New Terminal Technologies Enhance the Traveler’s Experience

 Departure Lounge


It’s a new era for Airports as terminals around the world are paying ever-increased attention to the importance of customer service excellence. Halifax Stanfield International Airport (HIAA), British Airways (BA), and Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are leading the industry pack in terms of pro-people technology innovations, and the added efforts to give travelers an easy, pleasant experience are paying off. The International Airport Review’s In-Depth Focus: Terminal Technologies gives us a heads’ up on these exciting technological developments.

Halifax – Atlantic Canada’s largest airport – has been ahead of the curve for years, offering Nova Scotia its first moving sidewalks from parking structure to terminal, (a game changer for those with mobility issues), and becoming the first airport in North America with self-service baggage drop for all passengers. More recent innovations include fully automated baggage handling systems which reduce average check-in time to two minutes, secure and efficient BorderXpress Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks, Trax Smart Restrooms to monitor and resolve problems in real-time, and sophisticated new baggage handling and screening technologies. In the words of Craig Paul, Director of Business Solutions and Information Technology at HIAA, “The only way to create the airport of tomorrow – our ultimate goal – is with the technology of the future.”

As the UK’s largest global airline, British Airways strives to maximize customer satisfaction. Working out of four of London’s largest airports and flying as many as 145,000 customers each day, British Airways ensure its operations are smooth by keeping itself on the cutting edge of technological trends for terminals. “We are actively embracing innovative use of technology to benefit our customers,” says Raoul Cooper, Airport Transformation Design Manager for British Airways. Self-serve bag drop facilities are in use today for 75% of travelers out of the UK, allowing most customers to arrive at the terminal ready to fly. BA was the first airline in the world to use Mototok tugs – eco-friendly yet high-tech, remote-controlled pushback vehicles. Mototoks facilitate much more efficient preparation for departure, which has led to a 72% reduction in pushback-related delays for the airline. British Airways also introduced self-service boarding gates using automated biometric technology in the U.K., and they’re in trials to use this technology in the U.S., partnering with Los Angeles International Airport.

Hong Kong International Airport provides a home to 100 airlines. In 2016, it was third in the world for international passenger traffic, serving 70.5 million customers. Despite the staggering numbers of travelers it sees, HKIA emphasizes high quality in the travel experience of its passengers by using many different new technologies. Chris Au Young, General Manager of Smart Airport at Airport Authority Hong Kong, says of passengers, “They come to the airport not only for check-in, security screening or immigration, but also to enjoy their time there. As such, our smart travel experience aims to make travel fast, easy and joyful.” Perhaps most impressive is the HKIA mobile app “HKG My Flight.” The app is not only a practical tool for travelers to stay on top of critical flight info but it also highlights the pleasant features of the airport such as shopping and dining. It includes a clever wayfinding function with AR (augmented reality), showing a real-time image of the airport, and aids foreign travelers by translating terminal signage into multiple languages. HKIA passengers can also use the app in combination with a smart luggage tag, and with notifications telling when checked bags are coming, the long wait for bags is a thing of the past.

Click the link below to read the full article and get more information on the advancements made by HIAA, BA and HKIA and detailed descriptions of the technology cited here. Terminal Tech IDF.pdf






Results of New Orleans Disparity Study


This afternoon, the City of New Orleans presented the preliminary findings of a city-wide disparity study. This study examines the business playing field and whether or not it is level for minority- and women-owned businesses (MBE/WBEs)  to compete with majority companies.

The study found that there is not a level playing field for MBE/WBEs in the New Orleans marketplace. The study also reveals that in different business sectors and for different minority groups, the disparity is not uniform, meaning minority groups may be affected disproportionately depending on race and gender and depending on the business sector.

Public comments are being accepted through March 31st and the final draft of the study will be delivered shortly thereafter.

Are We on the Eve of Multi-Remote Air Traffic Controlling?


