News Archive

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USA: Earlier this month Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has released its Ground Transportation Access Planning Study for leveraging connectivity opportunities around the Bob Hope Airport.

The study will serve as a catalyst for various improvements in the area's public transit, including the addition of several new bus routes that now serve the Airport's new Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC), connecting the Airport to North Hollywood and Downtown Burbank.

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“The Authority plans to continue its engagement in regional transportation policy and planning activities, and to maintain strong working relationships with its partners, such as Metro and Metrolink, in order to leverage recent transportation improvements into future projects,” sated the press release.

Planned future improvements include the construction of a pedestrian bridge connection between the RITC and the Bob Hope Airport Train Station; east-west bus service connecting the North Hollywood Metro Red Line to the Gold Line, with service to the Airport; and a planned new Metrolink Station at San Fernando Road and Hollywood Way.

Currently 77% of all air passengers travel to/from Bob Hope Airport by car and only 2% take the train via Metrolink or Amtrak (1% of airport staff).

Metrolink operates eight commuter rail lines, two of which (Antelope Valley and Ventura) run adjacent to the Airport and through Burbank and serve the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station and an existing Metrolink station at the Airport. Amtrak operates intercity rail within the Study Area. The Airport Metrolink Station is served by the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight Amtrak trains.

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Transportation improvement options proposed in the Study include new light rail connection, extension of Metro Red and Orange lines, increased frequencies of existing rail connections, and an automated people mover to connect airport terminals.

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UK: HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, aims to submit a detailed planning application for a new railway station near Inverness Airport, Dalcross, by end of the year.

According to HITRANS, officials have kicked off the process by seeking the views of statutory consultees, such as SEPA, on the proposed development of a new access road and provision of a 150-space car park with associated drop off area as well as a new platform for the proposed railway station.

Before a detailed application is submitted, HITRANS needs to complete a Business Case and a Transport Assessment and piece together a funding package for the project.

It also needs to consult locally before finalising the application. This includes talks with Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd and discussions with the local community.

Frank Roach, Partnership Manager with HITRANS, said: “We are making good progress with the plans for the new railway station at Dalcross, which will serve the airport, the neighbouring development park and proposed new housing developments to the east of Inverness.

“We are currently seeking the views of statutory consultees and their views will influence the detail of our planning application, which we aim to submit by the end of the year.

“Clearly, a key factor will be finding the money from Highland and Islands sources to match the 50% of funding we will be seeking from the Scottish Government, via the Scottish Stations Fund. We have lots of work still to do but we are making very good progress.”

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USA: New York Governor Cuomo has unveiled the vision for the comprehensive redesign of LaGuardia Airport that will transform it into a single, structurally unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, significantly increased taxiway space and best-in-class passenger amenities.

Construction on the first half of the new unified terminal, expected to be a $4 billion project that creates 8,000 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect jobs, will be managed by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a new public private partnership chosen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to build the project.

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Construction on the first half will begin upon final approval from the Board of Directors of the PANYNJ in the first part of 2016 and is expected to partially open to passengers in 2019, with full completion scheduled for approximately 18 months later. The second half of the new unified terminal is expected to be redeveloped by Delta Air Lines, which has indicated strong support for the new vision, and anticipates beginning the redevelopment of its terminals on a parallel track with the LaGuardia Gateway Partners project to complete the new unified airport.

“New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past – and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are transforming LaGuardia into a globally-renowned, 21st century airport that is worthy of the city and state of New York.”

LaGuardia’s current layout, comprised of multiple, fragmented terminals, will be replaced by one main, architecturally unified terminal. This will be accomplished by demolishing the existing Terminal B building, which is operated by the Port Authority, and replacing it with a larger structure, located closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will include new terminal space and a new Central Arrivals and Departures Hall, and will link to Delta’s Terminals C and D. This represents the western half of the new structurally unified terminal.

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The eastern half of the new unified terminal will be constructed on a parallel track by Delta Air Lines redeveloping its existing Terminals closer to the Grand Central Parkway and connecting them to the new Central Arrivals and Departures Hall.

To utilize LaGuardia's geographic footprint more efficiently, the new terminal facility will be built closer to the Grand Central Parkway. The redesigned facility will also utilize an island-gate system, in which passengers access their gates via raised pedestrian bridges, high enough for aircraft to taxi underneath, which connect back to the main terminal.

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Together, the relocated terminals and island-gate system will create nearly two miles of new taxiway space. This allows for a more efficient circulation of aircraft and reduced taxi-in and taxi-out times, which will yield shorter and fewer gate delays – a dramatic difference from today’s LaGuardia. In addition, this change will produce overall reduction in carbon emissions from idling aircraft.

In addition to the unified terminal structure, the Governor’s Advisory Panel made a number of other recommendations that will complement the new facility and bring LaGuardia into the 21st century.

