Industry news

FAA: US military’s exit leaves Kabul airport uncontrolled

The government agency said that the aiplanes landing at Kabul or flying in Afganistan airspace should use 'extreme caution.' Credit: UR-SDV / Wikimedia.

air traffic control

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has unveiled that Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, is now without air traffic control services as the US military marked its complete exit from the country.

In addition, US civil aircraft have been restricted from operating over the country unless provided prior authorisation.

In a statement, the FAA said: “Due to both the lack of air traffic services and a functional civil aviation authority in Afghanistan, as well as ongoing security concerns, US civil operators, pilots, and US-registered civil aircraft are prohibited from operating at any altitude over much of Afghanistan.”

Earlier this month, the US took over air traffic control at Hamid Karzai International Airport to ensure the safe departure of its staff from the country. The move came after the Taliban’s claimed victory in a protracted civil war after gaining control over the capital city.

The FAA stated that US civil operators “may continue to use one high-altitude jet route near the far eastern border for overflights. Any US civil aircraft operator that wants to fly into/out of or over Afghanistan must receive prior authorisation from the FAA”.

Furthermore, the government agency said that the aeroplanes landing at Kabul or flying in Afghanistan airspace should use “extreme caution”.

Last week, more than 100 people were killed after twin bomb blasts outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport.


Changi Airport to reopen Terminals 1, 3 in September

Singapore Changi Airport is set to reopen Terminal 1 (T1) and Terminal 3 (T3) to the public on 1 September, along with additional safeguard measures for passengers, airport workers, and the public.

To reduce interaction between arriving passengers and local residents, the airport has restricted the use of the Arrival Halls to arriving travellers and professional meet-and-greet services.

Passengers arriving from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, and other low-risk countries can only be received in the Arrival Halls.

As part of safeguard measures, the air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems at the terminals have also been improved to fight against the more transmissible Covid-19 variants.


Gatwick to reposition Northern Runway to increase capacity

Gatwick Airport in the UK is planning to reposition the centre line of its current Northern Runway by 12m towards the north to bring it into regular use alongside its Main Runway.

This development will enable dual runway operations with the airport’s Main Runway while fulfilling all international safety standards.

Gatwick will commence a 12-week public consultation for this project on 9 September.

This proposal is expected to generate nearly 18,400 supplementary jobs by 2038 and an additional projected $2.06bn (£1.5bn) gross value added to the region.


Ryanair to end operations at two Belfast airports

Irish carrier Ryanair has announced plans to cease all its flights at Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport.

The company will end flights at Belfast City Airport in September and at Belfast International Airport in October.

Ryanair blamed the UK Government’s "refusal to suspend or reduce air passenger duty (APD), as well as the absence of Covid recovery incentives from both the airports".

A tax levied on air passengers, APD differs according to destination and class of travel.

The carrier informed that the aircraft flying on routes to and from Belfast would be "reallocated to lower-cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule, which starts in November".

Belfast International Airport said that it will negotiate with other airlines to replace the routes.


Aecom to execute Guernsey Airport’s new masterplan

Guernsey Airport in the Bailiwick of Guernsey has selected engineering firm Aecom for the execution of its new masterplan, which will focus on business priorities and investment over the next 15 years.

According to Aecom, the masterplan aims to enhance passenger experience while increasing non-aeronautical revenue.

The plan will help Guernsey Airport, which is owned and managed by Guernsey Ports, to maximise land and property values via new commercial opportunities.

It also includes improvements to the current terminal building to optimise airline operations and escalate commercial returns.

To be delivered in two phases, the masterplan also covers areas such as the future of air navigation services, and the provision of cargo and fuel infrastructure.

Aecom will execute phase one, which includes the production of the draft masterplan, by the end of this year.

The final masterplan is expected to be drafted by the end of next year.

Aecom will collaborate with numerous sub-consultants for the project’s implementation, including Egis, York Aviation, Strategic Property and Planning and more.


Teesside Airport to feature new Covid-19 sanitiser technology

Teesside International Airport in the UK is set to feature a new Covid-19 sanitiser technology at its terminal.

Developed by The Aircon Group, the new water-based, pH-neutral sanitiser called AirSafe is claimed to kill 99.9% of bacteria, as well as envelope and neutralise viruses, including coronavirus, in one minute.

In the past 18 months, the company conducted 2,500 tests to ensure that its AirSafe technology is effective.

Aircon said that the new technology has been designed to sanitise the air that passes through the air-conditioning system, thereby keeping the passengers and staff at the airport safe.

The new technology will be installed at the terminal’s air conditioning system after it is thoroughly cleaned.

Once installed, AirSafe can work for six months.

Teesside International and Aircon Group have been working together for nearly three decades.

The latest partnership comes after the company received an $18,122 (£13,255) grant through Tees Valley Business Growth Fund that was established by Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

In brief

SFO completes runway renovation project

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the US has reopened its longest runway, 28 Right, after the completion of renovation works. This latest repaving is expected to last for at least a decade.

New concourse opens at HNL

The Mauka Concourse at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu, Hawaii has officially opened.

Built with an investment of $270m, the new concourse extension will add 230,000ft² of additional space to the existing 600,000ft² of Terminal 1.

Nigerian Government announces $40.3m for aviation projects

The Nigerian Government has reportedly approved $40.3m for four aviation projects in the country, including the construction of Wachakal Airport in the state of Yobe.

India extends ban on overseas flights till 30 September

The Government of India has extended the ban on scheduled international commercial passenger flights until 30 September 2021.

GMR wins privatisation case to operate India’s Nagpur Airport

GMR Airports has reportedly won the rights to operate Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur, India.

This comes after the Bombay High Court issued a ruling in favour of the GMR in a legal dispute against the Mihan India joint venture.


London Luton Airport gets new flight training centre

The Avion Group has opened its new flight training centre at London Luton Airport in the UK.

The facility is located close to the airport terminal.

Under a long-term agreement with Wizz Air and IAGO Flight Training, the facility will train Wizz Air’s Luton-based pilots and those at other European bases.

The pilots will receive training in the full-motion simulator, which has been approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

The simulator is said to feature ‘industry-leading’ training scenarios and has been developed by Avion.


China’s TAO officially opens

Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport (TAO) has officially opened in east China’s Shandong Province.

Xinhuanet reported that the new airport has been built to handle large aircrafts such as the Airbus A380 and is ranked as 4F.

The completed first phase of the airport encompasses 16.25km², entailing an investment of $5.5bn.

The airport will have the capacity to annually manage 35 million passengers, cargo of 500,000 tonnes and 300,000 aircraft take-offs and landings by 2025.

It will reportedly provide connectivity to nearly 130 domestic destinations across the country, including major cities.

Qingdao Jiaodong International Airport will also link the Qingdao region to 50 international destinations, including 17 in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Additionally, the airport is serviced by metro and high-speed rail services.

With the new airport commencing operations, authorities have reportedly shut Qingdao Liuting International Airport.