Airport World, Issue 2, 2019

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In the spotlight: Marketing & Communications Airport report: Helsinki In review: Airport Economics & Finance Conference and ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly ;OL THNHaPUL VM [OL (PYWVY[Z *V\UJPS 0U[LYUH[PVUHS

Plus: ASQ winners & Investing in Africa

Marketing & Communications: Time to be heard Volume 24 – Issue 2, 2019 AW2-2019-FC-chosen.indd 1

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Airport World Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)208 707 2743 Sales Directors Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 Gary Allman +44 (0) 7854 239 426 Advertising Manager Andrew Hazell +44 (0)208 384 0206 Subscriptions Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743

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Airport World is published six times a year for the members of ACI. The opinions and views expressed in Airport World are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect an ACI policy or position.

ISSN: 1360-4341 The content of this publication is copyright of Aviation Media Ltd and should not be copied or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

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Good impressions Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the importance of good public relations in this ‘marketing and communications’ themed issue.


espite writing about aviation for the best part of 30 years and believing that I have a pretty healthy knowledge of the industry, I do still wonder whether airports both individually and collectively are doing enough to tell the world about all the good things they are doing. Sure, things have improved massively over the years in terms of when, how, and how often airports speak to the outside world, convey messages and relay information to the public, with social media channels increasingly coming to the fore in recent times. As ‘industry insiders’, many of us are fully aware of numerous different initiatives to raise the bar on everything from operational efficiency and customer service to safety, security and sustainability. Much of our knowledge comes from the efforts of ACI World and each ACI region – ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI Europe, ACI North America and ACI Latin America-Caribbean – which between them do an excellent job of promoting airport excellence and best practices. The efforts of ACI and other industry bodies such as ICAO, AAAE and even IATA are, of course, supplemented by the individual marketing and communications initiatives of individual airports. So, the word is getting out there, but could more be done to win the hearts and minds of local communities, cities and regions which, ultimately, will decide an airport’s licence to grow? Without doubt, high-profile infrastructure investment projects such as Istanbul’s new airport; multi-billion dollar upgrades at LAX and New York-LaGuardia in the US; and the ever-closer opening of Beijing Daxing International Airport have, and continue to grab, newspaper headlines and TV coverage across the globe. But what about all the other hugely positive things that airports and the airport community are doing globally? ACI’s pioneering Airport Carbon Accreditation programme has been an

incredible success, for example, and is helping make people – and perhaps most importantly politicians, governments and policymakers – more aware of what airports are doing in terms of their sustainable development. But, if I was to walk outside my house now and knock on my neighbours’ doors and ask them what they know about the environmental initiatives of our local airport, I bet you they wouldn’t have a clue, and, sadly, that probably applies to 95% of the world’s airports. So, do airports need to do even more to tell the world about their environmental initiatives to ensure their licence to grow? And with industry leaders like Airport Authority Hong Kong’s CEO, Fred Lam, admitting that his airport is struggling to recruit new staff, do airports need to up their game to make themselves more appealing to the younger generation and attract their leaders of tomorrow? Both issues are addressed in the ‘marketing and communications’ themed section of this issue by the Air Transport Action Group’s Michael Gill, and ADK Consulting & Executive Search’s Doug Kuelpman, respectively. The themed section also contains articles about airport brands; the award-winning marketing efforts of Hollywood Burbank Airport; and we salute the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience award winners. Elsewhere in the magazine, and as you would expect from our post Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition (London) and ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition (Hong Kong) edition, this issue also contains comprehensive reviews of both events. Our main airport feature is on Helsinki where new director, Joni Sundelin, tells us more about his gateway’s ambitious development plans, route development success and enhancing its status as northern Europe’s transfer hub to Asia. Enjoy!


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In the spotlight: Marketing & Communications Airport report: Helsinki In review: Airport Economics & Finance Conference and ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly ;OL THNHaPUL VM [OL (PYWVY[Z *V\UJPS 0U[LYUH[PVUHS

Plus: ASQ winners & Investing in Africa

Marketing & Communications: Time to be heard Volume 24 – Issue 2, 2019

Issue 2 Volume 24

In this issue 3 Opinion Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the importance of good public relations in this ‘marketing and communications’ themed issue.

8 All aboard Innovation, capacity challenges, sustainability and the customer experience were just a few of the topics on the agenda at this year’s ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Hong Kong, writes Joe Bates.

14 World in motion New resolutions demonstrate ACI’s commitment to facilitating safe and comfortable travel for all passengers, regardless of ability, writes ACI World’s communications manager, Sabrina Guerrieri.

17 View from the top ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the topics of training and recruitment.

18 Northern light Helsinki Airport director, Joni Sundelin, tells Joe Bates more about the ongoing development of his gateway as it looks to cement its status as northern Europe’s transfer hub to Asia.

23 Making headlines Hollywood Burbank Airport’s Nerissa Sugars explains how winning ACI-NA’s prestigious 2018 Peggy G Hereford Award has shown the value of formulating a strategic marketing and communications plan.

24 Simply the best Airport World pays tribute to the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience award winners and talks to some of the CEOs of the successful gateways.


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Director General Angela Gittens (Montreal, Canada) Chair Martin Eurnekián (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Vice Chair Aimen Al-Hosni (Muscat, Oman) Immediate Past Chair Fredrick J Piccolo (Sarasota, USA) Treasurer Emmanuel Menanteau (Osaka, Japan) ACI WORLD GOVERNING BOARD DIRECTORS Africa (2) Saleh Dunoma (Lagos, Nigeria) 1 Vacancy

29 Find and keep Doug Kuelpman, president and CEO of ADK Consulting & Executive Search, considers some of the marketing challenges and opportunities faced by airports when it comes to attracting, recruiting and keeping top talent.

31 Brand new brands Dubai International Airport and London City Airport tell us more about their new brand identities and the motivation behind their decisions.

33 The future is green Air Transport Action Group’s executive director, Michael Gill, encourages airports to be more vocal in promoting their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.

34 Money matters Joe Bates picks out some of the highlights of the recent ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London.

40 Investing in Africa Modernising Africa’s airport system is a long-haul business, writes Moritz Breickmann, investment director at AIIM, Africa’s largest private infrastructure investor, and board member of airport operator and management company, SEGAP.

43 Access denied Drone sightings that have forced the temporary closure of a handful of airports across the globe ensure that anti-drone technology and perimeter security is well and truly in the spotlight in 2019, writes Genetec’s Andrew Elvish.

47 Cleared for take-off Airport World provides a snapshot of the latest route development news from Kraków, Dublin, London Gatwick and Budapest airports.

48 WBP News The latest global news from ACI’s World Business Partners.

50 People matters Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on the need to rediscover the art of the conversation.


Asia-Pacific (9) Aimen Al-Hosni (Muscat, Oman) Kjeld Binger (Amman, Jordan) Geoff Culbert (Sydney, Australia) 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) Michael Kerkloh (Munich, Germany) Yiannis Paraschis (Athens, Greece) Stefan Schulte (Frankfurt, Germany) Sani Şener (Istanbul, Turkey) 1 Vacancy 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 (10) Zouhair Mohamed El Aoufir (Rabat, Morocco) Diego Arrosa (Montevideo, Uruguay) Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) Pascal Komla (Lomé, Togo) Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid (Delhi, India) Hector Navarrete Muñoz (Merida, Mexico) Augustin de Romanet (Paris, France) Brian Ryks (Minneapolis-St Paul, USA) William Vanecek (Buffalo, USA) 1 Vacancy World Business Partner Observer Thomas Duffy (ADB SAFEGATE) Correct as of May 2019


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All aboard

Innovation, capacity challenges, sustainability and the customer experience were just a few of the topics on the agenda at this year’s ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Hong Kong, writes Joe Bates.


opes were high that this year’s joint ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly Conference & Exhibition in dynamic Hong Kong would be one of the biggest and best yet, and with a varied and busy conference programme, 900 delegates and 60 exhibitors from across the globe, it didn’t disappoint. The event began with welcoming addresses from Seow Hiang Lee, ACI Asia-Pacific president and CEO of Changi Airport Group; Fred Lam, CEO of Airport Authority Hong Kong; and Martin Eurnekian, chair of ACI World, president of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 and CEO of Corporacíon América Airports. Lee got events under way by welcoming delegates to Hong Kong, outlining the importance of aviation to the economic development of cities, countries and regions and highlighting some of the challenges and opportunities facing airports going forward. “The Asia-Pacific region has been a key driving force contributing to the world’s robust air traffic growth for the past decade, although with growth, comes challenges,” he said. “ACI forecasts that eight out of the top ten fastest growing countries for passengers from 2017-2040 will be from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. There is no one-size-fits-all in how we manage, fund or invest in our airports, although recent trends show that where there is sound regulatory framework, privatisation is a viable way to finance much needed infrastructure investments as a means to increase capacity. “Amidst the anticipated growth and building capacity, we in the aviation industry, in co-operation and collaboration with government and stakeholders, need to provide a good passenger experience, keep the system safe, secure and efficient and economically and environmentally sustainable. It is important that we listen carefully to the needs of the communities that we all serve.” He was followed by Lam who spoke about the importance of his airport to the growth and future prosperity of Hong Kong and some hugely ambitious development plans that ultimately revolved around “transforming Hong Kong International Airport from a city airport to an airport city”.


Talking about Airport Authority Hong Kong’s airport city plans, Lam said: “Infrastructure aside, passengers today are looking for a total travel experience, this is why we developed the idea of SKYCITY. Located a short distance from the airport, it goes far beyond the traditional notion of a shopping mall and will provide a full range of retail, dining and entertainment facilities plus offices and hotels.” He noted that HKIA had recently taken over responsibility for managing and developing AsiaWorld-Expo, which hosts sporting and entertainment events as well as conventions, and revealed that he thought that both “mega developments” would help make HKIA a destination in its own right for both locals and tourists. Lam added: “Technology will shape the future of all airport operations, so we are embracing the latest technologies to offer travellers a seamless and comfortable airport experience. In the coming years, HKIA will transform the passenger journey into a fully automated, self-service process that will revolutionise the travel experience with innovative services and enhance our operational efficiency.” In terms of the bigger picture and the challenges facing airports worldwide, fellow keynote speaker, Eurnekian, remarked: “Collectively, the airport industry has done a good job in staying ahead of the game, but we also acknowledge that the pace of change is accelerating and the airport industry must continue to anticipate and adjust to the wider world as it fulfils the demands of its customers and communities safely, securely and sustainably. “In light of future air travel demand, this event provides aviation leaders and industry stakeholders with the opportunity to put our heads together and to think critically and creatively about key topics. “We will seek solutions including the task of accommodating growth, major developments in aircraft operations, resilience and adaptation to climate change, the customer experience revolution, new experiences in travel technologies, and innovations in security. “In an age of disruption, how can we embrace a proactive approach to providing services to customers and what are the best investment decisions during a paradigm shift in the airport business?”


