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Drones for bird hazard control at Southampton Airport

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Southampton, United Kingdom

Airport’s website
  • Tested in

    +
    200

    Flights

  • 74
    %

    Less Bird Strikes

For the first time in Europe we are using a bird-shaped drone named Robird® to reduce bird strikes at Southampton Airport

Bird strikes are a serious threat to airport operations. In fact, in airports with close proximity to water reservoirs such us Heathrow or Southampton, there is at least one bird strike per week during the none migration seasons.

That is why, in 2018, a trial was carried out in collaboration with Clear Flight Solutions (CFS) to address this problem in an innovative and more effective manner. It was the first time in Europe that a drone with bird-like appearance was successfully tested in an airport environment.

Until now, governments, private companies and airport operators have used more or less manual wildlife management techniques to avoid any kind of disruption to airport activity. Whether active or passive, no authority in the continent had previously tested the use of bird-like drones at an airport.

Robird®, this innovative drone, has been thoroughly trialled at Southampton Airport, keeping all types of birds away, as they see the drone as a predator.

These tests, coordinated with the Air Traffic Controller and following the regulations required by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), consisted of flying the Robird® during a time slot in which 200 flights operated. The test has achieved these results by flying the drone just an average of 40 minutes a day. This technology has allowed reducing the number of impacts between airplanes and birds by 74%, compared to previous years, thus demonstrating its effectiveness.

The test has not only proved that Robird® could be an effective and efficient method for bird control, but also an improvement for airport operations, with a lower probability of interruptions and delays

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Aberdeen Airport

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Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Aberdeen’s Website
  • 3
    .1 M

    Passengers

  • 3,500

    Jobs

  • Customer Satisfaction

    3
    .86

    Over 5

  • 79
    .9 k

    Air Transport Movements

In 2014, in consortium with Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 (MEIF4), we acquired a 50% stake in AGS, the company that owns the Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.

Aberdeen Airport is one of the seven British airports that belonged to the BAA (British Airport Authority) portfolio, which we acquired in June 2006.

During this time, we have carried out several projects that have contributed to the transformation of the airport’s infrastructure, including the extension of its main runway and the renovation and expansion that was completed in 2019.

The airport has one terminal for commercial flights and a second, fixed-wing terminal. Aberdeen has one of the world’s busiest heliports, with three helicopter terminals and more than 35,000 movements every year.

Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland. The airport is a strategic transport hub in the northeast and is the main driver of economic development in the region, with a contribution of more than 110 million pounds. We employ 247 people and generate more than 3,500 jobs in the area.

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The airports of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton receive ‘Very Good’ Certification in CAA’s Disability Access Report.

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Aberdeen Airport places its bets on Artificial Intelligence to maintain its runways

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Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Airports’s Website
Aberdeen Airport Places Its Bets on AI

At Ferrovial Airports we go a step beyond the standards for airport pavement inspection by performing pilot tests that incorporate an artificial intelligence tool to check the condition of runways and taxiways at Aberdeen Airport.

The condition of the pavement at runways and taxiways is one of the key factors to ensure the safe and efficient performance of airport operations. In addition to having a direct impact on the safety of passengers and workers, any pavement anomaly could generate additional costs and hinder the operation of an airport

Currently, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other Regulatory Bodies  establish a minimum pavement inspection process shared by all airports, so it is the responsibility of each operator to increase the frequency and depth of the inspection.

Artificial intelligence to control and prevent possible risks on runways

To control and anticipate possible risks related to runway conditions, Aberdeen Airport has committed to artificial intelligence in a pilot program carried out over the course of 9 months.

To try to control and anticipate the possible risks linked to the conditions of the runway, we have opted for artificial intelligence in a pilot program carried out for 9 months. We opted for the use of a tool that would reduce and operate in maximum safety conditions.

The purpose of VIOMINER, the name given to this initiative, is to strengthen the manual inspection carried out by airport professionals.

This solution was developed in cooperation with Vaisala – a Finnish company that develops, manufactures, and commercializes products and services for environmental and industrial measurements- and with the team at Aberdeen Airport.

Up till then, our technicians specialized in identifying the possible bad condition of the pavement divided their inspections into three levels:

  • A first inspection done by technicians in a vehicle twice a day.
  • The second one, which is carried out by managers on foot once a month.
  • A third phase done by managers and consultants on foot twice a year.

With a mobile app and web-based platform, the new tool with Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence can identify anomalies such as cracks, abrasion, and potholes, increasing the effectiveness of level 1 and 2 inspections.

During level 1 and through a cell phone integrated into the vehicle, VIOMINER records the runway as it travels. The data collected is loaded into the system and processed. Artificial Intelligence algorithms recognize anomalies in the pavement and create a heatmap of the paths visited.

