Airport World, Issue 2, 2018

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In the spotlight: Customer service Airport reports: Brussels & Istanbul New Airport Review: Airport Economics & Finance Conference Plus: ASQ Winners & Innovation Labs

Enhancing the passenger experience April-May 2018 Volume 23 Issue 2


Airport World Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)208 707 2743 Sales Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 Advertising Manager Andrew Hazell +44 (0)208 384 0206 Subscriptions Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743

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Aim high Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the importance of always striving to do better when it comes to customer service and enhancing the airport experience for passengers.


ormer ACI World chair and president and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), James Cherry, once told me that the key to good customer service was to treat people how you would want to be treated, and I don’t think that you can go far wrong with such a wise philosophy. I also believe that it is a strategy that an ever increasing number of airports are beginning to take onboard as they bid to raise customer service levels and enhance the airport experience for passengers. Improving the quality of the facilities and services they provide was certainly high on the agenda of all the top and highly ranked gateways in ACI’s 2017 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction awards. We have news, views and reaction from many of the winning airports in our four-page review of the 2017 ASQ results, which featured a significant number of first-time winners that included Athens, Belo Horizonte, Casablanca, Cleveland, Rome Fiumicino and Toronto Pearson. His airport might not have picked up an award this time out, but you can also find out just how seriously Brussels Airport CEO, Arnaud Feist, takes customer service in our main feature on Belgium’s gateway to the world. Also coming under the spotlight in this ‘customer service’ themed issue is the launch of ASQ barometer – the first ever barometer on global airport service quality – which provides a global snapshot of customer experience satisfaction levels at airports. The impact that innovative retail and design can have on customer satisfaction levels and a new survey revealing how the use of new technologies are helping pave the way for richer passenger experiences also come under scrutiny. Elsewhere, we take a closer look at the comparatively new trend of airport ‘Innovation Labs’, which an ever-increasing number of mid to

large size gateways across the globe are creating in a bid to develop new ways of enhancing performance levels, boosting revenues and further reducing their impact on the environment. Airport attitudes towards customer service, and the commitment towards delivering it, have certainly come a long way since the late 1970s and early 1980s when if there were no queues at check-in or you could find a spare seat in the Departures Hall, the airport experience was generally perceived to have been good. This is definitely not the case today as people are much more discerning and travel savvy and, more to the point, they know what is possible in terms of facilities, services and connectivity and if they don’t get it are prepared to go somewhere else to find it. Indeed, at the recent Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London, some delegates even admitted to paying more for their tickets so that they could transit through an airport that they liked and offered the kind of experience they wanted. Customer service isn’t, of course, the only topic covered in this issue. We also take the opportunity to look back at April’s Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition; catch-up with the latest ACI news; and hear from ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, about the need for economic regulation that encourages and not hinders airport growth. And if that’s not enough, we have an exclusive interview with Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of IGA Airport Operation, who tells us more about what we can expect from Istanbul New Airport, which is due to open for business on October 29 this year. I hope you enjoy the issue and look forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones at the ACI Europe/ACI World Annual Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Brussels this June.





In the spotlight: Customer service Airport reports: Brussels & Istanbul New Airport Review: Airport Economics & Finance Conference Plus: ASQ Winners & Innovation Labs

Enhancing the passenger experience April-May 2018 Volume 23 Issue 2

Issue 2 Volume 23

In this issue 3 Opinion

Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the importance of always striving to do better when it comes to customer service and enhancing the airport experience for passengers.

8 Financial times Risk, returns and regulation were top of the agenda at the recent ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London, writes Joe Bates.

14 ACI News Hicham Ayoun reports on the launch of two important new ACI publications – the 2018 Airport Economics Report and the first Landside Security Handbook.

17 View from the Top ACI director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the need for economic regulation that encourages and not hinders airport growth.

18 The future is bright Record traffic figures, a fast-growing route network and an ambitious plan for the airport’s long-term future means that the smile is back on people’s faces at Brussels Airport, writes Joe Bates.

24 Built to grow Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of IGA Airport Operation, talks to Joe Bates about the capabilities, goals and ambitions for Istanbul New Airport, which opens for business later this year.

26 We are the champions Airport World salutes the 2017 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction award winners and talks to some of the CEOs of the successful gateways.




Director General Angela Gittens (Montreal, Canada) Chair Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa) Vice Chair Martin Eurnekián (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Immediate Past Chair Fredrick J Piccolo (Sarasota, USA) Treasurer Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) ACI WORLD GOVERNING BOARD DIRECTORS Africa (2) Saleh Dunoma (Lagos, Nigeria) Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa)

32 Striving for excellence ACI World’s manager for ASQ strategic marketing, Sevda Fevzi, tells us more about the launch of the first ever barometer on global airport service quality.

36 Better by design Arup associate director and aviation security specialist, Stacey Peel, reflects on the challenges of designing the airport of the future and reveals a new passenger processing concept that could help eliminate queues at airports.

39 What passengers want The delivery of contextually aware information and the use of new technologies are helping pave the way for richer passenger experiences and boosting airport revenues, writes Clare Williams.

40 Better buys Alex Avery looks at how innovation can shape the future of airport retail and enhance the passenger experience.

42 Time for innovation? Are airport innovation labs genuine disrupters or flavour of the month? Exambela Consulting’s David Feldman and Pierre-Alain Goujard investigate.

47 Combined effort Song Hoi-see, founder and CEO of the Plaza Premium Group, provides his thoughts on how collaboration holds the key to creating a seamless passenger experience at the world’s airports.

49 World Business Partners The latest global news from ACI’s World Business Partners.

50 People matters Terri Morrissey and Richard Plenty provide their thoughts on the importance of empathy for the passenger experience.



Asia-Pacific (9) Aimen Al-Hosni (Muscat, Oman) Kjeld Binger (Amman, Jordan) Datuk Badlisham Bin Ghazali (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Fred Lam (Hong Kong) Seow Hiang Lee (Singapore) Xue Song Liu, (Beijing, China) Emmanuel Menanteau (Osaka, Japan) PS Nair (Delhi, India) Sasisubha Sukontasap (Bangkok, Thailand) Europe (7) Daniel Burkard (Moscow, Russia) Elena Mayoral Corcuera (Madrid, Spain) Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) Michael Kerkloh (Munich, Germany) Jos Nijhuis (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Stefan Schulte (Frankfurt, Germany) Sani Şener (Istanbul, Turkey) Latin America & Caribbean (3) Ezequiel Barrenechea (Lima, Peru) Martin Eurnekián (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Andrew O’Brian (Quito, Ecuador) North America (7) Lew Bleiweis (Asheville, USA) Joyce Carter (Halifax, Canda) Howard Eng (Toronto, Canada) Deborah Flint (Los Angeles, USA) Joseph Lopano (Tampa, USA) Candace McGraw (Cincinnati, USA) Tom Ruth (Edmonton, Canada) Regional Advisers to the World Governing Board (9) Zouhair Mohamed El Aoufir (Rabat, Morocco) Pascal Komla (Lomé, Togo) Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) William Vanecek (Buffalo, USA) Joseph Napoli (Miami, USA) Hector Navarrete Muñoz (Merida, Mexico) Yiannis Paraschis (Athens, Greece) Augustin de Romanet (Paris, France) Brian Ryks (Minneapolis-St Paul, USA) World Business Partner Observer Sarah Branquinho (Dufry Group) Correct as of May 2018


Financial times Risk, returns and regulation were top of the agenda at the recent ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London, writes Joe Bates.


or once Brexit wasn’t on the agenda as aviation leaders and financial experts from across the globe met at ACI’s annual Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London this April to discuss everything from booming traffic trends, airport networks, ownership models and growth incentivising regulation to the economic value of slots. ACI World also took the opportunity to unveil its 2018 Airport Economics Report and preliminary traffic data for 2017, and there was still time for a birthday cake to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event. ‘Risk, Return and Regulation: Creating Fertile Grounds for Investment’ was the theme of this year’s event, which attracted a healthy crowd of 257 delegates from 144 different companies in 50 countries across the globe. After announcing that 2017 was the best ever year for the world’s airports with global passenger traffic rising by 6.6%, ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, talked finance and revealed that the 2018 edition of ACI’s Airport Economics Report – based on 2016 data – showed that airport revenues increased by 5.8% to $161.3 billion. Globally, aeronautical revenues accounted for 56% of airport revenues and non-aeronautical related activities for 39.4%, with retail concessions (29%), car parking (20%), property and retail estate (15%) remaining the biggest sources of non-aviation related income. However, Gittens noted that while the growth in revenues appears to be strong, on a per passenger basis, revenues have actually declined over the last two years to a world average of below $18. Indeed, she was quick to point that average global aeronautical revenues of $10.15 per passenger was less than the total cost per passenger of $13.50, which is one of the key reasons why profitability remains elusive for most of the world’s gateways and almost impossible for those handling less than one million passengers per annum. “The average of $10.15 generated per passenger in 2016 was insufficient to cover the cost of providing airport services which includes the operating costs as well as capital costs necessary for infrastructure development,” said Gittens. “As a result, airports used margins from non-aeronautical activities to close the gap. This despite the ICAO provision that airport charges should cover the full cost of using the infrastructure and the services provided. “The legal requirement provided in some states to use nonaeronautical revenue to reduce airport charges, a practice known as Single Till, goes exactly in the opposite direction and disincentivises airports from building for the future. “For the industry’s sustainability, all parties should be interested in airports’ development of non-aeronautical activities at their facilities as far as practical, and should generate revenues from concessions, rentals and other commercial activities.” Talking about the importance of airports to the global economy and the need to be able to meet the predicted future demand in traffic,



Gittens said: “As the developers and operators of the infrastructure that our communities and countries need to accommodate the growth that we are forecasting, airports must take a long-term perspective to their business and ensure that capacity improvements are made before constraints occur. “In the dynamic and competitive environment in which airports find themselves in this era, they are forced to set competitive charges, offer incentives and rebates, and invest in quality enhancements.”

European perspective “Quite remarkable growth for a mature market” were the words used by ACI Europe’s director general, Olivier Jankovec, to describe 2017’s 8.5% rise in passenger traffic. The total of 2.23 billion passengers meant that the continent’s gateways have added the equivalent of an extra 100 million passengers yearly for the last five years ensuring that traffic growth has outperformed GDP by a factor of three.


He noted that the financials of Europe’s airports is also improving, although the upturn in fortunes has had more to do with a 12% reduction in costs per passenger since 2008 than revenue growth, which has actually dropped 2% over the same period of time. Around 46% of Europe’s airports still operate at a loss, however, which he admitted was not great, but better than the 60% reported in 2013. The figure rises to 63% for airports handling less than 2mppa and 71% for those with less than 1mppa. Jankovec said the outlook for 2018 is “very good”, particularly in terms of the bounce back in traffic across the non-EU nations, but once again noted that many airport CEOs were asking ‘how long will the party last?’, before going on to list a number of potential disrupters that included geo-politics, terrorism, ‘popularism’ and the continued uncertainties over Brexit. Beyond 2018 he revealed that ACI Europe viewed ‘continued structural changes in the aviation market’ – such as airline consolidation, evolving business models and increased opposition to airport expansion projects – and game-changing ‘technology’ as the key disrupters going forward. Referring to the former, Jankovec noted that the LCCs – which have driven 99% of the growth at Europe’s 20 busiest airports – continue to evolve, form new alliances and become bigger players in the long-haul market. He told delegates that the legacy carriers were responding to this threat by embracing the low-cost model, and stated that the Gulf carriers are set to change from becoming disruptors to incumbents.

“The nature and the intensity of competition between airports is changing, and it is changing very rapidly,” remarked Jankovec. “It is no longer just about competing with your neighbouring airport for passengers, but increasingly it is about competing on a pan European basis with all airports across Europe. So, we are looking at a completely different picture in terms of how airport competition influences our members’ businesses going forward.”

