Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Installs Drone Detection.
Panama City Beach, Fla. – Since drones are now a new threat to airline safety, a company called DeTect has expanded their technology and taken it to a new height. DeTect officials told us their past technology could detect bird’s interactions with planes. Much like that, their new technology can now detect drones.
“We have an Android cell phone device, so it can turn your phone into a mini drone detection system. We kind of crowd source in a mesh network all of those systems. And then we have the DroneWatcher RF (radio frequency) technology and that is on top of the control tower here at Panama City Beach and that picks up on the communication’s between the drone and the controller itself,” said Jesse Lewis, DeTect General Manager.
“Today, we have their drone detection system and we use that in partnership with them as a test bed so that we can see when there is drone activity around the airport. So, we can make sure we have and insure the safe arrival and departure coming to and from the airport,” said Parker McClellan, Executive Director of Northwest Florida International Airport.
DeTect says it gives them a vantage point that they didn’t have before being on the ground.
“We’re able to detect out much further range and then the bird radar and drone radar testing that we did or interference with the equipment,” said Lewis.
When fully implemented, the system technologies will provide a multi-layers drone detection and defense system.
“The tower gets audio and visual alert if a drone is in the air. We also set up a text message to get alerts to all of the security staff if there is a drone detected at the airport,” said Lewis.
Airport officials told us their partnership with detect is a major asset because of their number of safety products they bring to the table.
“The drone awareness because of the number of drones that are flying around today, we really again go back to that safety factor that we like to know when there’s drone in and around the approach and departure path for the aircraft,” said McClellan.
Detect officials and airport officials told us they’re main goal is the public’s safety.
The next phase they will install is the radar surveillance which they will start installing in May.
The airport hopes the new cloud-based planning platform will help staff predict the number of passengers using the security area at any given time, helping to ensure that the right number of staff are in place at peak times, avoiding delays.
A similar system has already been implemented at other European airports, including Dublin and Geneva.
The move follows an 18.5% jump in the number of passengers using Luton airport last year to 14.5 million and a major terminal upgrade.
Improvements to the security area are a key part of the £110 million transformation project, to allow the operations team to manage increased passenger numbers, according to the airport.
Operations director, Neil Thompson, said: “This new planning system marks another milestone in the current transformation of the airport.
“Passengers will benefit from a smoother journey through the security area thanks to this innovative system.”
The ‘Better Airport’ system is being supplied by software firm Copenhagen Optimisation.
Managing partner, Kasper Hounsgaard, said: “We are looking forward to making a real difference to London Luton airport’s operations, as well as improving the journeys of the many passengers who travel through every day.
“Being able to access all modules of Better Airport on laptops, tablets, and smart phones, will make the communication and tracking of airport operations more intuitive and hassle-free.”
Rethinking an airport’s relationship with technology | The Seamless Travel Series.
How is technology reshaping the way in which airports interact with their passengers and vice versa?
In an interview for International Airport Review, Sarah Wittlieb, Head of Innovation at Munich Airport, and speaker at Passenger Terminal Expo 2017, speaks to our Digital Editor, Roy Manuell about the ways in which technology aids, and also creates challenges, for modern day passenger experience.
Your speech here at Passenger Terminal Expo focused on ‘megatrends’. Could you provide our readers with an introduction to this topic?
It shouldn’t be a surprise to the aviation industry that it’s very important, crucial even, to deal with megatrends, especially as technology and customer needs evolve. Megatrends, while slow evolving, can influence aspects and processes within our lives, and the perceptions held by government and society, perhaps even for decades. To give fairly recent examples, many people have bought Apple watches or begun car sharing when making journeys. What I am going to present is how an airport can use those megatrends to identify what the main issues for the coming years will be and what an airport could do in order to be prepared for them.
I think that, typically, the new technological innovations that our passengers use don’t usually come from the aviation industry; they come from companies like Google, like Facebook, and also from the automotive sector, from mobility companies. However, we still need to identify what is likely to happen and how we could be prepared for that, in order to save the business model or create a new one.