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In her welcome address to the attendees, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said: “With our airport sitting right at the heart of the ‘double gateway’ connecting the Greater Bay Area at the one end and to the world at the other, Hong Kong offers seamless air-to-land and air-to-sea connections with a huge number of nearby destinations. “It makes perfect sense to leverage on the unique advantage of our airport to foster a wider network of inter-related business activities. Indeed, our vision is to engineer our city’s airport to become an aerotropolis with huge and high economic efficiency and diversified employment opportunities, so as to enhance Hong Kong’s position as an international business centre. “The development of an aerotropolis is in line with worldwide trends, and we are embarking on various novel and exciting developments to make this happen.” Dr Fang Liu, Secretary General of ICAO, highlighted the organisation’s close links with ACI, which she revealed have gone from strength to strength since ACI World moved its headquarters to Montréal. “Since ACI moved to Montréal it has been able to engage with ICAO much more meaningfully and cost effectively on all aspects of our political, policy and technical mandates,” enthused Liu. “Its close physical proximity has helped immeasurably in terms of our experts and senior management developing closer working relationships. A dynamic, which has produced clear benefits for both governments and airport operators.” A superb start to the conference continued with a must attend leaders forum, which featured some of the most high profile airport bosses in the business – Dick Benschop (Royal Schiphol Group); Deborah Flint (Los Angeles World Airports); Elena Mayoral (Madrid Barajas); Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni (Oman Airports Management Company); and AA2000/Corporacíon América Airports’ Eurnekian. Outlining the current challenges facing Los Angeles International Airport, LAWA’s Flint revealed that road traffic congestion in Los Angeles often meant that car journeys to LAX were long ones, and having got there, it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes just to circle between the terminals, which she admitted was a “significant problem”. She, however, noted that the airport wasn’t shy of updating its facilities, with over $15 billion being spent on projects to modernise LAX to make it more efficient and passenger friendly before Los Angeles welcomes the world for the 2028 Olympic Games. The enhancements are needed as phenomenal passenger growth – the airport has added an extra 20 million passengers in the last five

years – meant that an airport originally built for less than 50 million passengers per annum handled a record 87.5 million in 2018. Al Hosni revealed that passenger numbers across Oman’s airports has soared by 27% and 10% in the last two years, hot on the heels of operator, Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) opening new state-of-the-art terminals at Salalah and Muscat airports. The new additions have helped transform the country’s airport system, but he reminded delegates that costly new infrastructure might not necessarily be the solution to an airport’s capacity constraints. “Advancements in technology continue to make it possible to process more passengers with existing facilities, so new terminals and runways aren’t always the answer to capacity issues,” noted Al Hosni. Schiphol’s Benschop told the audience that Europe’s airports faced severe capacity issues both in the air and on the ground in terms of limited space to build new infrastructure and airspace constraints, and that Amsterdam Schiphol was no exception, having reached its 500,000 aircraft movements per annum capacity. However, in spite of its constraints, he revealed that passenger numbers increased by a healthy 10% in 2018 due to higher load factors and the use of bigger aircraft, and he is confident that the gateway will continue to grow in the future through a combination of new facilities, enhanced landside access, embracing innovative new technology, and improving productivity and passenger flows. The only non-airport person on the panel was Cathay Pacific CEO, Robert Hogg, who was generally sympathetic to the capacity challenges faced by airports. Next up was a panel discussion entitled ‘A New Era in Aircraft Operations’ involving Joe Wilding, co-founder and chief technology officer of Boom Supersonic; Dorothy Reimold, the FAA’s director of strategic operations for commercial space transportation; and Vincent Loubìere, director of city integration and infrastructure for Airbus Urban Air Mobility. The final session before lunch was a ceremony to commemorate 10 years since the launch of ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and, of course, the presentation of awards to the latest airports to prove their environmental credentials and either become carbon accredited for the first time or improve on their previous performance and go up a level.


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An impressive 264 gateways across the globe are carbon accredited under the scheme, which has become the global standard for airport operators seeking to address their carbon footprint. ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, noted: “The global airport industry is committed to reducing its carbon emissions and, in 2009, the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme was launched in Europe to empower airport operators with a detailed, multi-step path to carbon neutrality. “We are delighted that the programme quickly gathered global momentum, which is a reflection of how airport operators think local and global. Running an airport is a complex business and airport operators are one piece of this puzzle with many stakeholders on the airport site. “Working relationships need to be fostered and maintained and airport operators are addressing their direct carbon emissions, but also engaging partners to address theirs.” The afternoon of Day 1 comprised a debate about customer service innovation called ‘The Customer Experience Revolution’; the launch of two unique programmes designed to help airports promote service excellence and improve the customer experience; and ACI Asia-Pacific’s annual Regional Assembly. Speaking during the customer service debate moderated by Plaza Premium Group’s Mei Mei Song, Sydney Airport’s service strategy and customer experience manager, Claire Donnellan, revealed that feedback from ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) benchmarking programme had helped “drive the changes that passengers were asking for” at her airport. “Customer needs and passenger expectations change over time, meaning something that was a basic [requirement] before, may not be considered so important today,” she commented. “Having a space for customers to break away and relax and recharge is important today as are bathrooms, although whereas years ago a standard bathroom was fine, now people actually want a sense of place experience when they go there.” Fellow panelists in the session included Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Muna Al-Ghanim; Corporacíon Quiport’s Carlos Criado; San Antiono’s Karen Ellis and Airport Authority Hong Kong’s Chapman Fong. The two customer service related programmes launched by ACI World at the event were its new Customer Experience Accreditation programme – which offers a common definition and framework for customer experience management – and the Airport Customer Experience Professional Designation Programme for airport employees.


Launching both, ACI World’s deputy director general for programmes and services, Antoine Rostworowski, said: “The Customer Experience Accreditation is really a management tool. It’s a gap analysis to assess the level of maturity that your airport has in terms of customer experience management. So, it’s a look from within.” The Airport Customer Experience Professional Designation Programme has been developed for airports subscribing to the new accreditation programme. As part of the accreditation process, each airport must nominate a number of employees to take the course so that they have a clear understanding of customer experience and are competent to lead the airport in terms of customer experience management. The programme can also be completed as a stand-alone programme, and any airport can also designate additional employees to take the course. A busy and exciting day ended with ACI Asia-Pacific’s Regional Assembly followed by a Gala evening on top of one of the tallest buildings in Hong Kong – the indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the impressive International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon to be precise! ACI World’s Annual General Assembly, followed by the now traditional ACI-ICAO AMPAP Graduation Ceremony, ensured an upbeat start to Day 2. They were followed by a keynote address from futurist and CEO of Prescient, Dr Amy Zalman, who then handed the stage over to KMPG’s


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Anson Bailey who presided over a panel that contemplated what might be next for the industry in terms of the passenger experience and new technologies. Steve Lee, Changi Airport Group’s chief information officer, said that he believed that airports increasingly had to “think outside of the box” when it comes to new innovations such as Singapore Changi’s pioneering Jewel Changi Airport development and planned Terminal 5. “Innovation is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration,” stated Lee, noting that Changi Airport Group would carry out “tons of experiments to prepare for T5,” which is due to open in the 2030s. “It is all too easy to talk about it [Terminal 5], but it is hard to do it. It is hard to convince people to do it. It is hard to make changes, and it is hard to do on so many other levels at the time as remaining 100% focused on the customer,” he said. He added that how “man and machine” work together in the future in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence, will also prove crucial to the future growth and prosperity of airports. Vancouver International Airport’s vice president for planning and innovation, Steve Hankinson, talked about the success of YVR’s ‘FutureXPRESS’ Living Lab, which it created in 2018 to help senior government officials from Canada and the US better understand the benefits of biometrics technology. The lab, he said, gave them a glimpse of what the future could hold and, just as importantly, the need for internationally adopted standards across the globe. Hankinson told the audience that such was the success of the decision that YVR was still having conversations with the Canadian government today about the biometrics they witnessed in the living lab. While facial biometrics, which he described as the future of identity management, is set to be adopted by the US-Canada trusted traveller programme, NEXUS, later this year. “We, as an industry, really spend a lot of time talking about innovation and technology, but I urge you to go back and make sure that your regulators are coming on the journey with you,” said Hankinson. “FutureXPRESS has paid massive dividends for us.”


Fellow panelists in the session called, ‘The NEXTT Generation’, included Northern Kentucky International Airport’s chief innovation officer, Brian Cobb, and Arup’s director for advanced digital engineering, Alan Newbold. The futuristic theme of the day then switched to Google’s industry leader for finance and travel, Lucy Werner, who shared her thoughts on the growing role technology will play in people’s lives going forward. ACI World’s security, facilitation and IT director, Nina Brooks, then helped launch new ACI Handbooks on the Insider Threat and Cybersecurity, before her head of security and facilitation colleague, Nathalie Herbelles, moderated a fast-moving session on Innovation in Security. Her panel was made up of Adelaide Airport Limited’s Emma Boulby; NUCTECH’s Daniel Goh; Aviation Service Security’s Ben Smith; and Heathrow Airport Limited’s Simon Wilcox. All that left time for was the presentation the latest ACI Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety and Security Awards before some closing remarks by Gittens and Chau and the customary handover of the ACI World flag from this year’s host, represented by Fred Lam, to next year’s host, represented by Martin Eurnekian. Next year’s joint ACI Latin America-Carribean (ACI LAC)/World Annual General Assembly, will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As host Eurnekian acknowledged, Hong Kong will be a hard act to follow, but as anyone who was in Argentina last time AA2000 hosted the event in 2007 will know, it will do all that it can to rise to the challenge!



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World in motion New resolutions demonstrate ACI’s commitment to facilitating safe and comfortable travel for all passengers, regardless of ability, writes ACI World’s communications manager, Sabrina Guerrieri.


he ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, which took place in Hong Kong from April 2–4, was a great success with an attendance of over 900 delegates from around the world. Hong Kong International Airport was the gracious host and provided all participants with world class treatment. The 29th ACI World Annual General Assembly was led by ACI World’s chair, Martin Eurnekian, president of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 and CEO of Corporación América Airports, and saw the election of ACI World’s new vice-chair, Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports Management Company. “We are fortunate to have their leadership and I can assure you that the World Governing Board and the community of airports will benefit from their valuable experience and acumen,” noted ACI World director general, Angela Gittens. Every year the Assembly is presented with Resolutions on key subjects for airport operators that reflect the concerns and interests of our members. This year, the Assembly unanimously expressed its position on the following Resolutions: Mitigating the threat of unwanted drones affecting airports: A Resolution that aims to provide a basis for airport action and appeals for co-ordinated action together with governments and other concerned parties. ACI has also responded to this pressing concern through a Policy Paper, and a recent Advisory Bulletin on available options to mitigate the disruption of drones flying in airport space. Airports and emergency humanitarian response: A Resolution encouraging airports to plan their role in the recovery of a disasteraffected area. It encourages airport operators to work with


governmental agencies and other relevant authorities to plan for being a logistics hub for disaster relief. Facilitation for passengers with disabilities: A Resolution that affirms the commitment of airports worldwide to continuously strive for excellence in customer service and experience including accessibility for passengers with disabilities. ACI has also produced the recently released Airports and Persons with Disabilities Handbook. Encouraging continued engagement with ICAO on policy development and capacity building: A Resolution that seeks to safeguard years of fruitful collaboration and to develop new joint ventures such as in APEX, training, events, and the collection and use of data. This Resolution also identifies target areas for advocacy, including: safety, security, efficiency, and environmental protection, in particular, the need for aviation to develop more ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Collectively, the resolutions put a renewed focus on helping to ensure that airports can facilitate safe and comfortable travel for all passengers, regardless of ability, as the industry strives to meet ever-increasing air service demand. They will also support ACI’s position this September when ICAO holds its triennial Assembly and will contribute to ACI’s success in representing its members’ interests worldwide. ACI thanks its member airports for providing a strong collective response to – and a commitment to act on – these pressing issues. As the only organisation that can bring together airports, large and small from all regions, to agree strong measures to address the issues that affect us all, ACI will continue to provide a co-ordinated and collaborative approach.


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ACI events






September 15-17

October 21-23

June 25-27

October 12-18

September 2-5

ACI-NA Annual Conference & Exhibition Tampa, USA

ACI-LAC Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Bogotá, Colombia

ACI Europe General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition Limassol, Cyprus

ACI Africa Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Accra, Ghana

ACI Customer Experience Global Summit Bali, Indonesia

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 2019, ACI serves 646 members operating 1,960 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 ACI’s 2018 Annual World Airport Traffic Report, in 2017 airports worldwide welcomed 8.3 billion arriving and departing passengers and handled 118.6 million metric tonnes of cargo and 95.8 million aircraft movements.


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View from the top ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the topics of training and recruitment.


ccording to the latest ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts, global passenger traffic is expected to double to 16.97 billion by 2034, based on a projected growth rate of 4.3% per annum, and to 20.9 billion passengers by 2040, based on a 4.1% compounded annual growth rate. We often speak of capacity constraints in terms of infrastructure and airspace but meeting future growth also requires investing in a skilled, committed and diverse talent pool. ACI is fully committed to both the capacity of the infrastructure and the capacity of the workforce. I’m proud to report that ACI Global Training is the world’s leading provider of airport management and operations education. We offer executive leadership, professional accreditation, subject-matter competency and personalised in-house training courses, with delivery in the classroom as well as a wide range of web-based coursework. In 2018 alone, Global Training delivered 190 classroom courses and 21,270 online course hours. We were honoured with the recognition of ICAO as a Corporate Partner in its Trainair Plus programme. Indeed, our partnership with ICAO in regard to training began over a decade ago through the ICAO-ACI Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme or AMPAP. Airport management, as a profession, has faced pressure to establish ways and means of promoting its credibility and ensuring an appropriate degree of standardisation of related expertise globally. AMPAP was, and continues to be, a response to this demand, created to provide accessible, affordable and universally relevant specialised management training to the global airport community. To date, we have 858 graduates globally who are known as International Airport Professionals or (IAPs). In January 2019, we launched the IAP Plus Reaccreditation Programme to encourage AMPAP graduates to pursue a path of continuous improvement and excellence. The Airport Executive Leadership Programme (AELP), in partnership with Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, also focuses on developing leadership and management skills pertinent to the airport industry. It provides participants with strategies to effectively handle leadership responsibilities and provides global, regional and cultural perspectives on airport management. The course can be taken as an AMPAP elective. And in 2018 ACI launched the Executive Leadership Exchange Programme. The first exchange took place in 2018 between Cincinnati and Munich airports and we will hold two more in 2019.