The aviation industry has already seen the “single remote tower setting,” in which one air traffic controller provides services remotely to one airport, employed with success, but the advancements in remote tower operations have been rapid. Encouraging results are now being reported on tests of multiple tower operations.

The data seems to be unmistakable – it is possible for a single air traffic controller to safely provide services remotely to three airports simultaneously. Although the multi-remote concept needs more research and development, the simulations have been well-received by air traffic controllers. The hope is to bring remote controlling technology to the next level by 2020. Research has shown that the most significant economic savings offered by remote controlling happen with the multi-remote model, so developers are eager to move forward as quickly as possible with this exciting new technology.

Click the link below to learn more:

Port of New Orleans Officials Envision Massive Expansion


The Port of New Orleans has long been the home of major cargo business, but space is becoming increasingly limited upriver as these businesses continue to grow. Port officials are now eyeing a potential new project, however, that would solve this problem and also serve as a needed boost to the economy of Louisiana’s St. Bernard parish. With a new $1 billion-plus container terminal and distribution facility in consideration on a 675-acre undeveloped tract of land in Meraux, thousands of jobs would be created and, according to the port’s president and CEO, Brandy Christian, the expansion could make the Meraux facility “a logistics hub that attracts businesses that rely on port access.”

Learn more by clicking on the link below:

Airport Communities Fight for Relief of Noise Pollution


There are numerous beach areas around Los Angeles, and most are picture-perfect. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, by looks alone you could call almost any spot along the shoreline perfect for an enjoyable beach day. You would never know how easy it is to choose the wrong beach. If you should make this mistake, you’ll know it within minutes by the ear-piercing screeches and powerful engine din coming repeatedly from airplanes flying low in the skies above. Travel further and further along the shore toward wealthier areas such as Malibu, however, and this mistake is harder to make. You will notice the airplane noise grows faint and then disappears altogether. “In the U.S., the effects are disproportionately felt in low-income and minority communities,” writes Eilis O’Neill in an informative piece for City Lab.

Airplane noise pollution has been shown in recent studies to have numerous harmful effects on those exposed regularly to it.  Although the planes of today are quieter than they were at one time, people living in fly-over neighborhoods still experience a host of negative consequences. The effects of noise pollution are said to be cumulative, so those only occasionally exposed to city noise would likely not notice the impact suffered by communities in the path of airplanes.  Such ill effects include hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and sleep disturbance. Changes in the immune system and even birth defects have also been attributed to noise exposure. It causes a loss of focus for students and working people, and is said to stimulate aggressive and anti-social behavior.

In late September of 2017 the Federal Aviation Administration was due to be reauthorized in Congress, but was granted a 6-month extension to allow lawmakers more time to debate issues such as air-traffic control and pilot training. With the extension due to expire March 31, some lawmakers who understand the nature of airplane noise pollution and how important the issue is to fly-over communities hope the reauthorization can also serve as a useful way to rethink noise regulations.

Click the link below to read O’Neill’s piece and learn more:

Urban Planners Can Learn Through Play

Our global population continues to grow, and with discoveries about human health extending lifespans, this trend is not likely to slow down. By 2050, our planet will see a 1000% increase in people over 100 years of age. For the first time in history, the global population’s percentage of elderly citizens will match that of individuals younger than 15. The rate of individuals living in urban centers is also on the rise – by 2050 it’s forecast that 70% of global citizens will live in cities. It is not surprising, then, that one of the hot topics in city planning today is the “Age-Friendly Cities” movement. Simply put, this refers to the design of public urban space with everyone in mind, particularly the elderly and children, who have not historically been considered when creating urban environments. Superblocks, or large squares of urban space where traffic is limited to the perimeter – preserving the area for pedestrians – is one example of such design.


What leads city planners to actual innovations in design? A critical factor is engagement with the population in consideration. In the UK, planners are using street audits with older residents to collect data and suggestions on what improvements can be made. Landmarks that help streets and communities to be more easily recognizable for those suffering with dementia is one new concept.  Similarly, engaging with children can inspire planners. Instead of considering measures which simply dissuade kids to utilize public space, (like “The Mosquito,” a device which emits an ear-crushing beep at a frequency most commonly heard by people  under age 25), either for their safety or to prevent loitering, planners are now listening and observing to gain perspective and new ideas on how to design so that every age group can prosper in an urban environment.