During level 2 inspections, the manager carries out a more qualitative study of a anomalies by sending a photo and the exact location of the spot by GPS.

All of this information, along with what the professionals have already collect, enables the generation of reports for each anomaly. These are then summed into the data and into a satellite map, which allows register of historical data and creating reports faster and timely manner.

This solution is a clear example of how innovation and new technologies can help improve the operational and economic performance of airports and, above all, demonstrate how anticipating risks can be a competitive advantage in the future.

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Boosting digital transformation at Glasgow Airport

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Glasgow, United Kingdom

Boosting digital transformation at Glasgow Airport

Ferrovial Airports has carried out an ambitious digital transformation project to improve passenger experience at Glasgow Airport.

Nowadays, airports are focused on innovating and maintaining a strong focus on enhancing customer experience. In order to achieve this goal, airports are implementing digital transformation initiatives with the help of emerging and existing technologies.

In collaboration with Glasgow Airport, we have carried out a digital transformation project with the aim of improving passengers’ satisfaction and at the same time, maximizing commercial revenue, increase the airport’s positioning as a brand and increase its operational performance.

One of the initiatives carried out within this project include the redesign of Glasgow Airport’s website and the launch of a new mobile app that has been valued very positively by passengers, rating it as 4.6 out of 5. This initiative has increased car parking revenues through our digital channels by 20%.

In addition, operational performance at the airport was improved through the development of an Application Programming Interface (API) which shares fight information from the Airport Operating Database (AODB) to external sources and through the implementation of a tracking proof concept in passengers’ security queues.

Finally, the introduction of a two-phased trial with GLAdys robot resulted in higher brand visibility, as it was the first UK humanoid robot to be put into service at an airport.

In the coming years, new initiatives within this project will be implemented with the aim of bringing new solutions to increase the engagement with passengers and offer them new services that cover the end-to-end journey.

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Boosting autonomous mobility at Heathrow Airport

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London, united kingdom

Airports’ Website
Article from Ferrovial Blog
  • 21

    Driverless vehicles

  • 3
    .8 kms

    Connected

Ferrovial Airports, in collaboration with Heathrow Airport, has tested the latest technology in driverless vehicles.

In the coming decades, mobility operations and surface access at airports will be completely transformed by the growth of electric and autonomous vehicles.

To analyze the impact of these new ways of transportation in the airport sector different driverless vehicle tests were organized in Heathrow.

One of the latest trial was carried out with Navya “Arma”, a 100% driverless and electric car developed by French company Navya, which specializes in the development of innovative and sustainable mobility solutions. It can currently take up to 15 passengers and reach a speed of 45 km/h (28 miles). In is equipped with a powerful 3D navigation system which allows it to easily identify obstacles and road signs and assess traffic conditions.

Heathrow has always been at the forefront of driverless technology as it is one of the few airports in the world that is already using a similar transport system: Personal Rapid Transport system, known as PODs. 21 driverless vehicles that transport passengers between the T5 business car park and the terminal, along a 3.8 km (2.36 miles) railway line. An innovative and sustainable solution that has helped the airport save the equivalent of 213 tons of CO2.

In addition, Heathrow Airport is working to transform 100% of its ground fleet into hybrid and electric vehicles in 2020. For this reason, the airport has invested more than 5 million pounds in the construction of more than 108 recharching points across the airport for electric vehicles operating within its facilities.

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Ferrovial Airports awarded in the Air Transport Awards 2017

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T2, One of the Largest Construction Contracts in UK History

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London, United Kingdom

london heathrow airport
  • +
    210000

    Construction works

  • +
    3
    B€

    Invested

  • 5000
    hours

    Without an incident

  • 35000

    Jobs

In 2014, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened London’s Heathrow Terminal 2, the largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United Kingdom. Construction took place in the heart of Heathrow, between two runways and their taxiways.

The New Queen’s Terminal

As the main shareholder at Heathrow Airport, we are fully committed to the continuous improvement of our services and airport facilities to enhace the passenger journey of the more than 80 million that travel through our terminals every year.

In 2014, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II inaugurated the new Terminal 2 of the London airport–named The Queen’s Terminal–the renovation of which totaled 3 billion euros, which made it one of the largest construction projects financed by a private company in the United Kingdom’s history.

In 2014, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened the new Terminal 2 of the London airport, also known as The Queen’s Terminal. Renovations totaled 3 million euros, making it one of the largest construction projects financed by a private company in the history of the United Kingdom.

The project — financed by Ferrovial Aeropuertos and built by Ferrovial Agroman in a consortium with Laing O’Rourke — allowed for the creation of a terminal with a capacity for more than 20 million passengers a year.

