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The Rise of Sustainable Energies and Practices in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a remarkable shift towards sustainability, particularly in the transportation sector. Airports and seaports, traditionally hubs of high energy consumption and environmental impact, have become pioneers in adopting eco-friendly practices. Join us as we revisit the most prevalent sustainable energies and practices in these sectors, highlighting their significance and encouraging further ecological mindfulness.

Sustainable Energy in Airports and Seaports

Solar Power: A Ray of Hope

Solar energy has emerged as a frontrunner in the sustainable energy revolution. Airports like Cochin International in India and Denver International in the USA have set exemplary standards. Cochin became the world’s first fully solar-powered airport, with a 40 MW solar plant. Similarly, seaports like Los Angeles have integrated solar power into their operations, significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

Harnessing the Wind

Wind energy, though less prevalent than solar power, plays a crucial role in sustainable practices. Boston Logan International Airport’s installation of wind turbines exemplifies this trend. The Port of Rotterdam, known for its innovative approaches, has also invested in wind energy projects, aligning with its renewable energy transition strategy.

The Geothermal Advantage

Geothermal energy, a less tapped but potent resource, is utilized in places like Zurich Airport for heating and cooling. The Port of Reykjavik in Iceland, leveraging its unique geothermal resources, stands out in this category.

Bioenergy and Hydrogen Fuel Cells: The New Frontiers

The shift to bioenergy is evident in Oslo Airport’s use of biofuels for ground operations. Similarly, hydrogen fuel cells are gaining traction, with Memphis International Airport experimenting with them for cargo tuggers. The Port of Antwerp’s exploration of hydrogen fuel cells for port equipment marks a significant step towards cleaner energy use.

Tidal and Wave Energy: Harnessing the Ocean’s Power

Seaports, particularly those like Orkney in Scotland, are harnessing tidal and wave energy, showcasing the untapped potential of ocean power.

Sustainable Practices in Airports and Seaports

Energy Efficiency: The First Step to Sustainability

Energy efficiency remains a cornerstone of sustainable practices. Changi Airport in Singapore and the Port of Singapore have implemented measures like efficient lighting and machinery, significantly reducing energy consumption.

Waste Management and Water Conservation: Essential Eco-Practices

San Francisco International Airport’s waste management program and Los Angeles International Airport’s water conservation efforts exemplify the commitment to sustainable resource management. The Port of Amsterdam’s advanced waste management systems and the Port of Hamburg’s water-saving technologies further underscore this commitment.

Sustainable Transportation: Moving Towards a Greener Tomorrow

Heathrow Airport’s encouragement of electric vehicles and the Port of Gothenburg’s investment in sustainable maritime transport solutions reflect the growing trend towards eco-friendly transportation.

Building a Greener Infrastructure

Green building standards are crucial for sustainable development. Hamad International Airport’s LEED certification and the Port of Vancouver’s environmentally friendly facilities set benchmarks in sustainable infrastructure.

Carbon Offsetting and Ecosystem Protection: Balancing Development with Nature

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s carbon offset programs and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport’s wildlife protection measures demonstrate a balanced approach to development and nature conservation.

Sustainable Procurement and Community Engagement: A Collective Responsibility

The Port of Barcelona’s sustainable procurement policies and the Port of Seattle’s community engagement initiatives highlight the importance of collective responsibility in achieving sustainability goals.

Embracing Digitalization for a Sustainable Future

The adoption of smart technologies, as seen in Singapore Airlines and the Port of Shanghai, is crucial for efficient and sustainable operations.

As we witness these inspiring examples of sustainable practices, it’s clear that every step towards sustainability, no matter how small, contributes to a larger impact on our planet. Airports and seaports, once seen as mere transit points, are now leading the way in ecological responsibility. Their commitment to sustainable energies and practices is not just a response to environmental challenges but a proactive move towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

Sustainable energies and practices adopted by airports and seaports in 2023 are not just innovations for the present; they are investments in our future. They remind us that with collective effort and technological advancement, a sustainable future is a reality within our grasp. The journey towards a greener future is a collective one, and it begins with individual choices.

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The Evolution of Airport Security: Goodbye to Liquids Restriction in Luggage

Traveling by plane has always involved certain security rules, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. One of the most well-known restrictions is the requirement to remove liquids from luggage when passing through security checkpoints. However, this regulation is about to change thanks to technological innovation at airports. Let’s recall why this rule was established and how new technologies are transforming airport security procedures, making the travel experience easier for millions of people.

