A Guide to Essential Airport Terminology and its Origins

Air travel has been around for decades, and over time the aviation industry has built up a wealth of airport terms that are used to make communication between airport staff quick and simple. From the term ‘airport’ itself to more technical acronyms, there is a wealth of unique terminology used in every airport.


It’s important for both passengers and aviation employees to understand these terms. Let’s first take a look at the word ‘airport’ itself, and where this word comes from, before going over some of the most essential airport terminologies that are used in airports around the world today.


What is the origin of the word ‘airport’?


The word ‘airport’ comes from the words ‘aerodrome’ and ‘port’. An aerodrome is any location from which aircraft take flight, which means that all airports are aerodromes, but not all aerodromes are airports. To achieve ‘airport’ status, in some regions it’s necessary to have been certified as an airport by the local jurisdiction. More generally, an airport is bigger, with more terminals, than a simple aerodrome. The ‘port’ part of the word no doubt originates from maritime ports, which describe any location where ships and boats arrive and leave from.


College Park Airport, in Maryland, US, is generally accepted to be the world’s oldest airport, operating since 1909, while Hamburg Airport, opened in 1911, is the world’s oldest commercial airport still in operation. Since the 1960s, the number of airports around the world has multiplied quickly, with air travel becoming more and more accessible with each passing decade to the average customer.


Essential Airport Terminology


ASMGCS: ASMGCS, or Advanced Surface Movement Guidance & Control Systems, are high-tech navigation and tracking systems that help air traffic controllers guide planes to the appropriate runway.


ATC: ATC, or Air Traffic Control, refers to the team of controllers who keep an eye on an airplane’s flight path and command every aspect of a flight.


Customs: This is the building where passengers and visitors must go through the process of entering a country. The customs officer checks passports, visas, travel documents, customs declarations, and health certificates before allowing you to enter the country.


Ground stop: When a ‘ground stop’ is enforced, this means that no aircraft is permitted to take off or land at the airport. This could be due to bad weather such as storms, or even terrorist threats.


Slot: This is the scheduled time for take-off and arrival for a particular flight.


Taxiway: This is a specialized path for aircraft taxiing that runs parallel to one or more runways. Taxi routes are usually marked with lights (red and green) on both sides of the runway so that pilots can recognize them as they approach their turn-off point from either direction.


Terminal: This is the building from which passengers either enter or leave an airport. A terminal contains gates for the aircraft as well as luggage carousels and other facilities. The word ‘terminal’ is used because this is where a passenger’s flight journey terminates.


UHF and VHF: Ultra-high frequencies (UHF) and Very-high frequencies (VHF) are used for radio communications across airports, between ATC teams, and flight teams.


Get in touch


At Bayanat Engineering, we offer bespoke tech solutions for airports around the world. From communication radios to passenger counting systems, we can install cutting-edge technology in your airport to improve the customer experience, streamline passenger journeys, and boost profitability. Find out more about our contemporary airport solutions and contact us today.

Prioritising the Passenger Journey at the HIA

The Hamad International Airport, or HIA, is the only international airport in Qatar. Passenger numbers fell during the pandemic, but the airport has recently seen a marked increase in traffic as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted across the world. This has resulted in a 381% increase in passenger traffic between April 2020 and April 2021.


As the airport returns to pre-pandemic traffic levels, HIA management teams will be starting to think about how to streamline the passenger journey in one of the world’s busiest airports.


What is the Passenger Journey?

The passenger journey is the journey each passenger takes throughout each area of an airport, from arriving at the airport to checking in and boarding the plane. Streamlining the passenger journey is key to improving customer satisfaction, as well as managing airport traffic by reducing the amount of time each passenger has to spend at each stage of the journey.


Broadly speaking, a passenger journey includes:

– Arriving at the airport, including any identity and security checks made here.

– Placing flight bookings and shopping at the airport.

– Checking in to a flight.

– Locating the flight terminal and boarding the plane.

– Collecting and dropping off baggage.

– Getting through security and border control.


The passenger journey can take an hour or more, making it a substantial consideration both for passengers themselves and airport managers.


How can the HIA use technology to put the passenger journey at the forefront of airport management?


