Industry news

UK lifts quarantine rules for fully vaccinated US and EU visitors



The UK Government is reportedly lifting quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers coming from the EU and the US.

From 2 August, travellers who are fully vaccinated with the US and EU-approved vaccines will no longer need to quarantine for ten days after arriving in England. However, these visitors are still required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test, as well as a PCR test shortly after they arrive in England.

The leasing of restrictions for the US and EU is aimed at easing access to some of the UK’s biggest markets for visitor volumes. The new quarantine rule applies to England, though it is still unclear whether it will apply to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.

The UK Government also said that visitors from France will continue to undergo quarantine due to the presence of the Beta variant.


IATA partners with Collins Aerospace to support digital health platform

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has joined forces with Raytheon Technologies subsidiary Collins Aerospace, to enhance its Travel Pass digital health platform.

This travel pass allows passengers to save, share, and manage verified test results and information that are now required for international travel.

Under the partnership, Collins Aerospace will use its TransAction solution to integrate IATA’s Travel Pass platform into airlines’ passenger management systems.

This will enable the data of the passengers will be shared securely between carriers and the IATA Travel Pass mobile application.

According to Collins Aerospace, TransAction is already providing services to airlines globally, assisting them to exchange passenger travel information.

Baggage handling

SITA deploys bag drop technology for Ethiopian Airlines at Bole Airport

Information technology firm SITA has installed the SITA Smart Path Drop and Fly baggage solution for Ethiopian Airlines at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia.

The new technology is expected to provide improved check-in and bag drop self-services to the passengers of Ethiopian Airlines at the airport.

The SITA Smart Path Drop and Fly baggage solution has been deployed in the airport’s new extension of the check-in area.

With this deployment, the passengers can now move directly to the self-bag-drop area to check in their baggage.

This will enable the passengers to move quickly and avoid long lines.

As a result, the airport will face less congestion at a time when social distancing is necessary due to Covid-19.


TSA permits three airports to sign agreements with Amazon Air

The US Department of Homeland Security agency Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has allowed three airports to enter into security agreements with subsidiary Amazon Air.

This approval will enable Amazon to execute security functions and help in its planned hiring at the airports.

The airports permitted to enter Exclusive Area Agreements with Amazon Air are Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Chicago Rockford International Airport.

Usually, the agreements are used when a complete airport terminal is maintained by only one aircraft operator.

With this exemption, Amazon will be able to obtain physical control of some airport access, undertake ’employee vetting functions that the airport authorities would otherwise be required to conduct’, and manage ID issues.

passenger handling

ACI World releases Static Capacity Tool for airports

Airports Council International (ACI) World has launched a new tool called Static Capacity Tool, to help the airports make better use of their terminals amid a prospective increase in passenger numbers following the pandemic.

Developed by ACI World business partner Redwater Consulting Group, Static Capacity Tool will help the airports in evaluating the level of resource and equipment required throughout the airport passenger journey.

Particularly, it will help in assessing the queue length, time and breaking points, as Covid-19 physical distancing requirements are anticipated to trigger a fresh set of challenges for the industry.

It focuses on terminal process points including check-in, security, emigration, immigration, boarding, and baggage reclaim.

It then calculates the average cycle times throughout each process point to generate an overall queue time for that process point.

This will help the airport operator determine additional space or queuing requirements and facilitate a safe and seamless passenger experience.

The tool can also help in understanding the impact of adding more process points to address health check requirements.


UK aviation firms lose court bid over traffic lights system

The London High Court in the UK has turned down the legal challenge filed by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and other airline companies against the UK Government’s traffic lights system for travellers entering Britain.

In June, MAG in the UK reportedly partnered with Irish airline company Ryanair to launch a legal action against the government over the travel traffic light system.

The complaint was filed against the Department for Transport and the Department of Health and Social Care.

This legal challenge sought more transparency on how the countries are being classified by the government.

The litigation, led by MAG, was also supported by British Airways owner IAG, TUI, Easyjet and Virgin Atlantic in addition to Ryanair.

In their appeal to the court, airports and airline companies have raised concerns over the government’s traffic light system, which classifies countries based on their Covid-19 risk.

They argued that the decisions were not based on data.

Although the court partially accepted the argument against the government, the final decision was given in favour of the government.

In brief

Vinci Airports deploys customised airfield pavement management solution

Vinci Concessions’ subsidiary Vinci Airports has installed a new tailor-made tool, the Airport Pavement Management System (APMS), to enhance the monitoring of its airport pavements.

Vinci Airports teams and infrastructure management software provider AgileAssets have jointly developed this solution. APMS unifies the data on pavement condition monitoring.

RAD to supply six ROSA180 units for major US airport authority

US-based Artificial Intelligence Technology Solutions subsidiary Robotic Assistance Devices (RAD) has secured an order for responsive observation security agent (ROSA180) units from a ‘major’ US airport authority that owns and runs more than one airport. The undisclosed client will receive six ROSA180 units.

SSP wins contract to operate six airport lounges in Malaysia

UK-based SSP Group has secured a contract from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) to take over the operations of six new MAHB airport lounges at two airports.

UK’s Bristol Airport opens Covid-19 testing services centre

Bristol Airport (BRS) in the UK has opened a new Covid-19 testing service amid a fresh surge of coronavirus cases in the country.

The testing centre is located in the terminal before security on the first floor, with services open to both the passengers and the local community.

BIAL partners with IBM for digital transformation of Bangalore Airport

India’s Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of Kempegowda International Airport, has entered a ten-year partnership with IBM to support the digital transformation of the airport.

IBM and its spin-off Kyndryl will offer IT solutions for setting up a new ‘Airport in a Box’ platform to improve the travel experience for passengers at the Bangalore airport.


Research to improve air quality conducted at Schiphol Airport 

Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre, is carrying out research for improving the quality of local air by minimising the number of ultrafine particles.

The partners are evaluating if ultrafine particles can be eliminated from the air by using ionised mist particles around the runways.

Ionised mist particles clump together with ultrafine particles and become heavier.

Thereafter, it falls on the ground instead of getting disseminated.

This method has been picked from the tried-and-tested concept, which is commonly used in the construction industry for minimising dust and particulate matter.

The partners are attempting to fine-tune this approach to enable its usage in airport operations.


Hyderabad Airport in India commissions four new rapid exit taxiways

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited in India has commissioned four additional Rapid Exit Taxiways (RETs), with an aim to streamline flight operations at the airport.

The new RETs will increase the capacity of the runway from the existing 36 to more than 45 aircraft movements per hour, enhancing the operational efficiency of the airport.

After major rehabilitation works, GHIAL has also commissioned its main runway.

These RETs will lower the runway occupancy time by enabling the aeroplane to taxi off the runaway at a relatively shorter distance.