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In the spotlight: Dublin Airport Special report: Aerotropolis update Going green: Sustainable design & green initiatives Plus: ASQ winners, Retail & Security

Challenging times for aviation Volume 25 – Issue 2, 2020 www.aci.aero


Airport World Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 joe@airport-world.com Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)208 707 2743 mark@airport-world.com Sales Directors Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 jonathan@airport-world.com Gary Allman +44 (0) 7854 239 426 gary@aviationmedia.aero Advertising Manager Andrew Hazell +44 (0)208 384 0206 andrewh@airport-world.com Subscriptions subscriptions@aviationmedia.aero Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 jonathan@aviationmedia.aero

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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.

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Uncharted territory Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the toughest start to a year the aviation industry has experienced in peace time and the need for some positivity in an uncertain world.


f I said we’d be here before I would be lying, as without doubt, the aviation industry and the entire world has never known a pandemic like COVID-19, which has literally stopped planes from flying, shut airports and effectively put life for everybody on hold until we see some green shoots of recovery. ACI World, as you would expect, has been strong and consistent in its response to the global crisis, highlighting the economic and operational challenges facing airports, urging governments to do more to support aviation, and most recently issuing guidance to members on ‘airport IT best practice’ and ‘airside safety and operations’ during COVID-19. Arguably, the most worrying of its messages to date was its April 1 warning that COVID-19 could wipe out 38% of passenger traffic and almost 50% of airport revenues in 2020. In it, ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, said: “A drastic decline of such magnitude for the global airport industry represents an existential threat. “A swift, effective and equitable economic policy response from governments is needed to protect millions of jobs, protect essential operations, and give the industry the greatest chance to weather the storm and recover quickly. “The global airport industry has faced multi-billion-dollar losses already in the first quarter of 2020, but it is now predicted that the impact of COVID-19 will extend not only to the second quarter of 2020 but also the second half of the year. “Most experts in the air transport industry agree that it may take at least 18 months to reach pre-crisis traffic levels, and the industry may not record pre-COVID-19 traffic volumes again before the end of 2021. “A fair and equitable global economic policy response is required to safeguard essential airport operations, to protect millions of jobs worldwide, and to ensure the survival of the industry and lay the foundation for a fair recovery.”

Yep, the news isn’t great at the moment, and given the circumstances, it is quite understandable that many airports and their industry partners were preoccupied with the crisis and didn’t have time to write planned features for this issue of Airport World. Consequently, as a one-off, this issue doesn’t have a theme as it covers a wide range of topics and talking points. So, the issue maybe small, but hopefully it’s also uplifting and informative as I don’t know about you, but I need all the positivity I can get at the moment! The main features begin with an article about Dublin Airport, where managing director, Vincent Harrison, talks to us about everything from a record breaking 2019 for the Irish gateway, its 80th birthday celebrations, and the potential game changing impact of its new North Runway. We also have features on sustainable airport design in the Asia-Pacific region; airport retail; what the future might hold for airport security; IT innovation; 2019’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) winners; and Part 2 of Dr John Kasarda’s airport city/aerotropolis update. We also hear from ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, who provides her thoughts on the key role information technology will play during the COVID-19 crisis and some of the challenges airports face in managing their IT systems; cover human resources in our regular ‘People matters’ column; and discover the latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners. If that’s not enough, our ‘Going green’ page makes a welcome return where we cover the sustainabilty initiatives of three North American airports – Québec City Jean Lesage (YQB), San Diego (SAN) and Vancouver (YVR). I hope you enjoy this issue of your favourite airport magazine and I’m crossing my fingers that by the time we print the ‘Leadership’ themed next one in July – featuring a farewell article with Angela Gittens – the world will be in a far better place than it is right now.





ISSUE 2 Volume 25

In this issue 3 Opinion Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the toughest start to a year the aviation industry has experienced in peace time and the need for some positivity in an uncertain world.

8 World in motion ACI World calls for more financial assistance and support for airports to help them overcome the coronavirus pandemic and safeguard jobs, writes communications manager, Sabrina Guerrieri.

11 View from the top ACI director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the key role information technology will play during the COVID-19 crisis and some of the challenges airports face in managing their IT systems.

12 Different times Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison, talks to Joe Bates about a record breaking 2019, a long-awaited new runway, his gateway’s 80th birthday and returning to full operations after COVID-19.

17 Remaining relevant Melvin Broekaart ponders whether it is time for airports to reconsider their retail business models to successfully compete with online shopping and remain exciting and relevant for decades to come.

20 Leading the way The innovative, efficient and sustainable design of airport terminals is nothing new to the Asia-Pacific region, writes David Coyne, head of aviation at design firm Benoy.




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 (3) Zouhair El Aoufir (Rabat, Morocco) Emanuel Chavez (Maputo, Mozambique) 1 Vacancy

22 2020 vision Airport security screening and passenger flow expert, Cameron Mann, looks back at how security has evolved over the last 10 years and considers what the coming decade might bring for airports and passengers.

26 Top of the pops Asia-Pacific airports once again lead the way in ACI’s 2019 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer excellence awards, writes Joe Bates.

28 Aerotropolis engines beyond Asia Aerotropolis concept leader, Dr John Kasarda, provides an update of airport city and aerotropolis developments in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and considers the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on aviation and future developments.

32 Future thinking Exploring and developing ways of sharing technology will make airport operations more efficient and cost effective and help transform the passenger journey, writes Sarah Samuel, Amadeus’ head of airport IT for Asia-Pacific.

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

37 Going green Airport World turns the spotlight on the green initiatives of three North American airports – Québec City Jean Lesage (YQB), San Diego (SAN) and Vancouver (YVR).

38 People matters Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on adversity and crisis management.



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) 1 Vacancy Europe (7) Daniel Burkard (Moscow, Russia) David Ciceo (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) Elena Mayoral Corcuera (Madrid, Spain) Jost Lammers (Munich, Germany) Yiannis Paraschis (Athens, Greece) Stefan Schulte (Frankfurt, Germany) Nazareno Ventola (Bologna, Italy) Latin America & Caribbean (3) Ezequiel Barrenechea (Lima, Peru) Martin Eurnekián (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Andrew O’Brian (Quito, Ecuador) North America (6) Lew Bleiweis (Asheville, USA) Joyce Carter (Halifax, Canda) Deborah Flint (Toronto, Canada) Joseph Lopano (Tampa, USA) Candace McGraw (Cincinnati, USA) Sam Samaddar (Kelowna, Canada) Regional Advisers to the World Governing Board (10) Diego Arrosa (Montevideo, Uruguay) Chellie Cameron (Philadelphia, USA) 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) 2 Vacancies WBP Advisory Board Thomas Duffy (ADB SAFEGATE) Tunde Oyekola (El-Mansur Atelier Group) Correct as of April 2020


World in motion ACI World calls for more financial assistance and support for airports to help them overcome the coronavirus pandemic and safeguard jobs, writes communications manager, Sabrina Guerrieri.


viation continues to be highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and, while airport operators remain first and foremost concerned with protecting the health and welfare of travellers and staff, it is important to note that they are also businesses in their own right. They have significant costs to bear, debts and obligations to fulfill, and services to deliver, even during a time of crisis. The fast spread of the virus, and the travel restrictions and contraction that have come with it, represent a shock that has led to a severe drop in airport traffic and economic activity. The financial shortfall will be significant for businesses involved in the aviation ecosystem with current simulations indicating enormous airport industry losses. As governments continue to make decisions on economic stimulus, ACI World has recommended the following policy measures in order to alleviate the shortfall for airports. Protection of airport revenues: Airports are reliant on revenue from charges on airlines and passengers and from commercial activities (which play a key role to bridge the gap between airport costs and aeronautical revenue). Any global alleviation of airport charges or introduction of blanket discounts, therefore, will place airport operators in greater financial distress.