Streamlining the passenger journey has been made possible by modern technology. Contactless technology is playing a huge role in improving the passenger journey; it can be used to help when dealing with safety checks and queues, allowing large volumes of passengers to check-in quickly and quietly. Of course, in a post-Covid world, contactless technology will also play an important role in minimizing virus transmission across the airport.


The HIA can also make use of surveillance technology in a similar way, using surveillance to manage baggage volumes and security queues. CCTV and other kinds of surveillance can also be used to feedback data relating to runway and flight status which can then be communicated to passengers using apps and text notifications: if a flight is boarding late, let your passengers know sooner rather than later.


From biometric scanners to notifications and apps, much of the technology that is employed in airports around the world is designed to make the passenger journey faster and more efficient. But what about making it more pleasant? Simple investments into air conditioning and dining facilities can also help to improve the passenger journey.


How can Bayanat Engineering help to improve the passenger journey at the HIA?


At HIA or any airport, it’s clear that technology is key to improving passenger journeys in the 21st century. At Bayanat Engineering, we can install a number of systems designed to improve passenger journeys and streamline workloads for airport staff at the same time, including:


– Passenger check-in and boarding solutions (CUTE/CUPPS)

– Baggage Reconciliation Systems (BRS)

– Baggage Handling Systems (BHS)

– Queue Management Systems (QMS)

– Passenger Tracking Systems


Using our IT solutions, you can track and record the passenger journey in your airport, identifying areas for improvement and installing cutting-edge technology to streamline the passenger journey from entry to takeoff.


The HIA is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top airports, in part because the management team working at the HIA is willing to invest in world-leading technology with a focus on improving passenger satisfaction.


To find out more about our airport IT solutions, contact us today at Bayanat Engineering.

How are airports increasing airside traffic efficiency?

Mid-size and tier-one airports are facing increasingly complicated airside traffic demands, with flight traffic peaking in recent years. These higher airside traffic demands are putting pressure on minute-to-minute operational personnel, airport planning, and ATCOs, so what are airports doing to mitigate this increase in traffic?


What is Airside Traffic?

Airside is the part of an airport used by aircraft for takeoffs, landings, loading, and unloading. There are a wide variety of airside vehicles that all have different jobs, from baggage tractors and trailers to refueling trucks and passenger buses.

With so many vehicles operating airside, it’s essential to control traffic to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, and aircraft.


Airside Traffic Automation

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the air travel industry, it has also presented an opportunity for governments and airport operators to meet 21st-century challenges. Artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, and machine learning can be used to put environmental responsibility, customer service, and safety at the forefront, so let’s take a look at how automation is being used to streamline airside traffic operations.


Robot Ground Handling

Removing personnel from dangerous working environments is one of the main advantages of automation, as repetitive, low-value tasks can be replaced with digital solutions.

With passenger volumes expected to increase following the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing efficiency via ground handling automation is being considered by airports around the world. Using artificial intelligence has been designed to deliver and manage baggage in bulk to different areas of an airport, reducing operational costs by up to 50%.


Automated Security Screening

One of the key factors of having efficient airside operations is having a swift and straightforward baggage handling process. Transporting customer baggage from check-in points to aircraft and back again is becoming increasingly automated in airports across the globe, improving baggage screening processes and operational efficiency.

For example, Detroit Metropolitan Airport has implemented an autonomous cart system to relieve transportation security staff from the tasks of moving checked bags on and off aircraft. Using set routes labeled by magnetic tape, these carts are designed to deliver flagged bags from an assigned conveyer belt to an inspection station before transferring them to another conveyor belt once they have passed a screening.


Bird Control Drones

While drones have been perceived to pose a security threat for some airports, others, such as Edmonton International Airport (EIA), have adopted them to carry out bird control tasks to lure flocks away and prevent them from accessing the airport space.

A bird strike (a collision between a bird and an engine) is particularly dangerous for smaller aircraft vehicles, as it can cause significant damage to jet-engine aircraft and can result in a loss of thrust. To mitigate this problem, Edmonton International Airport is now on track to implement the world’s first regular airport drone delivery service.

From ground handling to baggage screening and foreign object control, automation is making waves in airside traffic operations to help the air travel industry rebuild after the catastrophic effects of COVID-19.


