Airport News, March 2011.

A summary of Airport News from March of 2011.

1st Mar 2011

Changi plans new air cargo express hub

The Changi Airport Group (CAG) has announced plans to develop a new Air Cargo Express (ACE) Hub at Singapore’s Changi Airport – the first such facility in the region, according to the company.

The ACE Hub, which will be located within the airport’s Free Trade Zone, is scheduled for completion in the first half of next year. It will further strengthen Changi’s position as a key centre for air-express companies and provide them access to express cargo markets in South-East Asia, South Asia and Oceania, says CAG.

Some 80,000 square metres of land has been allocated for development of the ACE Hub, which will have direct airside access to allow unrestricted cargo flow to and from aircraft. The new facility is expected to have a gross floor area of 26,277 square metres.

CAG will invest more than S$25 million (US$19.5 million) to construct new airside infrastructure, including two new parking bays that will allow the operator access to freighter aircraft. A-REIT will build and develop the facility, which will be operated by a leading cargo carrier that already has major operations in Singapore, says CAG.

CAG adds that the ACE Hub will significantly enhance Changi’s express cargo handling capabilities and reinforce its leading position as a key freight hub in the Asia-Pacific region.

The move follows strong cargo growth at the airport, which has made Changi the world’s seventh-busiest airport in terms of international freight traffic for the 12 months ended September 2010. Air-freight movements for the first 11 months of 2010 were up 11.7 percent to 1.66 million tonnes.

Melbourne eyes new connections after record year

Australia’s Melbourne Airport enjoyed a record year in 2010, with 27.7 million passengers travelling through the airport – up 10 percent from a year earlier.

The increase in traffic comes as the airport prepares to welcome its 26th operator – Royal Brunei Airlines – and eyes potential new services to China, India and Turkey.

During the year, international traffic grew 14 percent to 5.9 million passengers, with particularly strong growth from the UK, Asia and New Zealand markets. The airport is expecting a similar traffic-growth rate this year, says Carl Jones, airline business manager.

Royal Brunei Airlines will start services at the end of March, while Air India will also add Melbourne services at a date yet to be determined. Air India in particular is a big win for the airport, says Jones, with Melbourne having a growing Indian community. Melbourne also has a large Turkish community, so it is keen to attract services operated by Turkish Airlines, although that carrier is also in talks with Sydney Airport.

Melbourne is under-served from some markets, concedes Jones, pointing to Japan, for example, with travellers currently having to go via Sydney. The airport is in continuing discussions with Japanese carriers and Qantas and Jetstar on potential services to that country.

There are also opportunities in South Africa – following V Australia’s decision to drop its Johannesburg services after allying with Etihad – and South America. Melbourne has an attractive operating environment (being curfew-free), with a single terminal precinct, high service quality and lower operating costs than Sydney and Brisbane, says Jones.

The airport is also investing A$1 billion (US$1 billion) over the next two years on expansion and upgrade work, having recently completed a A$330 million upgrade that included five new gates and aerobridges, expanded check-in and a new retail precinct.

News in Brief

SHELL AVIATION has expanded its operations to 12 airports across India. Shell MRPL Aviation Fuels and Services (SMA), a joint venture between Shell and Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals, is now providing fuel to operators at Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Calicut, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore and Mangalore airports, in addition to the hubs at Bangalore and Hyderabad – where the company has been providing service since 2008. The aviation industry in India is growing rapidly and Shell is keen to meet the demand for improved fuel-delivery in the country, the company says. Shell is now the only multinational oil company with a government license to market aviation fuels in India.

ARINC HAS deployed four new remote ground stations to enhance the coverage of its GLOBALink/VHF datalink network in South Korea. Two new ground stations have been deployed at Cheongju International  and Yeosu International airports. Two auxiliary ground stations have also been deployed to enhance existing coverage at Gimpo and Incheon International airports, both of which serve the capital, Seoul. The new ground stations will support faster and more reliable operational messaging.

SITA HAS launched operational trials of its new Aircom IP GateLink service for new-generation aircraft at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. GateLink uses the airport’s WiFi to connect into ground networks. The technology is already being used in trials at Sydney Airport and London Heathrow. The trials in Paris are being conducted in conjunction with Hub Telecom, Aeroports de Paris and a major international carrier that operates Airbus A380s. Meanwhile, SITA is in partnership with Bluelon, the inventor of Bluetooth-based tracking, to provide sophisticated real-time passenger tracking and queue management to airports.     


Asian Aviation at a glance