Alleviation of airport slots usage requirements: The temporary suspension of airport slot usage requirements, until June 30, 2020, would enable carriers to adjust their schedules in a sustainable way and for airports to protect connecting traffic at hub airports and help safeguard connectivity worldwide. As regards subsequent adjustments, ACI favours an ongoing flexible reassessment of the situation based on data-driven evidence that would focus on the situation in every market. Concession fee payments to governments: Governments need to consider, on a case-by-case basis, waiving airport rents and concession fees applicable to airport operators, irrespective of their ownership status, given the financial stress they are experiencing. Tax relief for the aviation sector: ACI World believes that national authorities now have a key role to play to ensure the sustainability of the entire aviation ecosystem by granting relief on airport taxes, on passenger-based taxes, and on taxes on air transport in general to incentivise the return of passenger confidence to travel. Government assistance: In some circumstances, seeking government assistance to help offset losses incurred by the sharp drop in travel, due to the continuing outbreak, can be an appropriate measure. “These policy responses aim to ensure the continuity and sustainability of airport operations in these exceptional circumstances,” said ACI World director general, Angela Gittens. “The aviation industry and governments should approach the prospects for recovery strategically, pragmatically, and in partnership.” Furthermore, in response to the massive impact COVID-19 is having on the industry, ACI World has also called for measures to protect the livelihoods of millions of employees who work at airports around the world. ACI data shows that airports employ – either directly or indirectly – more than 6.1 million people globally, which make up 60% of all employment in the aviation sector. Indeed, the typical hub airport has as many as 40,000 employees either working for the airport operator or for other employers on the airport site. “ACI World is calling on countries to consider financial relief measures that will help to alleviate the significant drop in cash flows and to ensure operational and business continuity of airport activities, and to protect jobs,” Gittens said. “Recognising that the entire aviation ecosystem has been affected by this crisis, financial relief should be non-discriminatory and not benefit one actor at the expense of another actor in the aviation ecosystem.” Measures that could be considered include: • Immediate provision of government assistance through grants and subsidies to support operating expenses and wages to airport staff • Ensuring secured financing and loans at preferential rates and bank guarantees • The suspension of all national and local aviation specific taxes for 2020 • The waiving or postponement of airport rents and concession fees applicable to airport operators, irrespective of their ownership status. Countries must also consider maintaining a minimum level of employment to allow continued operations and to preserve a rapid return to full operations. This would mean supported wage guarantees with regards to those still employed and bridge-in programmes for those temporarily laid off.


ACI events






Sept 13-15

November 9-11

October 20-22

September 7-10

September 15-17

ACI-NA Annual Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Grand Rapids, USA

ACI-LAC/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Buenos Aires, Argentina

ACI Europe Annual Assembly & Congress Geneva, Switzerland

Customer Experience Global Summit Kraków, Poland

ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Conference & Exhibition Nara, Japan

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@aci.aero www.aci.aero

ACI Asia-Pacific Stefano Baronci Director General Hong Kong SAR, China Tel: +852 2180 9449 Fax: +852 2180 9462 info@aci-asiapac.aero www.aci-asiapac.aero

ACI Africa Ali Tounsi Secretary General Casablanca, Morocco Tel: +212 660 156 916 atounsi@aci-africa.aero www.aci-africa.aero

ACI Latin America & Caribbean Rafael Echevarne Director General Panama City, Panama Tel: +507 830 5657/58 jmartinez@aci-lac.aero www.aci-lac.aero

ACI Europe Olivier Jankovec Director General Brussels, Belgium Tel: +32 (2) 552 0978 Fax: +32 (2) 502 5637 danielle.michel@aci-europe.org www.aci-europe.org

ACI North America Kevin Burke President & CEO Washington DC, USA Tel: +1 202 293 8500 Fax: +1 202 331 1362 postmaster@aci-na.org www.aci-na.org

As of January 2020, ACI serves 668 members, operating 1,979 airports in 176 countries. ACI is a non-profit organisation whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. According to ACI’s 2019 Annual World Airport Traffic Report, in 2018 airports worldwide welcomed 8.8 billion arriving and departing passengers and handled 122.7 million metric tonnes of cargo and 99.9 million aircraft movements.





View from the top ACI director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the key role information technology will play during the COVID-19 crisis and some of the challenges airports face in managing their IT systems.


nformation technology (IT) infrastructure has become a key enabler for airport management and operations. It underpins all systems and services critical to not only the airport operator’s staff, but also the whole airport ecosystem. It supports a smooth and hassle-free passenger journey and allows airports to communicate timely information. The rapid decline in traffic as a result of widespread travel restrictions and the health and safety implications of the spread of COVID-19, have presented airports with numerous challenges and risks, including to the management of their IT systems.

Building a strong collaborative team

System shut down, back up, and restoration

At this time of the COVID-19 crisis especially, airports need to work collaboratively with other key stakeholders to modify – or develop new – processes to maintain a safe, efficient, and resilient IT system. Activating the Executive Crisis Management team is essential for airports in responding to the effects of the pandemic, and IT must be a part of this group as it plays a critical role to ensure operations, communications, and business can continue. In addition, airports should establish an IT response team. This should be done even where the airport operator is only partially responsible for IT infrastructure. This multi-disciplinary team should comprise representatives from all entities providing services at the airport in order to validate IT business continuity plans, or to create one.

In some cases, areas of the airport terminal (or entire terminals) need to be closed, and the business continuity plan should include clear procedures and protocols to shut down hardware and software programmes being used during normal operations. These systems may include passenger and baggage processing systems, building maintenance and others. In other cases, airports around the world are reducing operations in their terminals but keeping the systems ‘live’ and hardware operating. This is another option to ensure the systems are in good order when it is time to restore them to normal operations.

Ensuring effective and secure IT infrastructure for remote access The most effective way to control the spread of COVID-19 is to limit physical contact, so the introduction of telecommuting/ teleworking wherever possible is an important element of any business continuity plan. Airports must thus ensure that their IT infrastructure is able to handle new demands, especially the provision of increased remote access for staff. The plan must, therefore, include a work from home procedure that provides instructions and information regarding remote access to all, or most, systems and tools. Safe and secure connectivity may be offered via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and other solutions which require only simple internet connections. Laptops, the use of home devices, specific programmes, and applications that are critical to conduct business, should be identified and made accessible.

Implementing cyber resilience for business continuity Like many other industries, airports are faced with additional cybersecurity risks, and data breach challenges with the rise of employees working from home. For this reason, addressing cybersecurity within the airport ecosystem must be included in the business continuity plan. It is imperative to have, and update, cybersecurity policies and procedures. These should be made available and apply to the workforce in general. ACI offers several programmes and services to help airports with their cybersecurity, which can be found on the ACI website.

Advisory Bulletin – Airport Information Technology recommendations during COVID-19 The above-mentioned recommendations and others can be found in more detail in the ACI Advisory Bulletin – Airport Information Technology recommendations during COVID-19 – which can be found on the ACI website. The Advisory Bulletin is intended to provide ACI airport members with a set of important key actions for addressing IT concerns during the COVID-19 crisis.