If you’re looking for aerospace and military engineering solutions that you can rely on, get in touch with our team at Bayanat Engineering today by giving us a call on +974 4427 3784 or by filling in our online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Weather Solutions and Meteorology from Bayanat Engineering Qatar

When you think about weather monitoring, in all likelihood the first thing you think of is national weather forecasts on the news, giving you an extremely wide idea of what the weather is going to be like. In the case of airports, you need to have access to the most up-to-date information, offering pinpoint precision to inform your planes and keep passengers safe. Here are just a few of the weather monitoring systems an airport needs, and what they do.


Wind Profilers

The most dangerous parts of a flight are the take-off and the landing, this is because planes are vulnerable to wind. At lower speeds and closer to a collision, a strong gust could knock a plane off course and potentially lead to an incident.

Wind profilers are weather detection equipment that makes use of SODAR and RADAR to detect wind speed and direction at different heights. These readings can be taken from a range of altitudes, up to 17km above sea level. This makes it far simpler to guide a plane to a safe landing, as pilots don’t need to worry about the impact of wind on their approach. These systems also have a tangible environmental benefit, as wind profilers mean we are able to help to plot optimal courses, rather than seeing pilots need to take several attempts at landing due to poor conditions.


Weather RADARs

Of course, another key feature of weather detection in an airport setting is weather RADAR. This is a key part of the weather detection process that the Bayanat Engineering team has worked with extensively, from design to supply, installation, and configuration of weather radar rainbow user workstations. Weather RADARs have worked in the same way since their invention in the Second World War. Radio waves are beamed out directionally, and objects in the air like rain and snow will cause these beams to scatter and return, showing up on sensors.

Ensuring effective weather RADAR is key for any modern airport, but especially for ones by the sea such as Hamad International Airport (HIA). Qatar is facing a major international event in the form of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the bulk of viewers are coming in from overseas. By helping to guide pilots around storms and major meteorological events, Bayanat Engineering and Hamad International Airport are doing everything we can to ensure that the event is as smooth as can be.


Runway Visual Range (RVR)

Runway Visual Range is the distance you can expect to see horizontally down a runway, helped by technology such as High-Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL) and a selection of beacon lighting features. This is always likely to fall in the event of adverse weather, however, being able to keep Runway Visual Range as high as can be is key to a safe landing. After all, the last thing a major company such as QP Oil and Gas need is dangerous or anxiety-inducing landings when flying delegates in to complete key deals.

By making use of weather RADAR you can keep RVR as high as possible, ensuring that landings are attempted in only safe situations where the pilot can see a significant proportion of the runway.


The Key to Safety

These are just a few of Bayanat Engineering’s dozens of weather solutions that support airports in making flights as safe as can be. By developing the most advanced technology possible Bayanat Engineering are able to protect pilots and passengers from emergencies, making sure that everyone feels safe and secure on their trips around the world.

What is vital for safety at the airport?

Airports are notoriously busy spaces, with billions of people from all over the world traveling through these hubs each year. The frenetic, busy nature of airports raises a lot of challenges in terms of traveler safety and security. So, what is vital for safety at the airport?

We’re going to take a look at some of the precautionary measures that airports put in place to ensure utmost safety and security on-site.



Radars have been used since World War 2 as a means to identify aircraft and provide a full picture of the surrounding skies. A surveillance radar is a vital aspect of airport safety as it allows air traffic controllers to accurately detect the location of planes in the sky. This can help with providing directions to pilots, as well as assessing potential threats and unauthorised flights.

As air traffic began to expand over the years, there was a need to expand the radar system further. Secondary surveillance radar is also a common feature in air traffic control, as it allows for a much more precise reading. Generally, this type of system works best within a 60-mile radius of the radar site and can provide rapid identification of aircraft in distress.


Drone Detection

Drones have grown to become a genuine threat to airport safety, as the general public can cause major disruptions for the flight path of aeroplanes. There is a legitimate risk of mid-air collisions as a result of drones flying through their airspace, but these little drones also pose a threat to communications.

By operating through specific radio frequencies, drones can jam cockpit communications, leaving the pilot powerless to control the plane which could result in a catastrophic crash.

Drone detection systems come in a few different iterations, but ultimately their purpose is the same – to detect errant drones to quickly identify the threat of unwanted drones within the airspace of an airport.