So this is essentially a question of how your airport can adapt to the rapidly changing world of technology?
Yes, technologies, and also for changing customer needs. If you told everyone 15 years ago that today they would have an iPhone or smartphone they wouldn’t have believed you! You have to think about what is happening in the market and not only in the aviation industry, and also about what we, as an airport, do.
The megatrends – and also the microtrends – that we are looking for, are not only concerning aviation. We look at what is happening in different sectors all around the world. We are constantly scouting for likely or emerging trends.
Could you give a specific example of how one of these technologies is, or will, adopt itself towards that kind of technology?
I will give two examples; I guess many people are familiar with Google Street View. There are so many people who, before they book a vacation or trip, will go online and look how at where the hotels are and how they could get from A to B. They will see what’s around, where the nearest restaurants are, and get a feel for how the place looks and feels.
We know from research with our own customers that there are many people who would like to know more information about the terminals, before they arrive at the airport. Even, simply, how do I get from parking to the terminals?
So, in light of this, we are working with a start-up company, called Navvis. They developed a type of a camera wagon system which created 360 degree views of our airport. Our passengers can view this on our website homepage, on our app, or within different channels. The system benefits not only people who would like to prepare their route before beginning their journey, but also those who are already inside in the airport. Passengers can see how to get from A to B, which kind of restaurants you have, the retail and shopping facilities you offer, and we feel that it’s a very good reaction to finding an answer to this question.
Nonetheless, you always have to look at the security of the data, and that is why I’m so pleased we chose to work with a start-up company.
Another example is a project which is due to be online in two months’ time, called ‘Mobility as a Service’. We know that many of our passengers, many of whom are not originally from Munich, arrive at Munich Airport wanting to know how they will get from the airport to their final destination. Developed in cooperation with Siemens Mobility, ‘Mobility as a Service’ is an online service, whereby people get real-time information, showing the possible routes and means they have to get from A to B. It is not only for those who have used their own car and parked at the airport, it also provides information about trains, car sharing, taxis etc.
‘Mobility as a Service’ doesn’t just provide the same information that you can get already through other mediums. We have information that some others don’t; We know how long people have to wait to get through security checks, or how long they have to wait to collect their luggage, and this real-time information is included in our service.
It’s real-time information which means that if there’s a problem with, for instance, their intended train journey, passengers can directly see what they could do instead, and also ticketing as well.
That’s very exciting. Going back to the issues you mentioned regarding big data, and holding data, firstly what are the precise dangers?
We always strive to see things from the perspective of the customer. This is always at the forefront of our minds in any issue. And our customers, especially in Germany, generally dislike showing their data like they do, for example, in the US. So, naturally, we have to deal with this aspect, while always being mindful of what is and isn’t allowed. A large company who is, for example, known for selling that data to different companies, would not be of interest for us to work with, for that very reason. Yes we are an airport, but it’s no longer only a question of infrastructure.
In Europe especially security is at the forefront of people’s minds at the moment, how might this affect passenger experience? How do airports ensure a very high level of security without compromising passenger experience?
In my opinion, you always have to look at a passenger’s journey as a whole, not just at particular points. There may be some touchpoints where safety and security need to take priority, but I think that most passengers would appreciate this, and therefore not be expecting to get the best entertainment in that situation. I think that most of us are very happy if we experience a secure airport in which we feel comfortable. You should never only think about when the customer is at one place or point in the airport because for us it’s the question of the whole journey from when the customer starts to plan their trip or vacation to when they arrive home again.
Generally speaking, which new technologies in the aviation industry are you most excited about?
First of all, new mobility or connective mobility. I think it’s no longer a question of which kind of mobility provider will be the one who sells the product, for example, a car. I think in the future passengers will expect to only buy one ticket for their whole journey, across different transport modes, where first, for example, they take a car share to the airport, then fly to a different destination, arrive get out and take a train, or a bus, or a taxi. I don’t believe passengers will be willing to buy separate tickets for their transport. I think it should be one ticket and that means cooperation, so new mobility is very, very important for the future.