Focus on Asia-Pacific Not surprisingly, ACI Asia-Pacific’s director general, Patti Chau, used her time on the podium to reflect on traffic growth – Asia-Pacific recorded an 8% rise in passenger numbers in 2017 while the Middle East enjoyed a 5.2% upturn – which continues to outstrip the other regions and be driven by the huge growing markets of China and India. On an individual airport level, ACI Asia-Pacific gateways now account for five of the top 10 busiest passenger airports in the world (Beijing Capital, Dubai International, Tokyo Haneda, Hong Kong and Shanghai Pudong) and six of the top 10 cargo gateways (Hong Kong, Shanghai Pudong, Incheon, Dubai International, Tokyo Narita and Taiwan Taoyuan). She noted that the LCCs continue to grow strongly and accommodated 31% of all passengers handled across the Asia-Pacific region in 2017 or 1.2 billion passengers. Chau revealed that the LLC growth had been particularly impressive in South Korea and Japan where in 2017 they handled 30.6% and 22.6% of their respective country’s international traffic compared to




8.2% and 4.8% in 2012. While interestingly, both Cebu Pacific and AirAsiaX reported a 26% rise in cargo volumes in 2017, a market largely ignored by the LCCs. She reminded delegates that ACI’s Asia-Pacific region is the busiest place on earth for airport development projects with its gateways being responsible 48.5% of $500 billion global spend on upgrading existing airports and 57% of the $267 billion being invested on new airports. New airports on the horizon, said Chau, included Vietnam’s $16.3 billion Long Thanh International Airport, which is expected to be completed in 2023; New Manila Airport in The Philippines, which has a price-tag of $14 billion and is expected to open in 2025; and China’s $13.8 billion Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is set to be completed next year. While China has vowed to raise its number of commercial airports from 229 today to 260 by 2020 and 400 by 2035 as part of its ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and India has set aside $2 billion for airport development over the next 15 years as it looks to make air travel affordable for its people and grow air links across the region. “Keeping up with the demand for new capacity enhancing infrastructure remains a challenge for many airport operators and governments,” noted Chau. “So, it is very pleasing to see that there has been considerable progress in terms of planned projects and the opening of new facilities over the last year. “New facilities have included the recent openings of Singapore Changi’s Terminal 4, Seoul Incheon’s Terminal 2, and the new passenger terminal in Muscat.” She added that airport privatisation remains very much on the agenda in a host of countries that include Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, The Philippines and Vietnam. ICAO regional director, Luis Fonseca de Almeida, noted that aviation is responsible for 62.7 million jobs generating more than $2.7 trillion in economic activity – roughly 3.5% of the world GDP – and in 2017 handled more than half of the world’s 1.3 billion international tourists and 1% of total volume of goods traded internationally, a figure that translates to 35% of world trade by volume. He said: “In order for aviation to continue to generate and augment such significant benefits we must create a healthy and dynamic cycle of complementary national aviation economic developments.”



Session one of the conference was labelled ‘Pure Finance and Economics’ and involved a lively discussion between a panel of academics, rating agency experts and consultants around investing in airports, changing business models and the risks involved. Setting the scene, chair, Charles Schlumberger, The World Bank’s lead air transport specialist, said: “Right now, everything in the world is wonderful and she is growing very strongly, but is this sustainable? If it is, we need to invest as we will need to double or triple airport capacity by 2036. If it isn’t, then we need to think over what we do next, and that is the dilemma and the question that airlines and airports face today.” A quick poll of the audience showed a hugely positive attitude towards the future with 58% believing that the global world economy is in a better shape now than a year ago and 63% agreeing that the previous 12 months had been characterised by “continued strong air transport growth”. The biggest challenges for aviation were considered to be uncertainty about global stability (45%). Doing their best to provide answers to a range of questions ranging from assessing the risks of expansion to whether airports need such huge, expansive terminals were Cranfield University’s Keith Mason; Dan Wong from Oman’s Modern College of Business and Science; Arthur D Little’s Mathieu Blondel; Alix Partners’ Jonathan Sandbach; and Fitch Ratings’ Shyamali Rajivan. Immediately after lunch followed a two-part session on ‘Airport Competition Dynamics’, which involved a debate about the growing competition between airports for new air services, chaired by H2B2 Ltd’s Harry Bush, followed by a handful of case studies outlining airport route development success. Talking in the latter session, Aeroporti di Roma’s head of marketing and business development, Raffaele Pasquni, said: “What do we do to ensure that we keep growing? Working with the airlines is very important as we recognise that connectivity is key. We understand the importance of explaining our decisions to all stakeholders and we have invested in Rome Fiumicino, which is a very different airport today than just a few years ago.” While Greater Toronto Airport Authority’s director of business intelligence, Mike Brown, told delegates about the operator’s intention to build a Regional Transit Centre at Toronto Pearson as part of its plans to make the gateway North America’s next mega hub.


Arguably, the best was saved to last on Day One with a lively debate about ‘The Economic Value of a Slot’, with chair Andrew Charlton repeating ACI’s call for airports to have more of a say in the way they are allocated and used to ensure a fairer system and make better use of a scare resource – something Norwegian’s head of government and industry relations, John Hanlon, completely disagreed with, although he admitted that the current slot allocation system is far from perfect. “The lack of capacity and the lack of productive use of existing capacity is the real issue here and that is where the focus should be instead of blaming the system of slot allocation that is probably the best we can have in an imperfect situation,” said Hanlon. This year’s Gala Dinner was held in the impressive Marylebone headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects which provided an opportunity for delegates to relax and unwind after a busy day or continue their discussions long into the night. An action-packed Day 2 began with a lively debate about ‘Airport Networks’ with representatives from Aena (Jaime Garcia-Legaz Ponce); Fraport Greece (Alexander Zinell); Airports Authority of India (Seshadri Suresh); and ONDA (Zouhair Mohamed El Aoufir) talking about their own respective airport networks and the advantages of a single operator managing multiple gateways. ACI World’s director of economics and programme development, Stefano Baronci, oversaw proceedings. Next up was a one-on-one with Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 (AA2000) CEO and ACI-LAC president, Martin Eurnekian, who told interviewer, John Strickland, about the challenges and opportunities facing AA2000’s 37 gateways and the 15 others in Corporación América’s global airport network. The conference ended on a high with an ‘Investors’ Round Table’ and a debate entitled ‘Regulation: A European Perspective’, the latter discussion focusing on what regulators are doing around the world to adapt to the changing market and the impact this has on regulatory approaches. The Investors’ Round Table covered a host of issues from due diligence on deals, airport valuations, transaction pipelines and relationships with national regulators to the pros and cons of investing in airport networks and fully or partially privatised assets.

On the topic of valuations, GIP partner, Michael McGhee, said: “Which airports would we really sharpen the pencils for? I think there are two things we’d look at in terms of the price we’d be prepared to pay. One is what I call quality. This is a combination of things such as traffic regulation and the ability of the airport to perform in a downtown and against various negative scenarios. We also look at our own ability to add value to the airport. So, if we believe that this is an asset of quality and feel that we can make a difference, we will do all that we can to acquire it, and this inevitably means paying more than other people.” In answer to a question about the role of national regulators, VINCI Airports’ chief commercial officer, Pierre-Hugues Schmit, stated that stability was vital to the success of any concession and therefore a good relationship with the regulator was imperative. “What we value from the role of national regulators is stability and creativity. We don’t mind adaptation and negotiation if needs be, but most important of all is to stick to the plan,” said Schmit. Ferrovial Aeropuertos’ corporate development project director, Jerónimo Olleros, optimistically stated that he felt we could expect to see more airport privatisation projects in the US in the future, although most deals might be for the construction and operation of terminals and other facilities rather than airports themselves. He reminded the audience that Ferrovial entered the US market for the first time last year as a member of the Great Hall Partners consortium that has been awarded the contract to transform the Great Hall in Denver International Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal. Prior to the conference, ACI and The World Bank held their now familiar ACI-World Bank Annual Aviation Symposium, which this year turned the spotlight on PPPs and traffic forecasting in the morning before hosting a series of workshops involving group exercises in the afternoon. The World Bank’s effervescent lead air transport specialist, Charles Schlumberger, was once again the host for the day.





World in motion Hicham Ayoun reports on the launch of two important new ACI World publications – the 2018 Airport Economics Report and the first Landside Security Handbook. analysis of the financial and economic performance, on both the aeronautical and non-aeronautical (commercial) sides of the business. To order a copy of ACI’s 2018 Airport Economics Report and the Airport Key Performance Indicators, visit ACI World’s online store:

Securing the landside part of airports


CI World unveiled its 2018 Airport Economics Report and the Key Performance Indicators at the recent Airport Economics & Finance Conference in London. The Airport Economics Report clearly illustrates the strength of the global industry. Moreover, the continued recovery in manufacturing and global trade, alongside a rise in business confidence, has fostered investment and growth in airports across the world. The report found that aeronautical revenue generated from airport charges per passenger in real terms has remained stable – in the realm of $10 per passenger. Using aeronautical revenues as an alternative for airport charges, charges are increasing globally at the same pace as global demand. This is clear demonstration that the calls for tighter and rigid economic regulation for airport charges are unfounded. The report also found that it is undeniable that future growth in air transport demand will come from emerging and developing economies, predominantly from the Asia-Pacific region. In 2016, airports located in emerging and developing economies occupied 45% of global passenger traffic across the world’s airports. By 2040, this share is expected to increase to 62%. By that time, passenger throughput at airports in emerging and developing economies will have 1.6 times the passenger traffic of airports in advanced economies. The 2018 Airport Economics Report and the Airport Key Performance Indicators for the 2016 fiscal year are derived from comprehensive data from a sample of more than 900 commercial airports. The publication is a concise snapshot of selected drivers of the world’s airport industry. It provides a comprehensive in-depth



For decades, the aviation industry has had to counter and respond to various security threats. Air transport has been a high-profile target for terrorists that seek to publicise their cause and further their aims on the international stage. While the number of attacks has declined significantly, the threat has not. But today, aviation-specific security regulations focus on the airside space, the non-public spaces of airports accessible only to air passengers who hold a valid boarding pass and to security cleared staff. These regulations are designed to prevent unlawful interference with air transport. Landside spaces, or airport spaces accessible to the general public, are subject to general security regulations enacted by national authorities. As part of its continuing commitment to promoting a commonsense approach to security, ACI launched the first edition of its new Landside Security Handbook. This guidance is intended to help operators ensure that all aspects of landside security, including prevention, deterrence and incident management, have been considered in their procedures. It updates and brings together the best elements of managing security from the current experience of airports around the world involved in this crucial task. The Handbook also provides many examples and options for different operating environments and may be used as a standalone guide or to complement an Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security review. “Security remains a top priority for ACI World and the Landside Security Handbook is an indispensable resource to help airport authorities protect the security of the travelling public and employees at the airport,” says ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens. “Airports already exercise best practice, take all threats seriously, and apply rigorous security methods but, in such a complex global aviation system, the potential for gaps to develop sometimes exists. Through this new publication and the range of training and support that we provide, ACI is committed to addressing them.” ACI encourages airport stakeholders to make this Handbook available to their employees so they may understand and follow the best principles and recommended practices for ensuring a safe, secure and efficient airport environment. ACI would like to thank all the contributors and authors of the Landside Security Handbook, which is available online:


ACI events






Sept 30-Oct 2

November 12-14

September 10-13

June 18-20

October 31-November 1

ACI-NA Annual Conference & Exhibition Nashville, USA

ACI-LAC Annual Conference, Assembly & Exhibition Miami, USA

ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit Halifax, Canada

ACI Europe/ACI World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Brussels, Belgium

The Trinity Forum Shanghai, China

ACI offices ACI World Angela Gittens Director General PO Box 302 800 Rue du Square Victoria Montreal, Quebec H4Z 1G8 Canada Tel: +1 514 373 1200 Fax: +1 514 373 1201

ACI Asia-Pacific Patti Chau Regional Director Hong Kong SAR, China Tel: +852 2180 9449 Fax: +852 2180 9462

ACI Africa Ali Tounsi Secretary General Casablanca, Morocco Tel: +212 660 156 916

ACI Latin America & Caribbean Javier Martinez Botacio Director General Panama City, Panama Tel: +507 830 5657/58

ACI Europe Olivier Jankovec Director General Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32 (2) 552 0978 Fax: +32 (2) 502 5637

ACI North America Kevin Burke President & CEO Washington DC, USA Tel: +1 202 293 8500 Fax: +1 202 331 1362

As of January 2018, provisional figures show that ACI serves 641 members operating 1,953 airports in 176 countries. ACI is a non-profit organization whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. According to preliminary statistics, in 2016 airports worldwide welcomed 7.7 billion arriving and departing passengers and handled 110 million metric tonnes of cargo and 92 million aircraft movements.





