news updates between our biweekly newsletter editions
Maldives Offers Male international airport project to Chinese company
September 19, 2014
In what may be viewed as a setback to India's strategic clout in its neighbourhood, Maldives has offered the project to upgrade Male international airport to a Chinese firm during President Xi Jinping's visit, earlier contracted to Indian firm GMR but unilaterally terminated in 2012.
The contract to expand Male airport has been given to Beijing Urban Construction Group Company Limited, notwithstanding the fact that Maldives is yet to pay the GMR group damages after the international arbitration tribunal in Singapore ruled in favour of the GMR last June.
Construction Begins For Terminal 1 Modernization Project At LAX
September 19, 2014
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mike Bonin, airport director Gina Marie Lindsay and others were in attendance at the 10 a.m. ceremony where the $508 million remodel of the Southwest Airlines terminal is scheduled to begin. Terminal 1, which also houses Southwest’s subsidiary, AirTran Airways, was built in 1984 and has 15 gates.
The remodel includes a new 12-lane security screening checkpoint, 24 new dining and retail options, a fully automated checked-baggage inspection and sortation system, refurbished arrival/baggage claim area and new lounge-style seating areas at gates.
The remodel also features a reconfiguration of the street access to the terminal, which has experienced some of the worst traffic congestion at LAX, particularly during peak travel times.
The money for the project comes from airport fees, rather than through tax money from Los Angeles residents.
“(The money) actually comes from rates and fees that are charged here at the airport, to the airlines, as well as all the other businesses that operate here at the airport,” LA World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said. “No general tax dollars at all.”
2013 saw the completion of a multimillion dollar effort to renovate and modernize the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
Construction on Terminal 1 is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be phased to minimize inconvenience to customers, employees, and guests.
“The Terminal 1 improvement project will bring a better passenger experience and 1,500 construction jobs to LAX,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “As part of our $7 billion investment in LAX, we’re remodeling every terminal and creating 40,000 jobs. Because Los Angeles deserves a world-class airport.”
Southwest Airlines serves 25 cities from LAX and is the airport’s eighth busiest airline with 117 daily departures.The terminal will remain open during construction.
Indonesia's Kuala Namu Airport to be made aerotropolis
September 19, 2014
State-run airport operator PT Angkasa Pura (AP) II plans to develop North Sumatra’s Kuala Namu International Airport as an aerotropolis to integrate the airport with Belawan Port, Kuala Tanjung Port and Batubara regency, to help spur the province’s economic growth.
An aerotropolis is a new urban concept placing airports in the center with cities growing around them, connecting workers, suppliers, goods and executives.
“This concept will support the development of the national strategic areas of Medan, Binjai, Deli Serdang, Karo and Mebidangro, as well as the Sei Mangke Special Economic Zone and its surrounding industrial areas,” AP II corporate secretary Daryanto told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
He said the company was holding a discussion with officials from the North Sumatra provincial administration in Medan on Thursday in order to determine how to take the plan forward.
“The discussion is very important for both parties so that we can develop the aerotropolis concept. We believe the project is feasible because Kuala Namu still has a lot of room for future developments,”
The airport, which is located about 42 kilometers from the city’s old Polonia airport, is equipped with a 3,750-meter runway and 33 aprons that are able to accommodate wide-body aircraft, such as the Airbus 330, A380 and Boeing 747.
SITA solution for Bahrain airport ground handling
September 11, 2014
Bahrain Airport Services Company (BAS) has selected air transport IT specialist SITA to automate staff rostering and allocation at Bahrain International Airport under a new five-year contract.
SITA’s resource management system will help the ground handler achieve its objective by increasing the efficiency and productivity of its airport staff, the company said.
Salman Saleh Al-Mahmeed, acting chief executive officer, Bahrain Airport Services, said: “SITA has helped us completely transform and automate our ground handling process. We now have a powerful, real-time planning tool, which gives us the intelligence to schedule and dispatch our all our employees at the airport and make sure we have the right people, in the right place, at the right time in a constantly changing environment.”
SITA is providing BAS with a complete end-to-end solution that connects employees on the move and their mobile devices with back office systems. This ensures the ground handler can make decisions as needs change for more effective use of resources.
