A multi-million dollar investment in streamlining passenger and aircraft movements through Melbourne Airport has seen the country’s busiest 24/7 airport take home three awards for innovation.

The 2019 Australian Airports Association (AAA) awards recognise innovation and excellence for projects delivered by association members. Melbourne Airport’s three awards recognised achievements in security screening, airfield pavement repair, and using advanced data modelling to manage passenger and vehicle movements through the airport.

Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer, Lyell Strambi, said the awards recognised his team’s innovative approach to improving the traveller experience right across the airport.

“We’re delighted to be recognised by our peers for these three innovative projects that all directly contribute to a more streamlined, more efficient airport experience for passengers,” said Mr Strambi.

“Melbourne Airport’s CT trial was the first live trial of computed tomography scanning in a domestic terminal anywhere in Australia. The insights captured from that award-winning trial led to our Terminal 4 becoming the first domestic terminal in the country to be fully compliant with new CT scanning requirements.

“Combining four CT scanning lanes with state-of-the-art body scanners means travellers through T4 now enjoy much shorter waiting times prior to screening, an easier screening process with bags remaining packed as they pass through the scanner, and a significant drop in secondary screening with full body scanners replacing archway metal detectors.

“Our recent taxiway pavement replacement works caught the attention of airports both nationally and internationally due to the speed in which the project was delivered. These works used ‘rapid set’ cement to replace independent pavement slabs on the airport’s taxiways in just four hours.

“Each new concrete slab, sized at around 7.6m x 7.6m, set so quickly that an Airbus A380 (weighing more than 550 tonnes) could traffic across the new concrete poured only hours prior – a large improvement in efficiency as traditional Portland cement concrete can take two weeks to fully cure for aircraft loading. For a 24/7 airport like Melbourne, the ability to undertake these airfield works in a matter of hours is vital to removing unwanted disruptions from the schedule.

“We’re especially pleased to be recognised by the industry for our Enterprise Data Platform, which is an unprecedented foray into data mining for an Australian airport.

“Using both our own and external data sources we’re able to stare into the passenger journey through our airport all the way from the freeway to the runway. This gives us a unique opportunity to forecast passenger movements at various stages of the journey, and to use that insight to guide decision-making. This is becoming increasingly important for vehicular traffic management as our passenger numbers continue to grow while we’re expanding the airport’s road network,” said Mr Strambi.

Each of the airport’s award-winning projects highlights a particular focus on streamlining passengers’ journeys from landside access all the way to the runway.

“Passenger experience is integral to airport design, and each of these awards celebrates an innovation that improves that passenger journey.

“That could be through maintaining and improving on-time performance on the airfield, or through streamlining the security screening experience. It’s even at the heart of our quest to better understand our own passenger movement data, to make sure we have the right resources on the floor to support forecast passenger numbers at key points along the journey,” said Mr Strambi.