View from the top ACI director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the need for economic regulation that encourages and not hinders airport growth.


viation is an essential generator of economic growth, job creation, global trade and tourism, and airports are a critical part of the system. Indeed, airports serve as engines of growth for their local, regional and national economies. For this to continue, airports need permission to operate and grow from regulators and from the local and broader communities they serve. Airports must produce the social and economic benefits that growth brings while minimising the environmental and social costs of their development and operations. As well, airports are wealth generators for other members of the air transport value chain. Over the past months, you will have noticed that some representatives of one of the other members of the value chain, have become stridently vocal in their criticism of the airport industry, calling for heavy-handed economic regulation with a view towards restricting airports’ ability to recover costs from airline users of their facilities and services. This call demonstrates a fundamental failure to understand the implications of the evolution of the airport business environment over the past thirty years, largely caused by the changed dynamics of the airline market environment, and a fundamental misunderstanding of the role and purpose of economic regulation. Clearly, economic regulation can have important direct and indirect effects on the costs of production and the quality of service provided. In an increasingly dynamic and competitive market, a regulatory framework should always be proportionate to the degree of market power, only intervening to correct market failures. The framework should serve primarily to facilitate and incentivise commercial agreements between airports and airlines in a flexible manner, rather than burdening role players with unnecessarily rigid and procedures, destroying appropriate market behaviour. Wherever possible, forms of regulation must be employed which encourage both parties to engage constructively in a commercial environment. Today, airport competition is a reality that shapes the industry and its capacity to generate the funds needed to keep airports off of government tax rolls and have airports make the necessary investments in infrastructure to accommodate demand along with providing safety, security, environmental stewardship and quality customer service. That quality customer service must extend on two sides: to the airlines and to the travelling public. With liberalisation in much of the world, airlines are free to choose among airports and can and do switch away from airports when they deem that conditions do not suit.

Similarly, with greater transparency of routing options, air travellers can and do make choices, in some cases for origin or destination airports, and in virtually all cases, for connecting airports. The combination of these factors represents competitive pressure on airports to make themselves attractive to both airlines and passengers. These pressures exert a strong downward pressure on the level of airport charges. ACI’s 2018 Airport Economics Report clearly demonstrates that, over the past years, the aeronautical revenue generated from airport charges per passenger in real terms has remained stable, in the realm of $10 per passenger. The evidence provided in this report is clear demonstration that the calls for tighter and rigid economic regulation for airport charges are unfounded. ACI seeks to work in co-operation with governments, regulators, airlines and other aviation stakeholders to ensure that we develop a fertile ground for industry investments and benefit the communities we all serve. Through such co-operation, we will continue to provide the travelling public with an air transport system that is safe, secure, economically and environmentally sustainable. Towards that end, ACI World has recently published its Recommended Practices on Transparency and Consultations with Airlines on Setting Airport Charges, a document I invite you to download and consult for free by visiting the Airports Economics’ section of our website. AW




The future is bright Record traffic figures, a fast-growing route network and an ambitious plan for the airport’s longterm future means that the smile is back on people’s faces at Brussels Airport, writes Joe Bates.


russels Airport bounced back in style in 2017, handling an all-time high of 24.8 million passengers and 536,000 tonnes of cargo as it continued to grow its long-haul network and cement its status as the third biggest Star Alliance transfer hub on the planet. And the upward trajectory has continued this year, with a record 5.2 million passengers (+5.1%) passing through Brussels Airport (BRU) in the first quarter of 2018 to ensure that it is on target to smash the 25mppa barrier for the first time. Last year’s success was particularly gratifying for the airport as it followed one of the most difficult years in its history when terrorists attacked BRU on March 22, 2016. “The events of that day made it a hard year for everyone, but we always knew that thanks to the strength and power of all airport staff, the airport would bounce back, and the speed of the traffic recovery pays testimony to that,” enthuses airport CEO, Arnaud Feist. “Traffic growth at the airport in the last few years has actually been quite unbelievable, and we now handle nearly eight million more passengers than we did in 2010 and are served by many more airlines offering more long-haul routes than ever before.” In terms of BRU development, Feist believes that the airport hasn’t looked back since it was privatised in 2005 and Brussels Airport Company, in which the government still holds a 25% stake, brought a new way of doing business to the table. He says that the company’s strategy, which it has fine-tuned over the past eight years, is based on a passenger focused philosophy and the determination to create a gateway that both travellers and airlines want to use. “We are ambitious, and the combination of our passenger centric strategy, the development of our long-haul network and investment in



the airport’s infrastructure have helped change people’s perceptions of Brussels Airport,” says Feist. “Our focus today is very much on attracting long-haul airlines and developing our route network together with our home carrier, Brussels Airlines, to grow our status as a Star Alliance hub.”

Route development Feist admits that Brussels Airlines joining Star Alliance was “a game changer” for the airport as it proved the catalyst for its transformation from a primarily O&D airport into a transfer hub for the carrier and fellow members of the world’s biggest airline group. Today 17 members of Star Alliance serve BRU ensuring that it is possible to catch direct connections through Brussels to destinations as far afield as Bangkok, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai and Washington DC. “We are the most western Star Alliance hub in Europe and are determined to keep growing as a Star Alliance airport as this is the way forward for us,” comments Feist. Transfer passengers currently account for close to 20% of the traffic at BRU and O&D for the remainder. And both grew significantly last year, transfer numbers by 9.9% and O&D by 15%, and Feist expects similar good figures in 2018. New non-stop long-haul routes last year included Shanghai (Hainan Airlines), Mumbai (Brussels Airlines) and Tehran (Qeshm Air) while Delta re-launched its Atlanta–Brussels service a year after the terrorist attack. And they have been joined by 11 new routes this year that include Aruba and Curaçao in the Caribbean and Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China. Shenzhen is the third Chinese city served by Hainan Airlines from BRU after Beijing and Shanghai, while Cathay Pacific launched its first

AIRPORT REPORT: BRUSSELS ever service to Brussels, four weekly A350 flights from Hong Kong, on March 25. Talking about the new Chinese routes, Feist called the launch of the first non-stop Cathay Pacific flights to BRU a “new milestone for Brussels Airport”, noting that all three new destinations were invaluable additions for the gateway. “The Chinese market is a very important one for us as it is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and offers huge potential,” enthuses Feist. “Around seven million Chinese visit Europe each year and this number will only grow.” But if you think that expanding its route network has been easy for BRU, think again. Indeed, Feist is quick to point out that the airport’s dedicated aviation marketing team has worked wonders to develop today’s long-haul network of 189 weekly flights to 18 destinations in Africa, 11 in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and 15 in the Americas. “Make no mistake about it, we had to go and get these airlines and new routes. Luckily, we have a top aviation marketing team who are very proactive in their approach to route development and are in constant dialogue with the airlines,” says Feist. The number of new destinations introduced in the last two years and BRU’s recent triumph in the Routes Europe 2018 Marketing Awards – the third time it has won the accolade – arguably confirm Feist’s belief about the abilities of his aviation marketing team. Brussels Airlines and the Star Alliance carriers presently account for 55% of the traffic at BRU, with the former emerging as a strong successor to former national flag carrier, Sabena, particularly over the last five years. Can you compare the two airlines? “I don’t think so,” says Feist. “Sabena, being state-owned, had a very wide long-haul network, but the problem was that it wasn’t profitable. Brussels Airlines on the other

hand is profitable, and after slowly building up its European route network and building on the African routes it in a way inherited from Sabena, has started to develop a long-haul network. “It, however, has gone about this in a very different way to Sabena as it has only introduced services that are profitable. As a result of its commercially driven expansion, Brussels Airlines has brought stability and a new dynamism to the market. “On its own, it will never be able to replicate the number of long haul destinations served by Sabena in the 1970s and 1980s, but it can more than match it with the Star Alliance.” The target is for transfer traffic to eventually account for 25% of BRU’s traffic, and although this may still be a few years away, Feist believes that it is achievable within the next five to seven years.

Infrastructure development With forecasts predicting that passenger numbers will reach around 40 million per annum by 2040, the airport is more than aware of the need to enhance its capacity to keep up with demand. Plans for a new Pier A West by 2023/24 and another one (Pier C) in the longer time – probably around 2035 although its exact timing is likely to be decided by demand – are outlined in the airport’s Strategic Vision 2040. The airport is also looking at the possibility of extending one of its parallel runways, although Feist believes that future airfield capacity won’t be an issue if advances in navigational aids, extending existing taxiways, and technology driven improvements to today’s air traffic processes and produces can raise BRU’s airfield capacity from 74 to 93 aircraft movements per hour. He is also confident that the airport will be helped by the introduction of larger capacity aircraft in the years ahead that will




Traffic figures at Brussels Airport are expected to reach 40 million passengers per annum by 2040.

effectively allow BRU to nearly double its passenger numbers and increase its cargo volumes by a third over the next 20 years while still handling fewer air traffic movements than in 2000. Feist, who remarks that BRU’s airfield and the existing piers do get “quite busy” during today’s busy peak periods, explains: “The average aircraft size is growing at this airport and will continue to grow slightly for a while as more aircraft the size of B787 and A350 are introduced here. “In 2000, we had an average of 77 passengers per flight. Today the figure is 124, which is due to bigger aircraft and higher load factors. Although we are A380 compliant, we don’t currently have regular A380 flights, but planes like the B787, A350 and the future A321LR are great for an airport like ours as it allows airlines to operate long-haul flights for 240 to 350 passengers instead of 400 to 500. “A fourth runway is not on the agenda because of the adverse environmental impact it would have on local residents. We therefore have other solutions to increase airfield capacity.” The airport harbours plans to further develop its cargo facilities (Brucargo zone) into a top-tier European logistics centre to support key sectors of the economy, such as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Part of these plans includes Brussels Airport Company investing €100 million on the development of new logistics buildings for Kuehne + Nagel, Dnata and WFS. It is also working with national rail operator, NMBS/SNCB and regional transport companies De Lijn and MIVB/STIB to add new rail, bus and tramway connections that will further strengthen BRU as a truly multi-modal hub in the next decade. The goal is in line with its aim of getting 50% of all staff and passengers to use public transport or cycle to the airport by 2040. And it wants to create an Airport Business District, an airport city type development on BRU’s 1,250-hectare site by building the offices, hotels and other facilities that will confirm the airport’s ranking as one of most important business centres in Belgium. The plan is already taking shape. Deloitte moved into premises in the newly redeveloped Gateway Building in 2017 and others, such as KPMG, Microsoft, Tribes, Redevco and Etex will move into another complex, called the PassPort building, later this year.



It is estimated that these ongoing developments and being able to handle 40 million passengers per annum by 2040 will raise the number of direct and indirectly related airport jobs from 60,000 today to 120,000 in 20 years. If that isn’t enough to get the locals on board with its Strategic Vision 2040, the gateway has created Forum 2040 to maintain an open dialogue about its expansion plans with its neighbours, local communities, municipalities, companies, unions and other stakeholders. Feist reveals this is because BRU wants to be as open and transparent about its plans as possible as making them become a reality will be a win-win situation for the airport, region and the whole of the country.

Customer service The airport’s commitment to customer service has led to the creation of a Passenger Experience department, which Feist says is designed to take care of passengers from A to Z, or in other words, from the beginning to the end of their journey through the airport. This new department is led by a manager whose sole responsibility is the passenger experience at BRU, a role that covers every possible touchpoint at the airport from car parking and the cleanliness of toilets and check-in screens to the length of security queues and the quality of service offered in shops and F&B outlets. And an example of how seriously the airport takes customer service is that one of his KPIs is to oversee an increase in BRU’s quarterly scores in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction surveys. “We are very serious when we say that we want to make a difference for the passenger, and have aligned our organisation to achieve this goal, because we think that the delivery of excellent customer service is key to our future success, particularly when it comes to attracting transfer passengers,” says Feist. The 2015 opening of the ‘Connector’ building between the terminal and former midfield Pier A, making BRU much easier to use, has certainly helped boost customer satisfaction levels. As have a number of IT led projects and innovative new retail/F&B outlets designed to enhance the airport experience of passengers.


Pier B’s walkthrough duty free area. BRU is the largest chocolate shop in the world selling 1.5 kilos of the confectionery every minute.

