HIA ranked ‘2nd Best’ international airport in the world

Hamad International Airport (HIA) was ranked second in the ‘Top 10 international airports’

in the ‘Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017’ readers’ survey.
The magazine’s ‘World’s Best’ awards recognise the greatest airports, islands, cities, hotels, and cruise lines as voted by its 4.8mn readers and has been on-going annually for 22 years. HIA comes a close second to winner, Singapore’s Changi Airport.
With the runner-up position, HIA takes the lead in the global race of best international airports, along with South Korea’s Incheon International, Hong Kong International, Zurich Airport Switzerland and Haneda, Tokyo International Airport.
Competing airports were ranked according to their ease of access, security, variety of food and beverages options, shopping experience and design.
HIA ranked very high on all criteria and scooped the 2nd place based on its unique vitality well-being and fitness centre as well as its world-class sculptural art curated in partnership with Qatar Museums.
On the ranking, Hamad International Airport chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said, “HIA is a young and ambitious airport. We are extremely proud of what we have achieved in a short period of time with a dedicated team and supportive partners.
“We value our passengers’ trust and recognition of our continuous effort to provide them with the best travel experience and our endeavour to remain among the leading airports in the world. The votes we received from the Travel+Leisure magazine’s readers are a testament to HIA’s commitment to providing five-star services.”
HIA is investing in new technologies in order to deliver on its ‘Smart Airport’ vision. Looking ahead, HIA said “it will soon start trials to evaluate the effectiveness of robots for passenger facilitation; block-chain technology for rapid and secure sharing of data across stakeholders; and the potential use of augmented and virtual reality for operational concepts.”
Arts and culture are a high priority for the airport and one of the “most appreciated feature” by passengers, as demonstrated by the readers’ survey.
The airport houses work by international artists such as Dia Azzawi, Ahmed al-Bahrani, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Tom Otterness, Anselm Reyle and Bill Viola.
HIA, in partnership with Qatar Museums, is planning to unveil additional art pieces in the coming months.
HIA is striving to offer passengers a “seamless, hassle-free” journey with five-star services. With “cutting-edge” technology, a strong cultural programme combined with the best hospitality and retail offering, HIA is turning into an innovative and immersive visual and sensorial experience, positioning the airport as a ‘destination on its own’.
HIA has been recently classified as a five-star airport by Skytrax, making it one among only five other airports in the world to achieve this prestigious status. Earlier this year, it was ranked Sixth Best Airport in the World by the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards, moving up four places from 2016.
HIA has also won the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ title for three years in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for two years in a row.

source : https://tinyurl.com/y7y9dujw



Apple adds more indoor airport maps including Chicago and Las Vegas

Apple Maps on iOS 11 now features indoor maps for a few more airports around the United States.

Ars Technica reports that Apple has very recently added interior layouts for a handful of locations including Chicago’s O’Hare International and Midway International, plus Las Vegas’s McCarran International airport. Baltimore–Washington International, Miami International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Oakland International, and Portland International are also now available if you’re running iOS 11.

Indoor maps were announced as a new iOS 11 feature at WWDC 2017. Apple wants to give users a detailed look at shopping malls and airports around the world so that it’s easier to find food and other pre-flight areas of interest near your gate.

Philadelphia International and San Jose International were the first two airports with indoor maps, and Apple still has a fairly lengthy list to check off to make good on what it promised at WWDC. Airports due to be added to Apple Maps on iOS include: Amsterdam (AMS), Berlin (TXL, SXF), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Doha (DOH), Dubai (DXB), Geneva (GVA), Hong Kong (HKG), Houston (HOU, IAH), Indianapolis (IND), Jacksonville (JAX), London (LHR, LGW), Los Angeles (LAX, SNA), Nashville (BNA), New York (JFK, LGA), Newark (EWR), Pittsburgh (PIT), San Diego (SAN), Seattle (SEA), Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR).

