Found in translation
Entrepôts for global transportation, airports are some of the most multilingual sites one will ever encounter. Even so, the provision for translating inquiries from travellers to staff remains limited at best. As machine translation continues to mature, however, more airports are embracing the technology as a means of setting the minds of even the most linguistically deficient passengers at ease. Greg Noone talks to Roel Huinink and Steve Tukavkin, chief executive and vice-president for IT and digital, respectively, at airport operator JFKIAT, to learn about their experiences deploying the latest methods of breaking down the language barrier.
Down to earth
Organising the dozens of aircraft coming in to land is hard work at any single-runway airport. At Gatwick, however, air traffic controllers are adapting by working with partners further afield to slow down incoming aircraft and keep the system moving. Andrea Valentino talks to Adrian Clark, an advanced concepts manager in airspace and future operations at NATS, about how Gatwick’s new XMAN system is boosting the efficiency of its single-runway operation.
Run on renewables
Buses are vital in a smoothly run airport, ferrying passengers and employees alike. Unfortunately, most models chug along on diesel or petrol – but a new law for hubs on the US west coast may change that. Andrea Valentino chats with Michael Christensen, deputy executive director of operations and maintenance at Los Angeles World Airports, as well as Seth Morgan, Erin Cooke and Nupur Sinha of San Francisco International, to learn why California is taking the lead in bus electrification.
A star is born
Covering more than 7.5 million square feet and capable of hosting up to 72 million travellers annually, Beijing’s Daxing International is the largest single-structure airport on the planet. Will Moffitt talks to Cristiano Ceccato, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects, about the challenges of building such a large, intricate structure while living up to the design ethos of the practice’s namesake.
A reflection of its community
From religion to dance and music, the Brazilian state of Bahia is home to a uniquely vibrant culture. As of October 2019, it now has a newly renovated airport, Salvador Bahia, with a design that truly mirrors the region it serves, as its chief technical officer, Yann Le Bihan, tells Ross Davies.