Feist cites BRU’s airport App, which helps passengers throughout their airport journey; Bruce the robot who interacts with visitors and helps them navigate the airport; and 24/7 communication with travellers via chatbot and other social media channels as examples of how the airport has embraced technology. The new technology hasn’t come at the expense of the personal touch, however, as Feist says that unlike at some other airports, passengers won’t struggle to find staff willing to help them at BRU. “Have we lost sight of the personal touch at BRU? No, quite the contrary, actually, as we have increased the presence of staff throughout the airport to help people who might need assistance and prefer speaking to a human being,” comments Feist. “We believe that we cater to all through a combination of automated technology for those that want to use it and staff on hand to help others, who are perhaps not familiar with the airport and need some assistance. “We are actually getting more of the second group of customers these days as we grow as a transfer hub.” Unique retail/F&B outlets like ‘The Belgian Chocolate House’ – BRU claims to be the largest chocolate shop in the world selling 1.5 kilos of the confectionary every minute – and restaurants serving typical Belgian foods and beers have also proved popular with passengers as have other sense of place features such as the iconic Tintin rocket in the Connector building. Another winner in terms of customer service has been the introduction of new colour coded signs for transfer passengers, who now just have to follow the red signs to their next connection. “Simple things can make such a big difference,” muses Feist, who notes that BRU introduced the new wayfinding system this year after listening to passengers, and the result had been soaring ASQ scores from transiting passengers.

Green achievements The airport has undertaken a number of environmental initiatives in recent years that have included putting up solar panels, switching to

alternative energy sources wherever possible and investing in vehicles that are powered by less conventional fuels such as CNG. As part of its sustainability strategy, Brussels Airport came up with the plan to attain carbon neutrality by the end of 2018, and Feist is in no doubt that it will achieve its goal. “We will do this and maybe sooner than you think,” he teases, suggesting that there could be some news at the upcoming joint ACI Europe/ACI World Annual Conference and Exhibition in Brussels this June. “You’ll have to wait and see about that, but what I can say is that sustainability is a key component of our business strategy, and as such becoming carbon neutral is very important. In fact, achieving carbon neutrality isn’t an ambition, it’s a requirement.”

The airport family Feist remains fiercely proud of how airport staff responded to the horrific attack on BRU in 2016, which he says saw the very worst of mankind in terms of the terrorist’s actions and the very best in terms of how the ‘airport family’ all pulled together as one in a time of great adversity. “The solidarity in the aftermath of the attack was immediate and impressive. People helped each other out and some even put their own lives at risk by going to save others in the terminal,” says Feist. “Then going forward, the airport community acted like one family, working all day and night to rebuild and re-open the airport, which we achieved within seven days of the tragedy. Everyone was involved. All companies, all stakeholders and all staff. It really showed me what people can achieve together if they are united and have one common goal.” And he says that the feeling of togetherness and being able to count on your colleagues to help you remains to this day. “The relationship between all airport staff from management to people on the floor is different today than two year ago,” says BRU’s CEO. “We are closer because what we’ve been through and you can see the difference every day in the way that people talk to each other and work together.” AW




Built to grow Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of IGA Airport Operation, talks to Joe Bates about the capabilities, goals and ambitions for Istanbul New Airport, which opens for business later this year.


stanbul New Airport, the €10.2 billion mega hub being built on the outskirts of the city, is now 88.5% complete and on target to open as planned on October 29 this year. Operator IGA – a joint venture of five Turkish companies comprising Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin and Kalyon each with a 20% stake – chose the date to coincide with the day that Turkey celebrates its 95th anniversary as a republic. So, with national pride at stake, it would take a brave man to bet against it happening. The gateway will initially boast a 1.4 million square metre terminal and two runways capable of handling up to 90 million passengers per annum, although with future expansions is expected to ultimately be capable of accommodating around 200mppa. From day one, Istanbul New Airport (INA) will have five piers, 143 passenger boarding bridges, 13 check-in islands, nearly 85,000sqm of duty free and F&B/retail space and a 42 kilometre long baggage handling system capable of processing up to 30,000 bags per hour. Quite simply the airport will finally give Istanbul the state-of-the-art facilities and capacity it needs to meet long-term demand – driven by Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s fastest growing carriers – despite the fact that its opening will lead to the closure of Istanbul Atatürk.



And with forecasts predicting that traffic demand will exceed 110mppa by the end of 2023, the need for a new international hub with space to grow and develop into one of the world’s leading gateways is clear for all to see. So, what can we expect from Istanbul New Airport and will the airport really set a new benchmark for the industry in terms of its retail offerings, IT innovation and customer service? Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of IGA Airport Operation, answers the questions.

Where is the new airport located and how easy will it be to get to from Istanbul? The airport is located on a 7,594-hectare site – more than six times the size of Heathrow Airport – on the European side of Istanbul between the villages Tayakadın and Akpınar along the Black Sea coast. It will be connected to the Anatolian side of the city with the Third Bosporus Bridge and the Northern Marmara motorway. INA will also be integrated into the entire public transportation system via metro and rapid-transit connections. Subway journey times will take around 25 minutes.

AIRPORT REPORT: ISTANBUL NEW AIRPORT Being under one roof means providing high passenger comfort because there is no need to go from one terminal building to another. This is particularly important for transfer passengers arriving in Istanbul for the first time as it is easy to get lost if they need to go to another terminal building. Our terminal design will support intuitive way finding system, so actually the building will tell you where to go.

Will the new terminal embrace self-service technology and other state-of-the-art IT systems? Istanbul New Airport will be a centre of IT innovation that offers a comprehensive set of IT solutions to enhance the passenger experience. These will include self-service equipment with biometric features such as Border Control I-Gates, which will ensure fast and secure processing times. Passengers can also expect augmented reality; beacons and geo finding technologies; and smart kiosks with large touchscreens capable of providing information ranging from real-time information on departures, security waiting times and wayfinding to gates to suggestions about shopping, dining and other services. INA will offer social media enabled services; airport gaming; loyalty services; queue management; and a seamless IOT (Internet of Things) framework to communicate with smart infrastructure in order to deliver a more efficient and effective user experience. The airport will also embrace A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) to help reduce delays, improve the predictability of events and ensure the optimum use of resources.

Will INA be environmentally-friendly? Can you tell us more about the concepts behind the terminal’s design, look and feel? This grand gateway to Istanbul and Turkey will capture the unique spirit and character of Istanbul whilst being a top, modern and functional airport that meets the highest international standards. Collecting awards for its design and projects even before its opening, the terminal building will be modern and highly functional with a unique sense of place, reflecting the culture and values of Turkey. Vaulted roofs cover the processor and piers and connect to a series of modular column grids that support and regulate the stacked spaces within. We are building an airport in which all passengers will experience many unique and never seen before innovations. Our focus is to bring an unprecedented passenger experience that is efficient and stress-free, cutting waiting time and paper processing. I am very confident that Istanbul New Airport will be a global showcase, not only for the world-renowned Turkish hospitality, but also a brand-new bridge, which connects people and continents. With its 100,000sqm retail area, INA will offer a wide variety of shopping and dining options to the passengers. It will also provide smart technologies to enhance the passenger experience and reduce stress levels such as biometric screening and advanced passport control processes.

Will the new airport be easy to navigate? The layout of the terminal is designed to ensure a coherent transition from landside to airside in an environment that is light, spacious and easy to navigate. Two separate levels are designated for arrivals and departures to make passenger navigation simpler, clearer and more intuitive. Passenger touchpoints are designed in a way to enable incoming and outgoing passenger traffic to flow naturally and efficiently.

IGA is the first company in Turkey to gain ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System in the aviation sector and is doing all that it can to ensure that INA will be an environmentally friendly airport. The airport’s sustainable energy and environment activities include a biodiversity action plan, sustainable waste management, environmental and social impact management and green procurement and supply policies.

What about the airport’s cargo facilities and capacity? IGA is constructing a huge Cargo City at INA with facilities that go way beyond traditional cargo terminals and will be capable of simultaneously handling multiple wide-body cargo aircraft. Upon opening, Istanbul New Airport will have the capacity to handle four million tonnes of cargo per annum giving it the potential to become one of the world’s biggest cargo airports. The busiest cargo airport in the world today is Hong Kong which handles volumes of around 4.9 million tonnes. When fully developed, INA will have a capacity of 5.5 million tonnes.

How will the airport be developed post 2018 to allow it to handle up to 150 million passengers by 2028? Two runways, one stretching from the east to the west, a second terminal and a number of auxiliary support facilities will be added in the next phases of the airport’s development raising INA’s capacity to 120 million passengers per annum by the end of 2022. A new satellite terminal and another runway will be commissioned in the project’s fourth phase allowing the airport to ultimately accommodate over 200 million passengers. So, as you can see, there is a very clear expansion plan for Istanbul New Airport, which is being built to grow.





We are the champions Airport World salutes the 2017 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction award winners and talks to some of the CEOs of the successful gateways.


thens, Belo Horizonte, Casablanca, Cleveland, Rome Fiumicino and Toronto Pearson were among a host of first time winners in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction awards for 2017. Others taking top spot in their respective categories for the first time were Ahmedabad, George, Indore, Medina, Newcastle and Zagreb, challenging best-in-class airports in the delivery of top-quality customer service. According to ACI, this “phenomenon reflects the increasingly competitive airport industry operating environment, where continuous service improvement is a key ingredient in business performance.” Specifically, Toronto Pearson and Rome Fiumicino triumphed in the Best by Size and Region categories for airports handling over 40mppa in North America and Europe respectively. Athens (Best by Size and Region for Europe in the 15-25mppa category); Newcastle (Best by Size and Region for Europe in the 2-5mppa category); Indore (Best by Size and Region for Asia-Pacific in the under 2mppa category); Medina (Best Airport by Size and Region for the Middle East in the 5-15mppa category) did similarly well. Other newbies to be ranked best in their class were Casablanca (Best in Africa over 2mmpa) and George (Best by Region under 2mppa for Africa). While the Most Improved Airport by Region category produced four first time winners – Ahmedabad (Asia-Pacific); Belo Horizonte (Latin America-Caribbean); Cleveland (North America); and Zagreb (Europe).

First time winners Reflecting on his gateway’s success, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) CEO, Howard Eng, praised the hard work of airport staff for Toronto Pearson’s No.1 ranking in the Best by Size and Region category for airports handling over 40mppa in North America. He enthused: “We’ve set our sights on becoming the best airport in the world. Our passengers are the key to making that vision a reality, and we’re grateful to them for taking the time to share their experiences with us. “Together, the 49,000 people who work at Toronto Pearson – not only for the GTAA, but for the air carriers, the government agencies, the retail establishments, and more – have all helped to achieve this result. We recognise that we have more work to do to stay ahead of other great North American airports and compete with other large international airports around the world.”



Best Airport by Size 2–5 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR First place Second place Third place Lucknow Guayaquil Bandung

5–15 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR First place Second place (tie) Third place (tie) Hyderabad Balikpapan Cochin Hohhot Kolkata Pune

15–25 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR First place (tie) Second place Third place (tie) Denpasar Bengaluru Chennai Haikou Surabaya Sanya

25–40 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR First place Chongqing

Second place Seoul Gimpo

Third place Tokyo Narita

OVER 40 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR First place (tie) Delhi Mumbai

Second place (tie) Beijing Shanghai Pudong

Third place Taipei Taoyuan

He noted that the award is a first for Toronto Pearson and comes at a time when the airport has invested in a number of measurable improvements to enhance the customer service experience, such as working with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to introduce new, faster CATSA Plus security screening; redevelopment projects in Terminal 3 to improve shopping and dining options and overall ambiance; and a focus on maintaining facilities to a high standard, particularly bathrooms, with many undergoing modern makeovers. Athens International Airport CEO, Yiannis Paraschis, described his gateway’s winning performance in the Best by Size and Region category for European airports handling 15-25mppa as “great news for us”, noting that a major revamp of the terminal’s Schengen and nonSchengen areas proved key to its success last year. The upgrade, which focused on functionality, comfort and modern design, included the mid-2017 opening of new centralised security areas and the addition of 21 new retail/F&B outlets in an upgraded and expanded shopping zone. He said: “We have systematically measured customer satisfaction levels since opening and have always scored very highly. However, I believe that this year’s award reflects passengers’ appreciation of the recent operational, commercial and aesthetic improvements to our infrastructure and services. Our aim is to always look to improve our offering to our customers, and we shall continue to do so with further investments in 2018-2019.” Meanwhile, Newcastle Airport’s CEO, Nick Jones, couldn’t fail to hide his excitement at the UK gateway’s award winning performance, commenting: “I’m absolutely delighted that Newcastle Airport has won this award.


