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For EQUANS, it is about contributing to "the smart airport".

Airports at the heart of the three transitions

inside airport

Worldwide airport passenger traffic increased by 25% last year

(4.5 billion passengers) according to figures from the Airport International Council, a figure that is certainly lower than before the Covid pandemic, but still significant. For EQUANS, which has been developing solutions for the airport business for many years, the evolution of the situation is being closely monitored.

"At the height of the Covid crisis, our order books were full,"


Explains Hop Ton That, Director of the Aeronautics Export Department of Ineo Energy and Systems, an entity specialising in aeronautical systems.


"We are on long cycles and we are finishing these contracts. However, we see that there are new airport investment projects under consideration."

"In two years' time, we will reach the level of airport use that we had before the pandemic. We are optimistic,"


Says Stephan Vandevoorde, who heads Airport Systems, an EQUANS Belgium structure dedicated to IT solutions for baggage and passenger flow processing in airports.

EQUANS' offer for airports is in line with its mission: to support the three transitions of our clients

For their industrial transition, EQUANS offers airport authorities multi-technical services (HVAC, maintenance), modern heating and air conditioning solutions, fire safety, lighting, electrical networks and engineering solutions for airport operations. In Australia, EQUANS ANZ teams have been providing HVAC maintenance at Adelaide Airport, Australia's fifth largest airport (800 hectares), since 2007 and were recently awarded the Fire Safety contract. In Belgium, Charleroi Airport (Brussel South Charleroi Airport) has entrusted the technical maintenance of its facilities to EQUANS (baggage sorting management, electrical and HVAC installations, water management and fire detection). EQUANS is also involved in the digital transition of airports.

In Belgium, for example, Airport Sytems, an EQUANS group, employs forty people and specialises in passenger and baggage flow control and management systems. Its IT solutions are used by some fifty airports worldwide. They range from baggage tracking to flight information display systems, data processing and even a bin return system, used for hand luggage screening.

Airport Systems also offers a cloud-based solution for smaller airports that allows real-time baggage handling to be controlled from Belgium. "We are very flexible," says Stephan Vandewoorde, head of Airport Systems. "Today, airport managers are very attentive to new ways of travelling. For example, in the future, we can imagine that specialised transporters will come and collect luggage directly from the passenger before departure.” In addition to terminal equipment, EQUANS also offers solutions and services for air navigation. INEO Energy and Systems supplies civil aviation worldwide with navigation aid solutions (NAVAIDS), telecommunications networks, equipment for air traffic control centres and runway lighting.  "We are integrators," explains Hop Ton That, "we work on turnkey solutions.”

EQUANS' digital offer also concerns airport management: use of BIM and digital twins to optimise the use of space, management of site security equipment in particular.

Finally, many airports are now concerned with their energy transition. "They are increasingly involved in a decarbonisation strategy," explains Hop Ton That, "they often have useful surfaces or land reserves that they are thinking of using to produce green energy. The idea is to support them upstream in this strategy and not just be solution providers.” In Chile, EQUANS is supporting Santiago airport in its production of rooftop solar electricity and has installed charging stations for electric vehicles. EQUANS can also offer airports its expertise in optimising the energy efficiency of buildings. In addition, the group participates in the global ACA (Airport Carbon Accreditation) certification process, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of airport hubs.

For EQUANS, the future lies in "smart airports". Low-carbon airports, optimised by automation and robotisation, offering a smooth and secure passenger experience through the deployment of biometric solutions, artificial intelligence and virtualised processes (e.g. virtual queuing systems or automated baggage scanning and weighing). Smart airports" will also offer exemplary connectivity to passengers and will be truly integrated and connected urban hubs.