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The new LaGuardia’s unified terminal will be designed to incorporate a future AirTrain terminal that will directly connect the airport to the New York City subway and Long Island Rail Road at Mets-Willets Point Station. The Panel also recommends that the airport once again be made accessible by ferry service.

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The interior of the new unified terminal will also be intuitive for passengers to easily navigate, and will facilitate efficient movement throughout the airport. A transit option to move passengers more quickly within the airport is recommended by the Panel, such as a tram or monorail, to be included as construction moves forward. This transit option would also better integrate the Marine Air Terminal (Terminal A) with the rest of the airport housed in the new unified terminal.

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LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) is a consortium of firms with extensive experience in terminal operations, construction, design and finances, including:

  • Vantage Airport Group – Currently manages nine airports across three continents, and has transitioned 19 airports from public to private management.
  • Skanska and Walsh Construction – construction joint venture
  • HOK and Parsons Brinckerhoff – design joint venture
  • Vantage, Skanska, and Meridiam – a global infrastructure investment fund. Will provide the committed equity investment.

LGP would be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the new terminal as part of a 35-year lease.

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USA: The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), has awarded Spanish engineering and technology group SENER the contract to develop the engineering and environmental services for the Palmdale to Burbank section of the California high speed line.

The contract calls for SENER to perform preliminary design for the 45 miles high speed line section from Palmdale station in the north, to the Burbank Airport station in the south. These will include conceptual design engineering and analysing various alternatives before selecting the preferred one. Furthermore, SENER will prepare the tender documents for design and build (D&B) contracts.

The Palmdale – Burbank section will pass through urban, rural and natural areas. SENER will define the footprint for environmental impact analysis and the right of way to be acquired, for the track alignment, stations, and ancillary elements.

Following award of the contract, the CEO of SENER USA, Francisco Fernández, said, “As experts in high speed rail lines that runs through major city centres, we're going to apply all of our know-how to plan and design an efficient solution that will be respectful of the environment while being accessible and convenient for passengers.”

Palmdale to Burbank May 2015

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UK: Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has released The Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy, which describes how the region can use HS2 as a catalyst for major job creation, increased productivity and net national growth.

“The wider region will benefit from radically improved national and international connectivity. The two HS2 stations and Birmingham Airport, with its huge potential and ability to open up access to international markets, will drive new areas for regeneration, housing and business growth across the Midlands,” the report states.

“It is absolutely fantastic to see people in the Midlands gearing up to take full advantage of HS2 and the jobs, skills and growth it will bring. Birmingham and Solihull will be at the heart of HS2 network. This strategy illustrates how HS2 can re-balance our country’s economy and why it is such a vital part of our long-term economic plan,” Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said.

The national investment in HS2 will see an Interchange station at UK Central, in Solihull, accessing Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and a terminus station at Curzon, in Birmingham City Centre. According to the GBSLEP, the two station localities will be amongst the best-connected and, ultimately, most productive business destinations in the country.

“The arrival of HS2 in the Midlands is a once-in-a generation opportunity to do something really special. It’s not enough to simply lay tracks and build stations; we must take this chance to create a legacy for the region in terms of regeneration, jobs, skills, economic development and connectivity. This is already a hugely powerful regional economy but we can use the benefits of HS2 to play an even greater role in powering Britain,” Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Andy Street said.

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The major investment in region-wide connectivity is covered in the Connectivity Package and includes provision of a single, integrated People Mover stop to act as an interchange hub providing direct access to Birmingham International Station, Birmingham Airport and the NEC, and Genting Arena complex.

Through the connectivity programme the Strategy sets out clear proposals to support transport links and accessibility improvements between HS2 and Birmingham Airport to ensure that its major role in the future growth can be realised. GBSLEP also wants to secure direct international services from the Midlands to Paris, Brussels and beyond via a direct rail link between HS2 and the existing HS1 line to the Channel Tunnel and wider European High Speed Rail Network.

The value of the Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy Investment Programme is estimated at £3.3bn and will include major infrastructure works that align the construction of the railway line and Interchange Station with that of a new junction from the M42, the People Mover from the Interchange Station to Birmingham Airport, and an extension of the Midland Metro into the Curzon area which will facilitate future extensions through East Birmingham and North Solihull and out to the Airport and Interchange in Solihull.

“The lasting impact and legacy of HS2 will be determined by how successfully local authorities and regions use it as a catalyst to transform their economies and develop the look and feel of the areas it touches. The Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy is therefore hugely important for Birmingham and the Midlands, as it sets out a clear approach to maximising the opportunity to drive economic growth and provide real benefits to local people through access to jobs and skills. I welcome the Midlands partnership approach to developing this strategy and the key to its success will be to continue this partnership, as HS2 moves forward towards construction,” said Sir David Higgins Chairman of HS2 Ltd.

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