Airport Security: The Reason Behind Liquids Regulation at Airports

Traditionally, passengers have had to remove liquids from their luggage due to security concerns. These measures intensified after terrorist plots involving liquid explosives were discovered. As a result, authorities limited the amount of liquids passengers could carry in their carry-on luggage and required them to be presented in containers of up to 100 ml, placed in a transparent plastic bag.

Inconvenience for Travelers

This regulation, though necessary for security, has resulted in a slower and often frustrating travel experience. Removing liquids and electronic devices such as laptops for security inspections increases wait times in lines and can cause stress for passengers, especially during peak travel seasons.

Technological Advances in Airport Security

3D Scanners: A Game Changer

The good news is that technology is changing the game. New 3D X-ray scanners, capable of generating detailed images of the contents of suitcases, are being implemented at various airports. These scanners allow security officers to clearly see in three dimensions what each passenger is carrying, eliminating the need to remove liquids and laptops.

Innovation in Spanish Airports

A notable example of this innovation can be found in Spain. Starting in 2024, airports such as Barajas in Madrid and El Prat in Barcelona will begin using these 3D scanners. This technology not only streamlines the security process but also enhances the ability to detect potential threats.

Similar Technology in the United States

The United States has also been a pioneer in implementing this technology, with airports like Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare installing 3D scanners for faster and more efficient luggage inspection.

Benefits for Passengers

Reduced Wait Times

The most obvious benefit of this technology is a significant reduction in wait times. Passengers will no longer need to prepare their liquids and electronic devices for inspection, speeding up the security checkpoint process.

Improved Travel Experience

These technological advances also improve the overall travel experience. Less stress at security checkpoints means a calmer and more pleasant start to the journey.

The Future of Airport Security

Ongoing Innovation
The implementation of 3D scanners is just the beginning. Airports worldwide are continually exploring new technologies to enhance security and efficiency, such as biometric identification and remote luggage inspection.

Will Liquids Regulations Change?
Despite these advances, the current regulations on the amount of liquids allowed have not been modified. However, the ongoing evolution of technology could lead to changes in security policies in the future.

A Brighter and Safer Future for Travelers
The introduction of 3D scanners at airports is excellent news for travelers worldwide. This technology not only promises greater efficiency and convenience but also maintains security standards. With these advancements, the future of air travel looks faster, safer, and more enjoyable for everyone.

 

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Innovation: Virtual Reality Training Simulator at the Airspace Integration Week 2023

From September 25th to 28th, Madrid was the epicenter for aviation and space navigation, alongside cutting-edge drone technology, during the international event Airspace Integration Week 2023.

ENAIRE, leading air traffic management company in Spain, showcased a range of innovative simulators and state-of-the-art displays, while actively participating in high-level conferences.

Virtual Reality Training Simulator

One of the standout achievements of this event was the unveiling of a virtual reality training simulator for air traffic controllers. This tool empowers future air traffic controllers to gain experience within a virtual environment, preparing them for the complexities that can arise in air traffic management.

The iFOCUCS display proved to be another highlight, demonstrating the capabilities of the groundbreaking air traffic control position. This state-of-the-art technology not only enhances airspace management but also symbolizes the industry’s commitment to progress and efficiency.

In addition, the ICARO Maps and Flow Tools screens, sophisticated traffic flow management tools, aim to provide real-time critical information for air traffic control, further streamlining operations and ensuring safety. This includes real-time data on flights, weather conditions, and more.

Airspace Integration Week 2023

The significance of technology and innovation in the aviation industry was the main focus during Airspace Integration Week 2023. Such advancements not only enhance safety but also redefine the learning curve, ensuring a new generation of controllers is well-prepared to navigate the evolving airspace landscape.

Furthermore, the discussions held at the event delved into key industry topics, ranging from cutting-edge air navigation systems to harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and satellite navigation. Collectively, these advancements propel the aviation and space navigation industry forward, offering unprecedented opportunities for efficiency, safety, and sustainability. The event exemplified how technology and innovation continue to be the driving forces behind the industry’s progress, shaping the future of air travel and navigation on a global scale.

Airspace Integration Week 2023 relies on three foundational pillars: the advancement of air traffic management, the evolution of drone operations management (U-Space), and the space traffic management.

Airspace Integration Week 2023 not only was a transformative event in the realm of air and space navigation but also underscored the potential of advanced technology within the industry, setting new standards for the future.

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Source: Enaire.es

Drones in Action: How the Port of Rotterdam Reduces CO2 Emissions

The Port of Rotterdam has achieved a pioneering milestone by obtaining authorization to deploy long-range drones in inspection and surveillance operations, marking a crucial step in reducing CO2 emissions and promoting sustainable energy in the port sector.