Different times Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison, talks to Joe Bates about a record breaking 2019, a long-awaited new runway, his gateway’s 80th birthday and returning to full operations after COVID-19.


viation, the global economy and life maybe very much on hold for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is no doubting that when it is finally over, Dublin Airport (DUB), will be hoping to bounce back as soon as possible after one of the most successful years in its history. Indeed, a record 32.9 passengers (+4%) passed through Ireland’s gateway to the world last year and work started on its new North Runway, which operator, daa, has described as “the most important thing Ireland will build in a generation”. In the last 18 months, the airport has also opened a new transfer facility, transformed its retail/F&B offerings to provide passengers with more choice and a better sense of place of Ireland than ever before, and picked up an customer excellence award for being the joint best airport in Europe handling 25-40mppa in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards. Oh, and earlier this year it celebrated its 80th birthday, which it intends to mark throughout 2020, albeit in a more muted way given the impact of COVID-19.

Record breaking year The airport attributes its all-time traffic high of last year down to a combination of 25 new routes and services that included new long-haul routes to Calgary, Dallas/Fort Worth and Minneapolis-St Paul and new short-haul services to Bodrum, Kiev, Lourdes and Thessaloniki, plus capacity increases on 28 existing routes as airlines added flights to their schedules or operated services with larger aircraft. The extra services meant that an additional 1.4 million passengers travelled through DUB last year, including 2.2 million transfer



passengers, who helped cement the airport’s status as the fifth largest airport in Europe for transatlantic connectivity. “The connectivity provided by Dublin Airport is essential, as the Irish economy is one of the most open in the world,” states DUB’s managing director, Vincent Harrison. “Our economy depends on trade, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment, and as a vital element of Irish national infrastructure, Dublin Airport will play a key role in helping the Irish economy to begin to chart a recovery after the current health crisis has passed.” Last year Dublin benefitted from a significant growth in transfer passengers. In fact, the number of passengers using the airport as a hub has more than quadrupled since 2013, the more recent arrivals benefitting from the 2018 opening of a dedicated transfer facility. The top five transfer routes handled at DUB in 2019 were Boston– Manchester; Chicago–Manchester; Boston–Edinburgh; Chicago–Rome; and Boston-Amsterdam. Harrison is, however, under no illusion that things will be very different this year for DUB and almost every other airport on the planet in terms of traffic trends. He says: “We started 2020 with an optimistic outlook as we were expecting to welcome 12 new routes, however, the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry globally has been catastrophic and that is now our biggest challenge.” For the record, the top five airlines and routes at DUB in 2019 were Ryanair, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates and London, Amsterdam, Manchester, New York and Paris.


North Runway

Milestone anniversary

The airport’s new 3.1 kilometre long North Runway, a key recommendation of the Irish government’s National Aviation Policy, is scheduled to open in 2021, and Harrison believes that it will make a huge difference to DUB’s operationally efficiency and ability to grow in the future. “The nature of the business is that while many airlines plan for the short-term – in some cases looking at the next three, six or nine months – and possibly being driven by short-term stock market performance considerations, airports need to plan for the longer-term,” notes Harrison. “We have to look decades ahead as planning and developing large airport assets takes a long time and, are typically, once in a generation build. “The North Runway, which has been planned since the 1960s, is an essential development for the Irish economy and will help underpin additional tourism, trade and foreign direct investment for decades to come. “Given the very significant economic impact of COVID-19, the North Runway will be a key factor in helping the Irish economy to recover. It is urgently needed to allow for expansion to underpin Ireland’s long-term economic growth.” In a nutshell, it will ensure that DUB is able to expand its route network, particularly between Europe and North America, and also potentially open up new direct markets to countries in Asia and Latin-America. Located almost 1.7 kilometres north of Dublin Airport’s current main runway, the new runway – Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is pictured above right at its official sod turning ceremony last year with daa chief executive, Dalton Philips (centre), and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross (right) – will also support the creation of 31,200 new jobs and €2.2 billion in additional economic activity by 2043. The North Runway project also involves the construction of six kilometres of new internal airport roads, and two new electricity substations. New drainage and pollution controls will be installed, as well as about 8km of electrical cable, 11km of CCTV cable and more than 2,100 new energy efficient runway and taxiway lights.

Dublin Airport turned 80 years old on January 19, making it one of Europe’s oldest airports still operating on the same site. Statistics reveal that more than 580 million passengers have passed through DUB in the intervening years since its first commercial flight, an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 aircraft, departed for Liverpool’s Speke Airport at 9am on Friday, January 19, 1940. The flight was the only one handled at the airport on that historic day, unlike in 2019, when Dublin Airport routinely handled hundreds of daily flights and over 233,000 aircraft movements during the year. “From one twice-weekly flight to one destination to 700 flights daily, with direct services to more than 190 destinations in 42 countries, Dublin Airport has grown to become a thriving hub of activity, and will be again when the COVID-19 crisis is over,” says Harrison.

Being a good neighbour Sustainable growth has always been a priority of daa – it also owns and manages Cork Airport – and Harrison assures me that this will always be the case at DUB, revealing that it has set a number of ‘green’ targets to meet by the end of 2020. These include achieving carbon neutral status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme; reducing water usage by 10% through the implementation of water saving technologies; and transitioning to a low emission vehicle fleet wherever possible, and as quickly as possible, and encouraging other DUB operators to do the same. He does, however, feel that aviation in general receives some unfair attention for its perceived detrimental impact on the environment, especially as the IT sector is also responsible for producing the same amount of the world’s man-made CO2 emissions as aviation – around 2% – and the clothing industry considerably more. “The issue that needs to be addressed is carbon generation rather than flying per se,” Harrison suggests. “Aerospace manufacturers are currently spending over $15 billion annually on developing more fuel-efficient aircraft.




“Aircraft have already dramatically improved their emissions. A flight taken today produces around half the CO2 that the same flight would have in 1990, and this will be further reduced going forward. Indeed, by 2050, net aviation carbon emissions will be half of what they were in 2005.”

Customer service success Despite Ireland’s reputation for being a warm and friendly place to visit, prior to the 2010 opening of Terminal 2, Dublin Airport always struggled to do well in ACI’s ASQ customer excellence programme, and actually finished third from last out of 27 peer airports in its category in 2009, largely due to its cramped infrastructure. It has been a different story since though, with improvements each year culminating in it winning its first-ever ASQ award last year, for its performance in 2018. Harrison points out that over the last decade, in addition to adding new facilities, DUB has invested “a huge amount of time and effort” on improving its scores year-on-year, moving to the top five for a number of years and ultimately to the number one spot. “Maintaining a leading position as the business grows is an ongoing challenge as more and more passengers are using our facility,” he admits. “We continue to survey passengers and focus on key areas that need attention. Understandably, our newer assets such as T2 and its pier, scores better than old assets such as Terminal 1. In the past number of years, we have invested significantly in upgrading T1 and improving facilities and services there for our customers.”

