INDUSTRY NEWS – GROWTH AND INNOVATION
American Samoa mission for Woolpert
Woolpert is to evaluate and rehabilitate the primary runway at Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) and rehabilitate, reconstruct and possibly extend the runway at Ofu Airport (Z08) in American Samoa.
American Samoa, a territory of the United States, is comprised of a group of seven islands in the South Central Pacific Ocean and has a population of roughly 55,000. Located on the island of Tutuil, PPG’s primary 10,000ft long runway is partially built on a fringing reef and provides the remote island’s international air connectivity to the world.
Under the terms of the contract signed with America Samoa Government’s Department of Administration, Woolpert will study the pavement infrastructure, perform a condition evaluation, and make recommendations on methods of improvements, materials and phasing of the project, while minimising disruption to airport operations.
Ofu Airport, located 70 miles east of PPG, currently has a 2,000-foot runway that handles a weekly flight bringing food and supplies to the 500 strong population of Ofu and Olodega islands.
Woolpert’s project manager, Curtis Brown, says that the runway is aging and requires reconstruction and possible extension for safety and increased aeronautical services.
“The Ofu runway extension project would extend the runway into the ocean and fringing reef,” he says. “The project has significant environmental considerations, since it would affect a protected coral reef, which is home to the endangered blue coral.
“We will work with numerous environmental groups, the American Samoa Government, and local entities to ensure the wildlife habitat and beauty of that site is protected.”
Woolpert’s practice leader, Chris Snyder, believes that the firm’s extensive and varied experience with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and teaming with a local company made Woolpert a good fit for the projects.
Snyder is also quick to point out that he realises how important the runways are to the people of American Samoa.
“It was a very special experience to witness the way aviation connects people in American Samoa,” reveals Snyder. “When I was in Hawaii and flying to Pago Pago for the first time, all 300 of us were very eager to get on that plane. They were so excited about going home.
“Then, when they got there, it felt like everyone on the island was there to meet them around midnight with smiles, laughs and wonderful greetings. It was a celebration and not just a welcoming home. I’ve been to a lot of places and not quite seen this before.
“This critical need for the airport support affects how we will manage the runway rehabilitation schedule and helps us see the importance of ensuring stability of the infrastructure for years to come.”
Kempegowda’s digital transformation
Siemens Postal, Parcel & Logistics (SPPAL) has signed an MoU with the operator of Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport to help drive the Indian gateway’s “digital transformation”.
The declaration of intent with Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) envisages co-operation in a number of areas, including the digitalisation of existing infrastructure through the use of Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The solutions rest on MindSphere, the open cloud-based IoT operating system from Siemens, which will work with BIAL in the simplification of its processes, increase efficiency and continue to improve the customer experience.
Bengaluru-Kempegowda (BLR) is the third busiest airport in India, having handled over 25 million passengers in 2017.
“In developing digital solutions, Siemens increasingly relies on agile, collaborative working relationships with customers and partners,” said Michael Reichle, CEO of SSPAL. “We’ve been co-operating closely with BIAL for several years. I’m looking forward to partnering to further develop digital services.”
While BIAL’s managing director and CEO, Hari Marar, said: “BLR is a pioneer and leader of change in the Indian aviation industry. Our aim is to introduce more digitally advanced, innovative services and products at Kempegowda to ensure that passengers and partners have the advantage of future forward technologies, in a seamless operating environment.”
ICM enters the Chinese market
Shanghai Hongqiao has become the first airport in China to adopt ICM’s auto bag drop solution, the gateway unveiling 18 of its Series 7 Auto Bag Drop (ABD) units in Terminal in mid-October.
The units, for Spring Airlines, are part of a larger renewal project for Building B in Terminal 1, which began renovations earlier this year.
According to ICM, the units deliver “exceptional benefits to both airports and airlines, and present passengers with a much simpler and faster process for checking-in their bags”.
The Hongqiao order caps a busy 12 months for ICM which has implemented successful ABD installations at a number of airports across the world, including London Heathrow, Sydney, Paris CDG, Singapore Changi and Marseille Provence.
“We’re incredibly proud to see ICM’s world leading self-service bag drop technology in China, one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” enthuses ICM Group’s CEO, Richard Dinkelmann.
“Hongqiao is a breakthrough order for ICM, not only because it’s our first in China, but also our first with a Chinese carrier, Spring Airlines. We look forward to rolling out many more systems throughout mainland China in the future.”
Dinkelmann believes that a number of Chinese passengers will already be familiar with the Series 7 ABD system if they have flown from Singapore Changi or with Qantas from Sydney International Airport.
Location: New Delhi, India
Contact: Romy Juneja, managing director
Mindflow Partners is an international consulting and execution company, specialising in the commercialisation of airports, railways and public transport stations. We partner with our clients, both private and government, to identify their commercial opportunities and address their most critical challenges. Our services include commercial development – retail, food, parking, advertising, and other consumer services; performance and talent management; training and development of operational teams; commercial transformation and transaction advisory; research and commercial due diligence.
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Contact: Sulaiman Zainul Abidin, chief operating officer
Global consultancy firm, Aeroscape, specialises in regulatory compliance, technical advisory, management services, industry analysis as well as training in the business of aviation. In our core business, we offer a wide range of services focusing on the aviation industry, with technical airport specialists in the fields of security, safety, terminal management, operational readiness, commercial development, route development and airline marketing. Our aviation solutions include customer service and passenger facilitation management.