Airport Business

DEC 2017 - JAN 2018

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FACILITY MAINTENANCE December 2017/January 2018 airportbusiness 27 reducing connections times by as much as 70 percent. One such system features overlapping pallets, which allow each pallet to expand up to three times its original size. Passengers step on the walkway at a normal walking speed and are then safely accelerated up to more than seven miles per hour before comfortably decelerating for safe exit. It can take as little as 2 minutes, 20 seconds to cover up to 885 feet (270 m); with older technology, it would take as much as 7 minutes to cover that same distance. Looking at the sheer volume, the technology can transport up to 7,300 passengers per hour per direction. This type of walkway, which can ultimately eliminate the need for airports to utilize shuttle buses or automated trains, is ideal for busy, large airports with a high volume of transfer traffic, such as Orlando International Airport (MCO). More than 20 million people pass through MCO annually, and earlier this year, a shuttle outage stranded 14,000 passengers for more than three hours. And at airports like John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York where it is expected that the international hub will reach capacity in a decade, this type of walkway would greatly alleviate the congestion problems it will face. A $10 billion plan was unveiled to upgrade the facility, and as part of the upgrades, JFK will improve connection to its terminals. These next-generation accelerated moving walkways apply linear motor technology from the Transrapid magnetic train; by comparison, tradi- tional walkways use electric motors with a rota- tional motion. Transrapid is a high-speed monorail train that uses magnetic levitation, which means it has no wheels, axles, gear transmissions or steel rails. The first commercial installation occurred in 2004 when the Shanghai Maglev train was unveiled, which connects the city's transit net- work to Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Another way pedestrian transportation is improving at airports is through digitization. NOW BOARDING: IOT It was only a matter of time before the Internet of Things, or IoT, eventually landed and perma - nently taxied at airports worldwide. IoT, the networking of devices to collect and exchange data, creates immediate, actionable intelli- gence, which is critical in airports where it can be utilized to streamline security, baggage, building and security operations to improve efficiency. There are numerous ways IoT can be utilized in airport operations, including aircraft maintenance and luggage tracking. But another area is within an airport's pedestrian transportation systems, including its elevators. Toronto's Pearson International Airport, the busiest airport in Canada, has implemented cloud-based, real-time, predictive maintenance technology on its pedestrian transportation sys- tems that allow for accurate maintenance planning and scheduling, which in turn ensures maximum uptime. Smart technology has the ability to cap- ture all data associated with the elevator's activity, including movement between floors, distance trav- eled, as well as frequency of elevator doors opening and closing by floor. It also allows service technicians and airports to proactively identify parts or materials that are wearing and in need of replacement in advance of a potential failure. Smart technology allows air- ports and service technicians to assess the health of connected elevators and their components. Smart technology also provides instant edu- cation and access to an elevator's history, allow- ing new technicians to get up to speed quickly, which ultimately leads to expedition of service calls. A newer technology that will start to play a key role in this process is mixed-reality tech- nology. A combination of augmented and virtual reality, mixed-reality has already made a signifi- cant impact in industries including military and health care, but its aviation-related application, its use has been limited. Via this technology, service technicians can have remote, hands-free access to technical and expert information while onsite, resulting in interventions that can be done up to four times faster than before. Prior to heading to the airport, using mixed-re- ality technology, a technician can view a 3-D picture from all angles of the elevator and components to immediately visualize and identify the problems. And at the airport, the mixed-reality device can dis- play a virtual desktop with an overview of task orders, safety alerts and notes on that elevator's history. A video call can even be initiated by voice, allowing another engineer to remotely view what that technician is seeing while at the airport and working through any potential issues together. MOVING FORWARD So what else is in store for pedestrian movement at airports in the short- and long-term? Ultimately, it could be a revolutionary elevator that can move travelers throughout an airport facility — vertically, horizontally, sideways and even diagonally. Using the same magnetic levitation technology as the aforementioned accelerated moving walkways, the first-ever rope-less elevator was unveiled to the public this year, and it can connect buildings or connect transit systems with buildings, effi- ciently moving high volumes of people through- out crowded airports. At the end of the day, improving the pas- senger experience requires more than a friendly smile at ticketing, a short line at security and an on-time flight—it requires modern systems and processes that improve how a passenger goes from Point A to Point B. And thanks to mobility innovations and technological advances driven by the pedestrian movement industry, the future looks a lot brighter for those weary travelers. Transrapid is a high-speed monorail train that uses magnetic levitation, which means it has no wheels, axles, gear transmissions or steel rails. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Fabio Speggiorin is Vice President of Research and Development and Product Lifecycle Management for thyssenkrupp Elevator worldwide, a company with fve large R&D centers, located in Germany, Spain, the United States, Brazil and China. Fabio Speggiorin thyssenkrupp Elevator Worldwide ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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