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The latest news from ACI’s Asia-Pacific and global World Business Partners.


Vanderlande has been chosen to supply the baggage handling system (BHS) for Australia’s planned new Western Sydney International Airport (WSIA).

The greenfield project is being completed in several phases and is expected to enter operational readiness and acceptance trials (ORAT) in late 2024 and open to international, domestic and freight services in late 2026.

Vanderlande states that it is delivering a range of innovative solutions to the airport as part of the BHS package. Based on unique shuttle technology, Vanderlande’s ADAPTO BAGSTORE will be the heart of the system, and provide flexibility and scalability, high storage density and 100% redundancy.

According to Vanderlande, it also gives WSIA the ability to “batch build” baggage, ensuring efficient use of resources, and to deploy the emerging service of “reclaim on demand” due to its ability to store inbound bags.

In addition, all Vanderlande solutions are integrated with its high-level controls platform, VIBES. This intelligent software solution covers the complete baggage process, and interfaces directly with airport and airline IT systems to provide a holistic view.

The Vanderlande system will also include out-of-gauge baggage handling utilising FLEET Bag AV-technology, speed loaders for efficient ULD loading, and a central make-up area for economic use of resources.

It will even link to a sub-system in which couriers will be able to drop off bags enabling WSIA to provide the option of remote check-in and bag drop services. The company will also integrate self-bag drop and state of the art in tub baggage screening into its system.

“As a strong local partner, we understand and share Western Sydney Airport’s vision,” says Vanderlande’s executive vice president for airport and parcel solutions and board member, Andrew Manship.

“We are committed to working transparently and collaboratively in order to deliver the highest levels
of passenger satisfaction through best-in-class baggage performance. This is not only about technology, but also understanding how our solutions can make WSIA a great place to work and support the wider Sydney community.”

The airport is the core project in the development of Sydney’s third Central Business District (CBD).


NACO, Netherlands Airport Consultants, is part of the international design team for the terminal building at India’s planned new Delhi Noida International Airport.

The company is supporting master architects Nordic-Haptic-Grimshaw on the project after the team’s design was chosen by the client, Zurich Airport, for “demonstrating a proficiency in balancing passenger comfort with sustainability, and timeless design with flexibility for future needs”.

This included incorporating flexible expansion options into the design so that the new airport can serve up to 30 million passengers per annum in the future. The winning design is said to merge “Swiss efficiency and Indian hospitality” to create a modern and seamless passenger experience that will “set new benchmarks in sustainability for airport terminal buildings in India”.

It also meets a number of other predefined objectives such as envisaging green spaces inside and around the building in line with the possible future creation of an airport city.

NACO regional manager, Joeri Aulman, says: “We are very happy to have contributed to winning the confidence of Zurich Airport through our involvement in the terminal competition design for Noida International Airport.

“Fully aligned with our focus on smart airports with customer experience and sustainability at its core, Noida International Airport will become a unique new gateway to the world city of Delhi and to the state of Uttar Pradesh”.

Once complete, Delhi Noida International Airport will serve the fast-developing industrial region between Delhi and Agra, and its investment will support the Indian government and Uttar Pradesh through infrastructure development and job creation.


The world’s airports are accelerating their investment in technology to aid the aviation industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by ACI World.

Based on the findings of a survey by IT provider SITA, airports have been agile in adapting to the changing health and safety requirements, focusing on automated and touchless solutions for both customers and staff.

The survey discovered that airports spent 5.46% of their revenue on IT in 2020, which represents about $3.5 billion in absolute spend, and that 55% of the responding airports estimate that their 2021 IT budgets will either stay the same or increase.

It also revealed that 87% of airports confirmed that programmes to address passenger health and safety protocols have either been implemented or are planned. These are said to include sensors, video monitoring and robots to automatically monitor passenger social distancing, temperature checks, sanitisation and other health criteria introduced in the battle against COVID-19.

Business intelligence tools, which can be linked to these technologies to help staff maintain a safe airport environment for all customers and staff, ranked third in the list of top investments.

David Lavorel, SITA’s CEO for airports and borders, noted: “In the face of a severe slowdown in 2020, the air transport industry was forced to focus on driving new cost efficiencies. Adding to the pressure, airlines and airports had to rapidly incorporate new health measures such as touchless passenger processing and the handling of new health information and protocols including PCR testing in many destinations.

“To solve these challenges the industry has turned to technology such as biometric technology (83% of airports), offering more mobile apps for passengers and staff, and focusing on remote and virtual IT services.”


Award winning airport hospitality provider, Plaza Premium Lounge, has taken a potentially game-changing move for the company by opening its first lounge at a railway station in China.

Opened in collaboration with the global digital travel services platform, DragonPass, the 700sqm lounge at Changsha South High-Speed Railway Station in China is expected to be in demand as up to 5.5 million passengers a month pass through the key connecting hub to cities like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Shanghai.

“Extending our global hospitality experience of over 20 years and award-winning lounge services beyond airports is a game-changing opportunity for us,” explains Song-Hoi-see, founder and CEO of Plaza Premium Group.

“The strategic partnership with DragonPass represents a milestone for us to explore a new territory in travel. High-speed rail traffic in China has skyrocketed in recent years and even more so post pandemic.

“Indeed, the high-speed railway is an alternative way of travel for many in China and we look forward to bringing our world-class hospitality across the region.”

DragonPass digitally distributes a wide range of premium travel services including lounge access, limousine transfer, fast-track access, meet and assist, dining, valet parking, baggage porterage and advanced medical services.

The companies say that the new collaboration is committed to enhancing the passenger experience at high-speed railway lounges from ambience, dining, entertainment to service quality.

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