According to Dr. Clement Lau, Departmental Facilities Planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, playing with his 5-year old daughter opened his eyes to the importance of hearing from people representing all members of the community and planning along with them. Click here to read more of his insights:

Le Corbusier and The Chandigarh Capital Project


In the late 1940s, architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, was hired by the Indian government to prepare the master plan for Chandigarh–a planned city near New Delhi. The development, envisioned as a modernist utopian metropolis, is still in use today although its idealistic concept has been adapted over time in more practical ways.


In August 1947, India gained independence from the UK, but lost its capital of Lahore to Pakistan when new borders were drawn. In the face of this loss, India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, would found a new capital city, created by western architects to announce a modern, prosperous, independent India. It was Swiss-French architect and urban planner Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, who would rise to the challenge, taking on the role of Master Planner for The Chandigarh Capital Project.


With inspiration for the master plan drawn from cities such as Paris, New Delhi and Beijing, Le Corbusier had distinctive ideas for Chandigarh.  He soon found, however, that his vision would be challenged by both local government and members of his own team. In particular, the housing designs, which departed from his plan of high-rises set in park space, dismayed him. His disappointment was somewhat bitterly reflected in his altered plans, such as the visual separation of the housing areas from the capital complex, over which he still had design control, by way of artificial hills. Nevertheless he continued his work on the project.


The Governor’s Palace, originally meant to be the main attraction of the Capitol complex, is an example of the differing opinions of Le Corbusier and those around him. Prime Minister Nehru called the partially completed building “undemocratic,” and halted further construction. A huge sculpture atop the structure, of a hand melded with a dove, can still be seen today. It is both a beautiful symbol yet one which represents these conflicting ideas: Nehru had always argued that India could not afford the statue, and Le Corbusier insisted it be created.


Despite his loss of enchantment for the project, or perhaps because of it, a distinct aesthetic evolved from Le Corbusier’s work on Chandigarh.  Using a combination of traditional Classical features and Indian design innovations, the buildings Le Corbusier created for this capital city are simple but powerful in concrete with undulating shapes, curvatures, and overhangs. The result was a Chandigarh which stood as a tribute to modernity, and the city is still lauded today by both the Indian and international architectural fields.

Img 1-Le-Corbusier

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Gives Head Start to New Planners


The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is implementing its new AICP Candidate Pilot Program this year. It is welcome news for many new planners. In the past, planners have only been eligible to take the AICP Certification Exam after completing the required work experience which, depending on your education, can range from 2-8 years. Many test takers from past years have noted that had they been able to take their exam right out of college, they may have performed better, with their coursework still fresh in their minds. This observation led to the creation of the AICP Candidate Pilot Program which, as of December 1st, allows graduates of accredited urban planning programs to take the AICP Certification Exam before having completed their work experience requirements. After passing the exam, individuals can use the title “AICP Candidate” until they have completed their work experience. This allows young professional planners to stay involved in the national and international planning scene of the American Planning Association (APA) and AICP and recognizes their dedication to professional planning work while candidates are just entering the planning field. Many young planners, including TMG’s Nathan Lipson, are taking advantage of this opportunity and will be eligible to take the exam in May of 2018 along with those taking the standard exam for immediate certification. Included among these planners will be TMG’s Hal Baillie. Best of luck to these individuals, and more information on the new Candidate Pilot Program can be found here:

