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LAX unveils expansion: More gates, new checked-bag system

Los Angeles Times

A $1.7-billion expansion project at Los Angeles International Airport was officially unveiled Monday by local officials who expressed optimism that the facility will soon help serve a resurgence of travel demand from the yearlong pandemic slump. The new facility, named West Gates and billed as an expansion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, holds 15 gates. The project broke ground in 2017, when international travel was surging, particularly with big-spending visitors from China. At the time, the airport was the second-busiest in the nation and was considered the West Coast gateway to the United States. The airport served more than 84 million domestic and international travelers that year, according to LAX records.


Predicting Flight Delay with Spatio-Temporal Trajectory Convolutional Network and Airport Situational Awareness Map

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

To model and forecast flight delays accurately, it is crucial to harness various vehicle trajectory and contextual sensor data on airport tarmac areas. These heterogeneous sensor data, if modelled correctly, can be used to generate a situational awareness map. Existing techniques apply traditional supervised learning methods onto historical data, contextual features and route information among different airports to predict flight delay are inaccurate and only predict arrival delay but not departure delay, which is essential to airlines. In this paper, we propose a vision-based solution to achieve a high forecasting accuracy, applicable to the airport. Our solution leverages a snapshot of the airport situational awareness map, which contains various trajectories of aircraft and contextual features such as weather and airline schedules. We propose an end-to-end deep learning architecture, TrajCNN, which captures both the spatial and temporal information from the situational awareness map. Additionally, we reveal that the situational awareness map of the airport has a vital impact on estimating flight departure delay. Our proposed framework obtained a good result (around 18 minutes error) for predicting flight departure delay at Los Angeles International Airport.


Delta expanding facial recognition technology to domestic flights in Detroit

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Delta Air Lines is bringing facial recognition technology to domestic flights. Last week, the airline announced that it is launching its digital ID technology for domestic flights out of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Delta previously debuted the technology in 2018 for international flights.


Airlines look to help ailing industry with coronavirus testing at airports (but it's not a cure-all)

Los Angeles Times

Financially strapped airlines are pushing an idea intended to breathe new life into the travel industry: coronavirus tests that passengers can take before boarding a flight. Several airlines, including United, American, Hawaiian, JetBlue and Alaska, have announced plans to begin offering testing -- either kits mailed to a passenger's home or rapid tests taken at or near airports -- that would allow travelers to enter specific states and countries without having to quarantine. The tests will cost fliers $90 to $250, depending on the airline and the type of test. At Los Angeles International Airport, a design company has announced plans to convert cargo containers into a coronavirus testing facility with an on-site lab that can produce results in about two hours. On Thursday, Tampa International Airport began offering testing to all arriving and departing passengers on a walk-in basis. It's an idea that has gone global, with a trade group for the world's airlines calling on governments to create a testing standard for airline passengers as a way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic instead of using travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines.


K-Prototype Segmentation Analysis on Large-scale Ridesourcing Trip Data

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Shared mobility-on-demand services are expanding rapidly in cities around the world. As a prominent example, app-based ridesourcing is becoming an integral part of many urban transportation ecosystems. Despite the centrality, limited public availability of detailed temporal and spatial data on ridesourcing trips has limited research on how new services interact with traditional mobility options and how they impact travel in cities. Improving data-sharing agreements are opening unprecedented opportunities for research in this area. This study examines emerging patterns of mobility using recently released City of Chicago public ridesourcing data. The detailed spatio-temporal ridesourcing data are matched with weather, transit, and taxi data to gain a deeper understanding of ridesourcings role in Chicagos mobility system. The goal is to investigate the systematic variations in patronage of ride-hailing. K-prototypes is utilized to detect user segments owing to its ability to accept mixed variable data types. An extension of the K-means algorithm, its output is a classification of the data into several clusters called prototypes. Six ridesourcing prototypes are identified and discussed based on significant differences in relation to adverse weather conditions, competition with alternative modes, location and timing of use, and tendency for ridesplitting. The paper discusses implications of the identified clusters related to affordability, equity and competition with transit.


