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The French revolution

Posted: 7 February 2012 | Marie Carru, General Delegate of Proavia | No comments yet

For more than 35 years, the French industrialists have developed systems and equipment to match the worldwide evolution of airports and air traffic controller’s operational needs. In the 1970s and 1980s the main focus of the aviation sector was to increase air navigation safety. In the last 20 years French engineers have been heavily involved in designing emblematic airports around the world.

For 10 years now, the concern has been to cope with the worldwide increase of air traffic, the rise of risks and the demand of travellers who expect services and facilities within an airport to be similar to those that they might find in their own town, has meant that an airport now needs to be secure, safe and able to offer a better passenger experience. French companies are fully dedicated to innovating solutions which improve the management of passenger flow.

For more than 35 years, the French industrialists have developed systems and equipment to match the worldwide evolution of airports and air traffic controller’s operational needs. In the 1970s and 1980s the main focus of the aviation sector was to increase air navigation safety. In the last 20 years French engineers have been heavily involved in designing emblematic airports around the world.

For 10 years now, the concern has been to cope with the worldwide increase of air traffic, the rise of risks and the demand of travellers who expect services and facilities within an airport to be similar to those that they might find in their own town, has meant that an airport now needs to be secure, safe and able to offer a better passenger experience. French companies are fully dedicated to innovating solutions which improve the management of passenger flow.

Various French companies have contributed products and technologies that ease constraints and fulfill the needs of passengers, airport operators and airlines. Throughout the entire process of air travel, French companies have had a significant impact on all sectors of airport management. This article highlights four areas within airport operations that are being overseen by French organisations.

Advanced automated border control

With over eight million people in transit in the world at any time (with almost three billion border crossings per year), the task of managing a border is becoming more and more challenging. Authorities which have to deal with the implications of this massive number of travellers now look for technology providers (Information Technology, biometrics, electronic travel documents) to help support, and if possible automate wherever possible, the task of processing people at the border.

In order to rise to this increasing challenge, Morpho (Safran group) has developed a range of advanced automated border control solutions since 2002. These solutions ensure real-time recognition of travellers and simplify control procedures to facilitate passenger flows at borders, without compromising security. These automated e-gates read biometric data contained in travel documents and compare it with a document holder’s biometric data.

Based on fingerprint, facial or iris recognition technology, Morpho’s solutions have been deployed in major airports worldwide. With the acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions, Morpho added a new reference to its portfolio: EasyPASS, a pilot project of the German Ministry of the Interior. Given its central role as one of the European aviation hubs with 50 million passengers per year, Frankfurt Airport was selected by the EasyPASS project as the installation site for one of the first programmes.

Morpho also supplied six additional gates and 13 kiosks to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports to support the Rugby World Cup hosted by New Zealand towards the end of 2011. The company has also recently signed a five year agreement with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to maintain their automated border clearance system. Today, 80 gates are installed in 19 international airports and are being used by more than 12,000 passengers everyday around the world.

The newly designed MorphoWay™ e-gates were successfully launched in October 2011 at the Biometrics Show in London. They have been re-designed to meet the space constraints of border environments. These e-gates have integrated document readers that carry out authenticity checks. Morpho’s ‘Face on the Fly’ technology enables seamless throughput at borders. The face recognition process is performed when the passenger goes through the gate, processing up to 450 passengers per hour with an eight second cycle per passenger in optimal conditions of use.

CUSS kiosks (Common Use Self Service)

Passengers are now becoming more independent during the airport process. The advent of Common Use Self Service kiosks allows for greater flexibility and an efficient yet accurate way of registering passengers with their flight.

Marking an important development in the supply of self-service opportunities available to passengers, the airport of Nice Côte d’Azur is now offering its Air France passengers the opportunity to integrate with IER kiosks, which allows for the secure payment by credit card of their excess baggage.

Deployed during the Autumn of 2011 at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport’s Terminal Two, specifically in Zone C (dedicated to Air France, KLM and Alitalia passengers), 14 new self-check-in kiosks now incorporate a baggage tag printer. This important milestone in the co-operation between an innovative airport, a self-service solutions’ provider and a major airline comes after a previous initiative which took place two years before, introducing Near Field Communication (NFC) technology within the check-in process.

This solution targeted Air France’s ‘frequent flyers’ as well as Nice Airport’s regular users and enabled them to use NFC enabled mobile phones to identify themselves, download their boarding passes, enabling access to the security inspection point and then ultimately board the aircraft.