We know from our Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Programme that airports around the world are committed to continuous improvement in service quality, and at the request of our members, ACI developed and recently launched the new ACI Customer Experience Designation Programme. Completion of the programme accredits participants as Airport Customer Experience Specialists (ACES), which includes a re-accreditation requirement to ensure specialists keep up to date on changes and innovations in the field of customer experience. The programme is designed for airports subscribing to the new ASQ Customer Experience Accreditation Programme but it can also be completed as a stand-alone programme and any airport can also designate additional employees to take the course. ACI continues to promote women in the aviation field. ACI is an active participant in International Aviation Women’s Association initiatives, including our recent partnership with ICAO and IATA for International Women’s Day. ACI also joined with seven other aviation and aerospace industry parties in launching a global study, ‘Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling’, to identify and promote means by which the aviation and aerospace industry can more effectively recruit and advance women into leadership roles. The study is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2019. As ACI continues to invest in tomorrow’s talent pool, we are cognisant that the industry must also keep track of larger trends in the labour market that have the potential to influence future skills. Trends include technological change, globalisation, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanisation, increasing inequality, and political uncertainty among others. This will be challenging, but necessary, if we are to sustainably meet future growth in air service demand. AW


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Northern light Helsinki Airport director, Joni Sundelin, tells Joe Bates more about the ongoing development of his gateway as it looks to cement its status as northern Europe’s transfer hub to Asia.


elsinki Airport recorded double digit growth in 2018 when an all-time high of 20.8 million passengers (+10.4%) passed through its facilities. The upturn follows an impressive 9.9% rise in 2017 and a 50% increase in passengers over the last decade, which perhaps best explains why the airport is in the midst of a €1 billion development programme to raise its capacity to 30 million passengers per annum. The biggest capital development programme in its history effectively started with the 2017 opening of its South Pier, and by the time it ends in 2022, the terminal space at Finland’s capital city gateway will have increased 45% in size through a series of expansion projects. The key projects of the upgrade include the expansion and revamp of both its terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) and the addition of new transfer traffic enhancing South and West piers. In this respect, 2019 is a pivotal year for Helsinki Airport (HEL) as its new ‘Aukio’ central plaza opened in February and the extension to the short-haul Schengen area of Terminal 1 was completed in April. Next up, the first half of its new West Pier will be unveiled in May – with the remainder set to open in October – and a bigger and more passenger friendly immigration control area will follow before the end of the year.


Elsewhere, construction work began in January on a planned new “iconic entrance” to Terminal 2 and the creation of new Departure and Arrivals halls for Schengen passengers, with both projects expected to be completed in 2021. “Our strategy is to be the leading airport in northern Europe for transfer traffic, especially between Europe and Asia, and the development programme will raise our transfer capacity to allow us to achieve this goal,” says Helsinki Airport director, Joni Sundelin. “The expansion programme will double the number of gates built for widebody aircraft from 9 to 18 and transform the whole terminal area to further enhance the airport experience for our passengers.” In terms of enhancing the airport experience, Sundelin is particularly proud of the new security area that transfer passengers have to pass through before reaching HEL’s Aukio central plaza, which he believes has set the benchmark for others to follow. “I rate it highly and believe it is one of the best new airport security areas in the world,” states Sundelin. “It is spacious, full of light and features special architecture and, most importantly, state-of-the-art security technologies. “It has also allowed us to double our capacity for screening transfer passengers from around 140 passengers per line per hour to between 280 to 320 per hour. This is quite significant.”


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New Aukio central plaza The latest addition to the airport’s facilities is the impressive ‘Aukio’ central plaza, which is the new Nordic-designed heart of Helsinki Airport and a place for passengers to congregate, sit and relax or be entertained before catching flights. Located between the South and the West piers and surrounded by shops and F&B outlets, Aukio – which is Finnish for plaza – features a wooden floor and modern seating and is circled by a 360-degree video screen playing films showcasing the beauty of Finland. Sundelin, for one, is confident that it offers a unique sense of place that will leave visitors with memorable first and last impressions of Finland. New F&B additions around it include Finland’s first Ajisen Ramen, Jamie’s Deli and Moomin Coffee outlets, which according to Finavia complement the airport’s wide range of other F&B outlets and ensure a good mix of international and local brands. The new outlets mean that the airport now has a total of 41 speciality stores (retail and convenience), four duty free shops and 31 cafes and restaurants spread across an area of 3,100sqm. “The driving forces of all the restaurants at Helsinki Airport are diversity and quality,” notes Sundelin. “As an international airport, we pay attention to the needs and preferences of many different nationalities, while, at the same time, highlighting Finnishness in our choices. “Many of the restaurant concepts that we have created in co-operation with the restaurant operators reflect the locality and natural character also in their food selection.”

Terminal 2 revamp Talking about the modernisation and expansion of Terminal 2, Sundelin says: “We are building an expansion to house check-in, security control, baggage drop and an area for greeting passengers. “As a result, the current Departure and Arrivals halls of Terminal 2 will undergo a complete transformation and become part of the gate


area. This means the airport will have plenty more space for passengers and more opportunities to make its service offering more diverse.” The new-look Terminal 2 building will have a floor area of approximately 40,000 square metres that includes new check-in and baggage drop facilities, security control and a multi-modal travel centre. In addition to the terminal expansion, a new parking hall will be constructed with 1,800 extra parking spaces. There will also be a new a 4,500sqm zone for taxis and a 6,500sqm area for buses. A host of companies working on the project, which is being partially being funded by the European Union, include Finavia, SRV and the expansion design team ALA Architects, HKP Architects and Ramboll Finland.

Route development As previously mentioned, the expansion programme is necessary because of rising traffic demand, which Sundelin attributes to the growth in international transit traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a travel destination and an upswing in air travel by Finns. “If we are looking at international traffic, we have had double-digit growth for the last three years, which makes Helsinki one of the fastest growing major airports in Europe, behind only Heathrow in 2018,” enthuses Sundelin. “All areas of our operations have grown. The majority of traffic is still within Europe, but Asian transit traffic, in particular, has been growing more rapidly than expected, and helped us cement our status as a hub for transit traffic between Europe and Asia.” Not surprisingly, national flag carrier, Finnair, currently accounts for 65% of the traffic at Helsinki Airport and 95% of all transfer passengers, which make up 35% of the annual total. The next biggest operators in terms of market share are Norwegian (15%), SAS (3%) and Lufthansa (3%), and Sundelin is quick to point out the positive impact that the former has had on long-haul traffic out of Helsinki.

Helsinki’s much talked about Aukio central plaza.


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“Norwegian has made a significant impact, particularly to the US, where it serves 13 destinations,” notes Sundelin. “As an airport we continue to add destinations in the United States, and the services from the East Coast and Midwest to Helsinki offer the fastest routes to Asia from the US.” Helsinki’s unique selling point is that it offers the fastest flying times between Europe and Asia and, for passengers going west, rapid onward connections to the UK and Mainland Europe, and this is something that it actively promotes when talking to Asian and Middle Eastern carriers about the possibility of them launching new services to Helsinki. Indeed, Sundelin notes that the airport is very proactive when it comes to expanding Helsinki’s route network, and its route development team has enjoyed considerable success in recent years either through new route launches or persuading carriers to increase frequencies to existing destinations. As if to prove the point, three new airlines (Air Serbia and Chinese carriers Tibet Airlines and Juneyao Air) launched operations to Helsinki this summer, following in the footprints of carriers such as FlyDubai, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines which have all either launched services or heavily increased frequencies to HEL in the last couple of years. He reminds me that Japan Airlines now operates three daily flights to Tokyo and that when Finnair starts flights to Sapporo in December, they will each offer five services to five Japanese cities, making HEL one of Europe’s best-connected gateways to Japan. Another interesting statistic is that 75% of all passengers from the Chinese market – served by three airlines operating non-stop routes to eight destinations this summer – transit through Helsinki. “We have been working heavily on the route development side for the last four or five years and are beginning to reap the rewards,” adds Sundelin.


Its continually expanding international route network means that international traffic now accounts for 90% of all passengers at the airport and domestic services for roughly 10%.

Customer service Sundelin confirms that operator, Finavia, takes customer service very seriously, so he is absolutely delighted by HEL’s success in ACI’s 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience awards. Helsinki finished equal top with Athens and Prague for the Best Airport in Europe in the 15-25mppa category in the ASQ Departures Awards, and he believes that HEL’s success is down to Finavia’s “strong passenger focus”. “Our customer service promise is ‘smooth travelling’, and that means that we strive to put the customer first in everything we do, and that includes the planning, design and operation of all new facilities,” says Sundelin. Arguably another reason for the airport’s popularity is its passengerfriendly size, because although it officially has two terminals with two different entrances, it is actually one building divided into two inter-connected sections, so everything is effectively under one roof and walking distances are short. Sundelin agrees, assuring me: “We are determined to maintain our competitive advantages such as short distances, easy access to services and world-class service standards even as the number of passengers continues to rise.” So, Finavia has a very clear plan for Helsinki Airport going forward and is unambiguous in its desire to hold onto and grow its status as a key transfer hub for northern Europe. With new infrastructure coming onboard and an expanding route network, who would be bold enough to bet against it achieving its goals?



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Making headlines Hollywood Burbank Airport’s Nerissa Sugars explains how winning ACI-NA’s prestigious 2018 Peggy G Hereford Award has shown the value of formulating a strategic marketing and communications plan.


n Hollywood Burbank Airport’s namesake community, winning an award is always cause for big celebrations – red carpets, spotlights, and champagne. But for the airport, the celebration was decidedly more low-key when its marketing programme received ACI-NA’s 2018 Peggy G Hereford Award. The award is given to the airport that receives the most first-place wins and honourable mentions across all categories in the annual Excellence in Airport, Marketing, Communications and Customer Service Awards. Hollywood Burbank Airport took first place honours for Print Communications, Digital Advertising, Brand Identity, and Overall Marketing Program (medium airport). The awards were especially meaningful as they were decided by our peers in the airport industry. The recognition also capped off hundreds of hours of intensive planning and collaboration with a local branding agency whose original task was to help the airport come up with its new name and subsequent rebrand. Any organisation that’s gone through the exercise will tell you that activating a rebrand is exciting, but challenging. That was certainly the case for Hollywood Burbank Airport, which had been widely known as Bob Hope Airport for 13 years. When the airport introduced its new name and logo in 2017, a priority was to devise a cohesive overall marketing programme to make people aware of the change, then develop brand loyalty and recognition of the new identity. The airport commissioned South Pasadena’s Anyone™ Collective to help navigate the process. It designed a comprehensive marketing campaign to communicate a fresh brand message to both locals and those who have never heard of Hollywood Burbank Airport. For locals, the messaging was direct and simple: “New Look, New Name, Same Great Service.” For those unfamiliar with the airport’s brand, the message focused on superior service, convenience, and proximity to the best Los Angeles has to offer. The marketing programme included digital and print advertising, social media content strategy, updating physical branded collateral, and internal brand training workshops. As the airport’s new brand gained traction, marketing efforts continued to grow, with messaging remaining focused on service and convenience for all travellers.

Through earned, owned, and paid media, airport staff and Anyone™ laid the groundwork for Hollywood Burbank Airport to become widely visible on a national level across all platforms. The marketing programme had multiple goals, including: • Communicate to travellers the service and convenience of the airport compared to other Southern California airports • Introduce a new brand identity system that shows an updated look and feel to the airport, while maintaining the same great service customers are familiar with • Increase number of revenue passengers for the airport annually So far, the returns look promising. Since the official launch of the airport’s new name and logo in December 2017, Hollywood Burbank Airport has seen significant passenger growth. Comparing calendar years 2017 to 2018, it saw an 11% increase in total revenue passengers. In 2018, in OAG’s North America’s Fastest Growing Airports report, out of 43 medium size airports, Hollywood Burbank Airport ranked fourth. Passenger numbers for first quarter of this calendar year continued the climb. It’s too early to tell how much of that growth can be attributed to our marketing efforts. But, between increased passenger traffic, the attention we’re getting from airline partners with the addition of several new non-stop services, and of course, the ACI-NA honours, we are grateful to be part of such an exciting time at Hollywood Burbank Airport. Our adventures in marketing and branding have all the makings of a ‘feel-good movie’, and we can’t wait for the sequel.