CES 2020: A smart city oasis

Robohub

Like the city that hosts the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there is a lot of noise on the show floor. Sifting through the lights, sounds and people can be an arduous task even for the most experienced CES attendees. Hidden past the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is a walkway to a tech oasis housed in the Westgate Hotel. This new area hosting SmartCity/IoT innovations is reminiscent of the old Eureka Park complete with folding tables and ballroom carpeting. The fact that such enterprises require their own area separate from the main halls of the LVCC and the startup pavilions of the Sands Hotel is an indication of how urbanization is being redefined by artificial intelligence.


Passenger waiting for flight takes over airport screen to play video games

FOX News

No word on whether or not the passenger made it to the next level. A passenger waiting for a flight at an Oregon airport needed a bit more screen space for his video game so he plugged his Playstation 4 into a computer screen that had been displaying a map of the airport. Kara Simonds, a spokeswoman for the Port of Portland, told KXL-AM radio in an on-air interview that Portland International Airport staff asked the man to stop gaming on the public map display. He asked if he could finish his game. They said no, and the situation resolved peacefully.


The Rise of Smart Airports: A Skift Deep Dive

#artificialintelligence

In late September, Beijing unveiled to the world Daxing, a glimmering $11 billion airport showcasing technologies such as robots and facial recognition scanners that many other airports worldwide are either adopting or are now considering. Daxing fits the description of what experts hail as a "smart airport." Just as a smart home is where internet-connected devices control functions like security and thermostats, smart airports use cloud-based technologies to simplify and improve services. Of course, many of the nearly 4,000 scheduled service airports across the world are still embarrassingly antiquated. The good news for aviation is that more facilities are investing, finally, to better serve airlines, suppliers, and travelers. This year, airports worldwide will spend $11.8 billion -- 68 percent more than the level three years ago -- on information technology, according to an estimate published this month by SITA (Société Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques, an airline-owned tech provider). A few trends are driving the rise of smart airports. Flight volumes are increasing, so airports need better ways to process flyers. Airports need better ways to make money, too, by encouraging passengers to spend more in their shops and restaurants. Data is growing in importance. Everything happening at an airport, from where passengers are flowing to which items are selling in stores, generates data. Airports can analyze this data to spot opportunities for eking out fatter profits. They can sell the data to third-parties as well.


Airports are Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Take Some Stress Out of Holiday Travel

#artificialintelligence

Pittsburgh International Airport and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport are amongst the first airports that are relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to reduce the stress of the holiday rush. Developed by Zensors, a Carnegie Mellon University startup, airports can provide travelers with real-time wait estimates at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints to give passengers an idea of how much time they can expect to wait in the security queue. Passengers can access security wait times on airport websites before they leave home and allowing them to manage their time and diffuse "will I miss my flight" worries. "We know that the airport security screening process is very stressful for passengers and a significant operational challenge for airports and air carriers," said Anuraag Jain, founder of Zensors. "By using Artificial Intelligence to provide real-time data, airports can improve the passenger experience and optimize operations. Having enough time for a beer or coffee once airside is a huge relief for weary holiday passengers."


Delta to begin using facial recognition cameras at an LAX

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Delta Air Lines will implement facial recognition technology at Los Angeles International Airport from Friday, with cameras identifying passengers at a boarding gate with more to be installed after. The move has been met with controversy however, as groups such as Greenpeace call for a federal banning of the technology by law enforcement agencies. Critics say the technology could be used to violate privacy and date, as well as pointing to issues with accuracy for non-white male subjects. A spokeswoman for the coalition of groups, which also includes MoveOn and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the groups also oppose the use of the technology by airlines. 'There is no real oversight for how a private corporation can use our biometric information once they've collected it,' said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future.