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Hop! promises to free travelers from carrying their luggage

As any frequent flyer knows, hauling around a passport, carry-on luggage and suitcase while navigating through an airport can be a real hassle, and the situation is made worse if the traveler in question has any physical health issues. Madrid-based designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has come up with an ingenious solution to this issue: a smart carry-on suitcase named Hop! which follows the traveler around automatically.  Read More

Design studio Büro für MEHR has created a drive through concept for an airport passenger t...

Amsterdam and Vienna-based design studio Büro für MEHR has created a drive through concept for an airport passenger terminal that could change the way airports process traffic. The concept offers a significant reduction of the size of an airport’s layout to simplify ground traffic and significantly reduce its environmental impact. It is anticipated that within next decade aviation traffic could almost double, with many airports already struggling to facilitate increased demand. The Drive Through Airport concept has been designed with future logistics in mind, while simply presenting an idea that raises the question, why hasn’t anyone done this before?  Read More

The photovoltaic panels and concrete panels (background) being used in the experimental so...

When it comes to keeping airport runways clear of ice, there are several options, including the use of chemical, thermal, electric and microwave technologies. All of these methods can be expensive, as they require either a considerable amount of electricity, or a number of human workers. Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas, however, are developing a new system that would use the freely-available power of the Sun to keep runways from freezing up.  Read More

The aerodynamic-looking building will include a dramatic 25 meter-high central space, with...

Foster + Partners, the same architectural firm behind Apple's new campus, recently unveiled its plans for the new Kuwait International Airport. The architects are aiming for LEED Gold appraisal, which will see it become the first passenger terminal in the world to attain this level of environmental accreditation.  Read More

Arch Group's first Sleepbox unit at Sherematyevo Airport Moscow

There are lot of "pod" hotel concepts around. It's one of those things that every young design/architectural practice likes to have a go at for its portfolio. The use-cases for these things are obvious, airports, train stations, exhibition halls, shopping malls, even temporary hostels or emergency shelter. Economic conditions notwithstanding it's a simple fact that we are traveling more and that the time spent waiting around in terminals is getting longer and more unpleasant. The promise of privacy and proper sleep is compelling. One architectural practice that has honed its pod concept into a refined, practical and importantly a patentable reality over a the years is Arch Group of Moscow. The high level of interest shown in the company's first working installation means that it looks like this tenacity will pay off.  Read More

Designed by UK-based company ULTra PRT, the system consists of 22 podcars, operating on 2....

Commissioned by BAA (Heathrow Airport's operator), the ULTra PRT transportation system, which utilizes autonomous electric podcars, has been launched at Heathrow Airport. The point-to-point vehicles connect Heathrow's Terminal 5 with two business parking lots, carrying approximately 800 passengers each weekday.  Read More

The Cockpit Suite, where guests can sleep where pilots once traversed the skies (Photo: Li...

A Boeing 747 jumbo jet has been designed to offer travelers a good night's sleep without the turbulence. After being grounded at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport back in November 2002, it has been transformed into the world's first Jumbo Hostel. In doing so, the retired airliner has become a significant landmark and tourist attraction at the Swedish Airport.  Read More

Scientists have created a new sensor system, designed to spot potentially hazardous debris...

When the Air France Concorde Flight 4590 was taking off from Charles de Gaulle International Airport in July of 2000, it ran over a piece of debris that had been left on the runway by another plane. That incident caused the tire to rupture, sending pieces of itself flying into the underside of the Concorde. This in turn caused a fuel tank to rupture, the escaping fuel to catch fire, and ultimately led to the crashing of the airliner ... If there’s one thing that this event proved, it’s that debris on the runway can be dangerous. While human crews do already manually check for such debris, German scientists have created an automated system that they claim should do a better job.  Read More

The CAFE Foundation proposes the development of small, neighborhood airports, at which aut...

A little over a year ago, we told you about NASA’s Green Flight Challenge. The Space Agency is seeking designs for low-cost, quiet, short take-off personal aircraft, that require little if any fossil fuel. The winning design, to be decided next July, will win US$1.6 million in production funds. The competition is being run by NASA’s light-aircraft partner CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency), which envisions the resulting Suburban Air Vehicles (SAVs) taking off and landing at small neighborhood “pocket airports.” At last week’s Future of Electric Vehicles conference, CAFE president Dr. Brien Seeley outlined just how those airports would work.  Read More

The handheld TATP detector prototype (Photo: Kenneth Suslick)

Much as we might hate having to take our shoes off when going through airport security, it’s become necessary ever since a terrorist managed to get a shoe bomb aboard an American Airlines flight in December of 2001. Unfortunately, the X-raying of shoes is not enough to detect triacetone triperoxide (TATP). This easily-made explosive has been used in several bombing attempts, and is very difficult to detect in an airport environment. It doesn't fluoresce, absorb ultraviolet light or readily ionize, and can only be detected with large, expensive equipment and extensive sample preparation. Now, chemists from the University of Illinois have announced a simple new way of detecting even minute concentrations of TATP, using a piece of plastic and a digital camera.  Read More

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