Another would be the best combination of online to offline, because I don’t think that online alone is the best solution. There are still moments when people love to see each other.
Of course not everybody is online, though the majority of us are. How do we connect with those who are not online, who don’t have a smartphone or internet devices?
Actually, I don’t think it’s a key question for airports, or for mobility, because research from speaking to our passengers has shown that on average every person has more than one smart device with them during their journey, for example a smartphone and/or a tablet.
What about the elderly passenger, who doesn’t have a tablet or a smartphone at all?
We did a workshop with what we call the ‘Silver Generation’. For us, the results were really surprising because whilst we had assumed that the majority of them didn’t use or have an iPhone or a tablet or device, most of them said that they do own one, but just that they weren’t willing to use it for all processes. So I guess it would still be a question of a good combination; You will always have some people to help those who need it at the airport. And it’s not just a question of age either, there will also be people with special needs, lost baggage, or incidences where our passengers will still prefer to talk to a person.
If you had to name the biggest threat to passenger experience, what would you say that is?
The biggest threat might be that people who are always online are not able to fully experience the situation where they are at that moment. If you look at the way people move, and it is not just in airports, even when people walk through cities for example, with a smartphone in their hand, they’re walking around and they’re not really feeling or engaging with what is happening around them. It’s a real challenge to catch them, and which channels to use.
Our own digital unit are really successfully looking at how we can reach these passengers at particular touchpoints, but it is a huge challenge. For example, if you look at passengers who are standing in the duty free shop, they can open their smartphones and look up the prices for the same products if they were to buy them online.
Imagine we’re having this conversation in one years’ time, what will have changed?
Actually, it is possible that there could be a main change in how an airport is used. At Munich Airport we carry out a lot of testing of new prototype products with like-minded companies who realise it is a question of cooperating and co-creating. Together with those companies as a partner, we develop new products which we test at the airport. Munich Airport creates a great test environment because there are so many people here every day who are interested in trying something new and seeing a product they have never seen before.
What sets Munich apart from other European Airports?
For me, Munich Airport is a perfect combination, it’s a really unique place because if you arrive at Munich Airport you instantly recognise where you are. You could not mistake us for any airport anywhere in the world, because we have the perfect combination of premium, 5 star luxury products, and the really good services that we offer, but in combination with what we call the ‘Gemütlichkeit’, people coming together and having fun together, and that’s very unique. We have many people who go to the airport just to experience that, just to go at the weekend, to do some shopping, see the people who are travelling from all around the world, sit together and share a conversation with them. For us, it is more than just an airport.
The Seamless Travel Series so far
The conversation is shifting. It is no longer a question of passenger experience. Air travel is now defined by ensuring seamless travel. In this new online series, International Airport Review will explore different perspectives from industry leaders such as SITA, Munich Airport, ACI World and many more to consider the ways in which the concept of seamless travel is now defining the changing world of air travel.
#PaxEx TV: Mobile, social, vocal passengers demand a better United.
This month on #PaxEx TV, we discuss why United Airlines has become a case study in how not to handle a crisis, and why passengers will demand a better United going forward . We also learn how cabin lighting can affect passenger perception, and we receive a Tasmania airline report from our correspondent down under, John Walton.
The global smart baggage handling solutions market to grow at a CAGR of 12.41% during the period 2017-2021.
The report, Global Smart Baggage Handling Solutions Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.
One trend in market is emergence of hyper-personalization of connected devices. Airport operators and airlines around the world endeavor to offer passengers a hassle-free, fast, and comfortable travel experience. With the growing passenger traffic and baggage volume, the rate of baggage mishandling is high, and this is one of the most common struggle points in the travel industry, especially for transfer passengers. To reduce passenger discomfort from baggage handling, airlines and airport operators are focusing on innovative technologies integrated with baggage handling.
The public organizations such as IATA are also putting their step forward to reduce aircraft delay, while providing effective travel experience to passengers. IATA has mandated a rule that by 2018, all airlines must be able to track each bag from the time of check-in to boarding onto the aircraft and throughout the journey. Thus, airlines are trending toward the implementation of IoT in baggage handling to reduce lost baggage incidents.