Expanding Service Options Continue at Louis Armstrong International Airport

new terminal

Louis Armstrong International Airport welcomed four new Frontier Airlines flights on October 5th and 6th with service to Austin, Providence, Islip (NY), and San Antonio. For the inaugural New Orleans-Providence flight on October 5th, Frontier celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the airport’s Aviation Director Kevin Dolliole.  Incoming Providence passengers enjoyed refreshments, MSY beads and a traditional water cannon salute. Frontier’s other inaugural flights went off without a hitch despite Tropical Storm (and later Hurricane) Nate approaching the Louisiana coast. Frontier’s expansion of service to/from LANOIA represents a continuation of a number of carriers expanding service options throughout 2017. Frontier is not the only “low-cost airline” to expand this fall. Months after announcing direct service expansion to Baltimore-Washington, Spirit Airlines launched nonstop flights to Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Newark (NJ) in time for Thanksgiving, as well as seasonal service to Columbus (OH) starting next March. Southwest Airlines expanded service to Raleigh-Durham and Columbus (OH), which began in April.

LANOIA has also made strides toward international destination expansion with new offerings which were introduced earlier in 2017. The first of British Airways’ Flight 244 with nonstop service from New Orleans to London-Heathrow was celebrated this past spring. Just after the inaugural flight landed in London on March 27, British Airways announced plans to increase the number of flights from four to five weekly. This expansion is an excellent indicator for the airport and for local tourism of increased activity as international travelers (particularly from Europe) can make their way to New Orleans more efficiently. Airport officials estimate that this direct service to a “world business capital” such as London will generate around $41 million in annual tourism for the city. Even more cities have popped up on the list this year: In May, Condor began to provide nonstop service to Frankfurt, Germany. Weekly non-stop service to Freeport, The Bahamas began May 27, 2017 on Vacation Express. One focus of the new terminal will be to allow for larger aircraft often used for longer international hauls to use a number of gates for loading. Perhaps this will facilitate even further international service expansion, such as restoring past service to Central and South America.


TMG Consulting Facilitates DBE Workshop in Baton Rouge

651f58fe-9f07-40d6-8315-9a1c9a60a220The 12th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop was held at the L’auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge on October 31st, 2017. This annual event series was first started by TMG as a tool to allow small and disadvantaged businesses to interact and create business relationships with Airport staff, prime firms, agencies providing small business assistance, and other small firms. This free workshop is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and is geared toward those interested in pursuing future work with the Airport and other businesses in the surrounding area.


The workshop brought together over 100 attendees from a variety of backgrounds including small business owners, government officials, and resource groups. Along with sitting in on informational presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to network with other businesses while enjoying a complimentary breakfast and lunch catered by the casino. This event is one of many outreach efforts encouraging small and disadvantaged business development in Baton Rouge. The Airport was selected by the Airports Council International (North America) as the Small Hub Inclusion Champion for 2017, recognizing their dedication to promote diversity in the airport industry both through business development and community engagement.

1401f5e9-f0f7-4f9f-9943-8d5cc36e3162The opening remarks were given by Ralph Hennessy, Interim Director of Aviation for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and followed by DBE consultants Dylan Wade and Nathan Lipson of TMG Consulting who presented an overview of the Baton Rouge DBE program and discussed the best practices for submitting bids and proposals. Joe Levraea, Program Manager for BTR of AMG Consulting, gave an overview of upcoming projects and contract opportunities available at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.


be94f18c-bdae-4af1-ab95-6c2ab0a441aaMike Taffaro kicked off the afternoon events describing procurement opportunities with the Airport as well as the City of Baton Rouge. Remy Graves, DBE/SBE Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, discussed what it takes to become DBE certified and the resources that the LADOTD can provide for business owners looking to get certified. Jo Ann Lawrence, Deputy District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration closed out the workshop with her presentation, “Support for Small Business in Louisiana,” in which she identified numerous bond assistance, insurance, and general business advice programs which the SBA provides in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout the state of Louisiana.

a8ae9d5a-2b49-4f3f-ae6e-b205406f0e32TMG Consulting started the DBE program with the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in 2001 and has successfully assisted in planning and hosting the workshop since its first year in 2005. The event has continued to grow over the years with increased numbers of attendees and local participation.