the Aviation Week network, it provides members with access to more than 400 news briefs each day, as well as analysis reports, research publications, and a comprehensive
data centre with extensive company profiles, airline and airport databases, and more. Its events and masterclasses are hosted in key markets throughout the world and attract the highest calibre of thought leaders.

Smart Flows

Membership Region: Europe

Contact: Marie Fauco

E: mfaucon@smart-flows.com

W: www.smartflows.com

Smart Flows is a French software editor that helps airports better understand passenger behaviours in order to improve their operational efficiency, increase retail revenues and raise customer satisfaction levels. The software transforms data such as Wi-Fi location data into actionable passenger flow data in a real-time, report analysis or predictive mode. Smart Flows has worked with a number of airports across Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and the Middle East.

Global Exchange Group

Membership Region: Latin-America & Caribbean

Contact: Esperanza Morales

E: e.morales@eurodivisas.com

W: www.global-exchange.com

Global Exchange has developed extensive experience providing foreign exchange services at the main international airports in Latin America and the Caribbean and is growing strong in Europe, North of Africa and the Middle East. Its mission is to be present where travellers need foreign currency exchange services and to achieve the trust and recognition of its customers and airport operators through its continuous improvement in procedures and customer service excellence.

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