Abu Dhabi Airports launches the region’s first PCR testing laboratory located within an Airport

Abu Dhabi Airports, in partnership with Pure Health and Tamouh Healthcare, has launched the region’s first PCR testing laboratory within an airport. The new state of the art RT-PCR lab offers fast COVID-19 testing within the Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to facilitate the resumption of air travel and assist with quarantine tracking procedures.

Designed to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of travellers and staff at Abu Dhabi International Airport, the new Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing process is free for arriving passengers and is one of the fastest in the world, with results available in approximately 90 minutes and the capacity to test more than 20,000 travellers and staff per day.

The establishment of the PCR testing laboratory falls in line with the directives and vision of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, to contain the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to deliver a smooth and seamless travel experience at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Through partnering with Pure Health and Tamouh Healthcare, Abu Dhabi International Airport is now able to offer travellers state-of-the-art rapid testing services delivered by a dedicated laboratory facility. The introduction of the RT-PCR COVID-19 testing is a milestone achievement in our ongoing efforts to facilitate the safe resumption of international air travel and support the recovery of the aviation industry.”

“The fact that this is the first airport in the region to contain its own dedicated PCR testing laboratory is testament to our commitment at Abu Dhabi Airports to continuously innovate and look for new ways to deliver a safe, smooth and seamless travel experience for all our passengers. The new fast testing facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, developed in partnership with many of our stakeholders, will not only enable passengers to confidently travel to Abu Dhabi, but significantly enhance the efficiency of our operations while supporting global efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19,” added Al Hashmi.

All passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi International Airport through both terminals 1 and 3 will be tested at the AUH PCR testing facility. Results of the COVID-19 tests will be shared by SMS and WhatsApp, as well as being available on the Alhosn mobile application. Passengers who receive a negative PCR test and are from the list of ‘green’ countries, outlined by the government of Abu Dhabi, will not have to self-isolate. Those not from the list of ‘green’ countries will have to self-isolate for a period of ten days, and will require a quarantine wristband fitted at the PCR testing tent attached to the airport.

Participants in the National Vaccination Programme and Phase III clinical trials who have an identification mark (letter E or golden star) on Al Hosn app are exempted from self-quarantine procedures. Passengers transiting through the airport will not be tested prior to departing for their final destinations.

The lab, being developed and operated by Pure Health – the region’s largest laboratory operator – and the healthcare and passenger facility, being developed by UAE-based Tamouh Healthcare, will provide results in approximately 90 minutes and will have the capacity to test more than 20,000 travellers per day. The 4,000 square metre facility will operate around the clock with up to 190 staff.

The launch of fast COVID-19 testing services follows Abu Dhabi Airports’ introduction of a comprehensive range of health and safety measures at Abu Dhabi International Airport, including a specially trained team of Wellness Ambassadors equipped to support passengers by answering common questions relating to keeping healthy during travel, encouraging social distancing, and providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

In addition, the airport has deployed touch-less elevator technology, SterixEco Gates sterilisation tunnels, thermal scanning cameras, as well cameras with facial recognition capabilities that alert staff if passengers or visitors to the airport are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or not wearing facemasks.

For the latest COVID-19 information at Abu Dhabi International Airport, please visit: abudhabiairport.ae/en/announcement

SMART TECHNOLOGY WILL BE FUNDAMENTAL FOR AIRLINES TO SAFELY RETURN TO THE SKIES IN THE COMING WEEKS

SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, today sheds new light on how technology is helping airports and airlines safely resume operations and help implement new hygiene measures to restore passenger confidence after a lengthy shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking after the Aviation Week webinar event Sebastien Fabre, Vice-President Airline & Airport, SITA said: “The past few weeks have seen airlines across the globe tentatively take to the skies. This is reflected in a resumption in activity across our network and improved baggage volumes, up 55% month-on-month in May where volumes were at a record low.”

However, Fabre noted that recovery would be slow. “Our industry must transform the passenger experience to increase traveler safety while balancing economic pressures from slow customer demand. To successfully walk this tightrope and navigate a return to the skies for viable volumes of passengers, airports and airlines need to assimilate new information from governments and health officials, adapt operations immediately and automate processes permanently.”

SITA has introduced solutions that allow passengers to use their mobile device as a remote control for touchpoints such as self-bag drop and check-in kiosks, removing the need to touch any airport equipment. “For example, at San Francisco Airport, we have SITA Flex which enables a full mobile and touchless passenger journey. This means travelers can print bag tags from their mobile phone on self-service bag points.” Added Fabre.

He noted that technology would be fundamental helping airlines and airports to be compliant with new and fast-changing regulations to restore passenger’s confidence in flying. New preventive measures aimed at limiting risk in the airport and onboard will require a new approach to passenger management.

Fabre stated that SITA was rapidly rolling out new solutions that addressed the above challenges, complementing short term hygiene measures such as the use of masks and gloves. These solutions centered on three key areas:

Distancing: Using real-time monitoring technologies along with predictive analytics, SITA can ensure appropriate distancing between passengers at key points across the airport. Predictive analytics will also support more proactive planning. There is also an opportunity to extend the boundaries of the airport where key steps such as check-in and bag drop are managed before arriving at the terminal through a passenger’s mobile.

Hygiene and Sanitation: SITA is helping reduce the risk of infection by avoiding contact at key touchpoints. Using a combination of biometric and mobile solutions, passengers no longer have to touch a kiosk or surface, managing their journey from their phone.

Health checks: In addition to integrating health or thermal checks into key touchpoints such as check-in kiosks, governments will – by leveraging SITA’s risk management solutions – be able to use pre-boarding check (Advance Passenger Processing) and perform analytics on passenger journey data to identify and mitigate potential health risks.