source: https://tinyurl.com/yadqqykf



Global Commercial Airport Lighting Market 2017-2021

About Commercial Airport Lighting
Commercial airport lighting involves the installation of lighting fixtures in airports to facilitate the flying of airlines at night and in low-light conditions as well as to enhance the aesthetics of the airport. Commercial airport lighting is extremely important for the operation of airlines at night for functions such as the demarcation of the runway and for the indication of turns and the taxiway. Airports use several types of lighting systems to support commercial aircraft operations.
The analysts forecast the global commercial airport lighting market to grow at a CAGR of 7.27% during the period 2017-2021.

Covered in this report
The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global commercial airport lighting market for 2017-2021. To calculate the market size, the report considers the sales of traditional lighting and LED lighting to airport construction contractors. It also considers the revenue generated through the sales of lighting solutions in the replacement market.

read more if interested : https://tinyurl.com/yagut7xj



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“Data Is the New Oil”: Will Google, Facebook and Amazon Separate Airlines From Their Clients?

Bobby Healy

Bobby Healy, chief technology officer at CarTrawler. Image: Marisa Garcia

APEX Insight: During last week’s ACTE-CAPA Global Summit, CarTrawler CTO Bobby Healy cautioned that Google may ultimately control the relationship between airlines and their customers. Airline representatives in attendance had mixed views on whether technology companies present a threat or an opportunity.

During last week’s ACTE-CAPA Global Summit in London, Bobby Healy, chief technology officer at CarTrawler, spoke about the threat that Google poses to the travel industry. By monopolizing travel search and transactions, the tech giant may ultimately control the relationship between airlines and their customers. This, Healy says, is the natural extension of Google’s global reach, which is fueled by one of the most precious resources companies have today: data.

“It’s not a cliche to say that data is the new oil – it’s absolutely true,” Healy said. He detailed what he called the “virtuous cycle” of data mining that drives the rapid growth of today’s technology giants.

“It’s not a cliche to say that data is the new oil – it’s absolutely true.”  – Bobby Healy, CarTrawler

“The more users there are, the more information Google collects. The more information you collect, the better your machine learning algorithms are. The better your algorithms are, the better the choices you make for customers and, therefore, the more customers you get,” explained Healy. “The data that is critical to all of this, from an airline perspective, is inventory and pricing. Right now, every airline in the world pretty much hands that data over to Google for free. Better still, they actually pay Google to take that data off them and sell it to their partners.”

Google’s engineering skills are giving the company an advantage over other players in the travel sector including review sites, like TripAdvisor; OTAs (online travel agencies), like Priceline and Expedia; metasearch sites, like Momondo and Skyscanner; and GDSs (global distribution systems), like Amadeus and Sabre. While the review sites are already starting to feel pressure from Google, Healy cautions that Google’s influence may stretch beyond these adjacent companies to stand directly between airlines and their customers.

“Google has a phenomenal engineering ability, better than the airlines have. It has deeper pockets than the airlines’ could ever possibly be. It has better customer access and better insight into your customer than an airline or an intermediary could ever possibly have,” said Healy. “That’s not because it has a better product. It’s because the airlines have given it data that enables it to put itself in front of the consumer, ahead of better products than Google has itself. Of course, with its amazing bunch of engineers, Google will ultimately catch up if not overtake its competitors.”

Airline representatives in attendance at ACTE-CAPA had mixed views on whether the capabilities of Google and other technology companies present a threat or an opportunity.

“We have to make sure we keep as much power as we have, to control distribution and price points.” – Anko van der Werff, Aeroméxico

Anko van der Werff, chief revenue officer, Aeroméxico, described the dynamic between airlines and technology giants Google and Amazon as “a power game.” That power is driven by the abundance of valuable data airlines have gathered, not only flight-related data, but also data frequent flyer and branded credit card programs. “We have to make sure we keep as much power as we have, to control distribution and price points. What if Google goes even more aggressively into the Google Flights application? What if Amazon becomes a PSS (passenger service system)? What if Amazon starts saying, ‘we’ll build your business for you’ and they start cross-selling and up-selling?” asked van der Werff.