About the Author Nerissa Sugars is Hollywood Burbank Airport’s marketing communications and air service manager.


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Simply the best

Airport World pays tribute to the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience award winners and talks to some of the CEOs of the successful gateways.


t’s official, Delhi-Indira Gandhi, Indianapolis, Moscow Sheremetyevo, Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji, Singapore Changi and Seoul–Gimpo are some of the best airports in the world for the delivery of customer service. All triumphed in ACI’s annual newly-improved and rebranded ‘customer experience’ Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards, as did perennial winners Beijing Capital, Toronto Pearson, Roma-Fiumicino and Shanghai Pudong. While Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport won the first ever ASQ Arrivals Award, based on the new Arrivals Survey, becoming the first airport in the world to win both a Departures and an Arrivals award.

 The new format of the awards, which recognise the airports around the world that deliver the best customer experience in the opinion of their own passengers, means that more gateways than ever before are lauded for their customer service focused efforts, facilities and services. Indeed, a host of airports have won their first ASQ award, including Biju Patnaik in India; Ramón Villeda Morales in Honduras; Muscat in Oman; Fort McMurray in Canada; Yichang Sanxia in China; Portland International Jetport in the US; and Dublin, Oslo, Helsinki, Southampton, Bristol, London City and Zaragoza in Europe. China’s airports won a total of 10 awards in 2018 – Changchun Longjia, Hohhot Baita, Nanchang Changbei, Haikou Meilan, Sanya Fenghua, Tianjin Binhai and Chongqing Jiangbei joining Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Yichang Sanxia on the winner’s podium. Indonesia was another nation with multiple award winners with a total of seven airports (Depati Amir, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Raja Haji Fisabilillah, Sultan Syarif Kasim II, Sepinggan, Silangit and Sultan Thaha) either winning again or tasting success for the first time. In fact, in the new ‘Best Infrastructure and Facilitation’ section, no fewer than seven Indonesian and eight Chinese airports are recognised in their size category.

 Other nations with multiple winners include India – which in addition to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru-Kempegowda, Delhi-Indira Gandhi, MumbaiChhatrapti Shivaji and Biju Patnaik, counts Chandigarh, Cochin, Indore– Devi Ahilyabi Holkar as winners – and Spain, where Almería, Girona, Melilla, Zaragoza, and Alicante-Elche airports are all first-time winners.

North America In the traditional Best by Size and Region categories in the ASQ Departures Awards, Toronto Pearson is joint No.1 with Dallas/Fort Worth


Best Customer Service by Size UNDER 2 MILLION PASSENGERS Depati Amir Airport, Indonesia Portland International Jetport, United States Silangit Airport, Indonesia Sultan Thaha Airport, Indonesia 2 – 5 MILLION PASSENGERS Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport, India SM Badaruddin II Airport, Indonesia SS Kasim II Airport, Indonesia Yichang Sanxia Airport, China 5 – 15 MILLION PASSENGERS Ahmedabad International Airport, India Changchun Longjia International Airport, China Hohhot Baita International Airport, China Nanchang Changbei International Airport, China Sepinggan International Airport, Indonesia 15 – 25 MILLION PASSENGERS Sanya Fenghua International Airport, China Tianjin Binhai International Airport, China 25 – 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, China Gimpo International Airport, South Korea OVER 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Beijing Capital International Airport, China Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore (DFW) for handling Over 40mppa and Minneapolis/St Paul and Detroit Metropolitan share the honours in the 15-25mppa. Howard Eng, CEO of Greater Toronto Airports Authority who also saw his airport win the Most Improved award for North America, says: “These achievements are possible thanks to the collaboration and innovation of the 50,000 airport colleagues and partners who made a commitment to creating a better airport experience for our passengers and who continue to work every day to bring that vision to life.” DFW’s executive vice president for customer experience and revenue, Ken Buchanan, says: “Excellence in the customer experience has been a high priority goal for DFW for many years and will remain a priority moving forward. “While we are thankful for this award, we also know we must continue to enhance DFW’s outstanding customer service in order to


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On top of the world: Celebration time for the 2017 ASQ Winners.

Most Improved AFRICA Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport, Ivory Coast

ASQ Arrivals Award BEST AIRPORT EXPERIENCE IN ARRIVALS Kempegowda International Airport, India

ASIA-PACIFIC Silangit International Airport, Indonesia

EUROPE Bergen Airport, Norway

LATIN AMERICA-CARIBBEAN Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica

MIDDLE EAST Muscat International Airport, Oman

NORTH AMERICA Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada keep our customers happy and loyal. We thank our customers and ACI for this outstanding recognition.” Wayne County Airport Authority’s CEO, Chad Newton, enthused: “Winning an Airports Council International award is one of the greatest accomplishments an airport can achieve. “It is a true honour for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to be named one of the Best Airports in North America within its size category in the 2018 Airport Service Quality Survey. Our internal departments, along with our airline partners, tenants and federal partners continue to raise the bar regarding customer service.

Best Environment and Ambience by Size 5 – 15 MILLION PASSENGERS Ahmedabad International Airport, India Changchun Longjia International Airport, China Hohhot Baita International Airport, China Nanchang Changbei International Airport, China Sepinggan International Airport, Indonesia 15 – 25 MILLION PASSENGERS Haikou Meilan International Airport, China Tianjin Binhai International Airport, China 25 – 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, China Gimpo International Airport, South Korea OVER 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Beijing Capital International Airport, China Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore


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Best Environment and Ambience by Size UNDER 2 MILLION PASSENGERS Depati Amir Airport, Indonesia RH Fisabilillah Airport, Indonesia Silangit Airport, Indonesia Sultan Thaha Airport, Indonesia 2 – 5 MILLION PASSENGERS Chandigarh Airport, India SM Badaruddin II Airport, Indonesia SS Kasim II Airport, Indonesia Yichang Sanxia Airport, China “We’ve updated our retail and F&B offerings throughout the terminals, opened nine nursing rooms and continue to offer flights that have a wide appeal. We strive to make travelling a positive experience for our customers and are delighted our customers have noticed.” Dallas Love Field is the outright winner in the 15-25mppa category while Indianapolis held onto its crown as the top airport in the 5-15mppa category for the fourth successive year, although this time it had to share the accolade with Jacksonville and San Antonio. Talking about Indianapolis’ award, Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, enthuses: “This award is based on input directly from passengers that have actually flown out of and into the Indy airport, and who have a first-hand experience with us. “This in-depth feedback not only has earned us the title over eight years [Best Airport in North America], it is crucial to how we continue to invest in the airport and enhance its value to the community in the decades to come.” San Antonio International Airport’s aviation director, Russ Handy, notes: “It is always our goal to put passengers first and it’s an honour to be recognised as one of the world’s best airports for the quality of our customer service. “This is truly a significant achievement for the amazing team I have the privilege of serving with, and something that all stakeholders of SAT and our surrounding community should be very proud of. The airport has a worldwide reputation for our excellence in customer service.” San Antonio scored high in overall satisfaction, ground transportation, check-in waiting time, efficiency of staff, courtesy at check-in, terminal cleanliness, ease of wayfinding, Internet/Wi-Fi, safety and security. El Paso and Ottawa are joint top in the 2-5mppa section and Fort McMurray and Portland International Jetport equal first-time winners of the Under 2mppa.

Asia-Pacific In arguably the most fiercely competitive region of them all, passengers were unable to separate Singapore Changi, Shanghai Pudong, Delhi-Indira Gandhi and Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji airports for top place in the Over 40mppa category in the By Size and Region Awards. Chongqing Jiangbei and Bengaluru-Kempegowda are the best airports handling 25-40mppa; Haikou-Meilan, Sanya Fenghua and Tianjin top for 15-25mppa; Changchun Longjia, Cochin, Hohhot Baita,


Happy days: Dublin (above) and Southampton (right) airports were two of the many first time winners in the 2018 ASQ Awards.

Nanchang Changbei and Sepinggan best for 5-15mppa; Biju Patnaik, Chandigarh, Indore–Devi Ahilyabai, SM Badaruddin, SS Karim and Yichang Sanxia best for 2-5mppa; and Depati Amir and Sultan Thaha winners in Under 2mppa category. And many of these airports triumphed again the new global categories for Best Environment and Ambience by Size; Best Customer Service by Size; and Best Infrastructure and Facilitation by Size. They include Singapore Changi, which in addition to winning the Best by Size and Region Award for Over 40mppa in Asia-Pacific is also now officially the joint best airport in the world in the same size category for Best Environment and Ambience, Best Customer Service and Best Infrastructure and Facilitation. As is Chongqing Jiangbei (25-40mppa); Tianjin Binhai (15-25mppa); Changchun Longjia, Hohhot Baita, Nanchang Changbei and Sepinggan (5-15mppa); Chandigarh, SM Badaruddin, SS Karim and Yichang Sanxia (2-5mppa); and Depati Amir and Sultan Thaha (Under 2mppa). Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO of Delhi–Indira Gandhi operator, DIAL, says: “The award is testament to the continued improvements in passenger-service that Delhi Airport has witnessed since DIAL took over its operations in 2006. Despite robust traffic growth, and ongoing expansion works, we have maintained our high Airport Service Quality ranking. This demonstrates the dedication, hard work and collaboration with our stakeholders.”

Europe Rome-Fiumicino and Moscow Sheremetyevo share top spot in the Over 40mppa category in the By Size and Region awards for the region while Dublin, Oslo Gardermoen and Zurich are joint winners in 25-40mppa section.


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Los Cabos (Mexico) and Guayaquil–Jose Joaquin Olmedo (Ecuador) were joint winners in the 2-5mppa category; while Liberia-Daniel Oduber Quirós (Costa Rica) and San Pedro Sula–Ramón Villeda Morales (Honduras) shared the honours in the Under 2mppa category. San Jose–Juan Santamaria (Costa Rica) is the region’s Most Improved airport.

Africa and the Middle East

Athens confirmed that the good times have returned by scooping the 15-25mppa award alongside Helsinki and Prague while the 5-15mppa was shared by eight airports (Alicante, Bergen, Bristol, Malta, Newcastle, Porto, Reykjavik and Sochi); the 2-5mppa by four airports (London City, Southampton, Tallinn and Zagreb); and the Under 2mppa by five gateways (Almería, Gerona, Melilla, Skopje and Zaragoza). Aeroporti di Roma CEO, Ugo de Carolis, notes: “It is the second consecutive year that we’ve won this award [Over 40mppa], but we do not consider it a goal, we view it as an incentive to do more and better. Our strategy of investments in infrastructure and quality services will continue with great determination.” Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison, enthuses: “This award is a huge endorsement for the entire team at Dublin Airport. We will continue to put the passenger at the heart of everything we do at Dublin Airport.” London City Airport’s CEO, Robert Sinclair, notes: “London City Airport has gained a reputation over the years for offering a world class passenger experience, and this award from ACI World is confirmation of it. “Our vision is to make air travel to and from the heart of London as quick and easy as possible, with a growing range of airlines and routes which make London City a perfect choice whether for business or leisure.”

South African airports once again dominated in the by Size and Region categories, Durban-King Shaka being named joint best for 5-15mppa with Casablanca in Morocco and Kimberley National, Port Elizabeth and Upington sharing the Under 2mppa award. Abidjan–Félix-HouphouëtBoigny (Ivory Coast) is Africa’s Most Improved airport. Queen Alia in Amman, Jordan, is the best airport handling 5-15 million passengers in the Middle East and Muscat is the region’s Most Improved gateway. “Winning this prestigious accolade is a true reflection of our commitment to continuously enhancing the quality of services extended at Queen Alia and providing our passengers with a positive travel experience, whether it be through improved facilities, expedited procedures or passenger offerings,” says Airport International Group CEO, Kjeld Binger.

All winners “The Airport Service Quality Awards celebrate the achievements of airports in delivering the best customer experience and they represent the highest possible accolade for airport operators around the world,” comments ACI World director general, Angela Gittens.

 “In both the traditional and new categories, these airports have responded to the evolving needs of passengers to deliver higher levels of service and an award-winning performance.

 “Airports have recognised that delivering a better customer experience is an important business tool in an increasingly competitive industry. ACI’s ASQ is the only globally-established programme that provides objective measurement and benchmarking for airports to help drive their performance.”

Latin America-Caribbean

Roll of honour

Belo Horizonte’s Tancredo Neves-Confins (Brazil) and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) are the best airports in the 5-15mppa category in the Best by Size and Region Awards for the region.