Brexit and recovering from COVID-19 Not so long ago, it seemed like Brexit was the No.1 talking point at aviation conferences, and debates aplenty discussed the wisdom of the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the implications of its actions for airports across the world. This is obviously no longer the case,



but when the coronavirus crisis is over and the aviation industry is effectively up and running again, it will be interesting to see if it has any impact at all on travel between the UK and Ireland. Harrison doesn’t believe that Brexit will significantly affect traffic numbers, which is just as well as on average 10 million passenger per annum fly between Dublin and 24 destinations in the UK. “It is a very important market for us,” says Harrison. “Our countries have strong ties, and this is reflected by the fact that it will be easier to travel between the UK and Ireland than between Great Britain and other EU member states after the transition period has ended, and this will help.” With regard to COVID-19, Harrison says: “The priority now is to prudently manage our way through the current COVID-19 crisis and continue to keep the airport open for essential cargo and repatriation flights in line with Irish government policy. “We’re also hugely focused on our staff during this difficult time. Since the start of the crisis, we have been providing daily updates that include company information, health advice, wellness updates and a wider picture of what is happening in our sector. The health and security of our employees and other airport users is always our key priority, so that’s been a key focus throughout. “And of course, we’re focusing on how we, our customers and our stakeholders can be best positioned for a return to business. As yet, it’s impossible to accurately predict how this global crisis will play out, but it’s unlikely that the new normal will be the same as the old normal. “Growing connectivity for Ireland has always been a priority for us and particularly to new markets and destinations not already served. Our colleagues in our airline business development area are constantly in touch with the airline customers, and that is continuing. “You can be assured that we will be working closely with our airline partners to work together on how we get back to business.” Times are tough for everybody right now, but Dublin Airport is clearly doing all it can to navigate its way through today’s choppy waters. AW




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Remaining relevant Melvin Broekaart ponders whether it is time for airports to reconsider their retail business models to successfully compete with online shopping and remain exciting and relevant for decades to come.


hether we like it or not, there is an impactful and irreversible change of reality taking shape in travel retail. The new reality seems to question the way airport retail is currently ‘outsourced’ for optimisation. It questions the type of partners needed for future success, and the business rationale and management structure needed for collaborating with these partners. The cause of this change lies in the strong emergence of e-commerce as a transaction channel for making purchases, with the change at airports being even more evident in countries where e-commerce plays an important role in domestic retail. And with the world in lockdown due to the Covid-19 virus, the number of countries where e-commerce plays a major role for retail transactions has risen dramatically. In these countries, the dominant reference to purchasing in travel retail has changed to online shopping, versus traditional offline ‘physical store’ shopping in other countries. The effect of this change is mind blowing. Traditionally, the primary function, form and purpose of airport retail stores was to distribute products. Passengers would purchase these products because they were unique and difficult to find elsewhere, and if available at physical retail in the passenger’s home market the

products would be cheaper at the airport. Uniqueness and savings as two important drivers of airport retail sales. For consumers that have massively adopted e-commerce for their retail purchases, however, uniqueness and savings aren’t automatically associated with airport shopping. Nearly everything available at the airport can nowadays be found online, and with the extreme low-cost structure of electronic retailers, it is no wonder that for these consumers, savings are difficult to be found at the airport. The multi-year declining spend-per-passenger that many airports around the world are experiencing is perhaps the best analytical indicator of the impact this is creating. The size of this group of consumers is rapidly increasing, yet the stores at the airport appear to even more firmly cling to their historical purpose of distributing products while focusing primarily on price competitiveness in their communication. By accepting this as an industry, we are selling the airport short to our brand partners, and we’re obstructing airport retail’s right to exist for another seven decades. In a world where passengers have one click access to attractively priced products that historically might have been exclusively available




Last year’s award winning World Whisky Tour promotion by Lagardère Travel Retail proved a big success at Aelia Duty Free shops in the Pacific region.

at airports, the distribution of these products has all but ceased to be the issue. When one of something can be efficiently shipped to anyone, anywhere, airport retail stores need to add moving hearts and minds to their traditional moving of products. Selling the idea, essence and values of a brand – by facilitating passengers to touch, try and taste while spending their ‘golden hour’ at the airport. Increasingly, the role of airport stores will not be to sell products, but rather to deliver the most impactful, and long-lasting emotional brand experience possible, to help consumers to truly understand a brand and the benefits of its products and to create an essential level of brand affinity and ambassadorship. None of which necessarily results in immediate, or location-specific revenue recognition. Does this mean that airport stores won’t sell products anymore? Of course not, many products will still be sold. And authenticity, impulse and gifting will remain important drivers for purchase. But unlike today, where retail is a product-first, experience-second business, the reverse will increasingly be true. As renowned retail design executive Kevin R Roche stated during the recent Trinity forum in Doha, “Travel retailers can no longer compete on price or convenience: to draw the consumer in and convert, even in the captive airport, retailers must generate excitement and a reason to buy beyond duty free.” In order to be viable in the future, airport operators must apply this vision to how they plan, design, build and operate their physical spaces: experiences first and foremost and products second. Product sales will simply ride on the back of remarkable airport experiences. But these sales will not solely take place at the airport, as many passengers will decide to opt for home delivery by local e-commerce retailers or directly from the shopping area of our brand partners’ homepages.



This indicates that in the long-term, sales of product simply can’t be the sole strategic purpose or metric for commercial airport operations anymore. The most successful airport operators of tomorrow will obsess over the design, execution and measurement of experiences. Applying a calculation to the value of the experience delivered to their brand partners, on top of the direct sales realised at the airport. When transforming from being primarily a distribution channel for products to an integrated media channel with physical product availability, the choice of how to most optimally shape the commercial operation might transform as well. Will self-management be the best way forward to develop valuable learnings for the future while experimenting with various formats today? Or does outsourcing bring better results, leveraging global relationships with brands? Is the current airport retailer a logical partner for the future, or is a combination between an advertising concessionaire and a retail operator a better partnership? Does an operating model based on minimum annual guarantees (MAGs) still make sense, or should we work together in far more intertwined forms of co-operation like joint ventures, in order to better combat global e-commerce platforms? There is no answer that applies to all situations. The future belongs to those who prepare for it today. Let us try to use the current momentum of quietness at the airport to AW lay the foundations of another seven decades of airport retailing.

About the author Melvin Broekaart is founder and CEO of airport consulting and digital activation group, Aircommerce. He is a regular speaker at airport conferences and the producer of the Dutch national aviation podcast.


Leading the way The innovative, efficient and sustainable design of airport terminals is nothing new to the Asia-Pacific region, writes David Coyne, head of aviation at design firm Benoy.


sia-Pacific (APAC) is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, with passenger numbers more than quadrupling over the last 15 years and both ACI and IATA forecasting that the region will account for more than half of new passenger traffic globally over the next two decades. Growth on this scale would place a major strain on the infrastructure and natural resources of any region in the world. But in Asia-Pacific, the potential impact is even greater as the region comprises diverse ecological areas and boasts a wealth of rich, but fragile natural habitats, including 17 of the world’s 36 recognised biodiversity hotspots. As such, infrastructure development in the region requires a delicate balancing of priorities and approach. In fact, how to manage industry growth responsibly, with due regard for the environment and local communities, is a major challenge facing APAC’s airlines and airports alike. Airlines, naturally, are focusing their attention on the skies, exploring options such as electric aircraft, alternative flight paths, aviation biofuels and hybrids – the benefits of which won’t be felt for many years. Airports, meanwhile, are responding with more immediate, on-the-ground solutions. From Hong Kong and Singapore to Indonesia and South Korea, innovative new terminal buildings are driving progress in operational efficiency, natural resource conservation, passenger experience and social responsibility. In doing so, these airports are setting new standards in sustainable airport design – not only for Asia-Pacific, but for the rest of the world as well.

Improving performance and perception With air travel accounting for over 2% of global CO2 emissions, the aviation industry is coming under increasing public scrutiny and pressure to improve its environmental performance.



To reduce these impacts, the industry has committed to carbonneutral growth from 2020 onwards and aims to cut CO2 emissions to 50% of 2005 levels by 2050. In support of these goals, mandatory emissions reporting was introduced in January 2019 under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). Efforts to achieve airport sustainability have also been underway for some time. In 2007, the global airport industry made commitments to reduce its carbon emissions at the ACI World Annual Assembly, Conference & Exhibition. And nine years later, at the Airports Going Green conference in Amsterdam, airports from all over the world signed the Airports Sustainability Declaration. As these co-ordinated initiatives acknowledge, airports have a vital role to play as aviation’s main public interface, with the potential to enhance the sustainability performance and perception of the industry. In the same way, they also help to reinforce local brand values, credentials and identity – something Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been quick to grasp.