He noted for the airports that are not equipped with the native mobile platform, SITA uses technology to remotely control self-service devices such as kiosks with a mobile phone, removing the need to touch any airport equipment.

Speaking at the webinar, Jeremy Springall, Vice-President Border Management, SITA said: “We are seeing specific regions wishing to allow limited movement within zones first, for example, the trans-Tasman bubble. For governments, this requires an information-driven approach based on real-time data and responsiveness to handle rapidly changing situations.

“A critical element will be for governments to harmonize the approach to checking the validity of health status and sharing this information effectively. Many governments are taking a layered approach to border management, starting well in advance of travel, to identify high-risk passengers before arrival in the destination country, in turn easing the restrictions for low-risk travelers. It’s crucial that health checks in terms of a health ETA or declaration are performed, perhaps up to 72 hours before departure. We’re already starting to see this happen around the world in countries like Thailand and Singapore.”

Springall noted that SITA has been supporting governments around the world to adapt their Advance Passenger Processing pre-clearance checks in support of COVID-19, for example with a South American airport during the early part of the pandemic SITA was able to support them stop passengers from high-risk countries check-in to their flights.

SITA believes a harmonized approach to data management between governments is crucial for mitigating the risk of resurgence.  

Springall highlighted how SITA has helped airports identify passengers arriving from high-risk areas who would then be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Later SITA adapted operations to identify travelers who were sitting in the rows around these passengers during a flight so adequate protocols could be applied to those passengers as well.

Also taking part in the webinar was Erick Barboza, Chief Commercial Officer at Aeris Holding, Costa Rica and Ivan Bassato, Executive Vice President Airport Management, Aeroporti di Roma. To listen to the full webinar, head to the Aviation Week event page.

Airport Show 2020 rescheduled to October

Dubai to play its important role in supporting global aviation recovery

October event will be a catalyst for faster industry resurgence

The world’s largest annual airport industry B2B platform has been rescheduled to take place from 26-28 October 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) where it was scheduled earlier for June.

The new dates reflect the aviation industry’s confidence of normalcy returning to global markets by then and the lifting of extensive travel restrictions around the world following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by Reed Exhibitions Middle East under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the event is supported by Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), Dubai Airports, Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) and dnata, amongst a host of global and regional aviation bodies, suppliers’ associations and working groups.

His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans) said: “Every industry has come to a standstill due to the unforeseen circumstances we are faced with. Our past experiences of handling crises will help us to bounce back into the aviation business, once the crisis is contained. We shall all play our part in the recovery.”

Airport Show is expected to attract 375 exhibiting companies and over 8,500 visitors coming from almost 100 countries. Now in its 20th edition, the event showcases the most advanced global aviation technologies and allows attendees to participate in a series of conferences, matchmaking programmes and workshops. The collocated Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF) and Women in Aviation General Assembly will host over 1,500 delegates and 100 speakers, covering the latest industry developments across 4 key themes of Air Traffic Control, Airport Security, Airport Passenger Experience and Ground Handling. Last year’s Show hosted 351 exhibitors on 15,599 square metres exhibition space and attracted 7,100 attendees from 89 countries.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “Global air transport supports almost US$3 trillion in global economic activity, with the world’s airlines carrying more than 4 billion passengers and 60 million tonnes of freight every year. Aviation’s contribution during periods of global emergencies such as we are facing today is critical, delivering thousands of tonnes of food, medicines and essential supplies to the worst affected and enabling world leaders and experts to efficiently collaborate and support rehabilitation efforts. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has and will severely affect our industry. However, we are confident that once we are through these challenging times, aviation will once again play its important role in supporting economic recovery efforts around the world.”

Flying Colours Corp. moves into fifth St. Louis hangar as customer demand grows

flyingcolourscorp.st.louisfifthhangaropenforbusiness

Flying Colours is open for business at the company’s fifth St. Louis hangar.  Hi-res available on request

Flying Colours Corp., the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business has taken up residence in its fifth hangar at the Spirit of St. Louis airport. The existing building, which is ideally located adjacent to the KSUS runway, adds a much-needed 30, 000 square feet to the St. Louis footprint, and complements the expanded cabinetry and interiors workshop opened at the facility in January 2018.

Since taking over the hangar lease in December 2018 the local team has been outfitting the building, installing new state-of-the-art tooling and supplementary maintenance equipment as well as revamping the office décor. The completed facility accommodates up to three parallel large-jet maintenance, avionics upgrades and interior projects at once. It is initially expecting to support heavy maintenance work and two Bombardier Global aircraft are already in-situ for 120-month heavy maintenance checks.

A recruitment drive is ramping up to source more than 50 extra maintenance engineers, technicians and administrative support personnel, bringing the St. Louis workforce to more than 200 in total.

The addition of the fifth hangar runs in parallel with the construction at Flying Colours’ Peterborough, Ontario headquarters of a fourth hangar which will be large enough to manage completions, refurbishment, maintenance and paint work in a new dedicated paint shop for Bombardier and Gulfstream large jet types, as well as executive airliners.

“Our business continues to grow as we build our reputation for maintenance, refurbishments and completion projects on time and on budget. Our customers also value the fact we can run interiors and maintenance simultaneously, so reducing down time. We were turning work away in St. Louis so it’s great to have the hangar ready and open for operations,” says Sean Gillespie, Executive VP Flying Colours Corp. The addition of the St. Louis hangar, and the building of new workshops in Peterborough, represent Flying Colours ongoing expansion plans driven by growth in customer demand.

 

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