Heathrow and other airports want more driverless airport vehicles (ie. fewer jobs)
Date added: July 26, 2018
Aberdeen Standard Investment’s AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial and Property Unit Trust) has published a report detailing progress on autonomous transport and logistics technology. The technology of driverless vehicles is used throughout the UK’s airports, including Heathrow; AIPUT has 2 million sq ft of buildings at Heathrow, for freight and logistics. The report discusses how cargo-handling and logistics operations, as well as passenger transportation both to and within airports is made more “efficient” with the use of automated transport.The first trials of automated air-side vehicles have been completed at Heathrow in collaboration with IAG Cargo and Oxbotica. These vehicles do not need people to drive them. So this is another area in which there will be job cuts. Sadly, Heathrow and the trade union, Unite, were able to persuade a lot of MPs to vote in favour of the 3rd runway, through the Airports NPS, in late June. A letter co-signed by the Back Heathrow campaigner Parmjit Dhanda and Unite’s Len McCluskey said the runway would create hundreds of thousands of new unionised jobs at Heathrow, regional airports and on transport networks.
Airports across globe to drive autonomous technology forward
By International Airport Review
23 July 2018
Autonomous technology is set to increase productivity of airport operations by cutting costs, freeing up land, reducing emissions and improving safety.
DRIVER-LESS: Autonomous transport to revolutionise airport productivity
Aberdeen Standard Investment’s AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial and Property Unit Trust) has published a report detailing how autonomous transport and logistics technology at airports has continued to make great progress.
This technology is used throughout the UK’s airports, including London Heathrow; AIPUT holds two million sq ft of buildings at Heathrow, supporting the airport’s freight and logistics service providers.
The report discusses how cargo-handling and logistics operations, as well as passenger transportation both to and within airports is made more efficient with the use of automated transport.
The IT & Security programmes are now available. The IT programme contains a powerful line-up of key industry speakers and influencers from the likes of IATA and Airports Council International (ACI) World to major airports such as Munich and JFK.
AIPUT Fund Manager, Nick Smith, said: “Autonomous technology promises enormous benefits to airports and the service companies that support them, transforming the way airports work and improving efficiency and safety, both for passengers and other airport users.
“At Gatwick, for example, 90% of the airport’s air-side vehicles are stationary at any one time, which is both hugely inefficient and demands a vast amount of space. A much smaller pool of electric-powered autonomous vehicles would drastically cut costs, free up land, reduce emissions, and improve safety.
“In Düsseldorf, a newly-developed robotic car parking system has demonstrated a 60% reduction in required parking space compared to human drivers.”
Trials of the autonomous technology have already begun at a number of airports.
The first trials of automated air-side vehicles have been completed at Heathrow in collaboration with IAG Cargo and Oxbotica.
Gatwick has become the first airport in the world to trial the use of autonomous vehicles to shuttle staff across the airfield, which demonstrates that autonomous vehicles can operate safely in highly-complex airfield environments.
Norway’s winter tested out the autonomous vehicles in a way only Norway could; an autonomous snowplough was tested at Fagernes Airport, with a single machine able to clear an area of 68 acres in a single hour. Autonomous technology increases the precision with which snowploughs operate, improving safety during the removal of snow and while driving in formation and low visibility.
The UK Government has announced an investment of £22.4 million to develop industrial off-road self-driving vehicles, which is believed will increase productivity in a range of sectors, including airports.
Len McCluskey at odds with Corbyn over Heathrow expansion
Union boss and Corbyn ally urges all Labour MPs to back expansion ahead of third runway vote
By Jessica Elgot and Matthew Taylor
Len McCluskey has written to all Labour MPs urging them to back Heathrow expansion on Monday, a move that puts the head of the Unite union directly at odds with Jeremy Corbyn.
He said they had “the opportunity to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs” by backing the government’s decision to build a third runway.
“We urge you to make the right choice,” McCluskey wrote in the letter seen by the Guardian. “Your action in the next few days matter to us.”
Jeremy Corbyn has said his party’s policy will be to oppose expansion because the plans do not meet Labour’s four tests on issues such as air pollution and jobs. However, Labour MPs will have a free vote on the issue unlike their Tory counterparts, who will be on a three-line whip to support the plans.
Unite, one of the Labour leaders’s most powerful backers, has long been supportive of a third runway at Heathrow. The union represents more than 34,000 workers at the airport in west London and has been a powerful lobbying force behind the move to expand.
“In the coming days you will have the chance to make a historic and positive difference to the lives of Unite members, their sons and daughters, and generations to come,” he wrote.
“You can ensure our country remains a world leader in aviation and aerospace, industries containing high-quality, unionised jobs.”
A Labour source said the party accepted there would be differences of opinion. “On the third runway, Labour has been clear and consistent. It doesn’t meet the four tests we set it, the proposals don’t even meet one of them,” the source said.
“But we also recognise this is a longstanding issue which MPs have strong views on. That’s why we think it’s right that a free vote is given and that all parties should offer a free vote. Perhaps the foreign secretary [Boris Johnson] might be able to pop back for the vote if that’s the case?”
McCluskey’s action will put him at odds not only with Labour’s official policy, which is now to oppose expansion, but with key allies in the party, including the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, a fierce opponent of Heathrow expansion.
Heathrow is based in McDonnell’s Hayes and Harlington constituency. He said he would vote against not only because homes would be demolished and air pollution would rise, but also because to show he was serious about tackling “the devastating impact of climate change”.