How will the drones in Port of Rotterdam work?

These drones, managed from the Command and Control Center at the Port Coordination Division of the Port Captaincy, are just the beginning of an ambitious vision. The Port Authority is designing a comprehensive drone network that spans the entire port, operated from a central hub. This network will be key to establishing a real-time connection between the images transmitted by the drones and assessments by the Port Captaincy Division.

Compromise with Safety

Drones will not only play a crucial role in inspection and surveillance tasks but will also be used in incident prevention, closely collaborating with the Joint Fire Department.

This commitment to drone technology is a tangible expression of the Port Authority of Rotterdam’s vision: to make the port more efficient, safe, and sustainable. Furthermore, the drone innovation program in the port is becoming an “experimental space” for drone service providers, promising significant advancements in the responsible use of this technology.

Concrete examples of how drones benefit the port include the inspection of key infrastructure such as bridges and cranes, early detection of potential pollutant leaks, and monitoring of maritime traffic congestion. All of these contribute to operational efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Thanks to this initiative, the Port of Rotterdam is leading the way in adopting technological solutions that have a positive impact on its operations, making them more environmentally friendly and sustainable, while setting a standard for the global port industry.

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Solar Farms Out at Sea: Pioneering Clean Energy Advancements

Picture solar farms like this: rows of solar panels generating electricity on circular rafts, braving waves as high as 10 meters in China’s Yellow Sea, about 30 kilometers off the coast of Shandong province. This experiment by State Power Investment Corp. and Ocean Sun AS is a groundbreaking test of offshore solar technology, offering new possibilities for clean energy.

 

Offshore solar farms have the potential to change the renewable energy sector by allowing renewable installations in sea locations. It offers a way for land-constrained regions to accelerate their transition away from fossil fuels. 

 

The versatility of offshore solar knows no bounds. Regions such as parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, including places like Singapore and Hong Kong, are constrained by land, so this technology is of great interest. Shandong, an industrial hub, has ambitious plans to add over 11 gigawatts of solar offshore by 2025, and Jiangsu aims to add 12.7 gigawatts. Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and other nations are also exploring similar ventures.

 

How can we benefit from solar farms?

 

The potential benefits are immense, with locations like Huainan in China’s Anhui province showcasing installations of about half a million floating solar panels on artificial lakes. Research suggests that adding solar systems on existing reservoirs could enable more than 6,000 global cities and communities to develop self-sufficient power systems.

 

While the idea holds great potential, there are still some unknowns. We need more studies to understand the lasting effects of placing solar panels on water bodies. In China, they have limited certain freshwater locations due to worries about how it might impact the environment.

 

Developers are actively experimenting with different concepts, such as Ocean Sun’s innovative ring-shaped floaters and SolarDuck AS’s triangular platforms. Although offshore solar may come with higher installation costs compared to onshore solar, it offers a unique opportunity for land-starved coastal cities like Singapore to embrace renewable energy.

 

In China alone, the forecast suggests a potential of about 700 gigawatts of offshore solar—equivalent to India and Japan’s combined electricity generation capacity. As this promising sector gains momentum, we have only begun to scratch the surface of its vast potential.

 

The future of renewable energy could very well lie offshore, where the sun’s rays meet the sea’s expanse.

BlueTechPort: Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona Join Forces for Innovation.

Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona have opened the doors to BlueTechPort, a new innovation space for companies aiming to drive progress in all sectors related to the blue economy.

 

Located at Pier 01 in Palau de Mar and owned by Tech Barcelona, this place will host businesses and entrepreneurial projects linked to the port, logistics, and blue tourism sectors, as well as more cutting-edge fields such as underwater robotics, artificial intelligence applied to the marine environment, marine biodiversity conservation, and even the development of pharmaceutical components derived from marine products.

 

As emphasized by Port of Barcelona’s President, Lluís Salvadó, during the space’s unveiling, these sectors represent fresh opportunities for the maritime and port ecosystem.

 

Innovation in the Blue Economy

 

As the first of its kind at Port of Barcelona, BlueTechPort represents another step forward in the commitment to drive innovation in the blue economy, as outlined in the approved 2021 Innovation Plan. The objective? To become a more sustainable and competitive port, generating benefits for the logistics and port community, clients, and citizens.

 

Collaborating with Tech Barcelona will enable companies establishing themselves at BlueTechPort to enjoy the benefits offered by startups within the ecosystem. This ecosystem will shape the Blue District, a space designed to foster synergies among various institutions and companies present at Port of Barcelona, while also attracting renowned enterprises and research centers beyond the port area.