Forget the wheelchair: studio rotor’s ‘multimobby’ makes fun airport transport for reduced mobility passengers.
In creating the multimobby, studio rotor had one question in mind-how do you transport airport passengers with reduced mobility to their gate – in a safe, comfortable and efficient way? nowadays, many airports use golf carts. but as the name says, these vehicles aren’t designed with airports in mind. so, when dutch manufacturer special mobility asked studio rotor for an electric transport vehicle design that fitted with the specific needs of airports and passengers, studio rotor set out to make airport transport fun with the multimobby.
studio rotor has designed the vehicle with safety in mind. the driver seat is raised, to provide clear oversight of the surroundings. also, the high side doors ensure that passengers won’t put their arms outside. next to these physical barriers, the multimobby comes with a full sensor package to monitor obstacles and people outside the vehicle. even the speed is automatically reduced if necessary to prevent a collision.
Our annual user conference is always a highlight of the year for me – it’s fantastic to see a growing number of attendees from the air transportation industry and the feedback we receive directly from our user base is invaluable. This year will be even more memorable, as we’ll be unveiling our new brand: from today, AirIT becomes Amadeus Airport IT.
Following the acquisition in April 2015, and after great collaboration over the past two years, the time is now right to unify AirIT under the Amadeus brand. We share a common vision for the airport industry, and move forward as one unique team of approximately 400 airport and ground handling IT experts.
With our combined expertise and solution set, Amadeus is able to cover all needs for airport operations and we’re excited about the current opportunities we have in this landscape. Currently, our solutions for airport operations are used by 30 airlines, 110 airport operators and 100 ground handlers across the world – our experts are truly global with 9 offices in United States, Spain, France, Germany, UK, Dubai, India, Singapore and Australia.
Reflecting on some of the highlights of late last year and early this year, 2 US airports selected our solutions: Tampa International Airport looked to us to deliver the technology required for their terminal modernization to dramatically transform facilities and improve operational efficiency, increase capacity, and enhance the passenger experience; most recently, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport announced a partnership with us to upgrade its terminal IT with our technology.
Stay tuned for more updates on our product portfolio for our North American customers and prospects.
Traveling can be overwhelming for just about everyone. Air travel can particularly be a little chaotic — and it all starts in the airport. Between the lines, the sounds, and the waiting around, airports might likely be one of the least calming places on earth. Traveling with children, especially those with developmental challenges, can make this particularly stressful — but thanks in part to some airports, it no longer has to be. According to ABC News, airports are opening quiet rooms for kids with autism and others with neurodevelopmental challenges and it is awesome, for anxious parents and their children, everywhere.
Shannon Airport, located in southwest Ireland is the most recent airport to open up one of these rooms for children and adults who need a soothing place of refuge. The room opened in time for World Autism Day, which occurred earlier in April. The room is designed to be relaxing, according to ABC News, and features things like a “wavy wall” and color changing lights. In part of the effort to be more accommodating to those with autism, the Shannon Airport also has caps and wristbands available to travelers with autism and special needs — allowing them to be immediately identified by airport staff and get assistance if they need any. This is absolutely awesome.
But parents don’t have to travel to Ireland just to experience this type of room. In fact, according to ABC News, there are two airports in the United States — in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia — with these types of rooms for people with autism.
At the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, people with developmental disabilities can take a break in a soothing, soft blue colored room “designed to meet the sensory needs” of those with autism, according to WABE 90.1. This room is incredibly helpful for both children and adults with autism or those traveling with them — especially since the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was host to more than 7 million travelers in the month of January and is ranked as one of the busiest airports in the world. In Myrtle Beach, a small quiet room in baggage claim features a “haven” of pillows and cushioned cubicles for those who need some quiet time after the chaos of their flight.
While these quiet rooms are an amazing addition to airports, it’s hard to believe that only two airports in the United States have them. Especially since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children in the United States have been identified with autism spectrum disorder.
It’s absolutely awesome that airports are opening up these rooms for travelers with autism — and more airports need to follow suit.