Facebook could be among the technology companies which may veer closer to the travel space, offering transactional value. “When you Google, you’re actually just reacting; you want to fly to wherever [so you search],” said van der Werff. “Facebook, from a psychological point of view, would be able to influence your thinking; because your friends can say, ‘Hey how about flying to Paris?’ I think that’s very proactive.”

Van der Werff envisions Facebook creating a PSS that would encourage consumers to travel when they may not have originally planned to do so. He suggested that the technology giants already have a significant, perhaps insurmountable, advantage in this area. “Investing in data and controlling the data, then monetizing the data is what they’re very good at and they are going to do more of that,” he said. “What will we do with data? How do you monetize that data? The question is whether we will be the ones who can control that. When you see already that threat..would it be better to team up with them in some shape or form?”

“We need to be careful when we talk about data because we’re talking about people,” – Willie Walsh, IAG

IAG CEO Willie Walsh sees the matter of data very differently, shining a light on data privacy, which is too often overlooked, and the future of data regulation and ownership. “We need to be careful when we talk about data because we’re talking about people,” he said. “But data is very important, and how you use that data to improve the customer experience, make it better, make your business more appealing, is a great challenge. I worry sometimes, when I hear talk about data, that it’s completely impersonal, that we can just grab it all and exploit it. I personally don’t like that idea. I think this industry needs to be very careful with that.”

source : https://tinyurl.com/y9svjk9r


Beijing Gives an Early Peak at Its New Mega-Airport Due to Open in 2019

The $12 billion facility will be one of the world’s biggest when it opens in 2019.


(BEIJING) — China’s capital unveiled the “shining example” of its 80 billion yuan ($12.14 billion) new airport on Monday, tipped to become one of the world’s largest when it opens in October 2019 amid a massive infrastructure drive overseen by President Xi Jinping.

Representatives showed off the sprawling skeleton of “Beijing New Airport”, which is made up of 1.6 million cubic metres of concrete, 52,000 tonnes of steel and spans a total 47 sq km (18 sq miles), including runways.

It is expected to serve an initial 45 million passengers a year with an eventual capacity of 100 million, putting it on par with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Lined up together there’s roughly 5 km of gates,” said project spokesman Zhu Wenxin. “It’s a shining example of China’s national production capacity.”

Updates on the airport come as the ruling Communist Party is set to open its 19th congress later this week, a twice-a-decade leadership event where Xi will consolidate power and emphasise successful projects and policy from his first five years.

The project, which broke ground in 2014, is one of the region’s largest infrastructure investments under Xi’s rule, which has been plagued by fears of slowing economic growth, offset slightly by a construction spree.

China has sought to boost its profile as both an aviation hub and a manufacturer in recent years. The country’s first home-grown passenger jet, the C919, lifted off on its maiden flight in May, edging into a multibillion-dollar market currently dominated byBoeing Co (BA, -0.39%) and Airbus SE airbus-group-n-v .

Situated 67 km south of Beijing, the airport technically falls in neighbouring Hebei province, though it will eventually constitute its own development zone.

It will relieve pressure on Beijing’s existing international airport, to the northeast of Beijing and currently the world’s second largest by passenger volume, which opened a new terminal worth $3.6 billion in 2008 ahead of the Beijing Summer Olympics.

source : https://tinyurl.com/yaprpted



Changi Airport armed with $1.35b fund to export expertise

Changi Airports International has a 30 per cent stake in Airports of the South (Krasnodar region), Russia, which oversees four airports in the region, including Anapa International Airport (above).Changi Airports International

has a 30 per cent stake in Airports of the South (Krasnodar region), Russia, which oversees four airports in the region, including Anapa International Airport (above).PHOTO: CHANGI AIRPORTS INTERNATIONAL

Fund will help it to invest in expansion plans of airports and gain firm foothold in other markets.