Freeze frame: The 2016 ASQ Awards Ceremony took place at the ACI Africa/ACI World Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Mauritius.

Best Airport by Region UNDER 2 MILLION PASSENGERS PER YEAR Africa George Asia-Pacific Indore Europe Murcia Latin America-Caribbean Mazatlan North America Portland Maine “Everyone here at Newcastle goes above and beyond to offer an excellent experience for our passengers and it’s great to see that that’s been recognised. I have no doubt that this will spur our colleagues on to continue offering such incredible service to all who travel through the airport.”

India’s time to shine Overall, it was India’s time to shine with the country’s gateways winning three of the six global best by size awards, one second place and four joint third places. Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji and Delhi-Indira Gandhi airports arguably led the way for India, scooping joint first place in the world for airports handling over 40 million passengers a year, narrowly beating China’s Beijing Capital and Shanghai Pudong into second place and Taipei Taoyuan into third. The Indian gateways also couldn’t be separated for the honour of being the Best Airport in the Asia-Pacific Region, although MumbaiChhatrapati Shivaji was the sole winner in the Best by Size and Region category in Asia-Pacific for airports handling over 40mppa. India’s Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport finished top of the pile in the global 2-5mppa category and HyderabadRajiv Gandhi International Airport triumphed in the global 5-15mppa section where fellow Indian gateways Cochin, Kolkata-Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Pune finished joint third.

Best Airport by Size and Region ASIA-PACIFIC 2–5 million passengers per year 5–15 million passengers per year 15–25 million passengers per year 25–40 million passengers per year Over 40 million passengers per year

Lucknow Hyderabad Denpaser Chongqing Mumbai

EUROPE 2–5 million passengers per year 5–15 million passengers per year 15–25 million passengers per year 25–40 million passengers per year Over 40 million passengers per year

Newcastle Sochi Athens Moscow Sheremetyevo Rome Fiumicino

LATIN AMERICA-CARIBBEAN 2–5 million passengers per year 5–15 million passengers per year

Guayaquil Punta Cana

MIDDLE EAST 5–15 million passengers per year


NORTH AMERICA 2–5 million passengers per year 5–15 million passengers per year 15–25 million passengers per year 25–40 million passengers per year Over 40 million passengers per year

Ottawa Indianapolis Tampa Minneapolis Toronto Pearson




Best Airport by Region AFRICA (Over 2 million passengers per year) First place Second place Casablanca Mauritius

Third place Durban

ASIA-PACIFIC First place (tie) Second place (tie) Third place Delhi Beijing Sanya Mumbai Denpaser Haikou Shanghai Pudong

EUROPE First place Second place (tie) Third place (tie) Sochi Malta Rome Fiumicino Moscow Sheremetyevo Zurich Porto

MIDDLE EAST First place Abu Dhabi

Second place (tie) Amman Medina

Third place Dubai

NORTH AMERICA First place (tie) Second place (tie) Indianapolis El Paso Jacksonville Ottawa Toronto Billy Bishop

Third place (tie) Austin-Bergstrom Columbus Dallas Love Field Halifax Pittsburgh San Antonio San Jose Tampa

LATIN AMERICA-CARIBBEAN First place Second place Guayaquil Los Cabos

Third place (tie) Nassau Punta Cana

Talking about Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport’s triple ASQ success in 2017, Dr GVK Reddy, founder and chairman of GVK, which spearheads airport operator, MIAL, said: “We are delighted to win this award. “When we took over the operation of the airport in 2007 its ASQ score was 3.53 and in under ten years has risen to around 4.99 out of a maximum of five. This is testimony to the quality service provided during 2017 to over 46 million travellers by 30,000 odd members of the airport community from Customs, Immigration and airline staff to the F&B/retail operators, housekeeping and maintenance units and our employees. “Our mission is to constantly raise the bar and create new benchmarks day after day. So, going forward, we will continue to strive harder and innovate through technology enabled services to delight our travellers.”



While Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) CEO, Indana Prabhakara Rao, called his gateway’s awards “profoundly gratifying”, stating that they reflected DIAL’s strong focus on operational efficiencies and resilient approach towards service delivery. “Despite phenomenal year-on-year passenger growth, DIAL has once again consolidated its position on the word aviation map,” he enthused. “Winning the coveted world number one award is the natural outcome of the focus, dedication, self-belief and hands-on leadership of various partners of Indira Gandhi International Airport. This is a historic moment not only for DIAL and IGIA but for the entire nation.” Commenting on Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport being ranked best airport in the world handling between 5-15mppa for the second year running, GMR Group’s airports chairman, Srinivas Bommidala, noted that the gateway has now won the award four times and always ranked among the top three. He said: “This is recognition of the collaborative work of all stakeholders at Hyderabad Airport. I applaud the efforts made by employees of GHIAL and that of the entire airport community. “We are embarking on the expansion of Hyderabad Airport, which will not just provide the necessary infrastructure boost to facilitate high air traffic and passenger growth, but also a delightful passenger experience with right fusion of technology and human touch. “As custodians of the national asset, we stay committed towards nation building by providing adequate capacity for aviation growth and the adoption of the latest global technologies.”

Asia-Pacific success Despite the unpredictability of this year’s results, the one constant from previous years to continue in 2017 was the continued dominance of Asia-Pacific’s gateways, with the region’s gateways winning all the global best airport by size categories. Equal first in the global 15-25mppa category was Bali’s Denpasar–Ngurah Rai International Airport and China’s Haikou Meilan and Sanya Phoenix airports. Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport finished second and fellow Indian airport Chennai, and Indonesia’s Surabaya-Juanda International Airport, were third. There was a true multi-national feel to the roll of honour’s in the global 25-40mppa category led by China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, which finished top, followed by Seoul-Gimpo in South Korea and Japan’s Tokyo-Narita in third. Chongqing Jiangbei repeated its global success in the 25-40mppa category in the Best by Size and Region section for Asia-Pacific, as did Lucknow, Hyderabad and Denpaser in their respective categories. Other Asia-Pacific regional successes included Abu Dhabi retaining its title of Best Airport in the Middle East. Amman–Queen Alia and Medina’s Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz finished second, with Dubai International Airport taking third. Tibah Airports operated Medina, however, become another of the first time winners by topping the 5-15mppa group in the Best By Size and Region category for the Middle East. Sofiene Abdessalem, managing director of Tibah Airports Operation Co, remarked: “We are proud to receive the ASQ award that ranks


Most Improved Airport Africa Nairobi Asia-Pacific Ahmedabad Europe Zagreb Middle East Dubai Latin America-Caribbean Belo Horizonte North America Cleveland Medina Airport’s customer experience among some of the best airports in the world. “It’s an important acknowledgement of the commitment of the entire Tibah team and all our strategic partners, and it is one that we should be proud of and must continue to live up to.” The company added that the award is one among many that strengthens Medina Airport’s global standing as a world-class and top ranking airport. Also tasting the winning feeling for the first time were the Indian airports of Indore-Dev Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport and Ahmedabad–Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, which triumphed in the regional categories for best airport in Asia-Pacific handling less than 2mppa and the Most Improved Airport respectively. Referring to his airport’s success, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, said: “We are honoured to have received such a high accolade for the second consecutive year. “We consider the ASQ awards to be a key indicator of our performance and success as they are a transparent reflection of what our passengers think of us and our services. “I am personally extremely proud of our team, our stakeholders, and all the entities operating at the airport as I know the challenges they are going through day and night, yet they never fail in exceeding expectations, and delivering a world-class gateway for the capital of the UAE. “I look forward to their continued commitment and drive to excel as we embark on the next phase in our transformation journey.”

North America and Europe Customer service king, Indianapolis, retained its status as the Best Airport in North America for the sixth successive year – this time sharing the honour with Jacksonville – and was rated the Best Airport by Size and Region in North America for airports handing 5-15mppa for the third year on the trot. “This is more than another award, it’s a demonstration of relentless year-over-year dedication to customer satisfaction,” said Indianapolis Airport Authority’s executive director, Mario Rodriguez. “Our primary goal is to continuously improve the value the airport provides to the Indianapolis-Metropolitan community. “Our staff work diligently day in and day out to realise that goal by striving to provide an outstanding customer experience for anyone travelling through our airport. The awards are, essentially, a performance review of that daily focus – and we are clearly getting the job done.” Other winners in North America in the Best by Size and Region categories other than Indianapolis and Toronto Pearson were Ottawa (2-5mppa); Tampa (15-25mppa) and Minneapolis-St Paul (25-40mppa). Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP) frequently wins awards for its food and retail concessions, management, engineering and construction,

customer choice and environmental stewardship, and its ASQ success in 2017 follows on from its top ranking in 2016. “This is the second consecutive year MinneapolisSt Paul International Airport has been named Best Airport in North America in its size category based on traveller feedback, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan airports Commission. “Our vision is ‘providing your best airport experience,’ and receipt of this coveted award validates our efforts and those of our partners in the MSP airport community. “Employees from a wide swathe of the MSP airport community – the Metropolitan Airports Commission, airlines, airline contractors, concessionaires, federal security and aviation agencies, Airport Foundation MSP, and many other organisations – made this top ranking possible, and I want to thank them for their continued commitment to service excellence.” In Europe, aside from the airports already mentioned, Sochi once again enjoyed a good year, winning both the Best Airport in Europe award and Best Airport by Size and Region for Europe handling 2-5mppa for the third successive year. Fellow Russian gateway, Moscow Sheremetyevo also held on to its ranking of the Best Airport by Size and Region for airports handling between 25-40mppa.

Africa and Latin-America Caribbean George (South Africa) and Mazatlán (Mexico) won the awards for the Best Airport by Region handling under 2mppa for Africa and Latin America-Caribbean (LAC) respectively, while Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) triumphed in the Best by Size and Region category for 5-15mppa in LAC. The big winner in LAC was once again Guayaquil (Ecuador), which won Best Airport in Latin America-Caribbean for the fifth consecutive year. It also retained its title of Best Airport by Size and Region handling 2-5mppa and was runner up to Lucknow in the same global category.

Everyone’s a winner “Objective measurement and benchmarking are critical in driving performance in any business especially in such a competitive and dynamic one as an airport,” said ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens. “These winning airports have dedicated themselves to delivering a stellar customer experience. ACI World proudly recognises the accomplishments of all airports in the global ASQ network. I look forward to celebrating with them at the ASQ Awards Ceremony which is being held at the ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit in Halifax in September.”