Fraport to modernise Slovenia Ljubljana Airport
September 11, 2014
German operator Fraport, which purchased a 75.5% stake in Slovenia's Ljubljana Airport last Friday, and intends to acquire the remaining 24.5%, has promised a long term investment in Slovenia’s busiest airport. Fraport CEO Stefan Schulte says the airport will be upgraded and modernised but stopped short of committing to building a new terminal in the near future. According to Mr. Schulte, Fraport is a long-term investor who is not looking for short-term benefits. The new owner intends to develop both passenger and cargo traffic at the airport. Mr. Schulte expects that Ljubljana Jože Pucnik Airport will continue to record growth in both segments. Fraport’s first task will be to provide an even better service to passengers and the German operator has committed itself to modernising the current passenger terminal. Mr. Schulte also expects the number of employees to grow at the airport as business expands.
However, projects for the construction of a new terminal and a new runway will depend on passenger growth and are not planned in the near future. Last year, the airport‘s minority shareholders, which are about to sell their stake to Fraport, rejected a government plan to build a new terminal at the airport. The CEO of Jože Pucnik Airport, Zmago Skobir, believes the acquisition on behalf of Fraport is a major milestone in the airport’s development. Mr. Skobir expects new airlines and routes to come following the deal. The Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH), which handled the sales process, says, "We have achieved the highest price possible and exceeded our original expectations. It is a case of good practice and time will show that the selected buyer is capable of ensuring optimal development of the airport".
Meanwhile, Fraport has ruled out any further acquisitions in the former Yugoslavia following comments made by the Serbian government that the German operator had expressed interest in Belgrade Airport. “The company has no plans of acquiring some of the other airp
Bucharest airport company interested in investing in future Brasov airport
September 11, 2014
The state-owned National Bucharest Airports Company, which runs the two airports in the capital city, is interested in investing to finish work at the Brasov international airport, and then run it, according to Bursa.
The future Brasov airport still needs EUR 42 million in investments, according to local authorities. The Brasov airport’s runway, which should be done in a couple of days, is the online one in Romania, apart from the ones in Bucharest, which can have Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 planes landing on it.
The Brasov – Ghimbav airport should serve a million passengers and will cover some 210 hectares. The local authorities are awaiting for an answer from the National Bucharest Airports Company on a potential joint-venture for the new airport.
Dubai relaunches “world’s largest” airport construction
September 10, 2014
Dubai has relaunched an ambitious project to develop its second airport, touted originally as the world's largest, to handle 120 million passengers a year, its airports chief said Monday, Sept 8, according to Agence France-Presse.
The plan aims to expand Al-Maktoum International airport within eight years to shift the growing operations of Emirates Airlines from Dubai International, Paul Griffiths told AFP.
"We have now launched the first phase, which is for a 120-million-passenger capacity required to enable the Emirates' hub to relocate," to Al-Maktoum International in Dubai World Central economic zone, he said.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has approved the $32-billion expansion project, with a timeframe of six to eight years to complete it.
This shows that the "strategic decision that was made some time ago of Dubai World Central being the airport for the future has been reaffirmed," the Dubai Airports chief said.
Al-Maktoum International airport was launched before the global financial crisis hit Dubai in 2009, with plans to build the world's largest airport, featuring a 160-million-passenger capacity and six runways.
The ambitious plan appeared to have been put on the back burner due to the crisis, and the airport instead opened operations for cargo only in 2010, while small passenger operations began in October 2013 after repeated delays.
The final plan features five runways each stretching 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), spaced wide apart in order to allow for simultaneous use.
The airport could ultimately expand to accommodate 200 million passengers annually.
The first phase includes two satellite buildings which could serve as many as 100 A380 superjumbo aircraft at any one time, Dubai Airports said.
"Work has got to start very quickly," Griffiths said, pointing out that a date for commencement is yet to be set.
Dubai International handled more than 66.4 million passengers in 2013.
WSP announces the intent to acquire Parsons Brinckerhoff!
September 3, 2014
WSP has announced the intent to acquire Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global professional services firm headquartered in New York, with nearly 13,500 employees in approximately 170 offices on five continents. The firm provides services for all modes of infrastructure, including transportation, power, energy, community development, water, mining and environment.
"We are pleased to be joining forces with a firm of Parsons Brinckerhoff’s long-standing reputation and know-how as we expect this transaction to create an industry leader, with the ability to deliver more expertise and services to our client base across the world,” said Pierre Shoiry, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP.
(more in the newsletter / issue #984 CON)