Airport efficiency and vibrancy “As the first and last touchpoints for visitors to our city, HKIA is a reflection of Hong Kong people’s values, where the airport’s efficiency and vibrancy is a great source of pride for Hong Kong and its people,” says Airport Authority Hong Kong CEO, Fred Lam. Looking to evolve from a ‘city airport’ to an ‘airport city’, HKIA is currently expanding to meet regional demand, with the goal of handling 100 million passengers and nine million tonnes of cargo a year by 2030. At the same time, the airport authority has pledged to make HKIA the world’s “greenest airport”. Benoy has worked as design consultant on HKIA’s new Terminal 1 Annex since 2015. The team’s task has been to integrate a design and facilities that will enable capacity expansion, while supporting HKIA’s sustainability initiatives and targets.


The airport’s commitments include recent compliance with ISO 14001, the internationally recognised environmental performance standard, and a major acceleration in waste reduction. Waste is one of Hong Kong’s most urgent environmental issues, and by 2021 HKIA aims to reduce, recycle or recover 50% of the waste it generates. Keen to decouple business growth from greenhouse gas emissions, HKIA also runs a carbon reduction programme, recently achieving a 5.7% reduction in airport-wide carbon intensity (against 2015 levels). Throughout, the airport has focused on improving energy performance by switching 100,000 light fixtures to LEDs, installing a cloud-based building analytics system, and replacing chillers and pump sets with more efficient models. Other efficiency schemes, embedded in Benoy’s Annex design, include multiple skylights for natural daylight and static smoke extraction; waste-water recovery technology; and facilities for electric vehicles in airside areas. And as the airport looks ahead to its Three-runway System (3RS) project, conservation measures are being devised to safeguard local wildlife. In particular, HKIA has pledged to protect the Chinese white dolphins in the surrounding estuary via dedicated ‘exclusion zones’.

Singapore’s sparkling innovations Singapore Changi Airport is one of the region’s leading promotors of sustainability initiatives. Terminal 4, opened in 2018, and the landmark international attraction Jewel, opened last year, have pushed the boundaries of green and experiential airport design. Since opening, T4 has won a Prix Versailles and Singapore Good Design Mark, and a Green Mark Gold Plus award for environmental performance. It’s also received multiple five-star ratings from Skytrax, while Changi Airport overall has been rated Skytrax World’s Best Airport for seven years running. As Concept Design Architect and Interior Designer for T4, Benoy helped to reimagine the boundaries between the airport and its city context. Livable space is a key theme, with passengers enjoying dynamic interiors, artwork, interactive exhibits, street cuisine and retail. The design also integrates Singapore’s garden landscape, featuring a green wall and over 500,000 plants to create a sense of wellbeing and calm. Transparency and openness are key contributors to T4’s sustainability performance. Pervasive natural light and glass atria help to increase visibility and sightlines, while LEDs optimise energy

efficiency and reduce operational costs, in line with benchmarks agreed with the Singapore Green Building Council. Materials are locally sourced and recycled, although large structural spans minimise the overall amount of material used. Water management, meanwhile, includes the recycling of condensate water for irrigation. Automation is another key element, with innovative Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) initiatives, automated check-in, bag-drop, boarding and biometrics enabling smooth and efficient passenger flows. In fact, T4 is a test case for airport automation, leading in principle to reduced workforce requirements and associated volume. Jewel Changi Airport further enforces the gateway’s green credentials through the extensive use of natural light, unparalleled biophilia, and innovative engineering. Designed by Safdie Architects, with interior design, retail and aviation facility planning by Benoy, Jewel comprises 137,000sqm of retail, F&B and leisure space. Its key features include a live rain forest, canopy park, and the world’s largest indoor waterfall. Delighting passengers and tourists alike, Jewel’s design, like T4’s, has received industry awards and plaudits. Notably, Jewel’s chiller plant efficiency scheme, which is targeting operating efficiency of 0.56 kW/ tonne, has been awarded Singapore’s prestigious Green Mark sustainability standard. Above all, Jewel Changi Airport and Terminal 4 offer a wholly unique passenger experience, which is where Benoy believes it can make the biggest contribution to airport sustainability. Because sustainability isn’t just about environmentally friendly methods and materials. It’s also about creating a sense of place and belonging. It’s about providing a comfortable, convenient and stress-free environment, enabling passengers to relax and enjoy a seamless connection with the surrounding urban environment. Employing a design ethos called ‘Airports for People’, Benoy takes an experience-led approach which puts the passenger at the heart of all planning and development. The aim is to optimise airport capacity, enable ease of access and wayfinding, and increase commercial revenue, leading to long-term operational and economic value. Because only through people-centric designs can airports provide a truly enjoyable and livable experience. An experience which, as HKIA, Changi T4 and Jewel demonstrate, points the way to a more sustainable future for airports in Asia-Pacific and beyond. AW




2020 vision

Airport security screening and passenger flow expert, Cameron Mann, looks back at how security has evolved over the last 10 years and considers what the coming decade might bring for airports and passengers.


n a rapidly evolving threat environment, it is worth pausing at the new decade to reflect on the changes in aviation security over the past 10 years and consider how they are likely to impact on airports in the coming decade. The key drivers of change in airport security over the last decade has been an increased focus on the passenger experience and operational efficiency whilst maintaining the security outcome and managing risk. It is through these lenses that we will examine our changing industry.

Threats – enduring and emerging Sadly, airport and airline operations continue to be the frequent recipients of threats and, as recent history has shown, on occasion become the target for terror attacks involving the destruction of aircraft, infrastructure and the loss of life. Today’s threats are real, varied and persistent. Indeed, they are not likely to go away any time soon and will inevitably be joined by new, emerging threats to provide an increasingly tough challenge for aviation security over the coming decade. Security risks at airports today include the ‘insider threat’; airside and landside attacks; drones; cyber-attacks; and concealing explosives/ hazardous chemicals under clothing and in baggage and cargo consignments. Two other threats worth mentioning here are activism – the use of airport and airline infrastructure by activists to disrupt aviation operations for the purpose of providing a public focus; and mental Illness, when those with mental illnesses carry out activities which disrupt the aviation network.



Mega-trends shaping the future Connectivity and convergence will have an impact on aviation by creating masses of data that will be analysed to improve operations. We can also expect to see a move to cloud-based systems and increased sharing of data and connectivity to support seamless journeys, all of which will need added security and secure mechanisms such as blockchain. The cognitive era will empower Artificial Intelligence (AI) for better predication and warning systems, including decision support tools in screening operations. It will also enhance the passenger experience while delivering autonomous vehicles across the airport and improving the self-service journey.

Balancing outcomes The aviation ecosystem is working to seek the right balance between: • Security effectiveness, ensuring they have regulatory compliance today and into the future; • Passenger experience, working to streamline the process and reducing queue times. This supports airports growth and profitability with increased non-aeronautical revenues; and • Operational efficiency, improving productivity, throughput and reducing operating costs. In order to achieve these outcomes, there is an increasing focus on placing the passenger at the centre of the industry’s transformation efforts, this requires airlines, airports, regulators, controlling authorities and trusted partners to work together on enhancing the passenger journey.