A full list of winners can be viewed on the ACI World website at current-winner-2018/


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Find and keep Doug Kuelpman, president and CEO of ADK Consulting & Executive Search, considers some of the marketing challenges and opportunities faced by airports when it comes to attracting, recruiting and keeping top talent.


ith an explosive level of growth currently being experienced at airports across the world, more and more first-class talent is needed to fill the vitally important leadership roles at these organisations. At the same time, the US workforce is losing ten thousand Baby Boomers every day due to retirement, according to an article in dated October 11, 2017. That trend began in 2011 and is expected to continue until 2030. These retirees are taking with them decades of experience and specific expertise. Over the past two years, one-third of the placements by our company have been to replace retiring airport executive level and senior management staff. Most US airports are locally-owned, public-sector entities and compensation levels are compressed when compared to the non-airport private sector. One of the significant challenges they face is the difficulty in competing with wages offered by private sector companies for top talent. That, in turn, has helped limit the recruitment effectiveness beyond the borders of the airport industry. However, are airports doing enough to promote themselves, including outside of the industry, to attract high-level performers? Technical expertise is critical at many airports, and when replacing retirees, our clients, generally, have expressed more confidence in hiring airport experienced people. Depending on the airport environment, organisational history and experience of the current staff, this may have varying degrees of importance in an airport’s recruitment process. Hiring top talent in positions that are easily transferable to other industries can be challenging and will become even more so in the future if compensation is not competitive with other industries. These are positions such as finance, IT, engineers, project managers, customer service, concessions, business development and marketing/ public relations. In order to reach qualified candidates, more airports are using a variety of recruitment techniques, and are evolving from traditional methods to new-age digital. The days of simply placing a few industry ads and hoping for the best are declining, and several airports create a targeted and focused marketing campaign in order to attract top-level talent.

For key positions, many airports contract with a national recruitment firm that has the industry knowledge and recruitment tools to perform an in-depth outreach effort while thoroughly vetting candidates inside and outside the industry that have applicable knowledge and skills. The powerful tool of social media is being used for brand messaging by airports to attract a wider audience of potential employees. Some airports post YouTube videos and utilise other social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to highlight the airport environment. They share exciting events such as new concessions, construction projects, or other plans for growth and opportunity. Progressive airports are mindful of these critical, less overt, ways to attract and retain good candidates: • Good digital reputation to enhance culture: Many candidates use employees’ workplace reviews of the organisation in order to decide whether to apply for a job, similar to restaurant, hotel and other reviews. • Clearly defined job descriptions: Value in providing requirements that clarifies not only responsibilities but also delineates authority and defines expectations, skills and attributes needed to be successful in the role. • A respectful candidate experience: Candidates want a swift recruitment process that gives them real-time information on their status. A candidate may lose interest or acquire a negative impression of the airport if the recruitment activity takes longer than expected or if they are not well-informed of their status. Without thoughtful and comprehensive planning, ideal candidates may not become familiar with attractive airport career opportunities. Forward-thinking and creative marketing strategies are evolving in the industry. Airports will benefit from further refinement of their message for greater effectiveness in attracting top-level talent for today and for tomorrow.

About the author ADK Consulting and Executive Search has specialised in recruiting staff for the US airport industry since 2003. Subsidiary, ADK International, formed with Lugano, Switzerland based Kilpatrick Executive Search serves the international market.


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Brand new brands Dubai International Airport and London City Airport tell us more about their new brand identities and the motivation behind their decisions.


ubai Airports has unveiled a new brand for Dubai International Airport (DXB) that it says signifies the company’s transition from airport operator to a consumer led firm “committed to making the world’s busiest international airport, the world’s best”. The brand launch event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports; and Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. According to Dubai Airports, the new brand embodies the unique values of its home city, demonstrating unmatched hospitality, a culture of vibrant imagination, openness to new ideas, and a mesmerising mosaic of exciting and inspiring experiences. It says: “It will transform DXB into a destination in itself by creating exciting, immersive virtual experiences that bring iconic Dubai landmarks into the airport as well as an array of music, art, dance and even fashion exhibitions that showcase local culture and celebrate diversity. DXB will also feature zones throughout the airport’s concourses that cluster together retail, F&B and themed attractions to cater to DXB’s diverse customer base.” His Highness Sheikh Ahmed commented: “In Dubai, we continuously strive to be at the forefront of the industry globally and to lead the way with unwavering ambition, innovation and timely investment. “Aviation, tourism and travel have been fundamental in Dubai’s growth story and we believe this investment will yield further dividends by encouraging repeat traffic and enticing connecting passengers to visit Dubai. We are making a clear statement that will ensure DXB continues to be one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking airports for years to come.” Griffiths enthused: “We are proud to launch the new DXB brand to reflect the fresh direction and truly transform DXB into the airport of the future, one that is led by a more customer-centric approach, that incorporates the hospitality, excitement, warmth and true spirit of Dubai. “The new brand represents the ways in which we connect the world, not only by physically facilitating access to over 220

destinations around the world, but by transporting our customers through their experience of different cultures, food, music and art. This is what DXB, Dubai and the UAE are all about, and what our new brand will represent moving forward.” Meanwhile in Europe, London City Airport (LCY), has unveiled a bold new brand identity, which it claims reflects a more dynamic, vibrant and contemporary look, synonymous with modern London. The transformed design, which utilises vivid colours, creative layout, and a heart motif, is said to reinforce LCY’s role as London’s most central airport – at the heart of the city and an airport which many passengers love to use. The step-change comes as the airport continues to grow and appeal to a changing mix of passengers, particularly leisure travellers and East Londoners, joining the established business traveller base. According to LCY, the vivid blue colour used in the logo represents the unique location of London City Airport, right in the heart of London’s historic Royal Docks in Newham, close to the River Thames, the iconic waterway that has served London for thousands of years. Use of vivid green represents the many parks and green spaces in London, and combined, the use of bright colours confirms a real departure from the conservative grey and blue combination, which the new brand replaces. The new identity comes during a £500 million four-year development programme, which will transform the airport and make the experience of travelling to and from London even better. Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, notes: “With our development programme now underway, we have an amazing opportunity to develop an airport experience that truly reflects modern London. “Along with the design of our new airport, this new brand identity will help us reflect everything that is great about London, celebrate its pre-eminent position as a truly international city, broaden our appeal to different types of passengers and make the experience of London even better for those visiting the capital, for business or leisure.”


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The future is green Air Transport Action Group’s executive director, Michael Gill, encourages airports to be more vocal in promoting their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint.


he global aviation industry has one of the clearest and most wide-ranging climate action plans of any sector. By 2050, we aim to cut net CO2 emissions from our operations in flight and on the ground to half of what they were in 2005. All parts of the sector are committed to this plan and are investing in a greener future for flight. The spotlight is often on airlines and aircraft manufacturers, as they invest heavily in technology innovations and operational improvements to reduce CO2 emissions. New engines, lighter fleets and new air traffic control techniques are crucial to achieving the industry’s climate target. But airports, too, play a crucial role in ensuring a greener future for our sector and we encourage them to be more and more vocal about their environmental efforts. Airports work to reduce their environmental footprint through the sustainable management of energy, emissions, waste, water, noise and local air quality. These are aspects which go well beyond the industry’s climate plan and address the responsible use of scarce resources, conservation of biodiversity and the co-existence of communities and nature. Airport planning and design is also geared towards maximising efficiency with the minimal possible impact on the environment. ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme encourages airports to take climate action and supports them in their undertaking, but it also proactively communicates these efforts within the industry, with its partners, customers, governments and the wider public. With 264 airports worldwide currently accredited, spanning 71 countries and welcoming 43% of global air passenger traffic, the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme shows that airports around the world are leaders in climate action and take their responsibility towards the planet seriously. We should hear a lot more from these 264 airports – on a global, but even more importantly, on a local level – about their motivation and experience in making their operations greener. We encourage airport operators to communicate more actively about their investments in more energy efficient lighting, heating, switching to hybrid or electric ground vehicles, on-site renewables, energy

management tools and employee behavioural change. All have a part to play. The possibilities become even more varied and impactful when airport operators engage other stakeholders on the airport site, for example, offering passengers and employees greener transport solutions to and from the airport. Airports around the world should also be more vocal about what they are doing to mitigate their respective impacts on the environment because: • Climate change is a daunting challenge and the best response is to take responsibility for what one controls. In today’s context of increased awareness of the impacts of climate change, proactive communication about our sector’s actions are vital if we want to avoid being left behind. • Airports in all parts of the world actually have a great story to tell on sustainability and climate action. Inspiring examples from airports around the world draw a picture of a sector that actively seeks to make a positive change. • Airport operators can – and often do – act as role models for other stakeholders on-site or in the local economy, as their measures to mitigate emissions (such as electrifying a ground fleet or installing solar panels) can be applied to other infrastructure projects or transport modes. Indeed, according to the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme, over 100 airports worldwide are encouraging other companies on the airport site to lower their CO2 emissions. Sustainability initiatives at airports are well worth a press release, an article or a blog post and should become an integral part of corporate communications. The role of employees as ambassadors to carry an airport’s environmental efforts into the local community should not be underestimated either and we would underline the important role to be played by internal communications. And lastly, engaging the local community in sustainability initiatives not only strengthens acceptance and fosters community relations, but it also showcases the important role of airports as leaders in climate action – which is what they truly are.


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Money matters Joe Bates picks out some of the highlights of the recent ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London.

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aradigm shifts in the airport business’, was the theme of this year’s Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London, which started with keynote addresses from ACI’s leaders and ended with lively debates about crafting concession agreements in foreign lands and route development. In between there were sessions on economic regulation; the changing dynamics of airport commercial revenues; and slots. We also heard from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) CEO, Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin, and, of course, got to participate in the traditional polling session with The World Bank’s effervescent lead air transport specialist, Dr Charles Schlumberger, which he used to determine that the audience felt cautiously optimistic about the future for aviation. Over 300 delegates squeezed into the conference hall for the opening session, which involved a global overview from ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, followed by regional perspectives from ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec, and ACI Asia-Pacific regional director, Patti Chau. Gittens began by revealing that preliminary figures for 2018 show that passenger traffic at the world’s airports increased by 5.9% to an all-time high of 8.8 billion, with only the Middle East (+2.1%) failing to register an upturn of 5% or higher. Africa led the way with a 9.9% rise in numbers followed by Asia-Pacific (+6.6%), Europe (+6.2%), Latin America-Caribbean (5.3%) and North America (5.1%). According to Gittens, contributors to Africa’s growth have been the continued recovery of the tourism sector in North Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia) due to growing demand from European source markets and a more socio-political stable environment; the recovery of the Nigerian economy, mainly based on oil exports; and the expansion of Ethiopian Airlines within Africa and across the globe. Global cargo volumes also increased in 2018, rising by 3.3%, with Africa (11.5%) once again the outstanding performer, followed by Latin America-Caribbean (+7.5%), North America (+5%), Asia-Pacific (+2.4%), Europe (2%) and the Middle East (0.3%). ACI’s long-term passenger forecast expects global traffic to rise by 4.1% per annum to 2040 with demand for international travel outstripping demand for domestic travel. And with global demand showing no sign of slowing down, Gittens remarked that coping with growth remains one of the key challenges facing airports and the aviation industry. She mused: “As we navigate through geo-political tensions and uncertainty in global trade, the core


issue for our industry remains how do we respond to this demand at a local, national and international level as infrastructure limits pose challenges to accommodating tomorrow’s, and in many cases, today’s travellers?” Airports continue to face financial challenges, too, as despite a healthy 6.2% rise in total airport revenues to $172 billion in 2017, most rely on non-aeronautical related income to keep them in the black as aeronautical revenue fails to cover their capital and operating costs. Indeed, at a global level, total costs to the airport per passenger was found to be $13.69, which is significantly more than the global aeronautical revenues per passenger of $9.95. This, she said, illustrates the importance to airports of nonaeronautical revenues – currently standing at $7.08 per passenger – and showed why airports need to be mindful of current and future disrupters to key revenue sources such as retail, car parking, F&B and rental car concessions. “Airports very much rely on non-aeronautical revenues to strengthen their financial viability,” she commented. Talking about the financial pressures on airports, Gittens told the audience: “The volume of traffic is the major contributing factor to whether an airport is profitable or not. Because airports are faced with high fixed costs, like other infrastructure-intensive businesses, airports that serve fewer than one million passengers per year have a negative return on invested capital of 2.6%. “Airport operators are often placed in a position where they must engage in a high wire balancing act. On the one hand, they are faced with stringent regulations governing their aeronautical revenues and in certain cases must finance the smaller loss-making airports in their respective networks. On the other hand, they must finance and expand their infrastructure capacity to meet growing demand for air transport. “As such, there is a built-in dilemma whether to maintain competitive aeronautical charges in the short, and medium-term, while depleting assets or implement a level of charges that will not only cover the current costs but generate sufficient funds for infrastructure development in the long-run.”