High speed automatic baggage drop-off

As part of the evolution of airport check-in systems towards more speed and efficiency, ALSTEF Automation has designed, and comm – issioned an automatic baggage drop-off machine in the lobby of Terminal Two West at Paris-Orly Airport. The machine is based on a patented, innovative concept from Aéroports de Paris (ADP).

The objective is to offer better services to passengers by decreasing the check-in time, providing a two step process;

Step 1

Passengers print the boarding pass at the selfservice check-in kiosk (CUSS) using their reservation information, if this has not already been completed via the internet. The number of bags to check in is declared, and the correct number of bag tags issued, for attachment to the baggage.

Step 2

Passengers scan their boarding pass in order to identify themselves, and place their baggage inside the automatic baggage drop-off machine. The machine weighs the bag, reads its size and then cross-checks it with the passenger’s boarding pass. The bag is then automatically inserted into the traditional circuit and a receipt is delivered. In terms of security the technology allows for a secured enclosure zone to prevent permanent unauthorised access to the hold baggage system. Passengers can normally register baggage in a maximum of 30 seconds, and for frequent travellers this can be even lower.

Airport-Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM)

Developed by EUROCONTROL and already a major factor in the efficiency of airport oper a – tions, A-CDM aims at improving airport operations through a better co-ordination between all on-site partners (airport managers, ATC, airlines, weather service and ground handling). One of the main outputs of the CDM process is a very accurate Target Take Off Time (TTOT) which enhances ground and en-route planning.

Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), with four runways and more than 500,000 movements, is one of the biggest airports in the world. The [email protected] programme was launched in 2005 by the French Air Navigation Service Department (DSNA) of the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), Aéroports de Paris (ADP) and Air France. Paris-CDG airport became one of the first European airports to be granted the European Airport ‘CDM’ label on 16 November 2010.

To achieve this label, the programme of work has been shared by the involved partners and structured around several themes such as: information sharing, operational collaboration implementation, adverse weather conditions and airport capacity optimisation. This collaborative management allows for strategic decisions in order to improve air traffic performance in nominal and adverse conditions.

A collaborative pre-departure sequence tool (C-PDS) has been developed with the stakeholders ADP, DGAC/DSNA and EgisAvia. Connected to the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) it enhances flow and capacity management and results in better slot compliance and reduces the number of missed slots. The C-PDS allows more stable traffic flow and reduced taxi times, apron and taxiway congestion as well reducing queue time at the runway of CDG. Air Traffic Controllers have reported that C-PDS reduces ground sector workload and optimises runway and capacity planning.

Thanks to the [email protected] initiative, passengers can experience improvement in flight punctuality. Furthermore, reduced taxi times helps cut down on CO2 emissions (44 tonnes per day). Airlines also reduce fuel consumption (average saving of 14.5 tonnes of fuel per day).

The Airport Operator improves the use of stands and gates as well as enhancing reliability, airports slots and improving transparency within the operations. The CDM cell keeps airport operation as efficient as possible in adverse conditions for example, during winter operations.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, passengers also benefit from [email protected]; reductions in delays, fewer missed connections and more accurate information can be delivered to passenger displays and service desks.

The DGAC/DSNA is now working to implement the A-CDM concept in Orly and Lyon- Saint-Exupéry airports and following the success in Paris the authorities will hope to roll these out as soon as possible.

The passenger experience

French technology within airports is harmonising systems and operations and ultimately creating more efficient flight movements. These initiatives will benefit the most important person of all, the passenger.

Proavia

Proavia is the French trade association of airport equipment manufacturers and consultants and is registered as a not-for-profit organisation under French law and was created in 1976 as a joint initiative of the French Civil Aviation Authority’s Technical Service (DGAC-STNA, now DTI) and French industry. It currently has 50 member companies specialised in providing equipment and services for airports and air-traffic control. Since it was established, Proavia has always worked closely with the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).

Proavia has two tasks: to promote French airport products and services to foreign decision-makers, and to inform its member companies about business oppor – tunities abroad.

 

About the author

Marie Carru is the General Delegate of Proavia. She has been managing Proavia for more than 10 years and is responsible for the planning and organisation of all Proavia’s national and international activities. Outside France, she carries out market surveys and organises trade missions. Since 2005, she has been managing Proavia’s office in China.

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