SECURITY Security effectiveness The last decade has seen the formalising and raising the standards of airside passenger (mmW) and baggage screening (CT imaging), and an increase in the integration of technologies, such as the automated tray return systems into the integrated checkpoint. Biometrics and the use of AI and Machine Learning in the security environment has also commenced. As has landside layering approaches with course filtering, behavioural analysis, greater physical security presence and patrolling and increased integration and communication across the airport for prevention and response activities. In the next decade, there will be the increased deployment of certified technologies (mmW and CT) across more jurisdictions and also a rise in the integration of those technologies. Behavioural analysis both from behavioural officers and software analytics, coupled with track and trace solutions, will allow better detect, track and intervene capabilities across the entire airport. The combination of these technologies will provide opportunities to evolve security processes and how security staff perform to ensure the delivery of safe and secure airport environments. Ipsotec is one company leading the development of the track and trace capabilities and already has aviation/airport applications. Efforts to ingest vast amounts of data and provide actionable insight will grow significantly. The use of stand-off people screening is also an area of focus as authorities look for improved filtering solutions that provide course level detection of threats that impact the landside zone. One such company that is providing technology into the screening at pace arena is Evolv Technology. Work is required with authorities and vendors to ensure appropriate standards can be developed against the threat vector of concern. The emerging threat of drones also requires greater regulation to allow airports to deploy technology to better safeguard their facilities. Exclusion zones around airports exist, but there are technologies that can focus on the early detection and mitigation such as DroneShield, which can use a combination of radar, radio frequency (RF) and electro optical (EO) detection technologies to detect and mitigate the threats. The challenge for the 2020s is having regulations that allow stakeholders to work together to deploy not only the detection but also the mitigation measures to provide a safe airspace around the airport. The evolving threats of cyber-attacks results in greater risks due to increases in attack surfaces from multiple systems and networks interfacing with the external environment. Airports need to continually update their technology to protect their information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) infrastructure.

Passenger experience The passenger experience and centricity has been a significant shift and focus for many airports. IATA now has the OneID programme in place to support the industry in the adoption of a framework and systems to facilitate seamless travel for passengers. In the next decade, there will a significant focus on managed identity and sharing information across government departments and across national boundaries to understand risk of the individual and their belongings to the aviation network. In the coming years, biometrics will continue to grow in importance as digital identity will be the key to seamless journeys through the airport departure, transit and arrivals processes.

Sydney International Airport (SYD) and Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR), have both focused on the kerb to gate experience. Both airports partnered with Vision-Box to incorporate biometric touchpoints across the departure journey. Finally, an approach to lead the seamless journey across national boundaries. Singapore is working with the Dutch to provide an environment where credentials are shared between Singapore, on departure from Changi (SIN) to arrivals at Amsterdam (AMS), providing passengers with a seamless journey using their digital identity. The digital identity provides the mechanism to then consider greater sharing of people and bag data and images to ensure security and customs clearance operations at transit and arrival destinations is more efficient, smoother and changes the passenger experience. These changes can eliminate for many, the inbound or transit screening process as shared data is used to clear travellers and enhance the seamless passenger experience. This increased sharing of identity and traveller information provides opportunities for Security, Customs and Immigration authorities to change their way of working to benefit from the pre-screening/clearance to support increased flow through the transit and arrivals processing. This then truly builds the connected ecosystem delivering value across the chain.

Operational efficiency The seamless journey supports enhanced passenger flows across the airport from book to board. The use of integrated checkpoints is changing the airside screening environment and importantly delivering operational efficiencies in the process. Last decade, passenger throughputs of 100 to 200 passengers per hour were commonplace. With an Integrated checkpoint, there are demonstrated examples achieving in excess of 500 passengers per hour. Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) in Australia is one such airport embracing this technology, integrating ATRS, CT and mmW body scanning solutions to achieve impressive operational benefits. The next decade will see these integrated checkpoints incorporate biometrics into the security screening process. This will deliver efficiencies not only at departure airports but also transit and arrival airports through the sharing of passenger data to better and more efficiently manage risk. This will be coupled with increasingly sophisticated dashboards and analytics providing insights to manage the ever-increasing passenger volumes. Digitising touchpoints will continue to expand throughout the passenger journey, allowing airports to support passengers on their navigation through the terminal and assist in on-time performance. For the airspace, counter-drone solutions actively manage the identification and mitigation of drones to prevent disruptions to airfield operations ensure the airports continue operations.

Achieving the people, process and technology balance In order for the aviation ecosystem to remain secure, deliver a seamless passenger experience and continue to improve operational efficiency across networks, there needs to be the right regulatory framework in place to allow the technology, people and processes to deliver success for the decade to come.





Top of the pops Asia-Pacific airports once again lead the way in ACI’s 2019 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer excellence awards, writes Joe Bates.


he rising customer service standards at airports across the globe was reflected by the 140 awards given to 84 different gateways in the 2019 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer excellence programme. Asia-Pacific airports continue to excel in the annual awards, enjoying a clean sweep in all the global categories in the 2019 Departures Survey, while Bengaluru-Kempegowda once again won the Best Airport Experience in Arrivals Award. Elsewhere in the world, consistent winners Indianapolis International Airport, Toronto Pearson, Roma-Fiumicino and Moscow Sheremetyevo have this year been joined by first time recipients from all regions. The new winners include Kotoka (Accra, Ghana), Mangalore (Mangalore, India), Supadio (Pontianak, Indonesia), Aalesund (Alesund, Norway), El Hierro (Valverde, Spain), Melilla (Melilla, Spain), San Sebastián (San Sebastián, Spain), Bodø (Bodø, Norway), Izmir Adnan Menderes (İzmir, Turkey), Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark), Galapagos Ecological (Galapagos, Ecuador), Capital Region International (Lansing, United States), Stockholm-Bromma (Stockholm, Sweden), and St John’s (St John’s, Canada). So, how did your local airport fare? Below is a quick recap of 2019’s customer service champions by region.

North America Toronto Pearson and Dallas/Fort Worth once again shared top spot for airports handling over 40mppa and Minneapolis-St Paul retained the 15-25mppa accolade in the traditional Best by Size and Region categories for North America. Dallas Love Field and Tampa couldn’t be separated in the 1525mppa category, while Indianapolis held onto its crown as the top airport in the 5-15mppa category for the fifth successive year, although once again it had to share the honour with Jacksonville and also, in 2019, with Cincinnati/North Kentucky. El Paso and Portland International Jetport are joint top in the 2-5mppa section and Lansing’s Capital Region and Quebec’s Jean-Lesage International Airport equal first-time winners of the Under 2mppa.



“Becoming the first North American Airport to win three years in a row in the 40 million passenger and above category reflects Toronto Pearson’s commitment to enhancing the passenger experience,” said Greater Toronto Airport Authority’s new president and CEO, Deborah Flint. Indianapolis International Airport’s executive director, Mario Rodriguez, noted: “People ask me often how we do it year after year, and my answer is simple: we take care of our people and they take care of our customers. “It’s all about the customer experience – which we strive to deliver to an art form. Every decision we make has the traveller top of mind, and our staff are continuously looking for ways to improve even our best efforts.”

Asia-Pacific In the fiercely competitive Asia-Pacific region, Mumbai–Chhatrapati Shivaji, Delhi–Indira Gandhi, Shanghai Pudong and Singapore Changi shared top spot in the Best Airport by Size and Region category for airports handling Over 40mppa. Changi also triumphed in the over 40mppa category in the global ‘Best Environment & Ambience’ and ‘Best Customer Service by Size’ sections, although both times it had to share the honour with Chongqing Jiangbei. Multi award-winning Changi also won the Over 40mppa prize in the global ‘Best Infrastructure and Facilities by Size’ category alongside Beijing Capital International Airport. Bengaluru-Kempegowda and Nanjing Lukou triumphed in the 25-40mppa category; and Bali-Ngurah Rai, Hyderabad-Rajiv Gandhi and Sanya Fenghua in 15-25mppa section. Things proved a little more difficult in the 5-15mppa and 2-5mppa categories where six airports spread across India and Indonesia (Balikpapan, Cochin, Hohhot, Jakarta, Lucknow and Makassar) shared first place in the former and seven (Bandung, Chandigarth, Mangalore, Palembang, Pekanbaru, Pontianak and Thiruvananthapuram) in the latter. Indonesia’s Depati Amir, RH Fisabilillah and Silangit airports took the top prize in the under 2mppa category. And many of these airports triumphed again in the global categories for Best Environment and Ambience by Size; Best Customer Service by Size; and Best Infrastructure and Facilitation by Size.


