Air Tech Italy caught up with Serena Spagnolo, Head of Solutions & Projects at FAAC Technologies to understand the role of FAAC Technologies in the aviation industry. Serena joined the company in 2008 and was the GM for China until 2017 before she moved to the Export Department, managing the export to Asia. She was so kind as to give a good introduction to FAAC Technologies and how it has gradually expanded in the aviation industry and has become a key player at multiple airports around the world.
FAAC Technologies growing fast with important ambitions in the aviation market
The FAAC Group has grown considerably in the last decade, from a 180 Mio € company in 2008 it grew to a 600+ Mio€ company. FAAC Group became FAAC Technologies in 2022 consisting of two business units (Hub Parking Technology and Access Solutions), with 55 companies and over 3600 employees worldwide.
Over the years FAAC has become a true full services company with an extensive network of direct and indirect sales channels and an ever-expanding offering:
- HUB Parking Technology, the youngest business unit of the group, has already grown to become one of the largest parking system manufacturers worldwide: it develops, installs, and provides after-sales services for integrated, value-added smart parking solutions.
- Access Solutions, has significantly increased its product portfolio in the last decade, also through acquisitions, one of the most successful being the German-based Magnetic Auto-control, a specialist in barriers and pedestrian gates, leveraging advanced technologies to manage the flow of both vehicles and people.
Solid ambitions in the aviation market with an extended offering
FAAC Technologies’ aviation business has expanded throughout the years with an impressive number of products, in pedestrian gates alone, FAAC has been able to install well over 1000 gates. In 2022 during the PTE event in Paris, the new Momentum series by Magnetic was introduced. A new line of gates for pre-security, boarding, automatic border control and lounge access. The modular Momentum series has a series of outstanding advantages, from its small engine to power the door to the possibility to integrate ticket readers with the gates or other party’s products including biometrics. They are delivered in stainless or painted steel and are available in a series of colors to match the environment. High tech adapted to customers preferences.
Another solution offered by FAAC Technologies is the Bollard system, a system that is multiple purpose. It can be used to separate traffic lanes as you often see at airports but also to indicate separate roads for employees and public users. The most known use case is the one for perimeter protection to close off certain areas, like Arrivals. It automatically opens when access is granted or is used to protect access gates at airports to fence off the tarmac perimeter with only the drivers with the right access badges gaining access. For less sensitive areas with a consistent flow of vehicles, special barriers of up to 6m long and with a skirt as high as 1.8m can grant fast access to trucks and cars, while keeping unauthorized pedestrians out.
FAAC Technologies is also very proud of its offer of automatic doors, all supplied with its Energy Saving system which detects the direction of the passage, also lateral, and optimizes the opening times avoiding air dispersions.
In case of automatic doors being used as escape route, the FAAC GBF 3500 can manage to close the doors automatically. In fact, at airports it often happens that passengers carrying their luggage unintentionally bump against the door, causing the door to swing open and remain that way. With a standard automatic door, a manual intervention would then be needed to bring back the door in the original operating position. With the FAAC automated solution, related maintenance costs can be avoided.
FAAC automatic doors can also be used in combination with Airslide, a special air curtain system. Different from the classical air curtains, which need a separate air system and are installed at 20-40cm from the entrance, this type of air curtain can directly exploit the hot/cold air inside the building and is integrated right in the door entrance, thus optimizing the air flow and creating an effective air barrier.
Automatic doors supplied with this system have proven to reduce the amount of lost conditioned air by over 50%, which is in these days a critical advantage when it comes to energy savings.
Let’s not forget the parking area. The first and last impression a traveler gets when visiting an airport. The Jupiter parking range covers the entire user experience, starting from their home when they plan their trip and book a parking space through JPass, a mobile app.
Once onsite, the entry, exit, and pay stations composed of a modular parking system incorporate license plate reading (LPR), contract parking, credit card in/out parking, ticketless access, online pre-paid parking or a combination of these. From small use cases to more complex layouts (multi-floor, multi-site) the Jupiter parking system performs in extreme conditions and is constantly communicating with the JMS management software.
Future trends in access control. Integration and analytics for full end to end solutions.
What we can expect in the near future is the further integration of all access control systems into the airport systems, this can deliver some great KPI’s on the usage rates and thus also support the maintenance of the same including predictive maintenance.
Another element is the continuous integration with systems like biometric systems at the gates so that gates are operated fully automatically using biometrics as a way to open them.
When it comes to parking, we see a steady trend towards the digitalization of operations and on the dematerialization of the experience.
- Digitalization: the collection of operational data through an adequate management software enables airports to measure their performance and seek out competitive advantages. The chance to better understand the travelers’ parking behavior leads to improvements in operations and revenues.
- Dematerialization: paper tickets will soon be a thing of the past. Ticketless access to car parks is increasingly common, and we see slightly different configurations of free flow access in various countries: gateless parking lanes, touchless entry, paperless payments, and the ubiquitous mobile apps too. Did you know that in most cases you can use an app to book, enter, pay, and exit a parking spot?
Thank you Mrs Spagnolo for this interesting overview of how FAAC Technologies contributes to the overall passenger experience at airports and beyond and showcasing the best of Italy in high tech solutions to increase overall safety and to better manage passenger and traffic flows at airports.
A great example of how such access solutions have evolved to high tech solutions incorporating the newest technologies and can – combined with other best-in-class solutions – help airports manage their access needs and passenger flows and create better safety, full automation and high energy efficiency.