Striving for excellence ACI World’s manager for ASQ strategic marketing, Sevda Fevzi, tells us more about the launch of the first ever barometer on global airport service quality.


n April, ACI World launched the first ever Airport Service Quality (ASQ) barometer, which provides a global snapshot of airport customer experience satisfaction levels. The barometer was put together from the overall satisfaction scores from a global and regional level, derived from the longstanding ASQ Departures programme. ACI’s ASQ Departures programme is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. It measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants, additionally capturing passenger comments of their best and worst experience at the airport. Each airport uses the same methodology, creating an industry database that allows airports to benchmark with other airports around the world. In 2017, more than half of the world’s 7.1 billion travellers passed through an ASQ airport and this barometer was developed in response to airport demand for greater insight into customer need. As competition in the airport industry grows, continuous service improvement is key for business performance and airports are making the customer experience a high priority. This barometer provides current data – based on objective measurements derived from the ASQ Departures survey – and the most relevant key performance indicators and categories for customers, including airport access, security, passport control and airport facilities. Some of the key findings include:  Overall in 2017, airport customer experience has improved globally from 4.15 to 4.19 (out of a 5-point scale). Security screening has the strongest impact on the overall satisfaction of passengers, and satisfaction in this area has improved overall



 In comparison of Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, overall satisfaction increased from 4.19 to 4.21  The most satisfied passengers are found in larger airports (>40mppa)  Asia-Pacific’s airports remain at the top of the charts in terms of customer experience satisfaction “The development of the ASQ barometer was in direct response to feedback from our members telling us that they need to be proactive in measuring their efforts against sound and objective data,” reveals ACI World director general, Angela Gittens. “Objective measurement and benchmarking are critical in driving performance in any business, especially in such a competitive and dynamic industry such as ours. These quarterly reports will go a long way in helping inform airports and, in turn, encouraging them to strive for continued customer excellence in tangible ways that resonate with their customers.” ACI World will publish quarterly barometer reports which will enable airports around the world to measure up against their competition and gain invaluable insights to inform their approach to the increasingly competitive and crucial area of customer experience. The barometer is the latest addition to the ASQ portfolio. In 2017, ACI also launched the ASQ Arrivals Survey which complements the findings from the ASQ’s Departures Survey. This package offers airports a holistic picture of what passengers are thinking, doing and feeling as they move through the various stages of their airport journey. It collects their opinions on the day they travel when the experience is fresh in their minds. The arrivals experience differs greatly, passengers having different states of mind and priorities. Thus, the methodological approach to


conducting the Arrivals Survey has been adapted to offer a shorter survey time. Like the ASQ main Departures Survey, the ASQ Arrivals Survey gives airports the tools they need to improve their passenger service initiatives and the flexibility to adapt the programme through optional services like additional sample plans, increased sample sizes and more. Of course, to further gauge customer experience success, the ASQ Departures and Arrivals programmes are only one part of the story. Customers are in constant contact with staff working in the airport: both those employed directly and those who work in the duty free, retail and food and beverage outlets. Their experience can also be affected by what might be going on behind the scenes, and by staff they have never met. Airports are complex operations with many business partners playing a role. In response to the added dimension of improving customer experience, ACI also launched a new programme to help airports better understand the thoughts, actions and motivations of all staff in the airport. The Employee Survey for Customer Experience (ECE) has been designed to provide invaluable data to airports so that they can better understand how airport staff interact with customers, and to help them evaluate whether customer experience enhancement projects are hitting the mark. ECE is designed to help airports:  Understand the motivation and commitment of airport staff towards achieving the common goal of improving the customer experience, and assess their collective commitment to customer experience;  Identify areas which might be prioritised for improvement and develop action plans to enhance the overall customer experience; and to,  Benchmark customer experience initiatives and share best practice with other participating airports.

ECE has been developed with the same commitment to robust data gathering that has made the ASQ Survey an essential tool for the world’s best airports. The ECE is easy to use and has been designed to be selfadministered online and is packed with useful features such as a global index structured around 73 questions; search functions; strategic recommendations; and, year-end summaries. This programme also fits seamlessly with the ASQ toolkit of products and services, making it the ideal complement for existing ASQ members. In 2018, in conjunction with Halifax Stanfield International Airport, ACI will host the inaugural Airports Council International Customer Excellence Global Summit, to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from September, 9-13, 2018. This ACI conference will combine the traditional multiple ASQ Forums held throughout the year into one international annual ASQ Forum and Summit, providing the industry with a much-needed platform to exchange best-practice and lessons learned on providing the airport customer experience, challenges and trends, and how ever-evolving technology impacts customer experience management. The one-day Forum and following two-day Summit will be open to ASQ subscribers as well as those airports who desire information about the ASQ programme, by invitation only. In addition to the Forum and the Conference, the event will include a Gala dinner and the prestigious annual ASQ Awards Ceremony. The tripartite event is expected to attract many delegates and provide Halifax Stanfield, the city and province, with international exposure and business development opportunities.





Better by design






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Arup associate director and aviation security specialist, Stacey Peel, reflects on the challenges of designing the airport of the future and reveals a new passenger processing concept that could help eliminate queues at airports.


s the aviation industry finds ways to draw on the benefits of new technology, such as using blockchain to protect sensitive information, and seeks to improve its return on investment by planning ahead for emerging trends like autonomous vehicles, there is a lot of blue sky thinking about what the airport of the future will look like. In 2016, the industry talked of what Internet of Things (IoT) meant for airports and airlines. In 2017, the circular runway concept captured our attention as this blue sky thinking is critical to driving innovation. But how do we get from where we are today to what we are confident will be the norm in the next two to three decades? Many of today’s major capital developments aspire to be innovative, but many of the concepts being considered are still just that, concepts. The alternative options are to be first adopters or, as more commonly happens, revert to the same model of delivery with incremental upgrades in infrastructure and system performance.

Unlocking the traditional approach to solving problems Arup’s recent work with India’s GVK Group challenged these options. Using our Future of Air Travel or FOAT methodology – which is founded on organisational psychology theories developed to unlock traditional approaches to problem solving – we looked at ways of bringing to life current thinking, identifying new ideas and driving innovation. In GVK’s case, the focus was on being future ready, with the key priorities being: • Delivering a zero-queue terminal • Re-imagining retail, entertainment and dining • Designing the future terminal – one space, multiple uses • Cost efficiency The FOAT workshop resulted in nine pilot programme ideas – all implementable and all giant steps towards the airport of the future. At the recent Passenger Terminal Expo in Stockholm, GVK and Arup shared, for the first time, the details of one of those nine pilots by taking a deep dive into the zero-queue terminal. The pilot focused on what is feasible in the next one to five years with current technology and architecture, and how this could take GVK’s airports one step closer to being future ready.



The shape of things to come? The Processing Pod. Image courtesy of Arup.

Today’s disjointed and disruptive passenger terminal experience Whilst today’s terminal model might be compared to a shopping mall, its provenance is the need to process passengers before and after embarkation. This is recognised in the nomenclature ‘Central Processing Unit’. Those processes, individually and collectively, have evolved and increased over time in quantity and in many cases complexity. And, as a direct result of the processes being owned and facilitated by many different entities, the passenger experience is one that is disjointed and disruptive, with multiple stress points caused by: • The passenger needing to compensate for the technologies’ inadequacies. For example, having to divest items at the screening checkpoint • Different processes between each airport, and at times between each journey at the same airport. For example, despite using self-check-in you must still queue to drop your bag whereas at other airports there is self-service bag drop • Multiple queuing as you reach each process: check-in, back-drop, border control, divestment, person screening, secondary bag check, redress and boarding and on arrival border control, customs, quarantine and baggage collection • The provision of similar or the same data multiple times, generating a sense of duplication: check-in, bag drop, border control and boarding and, on arrival, border control again • The space and journey between each processing point being counter-intuitive and filled with distraction These individual processes result in significant space-take in the terminal, as well as time-take as each process occurs in a consecutive manner and requires time to and space to transition between them. This space and time consumption takes away from opportunities to provide those aspects of the terminal experience the passenger enjoys and the airport realises revenue from: retail, entertainment and dining.






















What the passenger journey of a zero touch terminal could look like. Source: Arup.

Individual Processing Pods GVK’s timeframe of one to five years meant that the aspirational elimination of certain processes wasn’t feasible so we identified how, with existing technology, the disjointed and disruptive passenger experience could be addressed. It resulted in the idea for individual Processing Pods. The advantages of the Processing Pod are multiple. By using human-centred design, the process can be more intuitive and provide for concurrent processing, thus saving time. While carry-on luggage is being screened, the passenger themselves is being screened. While they undertake check-in and bag drop, the border control process happens passively because the same information is collected once and used for multiple purposes – government’s border control and airline’s check-in requirements. Arup and GVK hypothesise the processing time for the individual passenger can be reduced by up to 65% by concurrent processing and eliminating multiple queuing and transition times. The advantages aren’t only realised for the passenger. The Processing Pod should drive what has been elusive to the industry for so long – the sharing of data. Knowing the passenger will only provide the data once when at the pod, the information must be shared or at least accessible to all parties. Once this particular challenge of sharing data is unlocked, the benefits can be realised elsewhere in the airport, including customised retail experiences, for instance. Furthermore, the space-take required by the pod compared to that needed for dispersed processing could be up to 50% less, in turn releasing valuable footprint for non-aeronautical revenue opportunities. The entities responsible for the individual processes realise operating benefits too as they will only need to provide staff by exception, much like we experience at self-serve supermarket tills. The Processing Pod reduces the number of stress points for the passenger, the duration in which they are interfacing with and

transitioning between processes, and the number of times they are providing information. This in turn leads to increasing dwell time and likely desire to partake in the enhanced retail, entertainment and dining that is now more available due to the increased space available within the terminal. Of course, the proposed model is not without its challenges, with some of the more obvious ones including: • The sharing of data between entities, something that is challenging the industry today • Separation of passengers once screened, which will have a strong influence on the location and layout of the pods in the terminal • The need for technology to be increasingly passive, such as biometrics and personnel screening, so that passengers don’t have to behave in a certain way – standing with arms above your head, for instance – in order to compensate for the technology’s limitations. The FOAT methodology allowed us to draw out these challenges and identify where a pilot can be most effective in challenging today’s technology and infrastructure. This, in turn, provides direction on what needs to be changed in order to become future ready and ultimately realising the airport of the future. The GVK-Arup FOAT event resulted in an innovative yet practical co-created idea – an idea that met GVK’s intent to be future ready in the next five years and delivered on their priorities of delivering a zero-queue terminal, reimagining retail, entertainment and dining, designing the future terminal – one space, multiple uses and cost efficiency. This shows that when ambition is supported with a structured and tailored methodology like Arup’s FOAT, the industry can start becoming future ready, today.





What passengers want The delivery of contextually aware information and the use of new technologies are helping pave the way for richer passenger experiences and boosting airport revenues, writes Clare Williams.


ew research conducted earlier this year by Collinson has again highlighted that fact that passengers’ perceptions of the ‘airport experience’ continues to change. 

 Having evolved from somewhere that was regarded as just the place we had to pay to go catch a flight, the airport is now increasingly a location where people enjoy spending their time. “In this latest study, 50% of the passengers we spoke to stated that they see the airport as an enjoyable part of the journey,” says Jon White, marketing director for travel experiences at global loyalty and benefits company, Collinson. 

 “Travellers really do treat the airport as the start of their trip, and anything airports can do to make their time there a more enriching and rewarding experience, will clearly be well received.”

The start of the journey Contextually relevant services and communications – meaning the right channel, the right message at the right time – is one way to ensure passengers have a great experience from the moment they book their journey, through to their arrival at a terminal and as they pass through the airport. The information passengers seek in advance of travel is largely concerned with practicalities. Passengers want information from the moment they book their trip. 

 As the start of their journey approaches, the focus shifts towards the practicalities of controlling time, cost, and what facilities the passenger may want to use. Passengers want to know, for example, how to get to and from the airport, how long it will take to get there, and the various options available which will meet their demands for comfort and quality. 

 En route to the airport, emphasis shifts, and the passenger then wants to know how long it will take to get through security, if there are delays, or the best route to their lounge, dining or retail destination. 

 Once at the airport, the priority becomes how the passenger will spend their time and whether they want to relax, shop, connect with friends or the office, or pamper themselves at a spa.

Making the most of dwell time But a visit to the airport is about more than practicalities. Many airport operators now understand that today’s choice-rich, time-poor passengers are looking for an experience. 

 Basic comfort and efficient processes are expected as standard, but beyond this, passengers are looking for more – which could be anything from large-scale initiatives such as Dubai Parks and Resorts’ branded family zones at Dubai Airport or Singapore Changi’s interactive Social Tree installation (pictured above). 

 Passengers also want their experience to be as stress-free as possible. Helping them to find their way around the airport is one way of reducing this stress. “Airports, particularly the major global hubs, have long invested in signage and wayfinding solutions, being critical to the passenger experience,” says White. “What we are now seeing emerge are technologies such as push notifications, rich mobile mapping, beacons and augmented reality; technologies that enabling location-based marketing. These aren’t necessarily new, but they are now available to passengers at scale through mobile devices. 

 “They unlock a number of interesting possibilities, such as much richer location-based recommendations of places to eat, nearby retail offers, or other experiences such as lounges to enjoy.” And he has no doubt that in the future, new technology will make the airport experience even more exciting. “There are some fascinating developments occurring with technologies such as biometrics, digital wallets, augmented reality and various personalisation technologies,” says White.