The following are three common methods of drone detection at airports:


– Radiofrequency (RF) drone detection

– Radar drone detection

– Visual tracking drone detection


Security within the airport

One of the most comprehensive ways that airports are kept safe is through their own security procedures. These have advanced a great deal over the years, allowing for a safer environment for travellers and staff.


X-ray Machines

X-ray machines have been employed at airports as a way to inspect baggage without having to open them up. This innovative security procedure scans luggage that passes through an x-ray machine, where a member of staff will check the real-time images and inspect for anything nefarious.


Full-body Scanning

One of the more recent security developments for airports was the implementation of full-body scanners. These hefty machines have passengers stand in place while their body is scanned through a machine. This is designed to pick up any smuggled contraband including explosives, weaponry and drugs.


Staying safe at the airport

There are a lot of measures that you can take to stay safe at the airport, and a lot of them are relatively easy to follow and common sense in most cases. Airports put an incredible amount of effort into ensuring our safety, with innovative technology safeguarding us against some truly horrific threats. So next time you go to an airport, consider all of the vital aspects that go into making it as safe as possible.

What is the state of anti-drone technology in 2021?

Drone technology has advanced significantly over the last few decades. Machines that were once far too expensive for anyone other than a well-funded military are now available to the average consumer. In recent years, the proliferation of consumer drones has presented significant challenges for the aerospace industry, which now has to share air space with small, unmanned vehicles. If drone pilots are flying their drones responsibly, they should always be well away from any commercial aircraft, but a growing number of near-misses has prompted calls from the industry for more stringent measures to ensure the safety of all aircraft.


For as long as there have been drones, there has been researched into anti-drone technology. Like the drones themselves, this was initially the purview of the military. But now that drones aren’t restricted to the battlefield, interest in anti-drone technology has skyrocketed. The infamous Gatwick Airport incident highlighted the need for more robust measures than we have at present for many people. Fortunately, there are now some effective solutions available.


Drone Monitoring Equipment


Monitoring equipment enables the detection, location, and classification of active drones. It can also alert operators to the presence of drones and provide advanced warning of any that are incoming. Not all monitoring equipment offers all of these features.


There are two types of drone monitors: active and passive. Passive monitoring continually scans the surrounding area and indicates if any drones are detected. Active monitoring sends out signals and measures what comes back. It is active monitoring equipment that can provide specific details about any drone it detects.


Drone monitoring enables the deployment of countermeasures rapidly once a craft is detected. It can also provide information that makes choosing appropriate measures easier.


RF Jammers


A radio frequency jammer is a unit that emits large amounts of radio waves. The emissions are focused in a single direction to target the drone without interfering with other nearby equipment. The idea is to overwhelm the drone and block the radio signals from the controller. Depending on the drone, this can result in drones making a controlled landing, a crash landing, or flying off aimlessly.


RF jammers are short-range and even with directionality, they can impact other equipment.


GPS Spoofers


GPS spoofing hijacks the drone’s communication with GPS satellites and makes it think it’s somewhere completely different. Altering the GPS coordinates in real-time enables the spoofer to control the drone and redirect it away from sensitive areas, or land it for retrieval.


GPS spoofing is another short-range measure and can interfere with other equipment that relies on GPS. The benefit is that the operator gains control of the drone and doesn’t have to worry about an uncontrolled descent.


HPM Devices


High power microwave devices emit electromagnetic pulses that can interfere with radio signals or damage electronic components, depending on the strength of the device. Like RF jammers, these are designed to direct their energy in one direction to minimize collateral damage.


HPM devices are the last resort in most cases. They are expensive and have the potential to cause a lot of collateral damage.


Other examples of anti-drone technology can be as advanced as high energy lasers, or as simple as a net launcher. Birds of prey have even been trained to hunt drones and snatch them out of the sky with incredible effectiveness. As drones become more affordable and more common, anti-drone technology is only going to become more important for the aerospace industry.

Aviation Weather Solutions

Monitoring weather conditions is vital in the aviation sector due to the dangers that harsh weather can pose to pilots and airline passengers alike. In this blog, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the main tools used in the aviation industry to measure and control weather conditions.


Rain gauge

A rain gauge is a meteorological instrument that’s designed to measure the amount of precipitating rain present in a given amount of time per unit area. A rain gauge is a simple tool that consists of a collection container that’s placed in an open area to collect rainwater. The amount of water collected is usually measured in millimeters over a given amount of time.