Most Improved Airport

Best Customer Service by Size




Depati Amir Airport (Pangkal Pinang City, Indonesia) RH Fisabilillah Airport (Bintan, Indonesia) Salalah Airport (Salalah, Oman) Silangit Airport (Tapanuli, Indonesia)

Kotoka International Airport (Accra, Ghana)

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Jakarta, Indonesia)


Stockholm-Bromma Airport (Stockholm, Sweden)



Airport International Daniel Oduber Quirós (Liberia, Costa Rica)

Chandigarh Airport (Chandigarh, India) SM Badaruddin II Airport (Palembang, Indonesia) SS Kasim II Airport (Pekanbaru, Indonesia) Supadio Airport (Pontianak, Indonesia)



Muscat International Airport (Muscat, Oman)


St John’s International Airport (St John’s, Canada)

Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport (Lucknow, India) Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (Jakarta, Indonesia) Hohhot Baita International Airport (Hohhot, China) Sepinggan International Airport (Balikpapan, Indonesia) Yinchuan Hedong Airport (Yinchuan, China)

Africa In the traditional Best by Size and Region categories in ASQ Departures Awards, South Africa’s George, Kimberley and Upington airports shared the top honour in the under 2mppa category; and Kotoka in Accra, Ghana, and SSR International in Port Louis, Mauritius, jointly won the 2-5mppa accolade. It was a case of déjà vu in the 15-15mppa category with DurbanKing Shaka International Airport in South Africa and CasablancaMohammed V International Airport in Morocco finishing joint top for the second year running.

Europe A number of new names appeared in Europe’s roll of honour for the first time, including all five airports to finish top of the pile in the under 2mppa category – Alesund (Norway), El Hierro (Spain), Melilla (Spain), San Sebastián (Spain) and Bodø (Norway). Tallinn (Estonia) and Zagreb (Croatia) were familiar winners in the 2-5mppa section, only this time being joined on the winner’s podium by Menorca (Spain) and Skopje (North Macedonia). Similarly, Alicante (Spain), Bergen (Norway), Malta (Malta), Newcastle (UK), Porto (Portugal), Reykjavik-Keflavik (Iceland) and Sochi (Russia) all retained their top status in the 5-15mppa category, only this time they were joined by Izmir (Turkey). Prague (Czech Republic) repeated last year’s success in winning the 15-12mppa category, this time alongside Ankara-Esenboga (Turkey) and Saint Petersburg-Pulkovo (Russia). Copenhagen’s top place in the 25-40mppa section is remarkably the first time it has a won a top placed ASQ Award, although it didn’t win it outright, sharing the title with last year’s joint winners Oslo (Norway) and Zurich (Switzerland). It was also a case of we’ve been here before for the top two in the over 40mppa category, Moscow Sheremetyevo (Russia) and Rome-Fiumicino (Italy) standing out from the rest on their own for the second year running. It also marked a hat-trick of top spots for the Italian gateway.

15 – 25 MILLION PASSENGERS I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (Bali, Indonesia) Sanya Fenghua International Airport (Sanya, China) 25 – 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Kempegowda International Airport (Bengaluru, India) Nanjing Lukou International Airport (Nanjing, China)

OVER 40 MILLION PASSENGERS Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (Chongqing, China) Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore, Singapore) Latin-America & Caribbean In the traditional Best by Size and Region categories, Galapagos Ecological (Ecuador), Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) and Liberia (Costa Rica) airports shared the honours in the under 2mppa category; and Montevideo-Carrasco (Uruguay) and Guayaquil (Ecuador) did likewise in the 2-5mppa grouping. Traffic growth at Los Cabos International Airport in Mexico meant that it could no longer defend its 2-5mppa crown, but its enduring popularity with passengers simply meant that in 2019 it finished joint top of 5-15mppa category with ASQ king Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), which has won the award for four years on the trot. Visit https://aci.aero/customer-experience-asq/asq-awards-andrecognition/asq-awards/current-winner-2019/ to view a full list of 2019’s ASQ winners.





Aerotropolis engines beyond Asia Aerotropolis concept leader, Dr John Kasarda, provides an update of airport city and aerotropolis developments in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and considers the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on aviation and future developments.


ast issue, I described how the Asia-Pacific region leads airport city and aerotropolis development. Other world regions are also moving forward. Western Europe has built on its early airport city successes, while the Americas awoke from aerotropolis slumber with major projects, as have Africa and the Middle East. Let’s look at these and what the unprecedented 2020 health, economic and aviation “triple whammy” portends for them.

Europe The granddaddy of airport cities, Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) was first to formally embrace the concept in the 1990s under the brand Schiphol AirportCity. Its core is Schiphol Central Business District (CBD) where the passenger terminal and forecourt area offer two million square metres of retail, office buildings (including the European headquarters of Microsoft), three 4-star hotels, conference facilities, art galleries, a casino, health clubs and restaurants. The Base, a 47,000-square-metre office and commercial services complex a 10-minute walk from the terminal, was completed in late 2019. In total, 65,000 people work on AMS’s 2,787 hectares encompassing five additional commercial/industrial zones supplementing Schiphol CBD. The Schiphol Area Development Company (SADC), a public-private partnership (PPP), spearheads Schiphol’s greater aerotropolis. The SADC markets several business and logistics parks, including Schiphol Trade Park, Business Park De President, Schiphol Logistics Park, Polaner Park, Green Park Aalsmeer, Business Park Amsterdam Osdorp, and Schiphol Rijk.



Zuidas, a large mixed-use business district seven minutes by transit to AMS, houses the corporate headquarters of numerous Dutch firms, while the famous Aalsmeer Flower Auction five minutes away sells 20 million flowers and decorative plants each weekday for global shipment. The Paris Charles de Gaulle–Le Bourget Airport Area (420km2) is among the world’s fastest-developing aerotropolises, containing 17 logistics parks, 85 business parks, two international-class exhibition and convention complexes, and 12,000 hotel rooms in 2019. Its multi-modal commercial epicentre is 1,340 hectares on Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) dedicated to non-aeronautical development of which hotels, office buildings, retail, and distribution facilities already occupy 600 hectares. Overall, CDG Airport City hosts 700+ firms employing 90,000, placing it among the largest airport cities globally. Stretching outward from CDG, 25 major commercial projects have either been recently completed or planned. These include the International Trade Centre, the largest integrated business and congress complex in Europe that opened in 2019 near CDG’s perimeter hotel cluster. These 25 projects are expected to generate €15 billion in investment and 130,000 jobs by 2025. Over 1,000 firms are located at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and its immediate environs, making up Frankfurt Airport City. Its landmark commercial structure, ‘The Squaire’, a 660-metre-long, nine-story edifice employing a total of 10,000, is less than a 10-minute covered walk to FRA’s check-in counters.


