FUTURE AIRPORT SUMMER 2023 *
The Big Interview
As the industry continues its post-Covid recovery, we speak with Jonathan Pollard, CCO, Gatwick Airport, to learn about how Gatwick weathered the storm and its hopes for the future, how he hopes to avoid issues like staffing shortages that plagued airports last summer, and whether or not we’re likely to see passenger capacity limits implemented in 2023.
Design & Construction
Portland International Airport in Oregon, US, will see its 17,500-square-foot new main terminal open in 2025 as the centerpiece of a $1.5bn project. At the heart of its design is the terminal’s vast timber roof, which will reflect the region’s natural landscapes and be constructed from sustainably sourced regional wood. We hear from Vince Granato, Port of Portland chief projects officer, and Sharron van der Meulen, ZGF partner and lead interior designer for the project, to learn more.
The European airline industry was put on high alert after the French government received approval from Brussels to enact a partial ban on short-haul flights in December 2022, with fears that the ban could set a precedent for wider limitations on short-haul flying. We talk to Willie Walsh, director general, IATA, and Tim Alderslade, CEO, Airlines UK, about the environmental arguments for such a ban, whether or not the ban would actually be effective, and if other EU countries and the UK are likely to follow suit.
Finavia’s ‘Towards sustainable air travel’ programme aims for all of its airports to be net zero by 2025, having already reached carbon neutral status since 2019 – using 100% wind and solar energy for all of its airports’ electricity needs. We speak to Mikko Viinikainen, Finavia’s Vice President, Sustainability & Environment, to learn more about this new programme, and the technological and financial challenges airports face when reducing their carbon emissions.
Air Traffic Management
On 11 January 2023, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered all US flight departures to be halted due to a technical issue with its Notices to Air Mission (NOTAM) system. This event, which led to over 10,000 flights delayed and more than 1,300 cancelled, was the first national grounding of flights in about two decades. We speak to Bradley Mims, Deputy Administrator, FAA, and Eric Blinderman, a spokesperson for aviation lobby group Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, to learn more about how this event occurred, and how the FAA’s struggles to modernise its air traffic operations contributed to it.
In December 2022, the UK government set a June 2024 deadline for airports to install the latest CT scanner technology into their security operations, which will provide security personnel with a 3D view of passenger’s luggage – far superior to the x-ray imagery used previously. This upgrade will allow passengers to leave liquids and large electrical items in their bags as they go through security. We speak to Ian Cowie, Director of Terminal Operations, London City Airport, and Phil Forster, Teesside Airport Managing Director, to learn about the upgrade process, the challenges involved, and what benefits this change will offer both airports and passengers.
In December 2022, the IATA released a new report ‘IATA Ground Damage Report: The Case for Enhanced Ground Support Equipment’, calling for a transition to enhance ground support equipment (GSE) to improve safety and contain the cost of ground damage involving GSE. The study also estimates that the annual cost of ground damage could double to nearly $10bn by 2035 if preventative action isn’t taken. We speak with Nick Careen, Senior Vice President of Operations, Safety and Security, IATA, to learn more.
* proposed content and therefore subject to change.