Changi Airport has set up a more than US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) kitty – partly funded by external investors – to fuel ambitious plans to export its technical and operational expertise.
With airports around the world embarking on aggressive expansion and development plans, the fund will help Changi invest in this growth and establish a strong foothold in other markets, Changi Airport Group (CAG) chairman Liew Mun Leong told The Straits Times.
The potential is huge, he said. “We see a lot of airports that need not just funding, but expertise. It’s an infrastructure business that is very promising given the growth of the aviation industry.”

In the last decade, Changi’s foreign investment and consultancy arm, Changi Airports International (CAI), has snared many airport consultancy and development projects in growing aviation markets including China, India, Russia, Brazil, Latin America and the Middle East. From King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia to Italy’s Rome Fiumicino Airport to China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, CAI has left its mark on over 50 airports in more than 20 countries.

But the returns have not been significant, industry analysts said.

While revenue grew from $18.5 million in the 2012/2013 financial year to $41 million in the 2015/2016 financial year, high operating costs, including taxes, in an already capital-intensive industry, as well as foreign exchange losses, have put pressure on profits, which fell to just $6 million during the same period.

By comparison, CAG reported after-tax profits of more than $780 million in the same year.

But with the new fund, things should start to pick up for CAI, Mr Liew said. “Now that we have more (funds) we can do more,” he said, adding that before this, there were constraints on how funds should be spent. “The Government said ‘we give you money to build Changi Airport, why are you building in Saudi Arabia and Brazil?’ Now we have external funding,” Mr Liew added.
Besides Changi Airport, Malaysia Airports, Germany’s Fraport, Schiphol in the Netherlands and Turkey’s TAV are among the airports that are also keen to spread their wings overseas.
In an annual roundup, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said last week that total passenger traffic grew by 7 per cent last year compared with 2015.
The Asia-Pacific accounted for 35 per cent of the total market, growing 11.3 per cent year on year, while traffic in the Middle East was 9.1 per cent higher. Both are key target regions for CAI, which has a 75 per cent stake in King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia – its biggest investment to date.
On whether there are concerns that CAI’s efforts to help other airports build and operate better could eventually impact Changi’s competitiveness, Mr Liew said: “People ask me this and I tell them that it’s not a zero-sum game.”
Working with airports globally gives the Changi team a better understanding of industry dynamics and challenges, he said.
“We know (first-hand) what’s happening in Brazil, Abu Dhabi, China, India, because we are there, working with them. We see how they operate, how they are growing, the challenges they face,” Mr Liew said, adding that such experiences provide invaluable lessons for the Singapore team.
Such ventures also provide a good opportunity for Changi to work directly with airlines based in overseas markets to promote air links and services to and from Singapore, Mr Liew said.
“At the end of the day, if we can mobilise the competency and expertise of Changi Airport – the best airport in the world – we can make a lot of money,” he said.


source : https://tinyurl.com/yc57djg7



From open data to biometric processing

Sydney Airport’s new technology strategy starting to pay off

Australia’s busiest airport currently handles 42.5 million passengers and as traffic continues to grow, technology is playing an increasingly important role in ensuring that both the customer experience and operational efficiency improve at Sydney Airport.

A new technology strategy, which was devised following the appointment of Stuart Rattray as General Manager Technology in 2015, is at the centre of these efforts.

“We started our new technology strategy with a view to having the customer experience at the core, but we also recognised that there are other stakeholders involved in that customer experience and how we deliver value to our customers,” Rattray told FTE.

Like many others, Sydney Airport has been investing in self-service technologies such as kiosks and bag drops, but the approach to using open data is certainly a more distinctive element of its plans. As part of this “open data strategy”, as Rattray terms it, Sydney Airport has just become the first organisation outside of China to introduce the indoor Baidu Maps app to better help passengers navigate the airport’s terminals. Popular among Chinese consumers, the app provides intuitive navigation at various public venues across China. Now, Sydney Airport has been added to the list, adding value to those passengers flying to any of the 15 Chinese destinations served from Sydney.