 “These will continue to proliferate and unlock opportunities to more seamlessly guide passengers through the airport, driving engagement and satisfaction, and giving them far more enriching and meaningful experiences. This will help airports make their passengers truly satisfied, and it’s a happy, content passenger that will spend money.” Nearly 3,000 passengers were interviewed for Collinson’s study which took place in seven countries and was conducted in five languages – English, Arabic, French, German and traditional Chinese – earlier this year. AW




Better buys

Alex Avery looks at how innovation can shape the future of airport retail and enhance the passenger experience.


ast year saw the top performing airports introduce pop-ups and experiential stores to encourage passengers to interact more with their retail offer. This has been supported by a big focus on making shopping as efficient and convenient as possible, with multi-channel propositions allowing passengers to pre-order their purchases and offering complimentary home-service delivery. Hong Kong International Airport for instance, introduced a range of retail innovations, including pop-up stores to showcase new retail categories such as drones and aerial photography systems. Technology, too, helped to create new experiences at the airport, with its retail environment enlivened with virtual reality exhibitions, a 360-degree selfie experience and interactive screens. Alongside e-commerce, experiments with virtual and augmented reality are demonstrating new ways in which technology can transform the passenger retail experience. Heinemann Duty Free, for example, launched an augmented reality shopping promotion at Berlin Schönefeld Airport in the run-up to Christmas. Despite all the opportunities that new technology can provide, the only initiatives likely to deliver long-term appeal and economic success for the airport and retail partners as those that easily fit into the travelling customers’ repertoire and provide a genuine benefit to their journey and purchase process.



Connecting architectural innovation to the passenger experience Innovations in airport architecture and design play an ever more significant role in enhancing the passenger experience and creating engaging commercial environments to capture consumer attention. A great example of this is the newly opened Terminal 4 at Singapore Changi, which boasts many architectural, commercial and digital components that are specifically designed to create a compelling customer experience. Key features include a heritage zone – inspired by Peranakan shop-houses nestled around Singapore – that combine a mix of familiar, traditional brands with a nostalgic interior of heritage themed facades to create an experience unique to Singapore.

The promotion of wellbeing With the wellbeing trend here to stay, airports have had to embrace this. It’s no longer just about selling a product, but how consumers are seen to embrace the values of a brand into their lifestyles, with social media a key avenue to project a desired image to the world. The trend encompasses the entire commercial spectrum: from services and leisure, to apparel, F&B, and travel. City and travel guides now detail the top ‘instagrammable’ spots, so shareable, photogenic adventures are now a travel essential.

SPECIAL REPORT: CUSTOMER SERVICE Airport retailing’s historical duty free proposition, long associated with the ‘vice’ categories of cheap tobacco and alcohol, is now shifting more towards brands and products that support vitality and an aspirational lifestyle. More health-conscious and provenance-focused consumers seek out opportunities for wellbeing and sustainable retail, impacting all aspects of the airport commercial offer, from retail, to catering and service provision. Innovative high street brand partnerships demonstrate how wellbeing (fresh pressed juice), can combine with a ‘vice’ (eating confectionery). Juice cleanse brand, Pressed Juicery’s collaboration with luxury US candy maker, Sugafina, is one example; the series of green juice gummy bears that pack the flavour and nutrition of cold-pressed juice into candy are the first ‘healthy’ candy ‘cleanse’ of its kind. As consumers increasingly seek higher quality propositions, ‘me-time’, and experiences to enhance productivity and wellbeing, airport retailers and service providers must pursue new ways to deliver wellbeing across the spectrum of products they sell, from everyday travel essentials to the occasional indulgent purchase for their travelling customers.

Crossing the threshold: from screen to store Globally, high street footfall is declining at an inverse rate to online sales rising, as digital commerce gathers pace. Additionally, smartphone addiction is on the rise – be it for online banking, booking travel, social media, or online streaming via the likes of Netflix and Spotify. Prior to the smartphone revolution, passengers had to seek out avenues to kill time whilst on the move or in airport lounges. Airport retail browsing was an efficient use of dwell time and opportunity to indulge in an impulse purchase before flight departure. Today’s challenge is the demise of the ‘time killing browser’ in airport retail environments, as passengers stay glued to their smart phones instead. This is compounded by the increasing volume of airport information delivered through smartphones. In 2018, many airports globally will be pushing tech-enabled interfaces through biometric scanning, artificial intelligence and communication channels with more sophisticated chatbots, translation technology, and augmented reality, all making passengers more phone-dependent. Airport retailers need to work harder to capture consumer attention from screen to store windows. This means pushing the boundaries for store design, window displays, compelling merchandising, and delivering a service-led proposition for its customers, to encourage people to cross the threshold into their stores. Nike’s recent announcements should be a wake-up call to the retail industry – travel included. The brand will rationalise its 30,000 retail partners to around 40 favoured ‘differentiated retailers’, each with a special branded space for Nike product and dedicated sales teams. As president of Nike Brand, Trevor Edwards, predicted that “Undifferentiated, mediocre retail won’t survive”. This illustrates an increased focus on the direct-to-consumer push, as brands rely less on wholesale, and more on flagship stores and e-commerce. Nike has a target of 30% e-commerce revenue by 2022, up from 15% currently. Its New York flagship planned for 2019 will be a multi-sport assortment of product innovation and services, with a fifth floor

available exclusively to NikePlus members, offering unique products and customisation opportunities. Members can meet a Nike Expert to offer personal shopping advice. Similarly, engaging and wide-ranging environments are being developed by brands ranging from Tesla automotive, to Lululemon athletica, Charlotte Tilbury beauty, and Lush cosmetics. So, has airport retail’s service proposition and in-store experience failed to keep pace with the high-street? Possibly due to the typically higher sales densities, guaranteed passenger base, price advantage (albeit diminishing), and aggressive concession margin demands from airport landlords, airport retailers have had less incentive to innovate, particularly for non-specialists in travel, for whom one to five airport stores may represent a small fraction of a 200+ highstreet portfolio. High-street trends indicate the growing importance of a more engaging brand presence in airport retail. Already, major beauty and spirits brands in the duty free stores are responding with larger format and more eye-catching product displays, with more expansion across the full spectrum of the airport retail offer expected. The future model is moving more to a hybrid of transactional retail and marketing brand presence, recognising the importance of physical design and environment in capturing audience attention.

A licence for local Despite airports being increasingly dynamic environments, the commercial real estate has been relatively fixed and static – both in terms of contract length and brand ubiquity, as well as stock turn and dynamic programming. Retailers need to work ever harder to adjust their product offer to fast changing demands, while airport operators need to respond with increased flexibility of their space and programming, to adjust to changing tastes and trends. Looking ahead, we expect to see more dynamism in the airport proposition. Airports are facilitating travel, adventure, and new experiences through connecting people to new destinations, but for too long, retail has morphed into a global conglomerate of ubiquity. Consumer surveys highlight that 78% of airline passengers see travel as an opportunity to explore the local culture; airport retail must respond to these customer-led requirements. A successful sector has been the emergence of the delicatessen and souvenir food concept stores. Stores with a strong local influence, and unique proposition distinct to the destination attract customers of all demographics, incomes and nationalities. As technology increasingly allows a greater understanding of customer profiles, habits, behaviours and taste, we expect to see airport retail embrace the opportunity to champion its unique qualities of regional distinction and culture. Airport retail remains an environment rich with opportunity for innovation. Now’s the time for operators to step up and embrace new ways to connect with consumers to really enhance the customer experience. AW

About the author Alex Avery is Pragma’s managing director for airports, travel and commercial spaces. Visit to find out more about Pragma’s work with airports.




Time for


Are airport innovation labs genuine disrupters or flavour of the month? Exambela Consulting’s David Feldman and Pierre-Alain Goujard investigate.


ast year Singapore Changi Airport, a gateway renown for delivering top quality customer service, became the latest in a growing line of airports to create an innovation lab – a place where researchers are free to conceive, develop and test emerging airport technologies and business concepts. Airport executives are repeatedly being told that concepts such as ‘disruptive technology’, ‘big data’ and ‘innovation accelerators’ are transforming – or are reported to be transforming – many industries and that they have some important role to play in airport operations and management. But what role exactly? If the goal of the modern airport CEO is to structure the business to be customer-centric, data-driven and tech-enabled, shouldn’t the tech part be driven solely by the airport’s core mission rather than by taking the airport into new and uncharted territories? The problem with the new digital economy is that the old business certainties do not always apply. For many innovation labs, the mere process of creativity can be just as important as the innovative technologies which the labs have been set up to produce. Ben Davis, the editor with UK digital marketing strategy company Econsultancy, recently stated: “While the goal of any innovation lab is ultimately to create new revenue streams or bolster existing ones by improving productivity or speed, there is much more to consider. A new culture of working may be beneficial for productivity, but in its own right can make for a happier workforce.” And a happy workforce typically means young, energetic, enterprising, skilled people wanting to work there.



For airport CEOs focused on the day-to-day challenges of having to find new ways of shifting more passengers and aircraft through existing infrastructure, these business concepts can look like an expensive, time-consuming long shot. But, over the last few years, airport innovation labs have started to spring up around the world. Indeed, today they can be found at Singapore Changi, Paris CDG and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and many mid-size airports such as San Diego have entered the fray. Different types of labs have been developed, just as the different aviation players have developed their own innovation brands. Some airports keep their labs in-house, while other airports are collaborative, often partnering with universities and governments. But the core objective is typically to improve airport performance across five key areas – airport operations, passenger processes, travel booking/destination management, environmental impact and revenue generation. One of the important end goals of all this activity is to deliver an entirely seamless travel experience for the passenger from booking the flight to stepping onto the aircraft. The airport segment of this new world order will involve using innovative types of wearable, connected technologies which help the passenger navigate the airport easily while providing the airport and its stakeholders with a wide range of data – from the passenger’s location and probable future path through the terminal, to his or her retail preferences.


Atlanta’s ATL Thinks! This is a launchpad for local start-ups – and they even keep their intellectual property. ATL Thinks! is a yearly innovation initiative that started in 2015. It is designed to highlight local companies and talent, connecting them to industries and opportunities through a series of ideation labs, hackathons, mentor sessions and pitch competitions for a duration of two months. Three divisions of participants – college students, professionals and start-ups less than three years old – work to solve airport challenges, and the winning team from each division gets to deploy their solutions at the airport. Outputs include sustainability solutions, marketing and communication projects, virtual and augmented reality, IoT (Internet of Things), predictive and location analytics, wearables, self-driving vehicles and drones.

There is increasing evidence to show that well-organised, results-oriented innovation labs have an important part to play in this process. SAS Lab is working on an electronic bag tag (EBT), which comprises a small, low-power flexible electronic device with new screen technology permanently attached to the passenger’s bag. The device connects to a smartphone so that travellers can update it with journey details for each trip they take. The tag would then display a bar code image and the itinerary for the trip. At the airport, travellers with the EBT would then just drop off their luggage at the baggage counter. This is the kind of technology which has the power to transform airport operations worldwide. But it is only one of a wide number of new technologies the airport labs are working on. Indeed, automated apron and terminal vehicles; the use of big data to track and predict passenger flows; beacons; new type of apps; and new generations of digital retail offerings are all being incubated and accelerated somewhere around the world. Not all these inventions will go from proof-of-concept to actual implementation. The value-creation mechanisms between the incubators and the start-ups are often opaque and will depend on whether the lab has been set up to focus on in-house technology challenges or to be marketed globally, or whether the airport is merely a host and facilitator for technology acceleration in areas which stretch far beyond the aviation sector. From the start, the airport has to understand exactly what it wants from its technology lab, what kind of people it wants to recruit and what kind of path to market it wants to design if the lab produces real results. This will require research – into the legal issues, new business models and the different types of innovation labs that are doing good work. For all airports considering setting up an in-house innovation lab, there is a considerable cultural divide to be bridged. These labs come from a place where risk-taking, OK-to-fail, entrepreneurship and radical innovation are core elements of success. This is very different from the risk-adverse, hierarchical and closely regulated world of airport management.

Airport innovation labs typically focus on as many as five broad, overlapping focus areas .

One way around this is for the airport to let a partner organisation manage the lab on its behalf. This is the strategy now being pursued by San Diego International Airport, which says the lab needs more attention than the airport itself can provide. The danger is that with so many airport innovation labs starting up, their outputs will be an overly ambitious focus on all possible aspects of aviation and not integrated with the strategic vision or business plan of the host airport. If there is a big technology challenge out there which will transform the way airports operate, then the chances are Google or Amazon are probably already working on it and they will be faster, smarter and more able to invest than the average airport, even an airport with an innovation lab. For any airport CEO considering whether to create an innovation lab, several strategic questions need to be answered from the start of the operation to make sure the output is linked directly to the airport’s business strategy, rather than being a mere flight of fancy.

– What scope of solutions will the lab research? Some labs cater to all areas of airport management, others focus on specific topics. How will this lab be different?

– Who is the end user? Will the research focus on in-house technology challenges or produce products that can be marketed around the world?