European perspective ACI Europe’s Jankovec hailed the region’s solid annual passenger growth of 5%+ over the last five years, but admitted that continually rising demand – a record 2.34 billion travellers passed through the continent’s gateways in 2018 – does bring a lot of pressure on existing facilities and staff.


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He noted that passenger traffic in Europe has soared by 36% since 2013 and listed a host of airports which have experienced significant growth since. The “fast and the furious” as he put it, includes Athens (+92.8%), Keflavik (+205%), Madrid-Barajas (45.7%) and Tbilisi (+165%). “With better traffic comes better financials,” said Jankovec, who revealed that Europe’s airports currently enjoy a Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) of +7.9%, which although good, meant that the continent’s airports “underperformed compared to other parts of the world, especially in the emerging markets”. He also warned that Europe’s airports cannot keep cutting costs, which have been reduced by 17% since 2013 despite rising traffic, “as there was only so much you can press [squeeze] the lemon”. “If you keep decreasing your costs, especially when traffic is growing fast, you risk compromising your ability to provide quality for customers,” said Jankovec. The estimated €15 billion cost of installing required new hold baggage security equipment by 2022, and the threat of a rise in interest rates, are also a concern to the financial health of the region’s airports, said Jankovec, particularly as 49% of them are already loss making. However, like Gittens, he remains optimistic about the future, if airports are able to overcome airline opposition to adding new infrastructure and continue to evolve as businesses to meet new market dynamics and challenges such as changing airline business models and evolving passenger demands. Placing a renewed focus on sustainability, innovation, quality and customer satisfaction should also be a priority for airports going forward and ensure their “licence to grow”, said Jankovec.

Spotlight on Asia-Pacific ACI Asia-Pacific’s Chau chose to focus on another year of success for the region’s airports in terms of traffic growth and new infrastructure coming onboard. The huge markets of China and India remain the driving force behind the 6.6% rise in passenger numbers across Asia-Pacific, said Chau, while soaring numbers at the world’s busiest international gateway, Dubai International Airport (DXB), helped ensure a 2.1% upturn in traffic in the Middle East in 2018. She revealed that despite a declining growth rate, China accounted for 1.26 billion passengers (+10.2%) and India for 340 million passengers (+25.6%) in 2018, and that the region’s low-cost carriers now account for half the world’s LCC aircraft orders and a rapidly rising share of the market in South Korea and China. “Fortunately, global economic uncertainties didn’t dampen the rapid expansion of airports in our region,” said Chau, citing new terminals in Phuket, Mactan-Cebu and Muscat as exciting new additions and India’s planned new Jewar and Navi Mumbai airports as examples of “projects in the pipeline”. Indeed, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will account for 40.6% and 13.6% respectively of the global investment in new airport infrastructure between 2017 and 2045. The figures equate to $314 billion in Asia-Pacific and $105 billion in the Middle East and include a combined total of over $140bn on new airports. And the new infrastructure will be needed as China is forecast to account for nearly 20% of the global passenger market by 2040 and Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern nations are expected to make up eight of the top 10 fastest growing countries for passenger traffic (handling over 50mppa) during this time period.


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She noted that the trend to privatise airports in the Asia-Pacific region “continues to dominate discussions”, especially for those situated in the major markets such as Japan and India, and stressed that it was crucial that the right regulatory framework was in place to ensure that all current and future concessions are a success.

Polls, panel discussions and interviews Next up was the traditional Polling Session, which once again showed a hugely positive attitude towards the future, although this year the majority of the audience (69%) felt that the airport transport industry was “growing, but slowing” whereas in 2018, 63% predicted “continued strong growth”. Touching on BREXIT and whether the outcome will affect aviation growth, 60% of the audience felt that it would, although half believe it would only be temporary and 15% believed that BREXIT will never happen! The first debate of the event centred on ‘Economic regulation in the era of airline consolidation and airport competition’, and featured Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport CEO, Rajeev Jain; ANA Aeroportos de Portugal director, Thierry Ligonnière; ANAC Brazil’s manager for air services operations, Roberto Costa; and the European Commission’s head of unit, Christophe Dussart. The morning ended with a one-on-one interview with Malaysia Airports’ Nazuddin, with KPI AMS’ director for strategy and privatisation, Waleed Youssef, asking the questions. Nazuddin talked about the challenges of operating and developing 39 airports in Malaysia, changing regulations and global assets such as MAHB’s 100%-owned Sabiha Gökcen International Airport in Istanbul, which handled 34 million passengers in 2018. The ‘changing dynamics of airport revenues’ was on the agenda after lunch with a number of different industry players expressing opinions on everything from the impact of e-commerce and digitalisation to potential new revenue streams. Panel chair, Elias Liolios, Hermes Airport’s senior manager for commercial and business development, set the scene by revealing that the global travel retail market is contracting and passenger spend per head across all channels (airport shops, airlines, ferries and other outlets) is decreasing, dropping by a significant 13.5% in the Middle East, 11.5% in the Americas, and 8% in Europe in 2017. Contributing factors to the decline, he noted, included better retail experiences downtown than at the airport and a decline in impulse buyers.


However, on the plus side, he told delegates that 47% of passengers still considered airport duty free shopping to be part of the travel experience and 45% were motivated by exclusive offers, which he believes is a key area for airports to exploit. “People do care about exclusivity with research showing that passengers are increasingly looking for something that is unique, whether it’s the product or the experience,” said Liolios. Still on the topic of the airport experience, he reminded the audience of ACI’s ASQ research that shows that a 1% increase in passenger satisfaction levels on average generates a 1.5% rise in non-aeronautical revenues. AOE founder and chief executive, Kian Gould, who noted that 93% of millennials research online before they decide to purchase anything, said: “People no longer go blindly into a store and hope to find what they want to find there. “They do their research in advance, especially the high spending shopper who wants to know beforehand what products are available and whether they are price competitive. “The point of buying at airports has always been the price advantage. One of the most downloaded apps in China is a price comparison one that tells users the price of luxury and duty free items at airports. So, now the technology is really catching up with this and airports need to be ready for the pre-planned purchases much more than they have been in the past.” The panel also included Dufry’s CEO for Europe, Africa and strategy, Eugenio Andrades; Magwif’s chief business development officer, Andrew Perrier; and Riga International Airport board member, Arturs Saveljevs. The final session of the day was a good one, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s chief aviation strategy officer, Patty Clark, revealing that the authority has spent millions of dollars on airfield enhancements and still lost two slots! Clark, passionately addressing the audience in the session entitled ‘Roadmaps to manage scare capacity – the economics and politics of slots’, said: “I have no say in the capacity of my airports. The three commercial airports around Manhattan [JFK, Newark-Liberty and LaGuardia] are all limited in some way, and so I have the most anti-competitive airport system in the country. “I’ve spent $200 million in capacity enhancement programmes. I’ve done high-speed. I’ve done multi-exit taxiways. I’ve widened a runway for the largest aircraft. I’ve straightened the runway for the A380, and what did I gain? I lost two slots,” said an exasperated Clark. “How can I not have a say in that? I should have a say in that. And if you look at how those decisions were made, it’s not transparent. If 1,200 slots are allocated, I expect 1,200 scheduled operations, but I don’t get that. I get what the Government Accountability Office calls babysitting. So, I am not even getting the full value of my assets.”


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The rest of the panel comprising Eric Herbane, managing director of COHOR; Gunter Heinrich, Fraport’s head of flight schedule management, traffic and terminal management; Denis Sparas, case handler at the European Commission, DG COMP; and Andrew Charlton, managing director of Aviation Advocacy, all empathised with her predicament and support ACI’s campaign for airports to have more say on slot allocation. This year’s Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) sponsored Gala Dinner was held at London’s stylish Smith & Wollensky restaurant, which provided a unique 1950s style venue for delegates to enjoy after a busy day. A short, but eventful Day 2, comprised the investment focused debate called ‘Risky business – crafting the concession agreement in foreign lands’ and ‘Competing for passengers – route development and incentives’. In the former, panel chair, ACI World’s economic director, Stefano Baronci, noted that 51% of the 100 busiest passenger airports in the world had private sector participation, although he was quick to point out that the organisation doesn’t take a position in terms of airport ownership. He revealed that 85% of airport privatisations utilise an open bid process, the average number of bidders submitting a financial offer is four, and two-thirds of privatisations involve the participation of at least one international firm. In terms of contract lengths, a typical trade sale/lease contract is for 64 years and a BOT concession for an average of 35 years. Asked about what types of risk and constraints would Fitch Ratings pay most attention to when assessing an airport transaction,


the company’s global infrastructure and project finance director, Shyamali Rajivan, stated passenger volumes; the ability to raise prices (aeronautical and non aeronautical); the CAPEX requirements; and how well the investor(s) is protected in the debt structure. “Consistency, transparency and predictability tend to be much better than significant positive decisions followed by significant negative decisions,” she said. In response to discussions on the importance of regulation, fellow panellist, the ICF’s vice president, airport advisory, Simon Morris, stated that ideally economic regulation should be embodied in concession agreements as it provides potential investors with a clearer picture of what lies ahead and allows them to value their bid accordingly. Ferrovial’s commercial director, Gabriel de la Rica, stated that from an investor perspective he felt that a dual-till regime was probably better for all stakeholders as it encouraged greater efficiency and economic benefits for the concessionaire, which in turn, can be passed on to the airlines, passengers and local communities. Different route development strategies adopted by the world’s airports came under the microscope in the final session of the conference with Athens CEO, Yiannis Paraschis; Moscow Domodedovo’s deputy airport director and director for external relations and business development, Daniel Burkard; Dubai Airports’ senior vice president of communications and reputation, Anita Mehra; and TEMES marketing director, Marina Papatsoni, in the spotlight. Prior to the conference, ACI and The World Bank held their now customary ACI-World Bank Annual Aviation Symposium, hosted by Charles Schlumberger, which covered private capital investment and the changing world in the morning before hosting a series of workshops involving group exercises in the afternoon. Next year’s Airport Economics & Finance Conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the first time and Malaysia Airports’ Nazuddin promised delegates that it would be an event to remember. See you all in Kuala Lumpur in March 2020 when, hopefully, the weather will be a little warmer than in London! AW


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Investing in Africa

Modernising Africa’s airport system is a long-haul business, writes Moritz Breickmann, investment director at AIIM, Africa’s largest private infrastructure investor, and board member of airport operator and management company, SEGAP.


peaking at the Aviation Africa conference in Kigali a few months ago, Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, and the secretary general and CEO of the Kenya-based African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Elijah Chingosho, spoke out in favour of more African nations signing up to the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative. They both argued passionately that, without these reforms, Africa is restricting the trade and tourism that is so vital for the continent’s prosperity and its role in a global economy. While Kagame’s and Chingosho’s support for air transport liberalisation was encouraging, we must be realistic about the expected pace of reforms. For, the truth is, it’s now almost 20 years since 44 African nations adopted the Yamoussoukro Decision calling for an Open Skies air transport policy. And from the time it’s already taken, it is clear we are in for the long-haul when it comes to these muchneeded reforms. However, an announcement by the African Civil Aviation Commission stating that the majority of the 28 countries to have joined the SAATM programme have now implemented the provisions of the agreement, shows some refreshing progress. Liberalisation of air traffic is only part of a much-needed shift in mindset away from the protectionism that still characterises air transport in Africa. Such a shift in thinking is a pre-requisite if we are to stimulate greater intra-continental air traffic and create fertile grounds for investment in the sector.


One of the most pressing issues is the current condition of the continent’s airports, many of which were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and are now showing their age. Problems with these airports are not just confined to restricted capacity, service delivery and ageing buildings; there are safety and security issues that need immediate attention. IATA produced research last year that found that African governments urgently have to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS). As of year-end 2017, IATA said that only 26 African countries had at least 60% SARPS implementation. New investment in airport infrastructure will be essential for compliance with vital safety-related standards and to accommodate Africa’s expected traffic growth, which both Boeing and Airbus forecast to reach nearly 6% per annum between now and 2036. Since debt levels across many African countries are increasing at an alarming rate, private capital and know-how will be pivotal in implementing essential improvements and raising African airports to the desired level of service and safety standards. African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) estimates that the continent needs to raise around $22 billon across 60 identified projects to make Africa’s airport infrastructure fit for modern aviation. The private sector can provide an attractive alternative for funding and managing airport infrastructure on the continent and the potential is enormous.