“The thinking behind this is really recognising that we as an airport don’t have a direct channel to all of our customers,” Rattray explained.

“More than 42 million passengers go through our terminals every year. We have a lot of very, very useful information and data that our customers would love to get and we don’t always have a direct channel to them. So, we asked ‘how do we get that information to our customers through whichever channel they choose to use?’”

Sydney Airport recently became the first organisation outside of China to introduce the indoor Baidu Maps app.

Having worked with Google to add Sydney Airport to Google Indoor Maps, it quickly became apparent that the platform adds limited value to Chinese travellers, who instead tend to use Baidu Maps for navigation. Sally Fielke, General Manager Corporate Affairs at Sydney Airport, explained that integration with Baidu was part of a “very deliberate attempt to get information that’s useful to our customers through whichever channel they choose to use”.

“I would much rather have useful information in front of 80% of our customers on their journey (through third-party channels), than useful info through our own channel getting to only 10% of them,” Rattray added.

Real-time and relevant information

Next on the ‘to do’ list is to make it easy for Sydney Airport’s airline partners to add real-time queuing information to their own apps to help relieve anxiety among passengers who are waiting to clear check-in, bag drop, security or immigration. The airport already provides real-time waiting information on screens in the terminal and is now in the process of making that information easily accessible via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Sydney Airport uses a variety of platforms – ranging from e-directories to its mobile app – to ensure passengers have access to the information they need. Collaboration with partners will ensure that relevant information is also available through various third-party apps in the future. 

Bigger plans are also in place with regards to the open data strategy. Fielke revealed that Sydney Airport plans to leverage data to simplify the “couch to gate” experience, by providing travellers with relevant information throughout their journey, from planning to departure. “We need to look at where we can collaborate and that’s something we are actively doing,” she said.

There is a recognition that a more open approach to data can deliver big benefits on a B2B level, too. Development of a community app, perhaps similar to what has been implemented at Gatwick Airport, is being considered to help ensure that all 29,000 people who work on the airport precinct have access to relevant, real-time information that can help them realise efficiency and customer experience improvements.

End-to-end biometric processing

Stuart Rattray, GM Technology, pictured here speaking at FTE Asia EXPO shortly after joining Sydney Airport in 2015, revealed that the airport is working on an end-to-end biometric-enabled passenger processing trial.

Like many of the more forward-thinking airports around the world, Sydney Airport is also exploring how the existing passenger touch-points in the terminal can be optimised.

On this front, Rattray and Fielke revealed to FTE that end-to-end biometric-enabled passenger processing will be trialled from mid-2018. This aims to allow passengers departing on international flights to complete the check-in, bag drop, security, outbound immigration and boarding processes using facial recognition technology, instead of having to present their passport and boarding pass at every checkpoint.

Rattray explained that biometric-enabled passenger processing is an attractive proposition for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has the potential to both enhance security and create a more seamless customer experience. Secondly, it will allow for more efficient use of the existing terminal space and infrastructure. Thirdly, it can align the requirements of the airlines and the airport, who have a shared desire to improve the overall travel experience.

Rattray also revealed that more than one approach will likely be tested, with both onsite and offsite biometric enrolment to be considered as part of the trial. Fielke added: “It’ll probably happen in parts but one day there will be that joined up approach, end-to-end.”

It is this joined up approach that will play a crucial role in improving the customer experience and optimising efficiency at Sydney Airport in the coming months and years. From the open data strategy to the collaboration with airlines to explore end-to-end biometric processing, Rattray, Fielke and their colleagues are refreshingly willing to embrace collaboration to deliver benefits to the most important customers of all: the passengers.

credit source : https://tinyurl.com/y9yd7ujw