 

“In 2013, with the foundation of Tech Barcelona, we pioneered the consolidation and strengthening of Barcelona’s technological and digital ecosystem alongside the city’s most outstanding entrepreneurs. Now, 10 years later, the creation of BlueTechPort in collaboration with Port of Barcelona will allow us to consolidate and develop the blue economy, a strategic sector that will play a fundamental role in the city’s transformation,” declared Miquel Martí, CEO of Tech Barcelona, during the inauguration ceremony.

 

Sustainability as the Goal for BlueTechPort

 

Sustainability is one of the key pillars for companies within Barcelona’s technological and digital ecosystem. Therefore, the collaboration between Port of Barcelona and Tech Barcelona represents a unique opportunity to develop the city’s blue economy and establish the sector as an international benchmark.

 

BlueTechPort is designed to accommodate emerging companies, scale-ups, and innovative projects by established enterprises, benefiting from the support and collaboration of Port of Barcelona to conduct pilot tests or prototype their projects. The port will serve as a testing environment for their ideas and proposals to drive sustainability in the blue economy.

 

Source: Port de Barcelona

Navigating the Challenges of Seaport Technology Adoption

The maritime industry is evolving rapidly, and seaports worldwide are increasingly leveraging technology to optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and enhance sustainability. However, the adoption of new technologies in seaports comes with its fair share of challenges. From cost considerations to interoperability issues, change management, and cybersecurity concerns, seaports face several hurdles when it comes to implementing technology solutions.

Let’s explore the best practices and lessons learned from successful seaports in navigating these challenges and achieving successful technology adoption in their daily operations.

Conducting Comprehensive Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cost is a significant consideration in seaport technology adoption. It is essential to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis before embarking on any technology adoption initiative. This includes evaluating the upfront costs of technology acquisition, installation, and integration, as well as ongoing operational costs, maintenance, and potential return on investment (ROI).

Ensuring Interoperability and Compatibility

Interoperability and compatibility among different technologies and systems are critical for successful technology adoption in seaports. Seaports rely on a wide range of technologies, such as terminal operating systems, cargo tracking systems, security solutions, and communication networks. Check out our Suite AIMS as an example of how you can integrate different systems with each other to operate in a more efficient way.

Managing Change and Stakeholder Engagement

Change management and stakeholder engagement are vital aspects of successful technology adoption in seaports. Technology adoption often involves changes in processes, workflows, and job roles, which can be difficult to assimilate for employees and stakeholders. It’s important to make sure that technology, more than a challenge, is a tool beneficial for everyone.

Prioritizing Cybersecurity

Technology is a wonderful tool, but the more we use it, the more vulnerable we are to cyber attacks. With increasing reliance on technology, seaports are also exposed to cybersecurity risks. Cyber threats can compromise critical systems and data, leading to operational disruptions and financial losses. Seaports, as any other place that works with technology, should prioritize cybersecurity in their technology adoption initiatives by implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, encryption, and employee awareness training.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) started 2022 with a plan to establish a maritime cybersecurity roundtable to improve cybersecurity partnerships, access to digital maritime tools and skills, as well as boosting research and development of new maritime technologies. It also contemplated expanding the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan to allow 3,000 small and medium-sized businesses to apply for co-funding assistance to receive support for adopting digital tools.

There’s plenty of seaports around the world that have implemented new technologies with success, and we can learn from their experiences to find new solutions and overcome challenges. Besides the ports mentioned above, we can also take as an example the Port of Barcelona in Spain, which successfully implemented a digital platform that provides real-time visibility and transparency in port operations, enabling better coordination and resource allocation. Recently, they have increased their computing capacity, faster processing speed, and enhanced security measures for delivering services via PORTIC, the Port of Barcelona’s Port Community System (PCS).

Embracing digital transformation and technology innovation will help you to stay competitive in the global shipping industry. Which of the challenges described above would you address first? Let us know in the comments below.

Digital Credentials at Aruba Airport

The Government of Aruba, along with aviation technology company SITA and digital identity verification company IndicioTech, has introduced a new way to simplify the travel process for passengers arriving on the island.

The use of Digital Travel credentials (DTC) technology has made it possible for travelers to meet immigration requirements before reaching their destination.

This DTC technology has eliminated the need for passengers to manually enter their travel document information by hand, optimizing the travel authorization process.

Thanks to this, passengers can share their data through digital wallets and from their mobile devices at checkpoints such as immigration or other points of contact such as hotels or car rental companies.