– What is the business model for the lab? Will the work involve closed or open innovation? Is the airport the service provider or the money maker? If it is an open model, based on partnerships, who will own what, and what level of confidentiality should apply? Who will hold the patent to the successful product? In-house airport innovation labs can use the passengers that pass through the terminal as potential guinea-pigs. ATL Thinks! has been developed to strengthen links with local start-ups, offering technical challenges to the academic community. What projects would be better suited for crowdsourcing, and what others for hackathons?




Munich Airport’s InnovationPilot InnovationPilot uses crowdsourcing to reach innovators outside the airport’s usual circle of influence. Created in 2015, the lab conducts one round of requests per year to seek feedback from passengers and visitors on particular airport issues. Ideas or suggestions, with incentives, help to enhance services for travellers, making the trip from kerbside to the gate or vice versa more relaxing, fun or interesting. The portal is also open for innovative ideas on how to make good use of waiting times in terminals – for example, at security checkpoints or when picking up passengers.

– What kind of facility will the lab be? Will it be a single office with pool table, water coolers, table tennis tables and the occasional laptop, or will it have a suite of connected devices to allow for full-scale simulations?

Singapore Changi’s Living Lab Programme (LLP) Jointly funded with the Singapore Economic Development Board, this January 2017 programme invites innovation-driven companies, start-ups, SMEs and research institutes from Singapore to use Changi as a test facility. The business philosophy behind the Living Lab is simple – develop first for Changi, then export what works, including to non-aviation customers such as shopping malls. While this field testing provides added credibility, it may slow the time between proof of concept and value creation. But with more than 58 million passengers generating over $1.7 billion in concession sales in one location, the LLP offers a rich test-bed and valuable data to Changi’s co-innovation partners for developing and refining their solutions. Outputs include automated guided vehicles to ferry passengers between terminals, taxi queue analytics to provide real-time information to enhance the ground transport experience at the airport and autonomous cleaning robots.

– What type of organisational structure will the lab employ?

What incentive should there be for people and/or companies to join the lab?

How will it be integrated within the airport’s structure of operations – as a revenue generator or a cost centre? This might be important; other airport staff could see this start-up as either a threat or an opportunity.

How can airports re-orientate their traditional business culture by providing the necessary incentives for success – the kind of risktaking, challenging-orthodoxy, OK-to-fail thinking that provides the essential elements for innovation labs to succeed.





Combined effort

Song Hoi-see, founder and CEO of the Plaza Premium Group, provides his thoughts on how collaboration holds the key to creating a seamless passenger experience at the world’s airports.


s an ever-evolving business, the aviation industry is used to change and, in many ways, this ability to adapt and embrace new technologies and shifting consumer behaviours has been the key to its success. With passenger numbers set to double over the next 20 years, arguably the industry needs to be more flexible than ever to deal with change and ensure a seamless passenger experience. And the most effective way of doing this is for airports to work even more closely with the airlines and other service providers to add value to the passenger experience.

Time for new period of co-operation For too long the passenger experience has been viewed from the eyes of individual service providers (i.e. the airport, the airline, retail/F&B operators) and not the bigger picture and, as result, many gateways have a disjointed service offering. It is therefore important for us within the airport environment to act as one, removing the silo approach that has bedevilled the airport experience. And, in my opinion, airports and airlines that engage more players in an effort to improve customer service through working with specialised stakeholders, will find it easier to achieve commercial success. Third party service providers such as lounge operators, for example, can help airlines and airports improve their service offering. ACI data shows that a better experience at the airport can improve customer loyalty and increase non-aeronautical revenues. It is also common to find service providers, such as lounge operators with global presence, enhancing experiences between destinations. A chief executive of a leading airport in Europe has been quoted as saying that the airport process is comparable to a watch in that it is crucial that all the cogs fit and work perfectly. If one comes to a halt or

is slower to work than the others, then this has an immediate impact on the overall results.

Collaborating for the sake of the customer Today, a number of airlines and airports have signed Memorandum of Understandings and are working together for mutual benefits. The LCCs/hybrid LCCs are forming new tie-ups with lounge operators, while there is huge potential for a growth in partnerships between airports and hospitality services providers such as hotels and retailers/F&B providers. It is important to note that airports have long ceased being just the place people go to catch a flight and are now widely considered to be a destination in their own right. An airport hotel, for example, provides not only a place for travellers to spend the night but a venue for visitors to rest and relax, dine and do business. The end-to-end service offering by airports and related organisations cannot be taken for granted anymore. Indeed, travel industry stakeholders are prioritising customer service and investing millions of dollars on improving the service they offer and adding value to passengers’ journeys. In addition to the challenges faced by the industry, competition for customers continues to be as fierce as ever. As such, it is vital for current players to envisage their role in the travel industry because change is constant. Specialised service providers are perfect examples of stakeholders who will add value to both a passenger’s travel experience while increasing the revenue line for airports and airlines. It is paramount to all in the travel industry to remove self-imposed customer facing boundaries, adding value to the customer should be a gain to all the players within the airport. An all-inclusive approach is the only way to ensure a consistent value adding service delivery. AW




The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Global Bazaar opens for business

United Airlines and OTG have opened a new expansive food hall in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport which they claim transforms itself during the day to meet the changing needs of the gateway’s customers. The new ‘Global Bazaar’ features a wide variety of vibrant offerings sourced from New York’s diverse and globally-inspired food culture, in addition to its market offering of news, gift and locally sourced retail. And after the breakfast rush departs, the Global Bazaar’s space automatically adapts to accommodate the lunch and dinner crowd. “Developing the best possible experience for Terminal C’s travellers required a lot of imagination from our design, culinary and tech teams,” says OTG’s CEO, Rick Blatstein. “This space is truly the first of its kind – the Bazaar changes as we move through the day. Its unique and immersive design, intuitive technology and, of course, great food is something we are incredibly proud to offer to United customers.”

Ezeiza International Airport unveils its new eGates Buenos Aires-Ezeiza International Airport has become the latest gateway to deploy Vision-Box’s Automated Border Control (ABC) solution to enhance the processing and airport experience of arriving passengers. Initially just for use by Argentinian citizens but due to expanded to other nationalities in the future, the new eGates make it possible to clear border control in just 17 seconds, which would dramatically cut queues in Arrivals. “The biometric eGates will not only speed up the transit time of travellers but also allow us to gather more accurate information of those entering and exiting Argentine territory using digital technology,” says Argentina’s Minister of the Interior Affairs, Public Works and Housing, Rogelio Frigerio.

He added that the installation of the border control system is fulfilling the government’s goal of “speeding up border crossings to encourage tourism and investment in the country, while at the same time improving security levels”. Vision-Box’s Group CEO, Miguel Leitmann, says: “This project is part of our continuing mission of making positive contributions to the safety and security of people the world over. “I am extremely pleased that with the installation of the ABC system at Ezeiza Airport and the planned expansion, Vision-Box is able to improve the quality of Argentinian smart border services and increase traveller’s access to them using trusted digital identification technologies.”

KONE Location: Hyvinkää, Finland Contact: Calin Mihai Hera, senior marketing communications specialist E: W: KONE is an innovative leader in the elevator and escalator industry. Our aim is to make the best of the world’s cities and public spaces, and our mission is to improve the flow of urban life. When people are travelling – whether long distances or simply commuting to work – we want to make sure they can move around efficiently and easily, and have a great experience. Together with our partners and customers around the world, we understand the needs of the people who use airports, transport hubs, and metro stations of all shapes and sizes. Through our People Flow Planning and Consulting services, we can analyse how people move vertically and horizontally and provide recommendations on how to optimise these flows to reduce waiting times and ensure the best possible end-user experience. We deliver innovative and eco-efficient solutions that are tailored to our customers’ needs and which add value throughout the lifecycle of their building, including elevators, escalators, and doors, as well as 24/7 connected services. Our solutions can be seen in action in major transportation hubs around the world – such as London, Beijing, Delhi, and Singapore – helping people reach their destinations safely and efficiently. JUSTWIFI Location: Warsaw, Poland Contact: Kris Nalbantov, head of international operations E: W: JustWIFI is a technology which monetises your airport Wi-Fi network by turning it into innovative and premium advertising channel. Our platform integrates seamlessly with existing airport infrastructure. We are integrated into 11 airports and another 3k locations in Europe, providing five million users annually with engaging content. In addition, JustWIFI gives the opportunity for out-of-home airport advertising companies to tap into new revenue streams.






matters Terri Morrissey and Richard Plenty provide their thoughts on the importance of empathy for the passenger experience.


nhancing the passenger experience is a worthy objective for anyone working in an airport. But what does it actually mean? Passengers come in many shapes and sizes, with differing tastes, expectations and needs. Some just want to minimise their interaction with the transit part of travelling to get to their destination as quickly as possible without any fuss. Others wish to savour every minute of their experience, lingering in the luxury goods emporia, sipping exotic cocktails, experiencing foot massages, indulging in exciting sights and sounds. Romantics, pragmatists, grumps …all travel through airports. This provides quite a challenge. Understanding how people who may be very different from ourselves feel – and being prepared to modify our own attitudes and behaviours accordingly – requires empathy. Putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective is important if we are to improve their travel experience. Recently, both authors have had personal experiences of what it is like to be a ‘Person of Restricted Mobility’ (PRM). For one of us, the cause was a broken ankle; for the other, a hip operation. ‘Walking in the other person’s shoes’ never became more relevant! What an impact it made. A simple trip to the bathroom, making a cup of coffee or even a visit to the local supermarket required planning, effort, and inventiveness. Let alone international travel. We found we had become part of a community of people in similar


circumstances. Walking stick users, people with crutches, zimmer frames and electric mobility scooters, generally acknowledged us cheerily with a nod, a smile or a wave of recognition. Neither of us had noticed before how many of us there were. The response of the general population was more variable. Some offered assistance when we couldn’t negotiate swinging doors or getting into taxis; others ignored us. We asked ourselves: should we have to experience what it is like to have reduced mobility to empathise with those who live these lives every day? Is it possible to really understand something without experiencing it personally? Well, yes, we believe that it is possible. • It starts with empathetic design. It is not beyond the wit of woman or man to design environments for those permanently or temporarily incapacitated who still want or need to travel. It should be possible to say goodbye to escalators that are so fast or steep you can’t get on or off easily; to provide seating on the long interminable walks to distant boarding gates; to loosen up stiff, unyielding doors that can’t be opened; or to have other options than to climb wet, rickety steps in windy conditions on the tarmac. • And… the human touch is as important. Empathic skills can be learnt and become habits. Every passenger should be considered as an individual with their own unique personal needs. A helping hand, a smile and small acts of kindness make a huge difference. As we found for ourselves.


Dick Benschop has succeeded the retiring Jos Nijhuis as CEO of the Royal Schiphol Group, operator of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Benschop was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the second Dutch cabinet led by Prime Minister, Wim Kok, From 1998 to 2002. He says: “Schiphol is a special place and a wonderful company that I have worked for previously. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of leading one of the most dynamic organisations in the Netherlands.” Judy Ross has officially become the assistant director of aviation for Mineta San José International Airport after holding the role on an interim basis for close to a year. Since joining SJC in 2015, Ross has played a key role on the management team in leading the design and construction activities of numerous safety, security, and customer-service capital improvement projects totalling over $50 million. Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport has announced that Mathieu Claise has been appointed director of government and public affairs and will be in charge of creating and maintaining close relations with the various communities in the greater Québec City region. JFK International Air Terminal, LLC (JFKIAT), the operator of Terminal 4 at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport has named Dutchman, Roel Huinink, as its new CEO. Huinink, an international transportation executive with two decades of leadership in business development, commercial management and marketing consulting, will replace Gert-Jan de Graaff on August 1. Meanwhile in the UK, David Grant has assumed the role of managing director of Durham Tees Valley Airport and Karen Smart has been appointed managing director of East Midlands Airport. The former director of landside operations at London Stansted succeeds Andy Cliffe in the hot-seat. Charlie Cornish, Group CEO of MAG, said: “Karen Smart is an exceptional leader and with her strong track record I’m sure she will build on the great foundations that exist at East Midlands Airport.”

About the authors Terri Morrissey is chairperson of This Is… and CEO of the Psychological Society of Ireland. Dr Richard Plenty is managing director of This Is… and runs the ACI World Airport Human Resources programme. Contact them through