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SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICA Currently, only 11% of African airports by traffic volume involve private investors, compared to Europe where it has contributed 75%, and globally 43%. This is surprising, as the private sector can evidently bring many benefits to all airport stakeholders. Besides the obvious benefits such as broadening financing sources and increased investment capacity, private investors can also bring technical and operational skills through transfer of know-how and best industry practices. Operational aspects such as safety, security and customer service are key focus areas for investors, as demonstrated in 2018 when Libreville International Airport, under the ownership of Société d’Exploitation et de Gestion Aéroportuaires (SEGAP), became the first gateway in Central Africa to be awarded an ICAO aerodrome certificate. While most African airports are still government owned and struggle to fund new investment, there have been examples of successful private-public partnerships that have enabled airports to modernise and grow, gradually, over time. One of these is SEGAP, a pan-African airport operator with interests in the airports of Abidjan, Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville that AIIM has recently invested in through our African Infrastructure Investment Fund 3 (AIIF3).

A further testament to Abidjan’s success is its performance in customer surveys. Indeed, Abidjan won the ‘Most Improved’ airport in Africa prize in ACI’s 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer excellence awards. And it currently holds the Routes Africa Marketing Award in the Under 4mppa category. This award recognises “outstanding marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes or the development of existing services”. As a result of AERIA’s marketing strategy, Abidjan has delivered annual compound traffic growth of 17% per annum since the Ivory Coast’s post-election crisis, and established 16 new routes including flights to Lisbon, Newark-New York, Algiers and Paris Orly. A total of 20 airlines serve around 40 destinations from the airport today. One thing we are particularly proud of is the airport’s recent carbon neutral status (Level 3+) in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation. It is the first African airport to achieve this distinction and the award is in keeping with AIIM’s support for environmentally sustainable developments. As operational standards rose, the airport also received TSA certification in 2015 for security, ISO 9001 in 2016 for quality, and ICAO certification in 2017 for safety.

AIIM estimates the continent needs to raise around $22 billon across 60 identified projects to make Africa’s airport infrastructure fit for modern aviation AIIF3 is AIIM’s third pan-African infrastructure fund and is designed to invest long-term institutional equity in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure assets across the continent, such as power, renewable energy, roads, airports, telecommunications, rail, ports, water and social infrastructure. Our co-shareholder and technical partner in SEGAP, the Egis Group, has worked successfully with African governments to develop their airports. It is currently a stakeholder in 17 airports worldwide that together handle over 28 million passengers and 366,000 tonnes of freight. Egis takes an integrated approach, bringing together multidisciplinary and complementary skills to provide expertise in management, operation and development on the air and land sides of airports, as well as addressing sustainable development issues. SEGAP and Egis successfully structured the concession of Abidjan’s Félix Houphouet-Boigny International Airport with the government of the Ivory Coast in the mid-nineties, and were founding shareholders of the concessionaire, AERIA. Since AERIA took over its operation, the airport has received over €120 million in investment, enabling passenger traffic to more than double, rising from 900,000 travellers in 1996 to 2.2 million in 2018. It’s worth bearing in mind that during this time span the country experienced a prolonged period of political instability, including a coup d’état in 1999. Based on the success of the initial 15-year partnership, AERIA’s concession was renewed for another 20 years in 2010.

Although we are naturally pleased with the developments made by airports that have involved private funding, we still see a high degree of protectionism in the sector and government stakeholders remain sceptical of private public partnerships. What the continent needs is more success stories of private equity investment in airport infrastructure that show tangible benefits to all stakeholders. Africa is currently the fastest growing continent in the world, with a population set to double by 2050. While this is a challenge in some respects, it also means that Africa’s young and increasingly well-educated people share an international outlook and a desire to travel for work or leisure, like their peers, in a global economy. If Africa is to boost regional and international trade, it is absolutely essential for it to have adequate airport infrastructure. This is even more essential for the many landlocked African countries, particularly where existing road and rail infrastructure are in a poor condition or geography makes air transport the only feasible mode of transport. Ultimately, what Africa needs are airports that are functional, safe and affordable. They don’t have to win architecture prizes for cutting-edge designs, and they may well be smaller than some of their international counterparts. It all comes down to structuring airport investments in economically-viable and sustainable ways, which we believe is where the private sector can offer attractive solutions. AW


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Access denied

The growing threat of drones to aviation led Dublin Airport to launch a drone awareness campaign in early 2017.

Drone sightings that have forced the temporary closure of a handful of airports across the globe ensure that anti-drone technology and perimeter security is well and truly in the spotlight in 2019, writes Genetec’s Andrew Elvish.


get the opportunity to travel a lot and this has afforded me an excellent view into how airports are run. But my perspective is not limited to their inner workings. In fact, from my office here in Montréal, I can see the O6L and 24R runways at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. This means that, every once in a while, I get to watch these feats of engineering and technology move through the air. I am then reminded of the incredible precision required to get so many planes safely through take-off and landing every day. At the same time, I also know that any disruption on the airfield – no matter how small – can delay flights or threaten security. Administrators and security directors are responsible for preventing unauthorised access for the whole of their environments: or, ‘from kerbside to airside’. This is an extremely complicated task and is growing even more so due to a range of ever-changing threats, aided by technological advancements. As we know, passengers and their luggage are not the only types of possible intrusion. Consider the drone chaos at London Gatwick before Christmas and more recently disruptions at Heathrow, Newark Liberty, Dubai International Airport and Dublin Airport that caused widespread disruption to a variety of organisations and thousands of travellers.

The high costs of a breached perimeter Of course, drones aren’t the only threat. My conversations with airport security personnel regularly come back to two recurring concerns: “How do we better protect our perimeter?” and “How do we address the insider threat?” The current working theory that a former or current employee of London Gatwick may be responsible for the drone-related disruption is that it brings these two together. Over the three-day period, more than 1,000 flights and 120,000 passengers were affected while the airport itself lost an estimated £20 million in revenue. Other associated businesses, like airlines, retailers, hotels and taxis, also suffered huge losses. Take easyJet as an example, the airline recently revealing that its resulting losses were in the region of £15 million. This was all made worse from a PR perspective by the fact that all of this took place over the Christmas break, and with many families kept from going to their destinations, it became international news. Prior to the events of December at Gatwick, drones had only entered the airport security conversation as a potential hazard – an accident waiting to happen as a result of irresponsible drone operators. Gatwick has since illustrated what can happen when they’re used deliberately to cause chaos and potentially harm travellers and airport


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staff. Now that the consequences have been laid bare, airport security teams that don’t take effective precautions against drones in the future could risk irreparably damaging their organisation’s reputation. In 2015, the Associated Press conducted an investigation into perimeter breaches at 31 of the US’s busiest airports. The investigation covered the years from January 2004 to January 2015 and found 268 instances of people breaching the outer limits of these airports. It is important to note that none of these breaches involved terrorist activity. However, they are still hugely problematic and can cost airports and airlines handsomely. So, what can airports do to mitigate the impact or prevent these events from occurring in the future?

Securing an airport’s airside Given the size of most of today’s airports, there is a lot of area to protect against unwanted intrusions. And, since no two airports are alike, it is difficult to find a one-size-fits-all solution to perimeter protection. A good place to start, however, is with a fence. Airport security directors have to first ensure that their perimeter is protected from a physical perspective. Generally speaking, this requires fencing all the way around the airfield. This can be challenging when a perimeter is 20 to 30 kilometres long. But, as we know, it is important to keep people, vehicles or animals from accidentally entering the airfield, as this can cause flight delays, which are both a scheduling nightmare and expensive. Preventing accidental intrusions from occurring is just one part of airside security. As the AP investigation revealed, a fence can be surmounted and can’t, on its own, keep individuals from accessing an airfield with the intent of stealing baggage, equipment, technology or tampering with aircraft.


The UK government recently made it illegal to fly a drone within five kilometres of an airport, Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, claiming that the new regulations are designed to help keep the country’s airports secure and its skies safe. The previous operating restriction, introduced in July last year, restricted drone flights above 400ft and within one kilometre of an airport boundary. But this left open the possibility of conflict with aircraft on final approach. The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has welcomed the development, head of flight safety, Dr Rob Hunter, remarking: “This increase is what we’ve been calling for in order to ensure there is a safe separation between commercial aircraft and legal drone operations. “This, along with the introduction of suitable detection measures, represents a significant improvement to the safety of manned aircraft around airports.” More new rules and regulations could further lower the rates of accidental intrusions, but an individual intent on breaking them will do so – unless appropriate tech is deployed as a counter measure. An intrusion detection system that can alert personnel if or when a breach occurs and where the intruder is, is vital. Genetec’s offering to this aspect of perimeter security comes in the form of the Restricted Security Area (RSA) module. The RSA is a multi-tech solution that combines radar, laser and video analytics, to provide accurate data when tracking a breach. RSA can geo-locate intruders or drones using collected data to help continuously track their live-location once they have crossed the perimeter or entered a restricted airspace. These systems can also help address the challenges of false positive alarms. By correlating data, they can act as a filter to help ensure that only confirmed intruders have breached the perimeter. Without this type of technology, security operators can become overwhelmed with false positive alarms, causing them to ignore alerts or turn off sensors. This, of course, defeats the purpose of having perimeter protection and runs the risk of leaving the airport vulnerable to incident or attack. And, finally, when a breach does occur, systems need to be able to track intruders and provide operators with the information they required to manage and co-ordinate the response with ground staff. Auto-tracking that tracks and displays intruders within the airfield can provide the intelligence necessary to ensure that correct procedures are followed and the right teams are sent out to investigate. After all, when security personnel can respond to an intrusion quickly and knowledgably, they are better able to minimise potential threats, reduce risks, and keep aircraft moving on time. Airports are big businesses with a vast number of moving parts. They require co-ordinated planning that takes into account a wide variety of stakeholders. New technologies like drones mean that security systems must be adaptable and prepared to deal with a wide array of situations to ensure that planes run on time, passengers have a positive experience, and everyone is safe. AW

About the author Andrew Elvish is vice president of marketing and product management for Genetec. He can be contacted via


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Cleared for take-off Airport World provides a snapshot of the latest route development news from Kraków, Dublin, London Gatwick and Budapest airports. Big summer for Kraków Airport Kraków Airport’s summer timetable is its busiest ever with 33 new services including Dubrovnik and Zadar in Croatia, Bordeaux and Nice in France, Reykjavik in Iceland and Bucharest in Romania. Ryanair and Wizz Air provide 11 and 18 of the new services respectively while LOT will increase the frequency of its Chicago route to three flights per week. The airport’s $264 million master plan includes a number of key projects that are designed to help establish Kraków as a “central communication port” and Poland’s largest regional gateway by 2036. Kraków Airport’s carefully phased development programme includes plans for a new runway, extensions to the existing passenger terminal, the addition of a bigger and more modern cargo terminal and expansion of the apron to ensure that it is equipped to handle up to 12mppa. A total of 6.7 million passengers (+16%) passed through the airport in 2018 with London, Warsaw and Frankfurt proving the most popular routes in terms of passenger numbers. Studies conducted by operator, Krakow-Balice International Airport Ltd, predict that by 2036 the airport will primarily be handling regional O&D services to Europe operated by aircraft such as the B737 and the A320.

Dynamic Dublin Dublin Airport is also set to enjoy its busiest ever summer with a total of 23 new routes and four new airlines ensuring that an extra 1.3 million seats have been added across its route network. Four new airlines – airBaltic, Great Dane Airlines, SunExpress and TAP Air Portugal – are joining Dublin Airport’s growing list of airline customers while six long-haul routes and 17 short-haul destinations are being added to Dublin Airport’s flight schedule this summer.

 Of the six new long-haul routes, Hainan Airlines, Norwegian and WestJet have already launched new services to Shenzhen, Hamilton and Halifax respectively. American Airlines will launch a new service to Dallas-Fort Worth in June and Aer Lingus will operate flights to Minneapolis-St Paul from July.

 Total capacity on existing short-haul routes is set to increase by 6% with almost 1.2 million additional seats this summer.

Dublin Airport managing director, Vincent Harrison, says: “We have a fantastic range of new destinations for passengers to choose from this summer connecting Dublin Airport to even more locations across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

 “Additional capacity and frequency have also been added on over 70 existing routes giving our customers much greater choice, flexibility and more options, whether they are travelling for business or leisure purposes this summer season.”