The DTC technology is reliable and complies with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards. This means that passengers can create their digital credentials with their physical passports, and the data will be stored in the digital wallet.

A Success Story…

Due to the pandemic that occurred in 2020, tests were carried out on DTC technology for the health management of travelers regarding COVID vaccines and tests.

The Minister of Tourism and Public Health of Aruba, Dangui Oduber, highlighted that “innovation within the tourism industry has always been a focal point in our strategic vision and policy formulation. We are pleased that Aruba is part of this innovative progress, which ensures quality and excellence for all our visitors.”

This makes it clear that innovation and new technologies are also present in Aruba as part of the strategic and visionary expansion of tourism on the island.

Finally, simplification is also part of the aviation industry, which increasingly seeks automation in its processes, recognizing that there are more benefits to optimizing controls.

 

“New technologies that are transforming the management of container and cargo ports”

Containers and cargo ports are key infrastructures for international trade. The rapid growth of global commerce has led to an increase in the volume of goods moving through these infrastructures, generating the need to improve efficiency and control in their management. But what is currently being done to achieve this? Here is a summary of the most important technologies in port management:

Terminal Operating Systems (TOS). 

These systems allow container port operators to control and supervise port operations, from the arrival and departure of ships to the loading and unloading of containers on land. TOS is a comprehensive solution that provides a complete view of the port and enables operators to make more informed and efficient decisions.

Among the benefits of using TOS are reduced waiting times, improved efficiency in planning container loading and unloading, and increased port capacity. A successful example of TOS implementation is the Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe. The implementation of TOS in Rotterdam has reduced waiting times for ships and increased port capacity to handle more containers.

Another technology that is increasingly being used in the shipping industry is the Internet of Things (IoT). 

IoT allows port operators and customers to track and monitor the location of goods in real time. This helps improve transparency and visibility in the supply chain, which in turn helps prevent theft and loss of cargo or containers.

In addition, IoT is also used for predictive maintenance. IoT sensors can monitor equipment conditions and detect problems before they become serious faults. This allows port operators to schedule preventive maintenance instead of having to perform expensive repairs on damaged equipment. A successful example of IoT implementation is the Port of Hamburg, where IoT is used to monitor the temperature of perishable goods containers.

Image recognition technology and data analysis This is another technology being used in the shipping industry to improve efficiency in loading and unloading containers. This includes the use of surveillance cameras and image analysis software to monitor container movement and detect problems in real time. For example, the Port of Singapore uses surveillance cameras to monitor container movement and prevent collisions.

Robotics 

The implementation of robotics has also been part of the digital transformation of ports, as robots can assist in loading and unloading containers, reducing the need for labor and increasing efficiency in the loading and unloading process. For example, the Port of Qingdao in China uses robots for container loading and unloading in an automated terminal, which has significantly improved productivity and efficiency.

In conclusion, the adoption of new technologies such as TOS, IoT, image recognition and data analysis, and robotics are allowing container and cargo ports to improve efficiency and control in their management. These technologies enable better supervision of operations, process optimization, reduced waiting times, and prevention of cargo losses, while optimizing resources and increasing net income.

 

Airport recovery in Latin America

We are starting a new year, after stumbles, pandemics, and a new adaptation, airports presented their balance sheets for 2022. For the most part, the recovery was evident, which translates into new challenges and improvements. 

In the case of Latin America, El Dorado Airport, which serves Bogota, was the most punctual airport in Latin America in 2022. 

This result was announced by Cirium, a specialist in the analysis of the aeronautical sector, which presented the annual balance of the punctuality performance of airports worldwide. 

In the case of El Dorado International Airport, it was the most punctual with 80.72%, which places it in the top 10 and as the most punctual in Latin America. 

Recovery at Tocumen Airport 

In the case of Central America, specifically at Tocumen International Airport, the annual report of airport activities was presented. 

In this report, the recovery of the airport in the year 2022 stands out, which recovered the airport traffic concerning 2021, new flight routes were opened, and also, the recovery of the structure and operation of the new Terminal 2. 

In general, it can be said that although the year just ended was a year of challenges, the return of airlines and the lifting of restrictions was positive for the recovery of the sector. 

In terms of numbers, Tocumen Airport closed 2022 with more than 15 million passengers, a little more than 6 million more than in 2021. 

This is only a small part of what happened in Latin America, but the recovery of air traffic worldwide was very satisfying for the recovery of the aviation sector after years of uncertainty and new challenges. 

But 2023 is just beginning, what will it hold for the aviation sector? 

 

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