The importance of monitoring rainfall for the aviation industry can not be overstated. Heavy rainfall can have an adverse effect on aerodynamics, and can also impair visibility for pilots, and so automatic rain gauge systems are often chosen over manual systems for aviation purposes to ensure accuracy.


However, rain gauges do have their limitations, as they can be difficult to use in extreme weather conditions. Wind can blow the water out of the gauge, while ice can block the gauge’s entrance and prevent new rainfall from entering. To prevent ice build-up, some advanced rain gauge systems are equipped with heating systems.


Cloud seeding

Cloud seeding is a unique weather modification technique used by aviation companies all over the world to improve a cloud’s ability to produce snow or rain. Cloud seeding generators work by adding condensation nuclei into the atmosphere to provide a base for raindrops or snowflakes to form and fall to the Earth.


Airports use cloud seeding techniques frequently to create consistent weather conditions around their runways. The presence of ice, hail or fog can limit an aircraft’s ability to land or take off, so cloud seeding can change the visual impact of precipitation to make travel safer. Cloud seeding can also maximize the impact of an inevitable precipitation event to prevent future hazardous weather conditions.


Lightning Solutions

Lightning strikes can lead to costly service interruptions and delays and can compromise the safe operation of an aircraft.


There are several different forms of lightning protection that you’ll find on most aircraft. First, the external shell is made of thick metal to offer basic protection and to keep the electromagnetic energy that enters an airplane’s electrical wires at a sustained level. The skin around the interior compartments and cabin of an aircraft is also designed with a metal mesh to conduct electricity around the outside of the vessel to prevent passengers and crew from harmful voltage.


If you’re looking for meteorological or weather management services for civil or military aircraft, get in touch with our expert team at Bayanat Engineering today.

The History of Airlines

In this blog post, we look at the history of airlines, how they started, and what is considered to be the best airline in the world today.


The famous Wright brothers completed a successful flight in 1903, in North Carolina, which is widely agreed to be the beginning of aviation. Despite their successful flight, for many years the general public shunned air travel, as it appeared to be too dangerous. It was only after World War 1, and the funding that the aviation industry received, did air travel begin to look like a safe and reliable means of transport. Not long after the end of World War 1, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in a solo flight which drew a lot of media attention, bringing interest in flying into the mainstream.


To capitalise on the interest in aviation created by Lindbergh, multiple air transport holding industries were founded, including Aviation Corporation, which would later be re-branded as American Airways. In 1928, United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, later renamed United Airlines, was founded by Boeing, and air travel began its steady journey to becoming commercialised.


Before aeroplanes began carrying passengers commercially, they began carrying mail and cargo. The American Kelly Airmail Act of 1925 allowed aeroplanes to work as mail carriers, giving many airlines the opportunity to build revenue until they could expand and develop their airline to be suitable to carry passengers.


World War 2 saw commercial fleets of planes become necessary to transport soldiers and supplies around the world. Aviation companies received significant investment from European countries which allowed them to fully extend and develop their commercial aviation services. Post-WW2, in the 1950s, the aviation industry dramatically improved the regularity and comfort of commercial flights and jet-engine technology allowed flights to operate faster and more regularly.


The History of Qatar Airways


Qatar Airways, which is considered to be the best airline in the world, was founded in 1994 and began as a small regional airline that travelled only a few, select routes. In 1997, the airline was rebranded by His Highness The Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who wanted to turn the small airline into the world’s leading international airline. From 1997 onwards, Qatar Airways has aimed to offer the highest standards of service and comfort possible on a commercial airline and is continuously striving to offer its passengers a unique, excellent flying experience. The airline averages a double-digit growth year after year, largely due to the leadership of the Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker and the companies the Group Chief Executive has chosen to partner with.


Qatar Airways and Bayanat Engineering


The international hub of Qatar Airways is in HIA (Hamad International Airport) who have chosen time and time again to partner with Bayanat Engineering. For example, in July 2020 HIA partnered with Bayanat Engineering to deploy a RunWize™ FOD Detection Solution and in October 2020 chose to partner with them again to upgrade their communication systems. It is only through the support of HIA that Qatar Airways can continue to provide its exceptionally high levels of service.