 The peak summer months will see nine airlines flying 464 flights per week to and from 18 destinations in the US and six destinations in Canada, which equates to an average of 66 daily flights to and from North America.

Gatwick’s US connectivity growing London Gatwick’s US connectivity is set to grow with the news that Delta Air Lines plans launching services to Boston and New York-JFK from the summer of 2020. The new services, which will be in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, signal Delta’s return to Gatwick for first time in eight years and mean that between them the carriers will offer up to 18 daily flights between the UK and Boston and New York-JFK. The new flights will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing network from London Gatwick to Florida and the Caribbean, where they currently operate up to 33 flights per week to eight destinations.

Budapest’s efforts recognised by Routes award Home based carrier, Wizz Air, has launched services to London Gatwick and Oslo while the airport’s long-haul network will be boosted by the June 7 commencement of three weekly B787-9 flights to Shanghai operated by Shanghai Airlines. The airport’s highly successful efforts to attract new services led to it experiencing double delight at the recent Routes Europe 2019 Marketing Awards, winning the 4-20mppa category and beating off every other European airport to be declared overall winner of the highly regarded awards. “We work as a fantastic team and the relationships we build with our clients are what really matter and are at the core of everything we do,” said the airport’s CCO, Kam Jandu.


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Biometric boarding initiative at JFK Terminal 1

Dublin Airport’s asset tracker courtesy of Esri Ireland Dublin Airport has created an airport geographic information systems app to track its assets in real time.

 The app was designed using geographic information systems (GIS) technology from software partner, Esri Ireland, which was customised to track and monitor the large number of assets across Dublin Airport’s business. The range of airport assets include lifts, escalators, car parks, security and baggage systems, boarding gates, runways and taxiways.
The system enables departments to gather information on the airport’s critical assets, providing a quick, accurate and more efficient way of responding to issues. 

 “Dublin Airport has more than 30,000 assets across the airport’s campus, so we needed a way to identify them quickly if a problem occurs,” explains the gateway’s spatial data manager, Morgan Crumlish. “This new system gives us a better understanding of how our passengers are interacting with our facilities and assets and pinpoints exact locations where issues need to be addressed so we can respond immediately.”

 Real-time checking of pavement assets, runways, taxiways and stands is a huge benefit for Dublin Airport in monitoring how critical assets are performing. Observations can be recorded on the app on site making it easier to schedule and track works through to completion. The app also highlights trends emerging on airport assets and supports better reporting and analysis. “An important feature of the app is that it demonstrates our compliance with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aerodrome licencing regulations and the asset management ISO Standard 55001,” adds Crumlish. The app is already being used by teams in asset care and airfield operations and will soon be adopted by Dublin Airport Fire and Rescue Service, the operations airside management unit, commercial property and quality improvement departments.


New York-JFK’s Terminal One Group is to work with technology firm Vision-Box to modernise T1’s passenger processing procedures by rolling out one of the largest facial biometric boarding platforms at a US airport, effectively meaning that passengers will be able to board aircraft without needing to show their passports or boarding passes. Terminal 1 is home to 26 international carriers that include Air France, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines and Lufthansa, and all are expected to embrace the new eGate technology. Vision-Box notes that New York-JFK and the Terminal One Group Association (TOGA) have taken a visionary approach to the passenger experience, welcoming the adoption of a seamless biometric-based passenger management platform as a strategic long-term growth pillar. TOGA executive director, Steve Rowland, said: “Biometric self-boarding is one of our top priorities – improving the passenger experience and enhancing security and safety for all those who travel at JFK Terminal One. We are proud to pilot this unique, paperless, biometric boarding process, and CBP and Vision-Box have been tremendous partners in this effort.” Miguel Leitmann, CEO of Vision-Box, commented: “We empower airports to provide a seamless travel experience to their passengers and offer real value to their airline partners. Vision-Box is delivering to the US Government the data required to control a safe and secure border.”

Plaza Premium continues to grow its lounge network The Plaza Premium Group now boasts facilities at more than 70 airports across the globe following the opening of its new lounge at Langkawi International Airport in Malaysia. Located in the airport’s Departure Hall (pre-security), the stylish boutique space is purposely designed for leisure and family travellers visiting the holiday destination. “It is our mission to make travel better and create unique experiences for each traveller. We are happy to work together with Malaysia Airports who are committed to building a first-rate experience across the country, and to be an integral part of the development of Langkawi International Airport is a privilege,” says Song Hoi-see, founder and chief executive officer of Plaza Premium Group.


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The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Sweet smell of success for Gebr Heinemann

It has been a busy start to 2019 for Gebr Heinemann with its subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Italy opening new outlets at Amsterdam Schiphol and Catania-Fontanarossa airports respectively while the company has unveiled three new sales spaces at its home base airport in Hamburg. At Amsterdam Schiphol, Schiphol Airport Retail – a joint venture between Gebr Heinemann and the Royal Schiphol Group – has unveiled the new look of its Exquisite Shop. While in Italy, subsidiary Travel Retail Italiana, has officially opened a 200 square metre shop in the new Terminal C at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport in Sicily. Arguably,Schiphol’s Exquisite Shop is the most unusual, as besides its completely fresh design concept, it offers a special attraction – an aroma table. It is made of marble and brass and features five trumpet-like devices that, with the squeeze of a rubber bulb, release the delicious aroma of a core taste of the wine or spirit it promotes. Rüdiger Stelkens, purchasing director for liquor tobacco confectionery and fine food at Gebr Heinemann, notes: “The aroma table sets a new benchmark in travel retail when it comes to enticing the shopper in new and exciting ways. “It also builds a perfect bridge from marketing to tasting – and tasting builds the bridge to buying. But even those travellers who don’t turn into buyers will still memorise the experience at the Exquisite Shop and be left with a new, more sensual impression of the promoted brands.” Gebr Heinemann enjoyed a “challenging” but ultimately successful 2018, reporting a preliminary group turnover of €4.6 billion – 11.4% up on the previous year. Highlights of 2018, according to the advisory board’s Claus Heinemann, included the opening of the new Istanbul Airport with its 53,000sqm of duty free space; and a successful joint venture partnership with the James Richardson Group at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Airport.

Boingo’s super fast Wi-Fi

Passengers at London’s Heathrow Airport can now enjoy up to 100 megabytes per second Wi-Fi speeds thanks to a new deal with Boingo. According to Boingo, the new service uses Passpoint technology to deliver a next generation, secure Wi-Fi experience and will enable travellers across the airport campus to seamlessly roam between Wi-Fi and cellular for a better-connected experience. Investments have been made to upgrade the wireless network across the airport, ensuring bandwidth capacity, and Boingo has installed two new high-speed internet links at the airport as part of the service overhaul. Passengers who are already members of the Heathrow Rewards loyalty programme can earn 100 points by signing in to the new Wi-Fi with their Rewards account. John Arbuckle, head of property at Heathrow, says: “Whether passengers are streaming, browsing or working on the go, we’re excited to improve their connectivity experience with the latest generation of Boingo’s award-winning Wi-Fi. This is just one of many initiatives that Heathrow has invested in to serve and delight our 80 million passengers, making Heathrow a world-class airport.”

Aero Iasion Development Ltd Location: Nicosia, Cyprus Contact: Panagiotis Kambouroglou, founder and managing partner E: W: Aero Iasion Development Ltd (IASION) is an executive consultancy company based in Nicosia, Cyprus. Its mission is to advise and assist clients while transforming their businesses into sustainable ones achieving thus a better world by 2030. The IASION team is committed to innovation, excellence and sustainable business growth. Its clients are typically leaders in the aviation, maritime, tourism and logistic industries.

Tabacarcen Location: Quito, Ecuador Contact: Santiago Gomez de la Torre E: W: Tabacarcen SA Logistic Center is the logistic centre of Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. It is responsible for receiving and consolidating all the imported cargo that gets to the city. It rents spacious and modern warehouses for the temporary storage of cargo and temperature-controlled warehouses for the storage and processing of perishables.

Fortem Technologies Location: Pleasant Grove, UT, USA Contact: David Preece, chief data officer E: W: Fortem Technologies is an innovative leader in AI-enabled airspace security and safety. The company provides real-time intrusion detection and detect-and-avoid solutions. Fortem delivers a military-tested, commercially available solution that alerts, identifies and classifies drones and other unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs).

IN Groupe Location: Paris, France Contact: Pascal Janer, sales director Europe E: W: IN Groupe offers identity solutions and secure digital services, at the leading edge of technology and integrating electronics and biometrics. From components to services and from documents to interoperable systems, IN Groupe is a global specialist in identity and secure digital services. IN Groupe plays a daily role in facilitating everyone’s life: helping states exercise their sovereignty, citizens protect their identity and businesses preserve their integrity.


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matters It’s good to talk! Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on the need to rediscover the art of the conversation.


o into any restaurant, travel on public transport, stand in line for your coffee, walk in the street, wait in the Departures Lounge before your flight, walk through the Arrivals Hall of a busy airport and observe. How many people are actually having conversations? Or do they seem more interested in looking at screens? Have we lost the art and science of good conversation? The importance of human communication has been downgraded by an obsessive focus on interactions with social media: immediate feedback, hashtags and sound bites are seen as more worthy of our shortening attention spans than investing time in face-toface interactions. In everyday life, public discourse and, in the media itself, the consequences are beginning to emerge. Empathy is dying. We care more about our own image than really understanding where others are coming from. Slogans, yes/no debates, the search for black and white answers, simple solutions and certainty dominate. Evidence is less important than strongly stated opinion. Is this an effective approach in a world of increasing complexity? As far as the world of work is concerned, where results count, it isn’t. Most organisation challenges need people to work together to sort things out and agree on a sensible course of action. Yet in many organisations, despite people working close to each other in an open plan environment, they never walk around to speak to their colleagues. An email, text or tweet is sent instead. This may suffice if there is a clear simple unambiguous communication required, such as “Are you going for lunch at 12.30pm?” It is not enough where


someone’s input is needed to deal with a complex issue, where priorities need to be sorted, where performance needs to be discussed, or where an innovative approach is required. There is no substitute for the gold standard of effective face-to-face conversation if we want to address real world issues and keep everyone on board. According to the organisation learning guru Peter Senge, the starting points for a meaningful conversation are active listening (‘inquiry’) and an ability to ‘advocate’ and explain one’s position. Good conversations should be about dialogue and developing a deeper understanding rather than simply winning an argument. ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ can also be a very helpful approach. This focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses, solutions rather than problems. It accentuates the positive whilst also acknowledging the shortfalls, engaging hearts and minds and spirits in working together to focus on what works, and on the future. It involves questioning, building relationships, listening actively and with empathy, advocating one’s position – all with the objective of building mutual understanding so as to move closer to an agreed future direction and course of action. How can organisations encourage better conversations? By ensuring there is a commitment to dialogue; there is sufficient time and space for people to get together, meet, reflect and discuss organisational challenges; and by providing training in the skills and techniques of appreciative inquiry and effective conversations. Let’s promote technology, which facilitates conversation rather than relegates it to a lost art.

ACI Asia-Pacific regional director, Patti Chau, is to leave her position at the end of 2019 after seven years in the hot-seat and 15 years with the organisation. Chau feels that the time is right to return home to Canada and focus on her young family. Alexis Higgins has been confirmed as the permanent CEO of Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT) after assuming the role on a temporary basis following the departure of predecessor Mark VanLoh. Higgins is a 19-year employee of TAIT, serving the majority of that time as deputy airports director overseeing marketing and air service development. Former Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner, Ginger Evans, is the new CEO of Reach Airports, a US-based airport management joint venture between Munich Airport International and The Carlyle Group’s CAG Holdings. Fraport AG’s supervisory board has appointed Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm to the company’s executive board, effective July 2019. Prümm will take over board responsibility for Fraport’s ‘Airside and Terminal Management, Corporate Safety and Security’ strategic business unit and the ‘Corporate Infrastructure Management’ service unit. Máximo Luis Bomchil is the new chairman of Corporación América Airports whose global airport portfolio includes airports in Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. He replaces Eduardo Eurnekian, the 86-year old founder of Corporación América Group, who will continue with his other business ventures as well as philanthropic activities. Martha’s Vineyard Airport in Massachusetts has taken the almost unprecedented step of announcing that it has offered former Glacier Park International boss, Cindi Martin, the job of airport director and is waiting for her response. If she accepts, she will replace Ann Richart who left her post earlier this year to lead the Nebraska Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics.

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



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