Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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August/September 2018 airportbusiness 19 PASSENGER EXPERIENCE “We did that installation at Boston Logan International, an airport that was an early adopter of in-seat power,” said Gordon. “The second version of the seats, which came out in late 2008, had regular and USB outlets,” she said. “Version three now also included two USB type C outlet. Instead of a rectangular plug, type C is a smaller oval-shaped one.” The USB type C outlet is on newer smartphones and the MacBook Air, said Gordon. “Things are always evolving, where with seats, the technology never changes,” she said. Electronics change at a more rapid pace and you have to keep up.” Lucia Kortscheff is the Kusch sales manager covering Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the United States. Her company was first contacted about in-seat power at airports in 2008. “At the time we did not have a solution, so we decided to study different possibilities with electrical suppliers. When the iPhone 4 was launched in 2010 and smartphones were sold in huge quantities, the airports needed to react and provide their passengers with more charging facilities,” said Kortscheff. “Our first project where we included electrification outlets in our bench system was Vienna Airport in Austria in 2011. At the time, we designed a nice looking horizontal four-plug powerbox manufactured by Bachmann.” Since then, Kusch has installed its products in airports all around the world with completely different solutions, said Kortscheff. The company manufactures five product lines for the transportation industry that includes different power and USB ports solutions as options. “All our tables also have the possibility to add different electrical outlets.” Arconas has many products, with both retrofitted and integrated power in seats, said Gordon. “We also now have power bars installed on moveable modular counters, which are very popular right now. They’re popular with millennials because they tend to be less space-conscious about who’s sitting next to them.” she said. “It also works for business travelers who need a place to perch while they wait for their flights. Any of our seating products can be retrofitted with power because that’s what people are looking for. The sky’s the limit.” Existing terminals and infrastructure designed years ago are very hard to retrofit, said Kortscheff. “Airport concourses designed years ago were never known for their abundance of electrical sockets. In an existing structure, tearing out floors and walls to add sockets can cost thousands per outlet, versus around $200 for an outlet in a renovated or new terminal,” she said. “Therefore, we work very close with the airports and their designers in order to accommodate as many power and USB outlets as possible in our benches, all connected to just one socket. We also advise them on creating new public seating areas, such as tables with electrical outlets, informal seating islands with USB sockets and leisure or relaxing zones.” Arconas has powered seating in more than 100 U.S. airports, including major hubs and smaller terminals, said Gordon. “We also do all the seating for American Airlines and just installed power seats in 15 of their airports across the country,” she said. “And Southwest Airlines is rolling out Aero seats that have power outlets attached to them.” We’ve Got the Power Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport opened a new 12-gate terminal on June 3, 2015. As part of the construction program, the airport installed about 1,500 seats, with a ratio of 1.2 seats having an outlet, said Victor White, director of airports for the Wichita Airport Authority. “However, because of the way we installed the power units, there are two USB ports and two regular outlets in each unit. Because we installed three power units for every 10 seats in a row, there are actually 12 total places to plug in for every 10 seats in a row,” said White. While the new terminal was being designed, the airport conducted numerous surveys of passengers and focus groups in the community to find out what amenities they wanted to see, said White. “Overwhelmingly, lots of power outlets made the top of the list consistently. “We conducted a big seating competition prior to deciding what make and model of chairs to purchase. We obtained sample seating from all of the airport chair manufacturers and set them up in our program management office,” White recalled. “We then brought in numerous folks to test out the chairs and let us know which ones were the most comfortable, which ones looked the best and which ones were the most durable.” The airport brought in airline managers, airport board members, city councilmembers, Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport

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