Terminal 2 expands over an area of 210,000 m2.  The construction replaced the old terminal that had been in operation since 1955. The project also included the construction of a satellite terminalnew access roads, a new aircraft parking area to house state-of-the-art airplanes and a renovated, higher-capacity train station.

When passengers arrive at Terminal 2, they see a large aluminum sculpture called Slipstream, designed by the renowned British artist Richard Wilson. The sculpture weighs 77 tons and is 78 meters long. It recreates the path of a small aircraft performing aerial acrobatics, and has been described as the largest permanent sculpture in Europe.

Improving the experience of our customers and employees

Since it opened, the terminal has been voted as the World’s Best Airport Terminal by the Skytrax awards on multiple occasions. The terminal most recently won this award in 2018.

The combination of technological and artistic elements at Terminal 2 make it one of the most innovative airport infrastructures in the world, which has improved the experience of our passengers and our 75,000 employees who work at the London hub.

The Construction Project

The terminal — designed by Spanish architect Luis Vidal — was built by Ferrovial in consortium with Laing O’Rourke. As  mentioned previously, the terminal and satellite building covers a surface area of 210,000 m² (equal to 25 soccer fields) and required an investment of 3 billion euros. Furthermore, the project’s execution was a huge success in terms of jobs — creating 35,000 jobs — and in terms of safety — with a total of 0 accidents in more than 5 million working hours.

We completed the project in five years and seven months: ahead of schedule and without disrupting airport operations. Over the six months preceding its opening, we ran more than 180 million tests to ensure that the check-in process and other terminal processes worked perfectly. We also ran a series of simulations to see how the terminal worked for passengers. 14,000 people took part in these simulations, the largest of which involved more than 3,000 volunteers.

One of the Most Sustainable Terminals

In addition to being an excellent, modern facility that simplifies the flow of passengers, luggage and aircrafts, it is also environmentally friendly. Construction work was carried out in accordance with the highest sustainability standards, making Terminal 2 the first facility of its kind to receive the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodologyenvironmental certification. In addition to recycling 100% of the waste from the demolition of the old terminal, the facility has an energy-efficiency center that runs on renewable energy. This facility regulates air conditioning, which — together with the use of efficient construction materials and a roof that makes use of natural light — has reduced the CO2 emissions by over 40% when compared with the previous building.

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Construction of the World’s Largest Integrated Baggage System at Heathrow

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London, United Kingdom

Heathrow’s Website
  • 1.2
    km

    Of tunnel

  • 7200

    Pieces of luggage/hour

  • Luggage

    22
    %

    Mislaid or delayed

  • Construction phase

    +
    1
    M

    Hours without accidents

Innovation is a fundamental component of our strategy and a key element to transform and operate our airport assets efficiently. One of the best examples of this transformation and commitment to innovation has been the construction of the world’s largest integrated baggage system.

This cutting-edge project allows one of the most active airports in the world to be managed efficiently, improving the experience of thousands of passengers who travel through its terminals every day.

The Construction Phase

When Heathrow decided to develop this pioneering centralized baggage handling system, no other airport in the world had considered the possibility of building an underground circuit beneath operating terminals. Heathrow’s Western Interface Building (WIB), which connects T5 and T3, and Terminal 3 Integrated Baggage(T3IB) are the two main facilities that give shape to the world’s largest integrated baggage system.

The WIB installation consist of a 1.2 km tunnel that goes through the inner depths of the airport between T3 and T5, becoming the longest inter-terminal transfer tunnel in Europe.

Ferrovial Agroman, in partnership with Heathrow and with Mott MacDonald leading the design, developed an outstanding project in terms of construction as it was executed without disrupting  the daily airport operations and was completed in record time and with exceptional safety standards. There was not a single incident during the more than one million hours required for its construction.

The system has a capacity to simultaneously process up to 7,200 pieces of luggage per hour and is capable of moving bags at speeds up to 700 meters per minute between terminals.

Since it came into operation, this new centralized baggage handling has  increased efficiency at Heathrow, reducing incidents of mislaid or delayed luggage. It has also resulted in better working conditions for employees in this area who now lift 12 million less pieces of luggage every year thanks to this system.

With regards to sustainability, all the materials removed during the construction phase were recycled, while the system has significantly reduced the amount of vehicles transporting luggage at the airport, replacing a total of 120,000 journeys each year and exponentially reducing the corresponding emissions.

Heathrow’s integrated baggage system is one of the many innovative projects that we have carried out to improve the passenger experience and create more intelligent, efficient, profitable and sustainable airports.

This project has also received numerous awards in the sector including the 2015 Eco-Innovation award presented by ACI Europe or the 2019 World’s Best Airport Terminal and 2019 Best Terminal in Western Europe awards presented by Skytrax.

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