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AIRPORT SHOW: Opening the GATE for airport innovation

Posted 24 May 2021 · Add Comment

The German Airport Technology and Equipment organisation (GATE) is hosting a number of its members at the German pavilion at the Dubai Airport Show. While it is fewer than at previous events, Jens Reinhard, managing director, feels that it is a strongly positive move. He said: “This gives a signal to the aviation industry and the world that we are back and heading towards normal operation.”

This is the organisation’s first show since the pandemic hit, and Reinhard is happy to be in Dubai and meeting industry members. “You can do business digitally, but it is not the same feeling. People like to meet, and see each other.”

GATE has been busy during the pandemic. Reinhard explained: “Last year we founded InnoAirport in co-operation with Rostock-Laage Airport in northern Germany. This is an active airport where our members, and other industry operators, can present and test their developing technology in a real-life environment. Not only do they share technology and best practice, but this is a place where you can demonstrate in a real time.

“The airport is a closed eco-system. Here you can learn and gather data without worrying about the effect on the public. We have had a lot of development in autonomous driving vehicles on the apron, for buses and baggage handling. They can test the vehicles without worrying about kids or dogs running out and getting hurt.”

While the InnoAirport is open to all, Reihard encourages users to become members of GATE. “They can then benefit from the networking and marketing offered to work together. We have one member who produces sensors for cars, and another who makes trolleys. We have brought them together and they are now developing the technology for different uses.

“We are the only people who offer this facility,” he added. “Big companies have their own testing facilities, but we are open to all, and offer great contacts with ministries, government and industry.”

The idea for the InnoAirport had been under discussion for some time, but the unexpected down time last year enabled the idea to be developed and opened to GATE members sooner than expected.

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