Airports in the news: Autumn 2020

A snapshot of stories from around Europe. Compiled by Agata Lyznik

Torino Airport

This October, Torino Airport opened the COVID-19 Test Point at its premises, available on a voluntary basis to all passengers arriving or departing from Turin. The testing initiative is the first in Italy to combine serological test and, in case of positive outcome, molecular swab. Its aim is to contain the risk of spreading the virus through air travel and allow travellers to reach their family, friends and business contacts in maximum safety. The structure, created in collaboration with local health authority ASL Città di Torino and the private company Air Medical, provides passengers travelling to and from Torino Airport with a reliable serological test result within 10 minutes’ time. The Test Point is located in Check-In Hall D at the Departures Level of Torino Airport.

Zürich Airport

On 5 November 2020, Zürich Airport opened its brand-new lifestyle and business district, The Circle. The complex houses shops and restaurants, headquarters of international companies and premises for medical services for a “complete urban centre” with global connections via the airport. The Circle complex includes a unique selection of retail shops (including a new Dufry duty-paid concept), restaurants, a Convention Centre with capacity for up to 2,500 guests, and accommodation offered by two Hyatt hotels. Other services such as coworking spaces, a gym and a crèche will round out the wide range from 2021. The Circle and adjacent park are directly linked to the airport terminals and the range of services at the complex complements the existing offering at Zurich Airport.

Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is planning a major facelift for Terminal 1 under plans that have been lodged with Fingal County Council. As per the plans, the core façade and the roof of the terminal are to be replaced with a new modern, energy-efficient structure. The planned works to the façade follow a major upgrade to both the Departures and Arrivals areas of Terminal 1 in recent years. New floors and lighting were installed, and both areas were reconfigured to introduce more natural light to the building. The upgrade project has been part of the long-term plans for Dublin Airport for several years. But as yet, no specific date has been set for these upgrade works to take place. The planned changes to Terminal 1 will generate a significant improvement in its energy efficiency, as it will move the upgraded elements of building from their current BER rating of F to B3.

Stockholm Skavsta Airport

Stockholm Skavsta Airport will commission a solar energy plant in the summer of 2021. Once operational, this will be the first large solar plant at a Swedish airport. Operated by VINCI Airports since 2018, Stockholm Skavsta is thus entering the first stage of its environmental transition in line with the group’s global ambition pursued since 2015 to develop sustainable airport infrastructures, in particular by acting to reduce their carbon footprint, protect natural environments and resources and recover waste. The solar energy plant will provide CO2 neutral power to the airport operations, but there will also be an opportunity to resell the surplus green energy in partnership with the local municipality.

Riga Airport

Riga Airport has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Latvian national airline airBaltic, the Latvian Ministry of the Interior, and non-governmental organisations, to actively cooperate in the prevention of human trafficking. The development of the aviation sector memorandum was initiated by Riga Airport, which has already been involved in various activities to prevent this global crime. The purpose of the memorandum is to promote the prevention of trafficking of human beings and to strengthen cooperation between aviation companies, state institutions and non-governmental organisations in identifying and referring victims for the provision of support, assistance and protection. Within the framework of the memorandum of cooperation, industry players, responsible state institutions and the non-governmental sector undertake to cooperate on a voluntary basis, outlining the boundaries, scope and basic principles of cooperation. The memorandum was signed on 19 October, the day after European Anti–Trafficking Day on 18 October.

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport was labelled “Airport-CDM” by EUROCONTROL on 11 September 2020, and will be integrated into the Network Manager on 30 September 2020 as the other 28 major European airports that form part of the project. The Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) concept developed by EUROCONTROL is supported by collaborative processes, shared data in real-time and common tools. With CDM, operational actors with different cultures and different needs share important milestones, improve situational awareness, using a common language to take coordinated decisions rapidly, equitably and transparently. CDM@NCE will bring operational benefits in nominal situations, as well as peak traffic and adverse conditions: the resilience of operations at Nice Airport and on the whole European network will be improved, particularly when strong wind, storms and rain can happen. This ambitious project was co-financed at European level.

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport has donated more than 200 security trays to airports in Africa to help staff train for security inspections. The airport has replaced the trays with new antimicrobial ones. The trays were taken out of use at Edinburgh Airport earlier in 2020 and will be reused in airports throughout the African continent, rather than being destroyed, as the airport continues to improve its sustainability approach. Many of the airports in Africa currently use improvised trays, which can be unhygienic and take longer to process. The donation will greatly impact on the operation of these airports and will help the process of security screening run more efficiently. The trays are in the process of being cleaned and distributed to Africa by The Westminster Group PLC, a firm that the airport partnered with after using the Circular Edinburgh programme, which encourages companies to reuse and redistribute items where possible.

Hermes Airports

Hermes Airports has proceeded with the installation of the Tagomat® and Bagomat kiosks at Larnaka and Pafos airports. The Cypriot airport operator further upgrades the passenger experience with this new equipment, which is completely in line with the current travel standards and simplifies the self-tagging and baggage drop off process. Thanks to this new initiative, passengers travelling from Larnaka and Pafos airports have the option to print their luggage tags on their own by using one of the Tagomat® kiosks, or one of the new self check-in kiosks in less than 10 seconds. Passengers can then proceed to the self tagging baggage drop off counter to drop off their luggage and continue their journey hassle-free.

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