Auditing and consulting giant KPMG’s European headquarters occupies 40,000 of The Squaire’s 140,000sqm that additionally house the headquarters of Fraport (the airport’s operator), two hotels, shops and restaurants. Two other key components of Frankfurt Airport City are Gateway Gardens (headquarters to LSG Sky Chefs and others) and the 750,000-square-metre Mönchhof Logistics Park. Gateway Gardens also houses three hotels (completed since 2017) along with higher education, medical, exhibition, and leisure facilities, while Mönchhof is reputedly the largest contiguous block of logistically zoned land being constructed in the Rhine–Main region. Surrounding green areas and protected forests (Frankfurt City Forest) spatially constrain aerotropolis development. Accordingly, Fraport and others strive to make the highest and best use of commercial and logistics properties on and adjacent to FRA. Known as ‘Aviapolis’, Finland’s 42-square-kilometre aerotropolis is being developed around Helsinki Airport (HEL) via PPP between the city of Vantaa (HEL’s location), Finavia (the airport’s operator), real estate firms, and local landowners. Aviapolis contains a significant hotel cluster (three completed since 2017), a congress centre, the 87,000sqm Flamingo Entertainment Centre and, adjacent 86,100sqm Jumbo shopping centre employing 1,500, the Helsinki Airport World Trade Centre and Vantaa Business Park’s seven office buildings (housing numerous firms along with a Technopolis campus providing technology-oriented firms space and supporting services). About 2,000 companies call Aviapolis home, employing more than 35,000 people. Airport city projects are also underway at Munich Airport (MUC), which has a 551-room five-star Hilton Hotel between Terminals 1 and 2 with an adjacent special events area plus a full-service medical clinic. MUC is likewise developing a future-oriented innovation campus on 500,000sqm of land. Other airport cities and aerotropolises from Athens to Zurich (also including Manchester, Moscow Domodedovo, Prague and Vienna, among others) are evolving throughout Europe.

The Americas In the US, six gateway airports drive airport city and aerotropolis development: Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and Orlando. After decades of dormancy, commercial investment is accelerating on and outward from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) — 2019’s busiest, handling 111 million passengers. Aerotropolis

Community Improvement Districts are attracting investment in logistics, hotels, and corporate headquarters, including those of Porsche Cars, Chick-fil-A and Delta. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which covers 17,000 acres, and its outlying areas remain hotbeds for aerotropolis investment. By 2020, half of the 6,000-acre airport property designated as commercial and industrial was developed, most recently the 598-acre Passport Business Park and Amazon’s 2.4-million-square-foot fulfillment centre. In the greater DFW Aerotropolis, dynamic Las Colinas (ten minutes from DFW) hosts 8,000+ businesses, including the global headquarters of seven Fortune 500 firms. Southlake, an upscale community three miles from DFW, has emerged as one of the wealthiest US municipalities by median household income. Home to executives, managers, and air travelintensive professionals, Southlake demonstrates aerotropolises can be quality residential as well as commercial magnets. With expanses of open land on and around the 53-square-mile Denver International Airport (DEN), expectations remain high for the Denver Aerotropolis. The 484-room, 35-suite terminal-linked Westin hotel at DEN is being complemented by substantial upgrades of retail and leisure services in its architecturally stunning terminal. Just beyond DEN, Panasonic’s Denver CityNOW project and the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center are spurring aerotropolis development. So, too, are a number of 1,000+ acre mixed-use aerotropolis projects underway along with transit-oriented development around airport express train (FasTracks) stations linking DEN to downtown. Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), a Delta hub, supports a region that has faced severe economic challenges. Regional leaders embraced the aerotropolis model to diversify and ignite local economies, but the Detroit Region Aerotropolis also struggled. After decade-long inactivity, Amazon, GE, Mopar, Penske Logistics, and others’ investments in the last five years have pumped new life into the aerotropolis. A Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corporation has mobilised fiscal resources and aligned stakeholders to promote 60,000 developable acres outward from DTW’s magnificent $1 billion McNamara terminal (an airport mini-city itself) and Westin Hotel within. Memphis International Airport (MEM) was rocked when Delta closed its hub in 2013. MEM’s airport authority is restructuring its terminals for greater compactness and accessibility of retail, F&B and passenger services.



ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Despite Delta’s withdrawal, MEM’s FedEx World hub continues to attract e-commerce, smart electronics, high-value food perishables, pharmaceutical, and medical device facilities to its environs. FedEx announced a $1 billion upgrade to its Memphis hub in 2018, including new sort and cool-chain systems, advanced automation, and other capabilities that should further boost the Memphis Aerotropolis. Completion is expected in 2022. An aerotropolis is evolving around Orlando International Airport (MCO), spurred not just by high-tech and Disney World (plus other theme parks and resorts), but also the 17-square-mile (10,800-acre) rapidly developing Lake Nona smart city just east of MCO. Lake Nona hosts Medical City, a life sciences district anchored by the University of Central Florida’s medical school and world-leading research centres. During the past three years, this mushrooming airport edge city established a world-class international sports and performance district led by the US Tennis Association’s national campus and PGA championship golf courses. It has also attracted several corporate complexes, such as KPMG’s $450 million, 800,000-square-foot global training centre for its auditing and consulting professionals. Alberta, Edmonton, and Vancouver are at the forefront of Canada’s airport city and aerotropolis development. A major aerotropolis around Toronto’s proposed second major commercial airport in Pickering is planned, though environmentalists still fight the project. South America’s aerotropolis development held considerable promise a decade ago, particularly on and near Panama City’s Tocumen and Brazil’s Belo Horizonte international airports, but recent political and economic disruptions impeded progress. Similarly, Mexico City’s $13 billion international airport that was being constructed 14 miles northeast of downtown under airport city and aerotropolis principles was abruptly cancelled in late 2018, midway through construction, by Mexico’s newly elected president. Consequently, Mexico City’s airport authority compensated contractors $4.5 billion in 2019.

Africa and the Middle East Two aerotropolis projects are underway in South Africa’s Johannesburg and Durban regions. An airport city is forming on Johannesburg International Airport (JNB) consisting of three major commercial precincts. Aerotropolis development is occurring outward from JNB in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality based on a master plan completed in 2015 for a 30-kilometre radius around the airport. The Durban Aerotropolis is centred on King Shaka International Airport (KSIA), 35 kilometres north of downtown Durban. Attracting investment in 2017–2020, Dube TradeZone, Dube AgriZone and Dube City comprise Dube TradePort, a logistics-oriented complex occupying major portions of KSIA. Around 8,000 developable hectares radiate from KSIA. As of 2019, 42 million square metres of commercial development and 130,000+ residential units were planned for the Durban Aerotropolis. Numerous Middle East countries have stated ambitions to develop airport cities at their primary air gateways and aerotropolises around them (Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, for example), but Dubai followed through and went big. Airport city functions are heavily concentrated at Dubai International Airport (DXB), the world’s busiest gateway by



international passengers. Dedicated primarily to flag carrier Emirates, Terminal 3 is an airport city itself, housing world-class duty-free shopping, four and five-star hotels, leisure amenities, and a remarkable Emirates business-class lounge the scale of some midsize airport terminals. DXB’s 691,000-square-metre Free Zone offers distribution centres, offices, and light manufacturing plus a 10,000-square-metre temperature-controlled perishables centre. Dubai’s second international airport (Al Maktoum) that opened for passenger service in 2013 anchors Dubai South, a 145-square-kilometre purpose-built aerotropolis. Originally envisioned to be the world’s busiest, the airport is designed to drive eight surrounding aerotropolis districts focusing on Aviation Industry, Logistics, Residential, Golf, Commercial, Humanitarian, and Exhibition (World Expo 2020, for instance) functions, plus Dubai Business Park. By 2019, 1,200 firms were operational in Dubai South. However, with the slowdown in Emirates Airline’s growth the past two years, plans to shift much of DXB’s passenger traffic to Al Maktoum stalled. Dubai South’s commercial development will likely be impacted.

Coronavirus and aviation crisis impacts The impact of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic will further delay Dubai South’s development timetable as it already has with the postponement of World Expo 2020. Airport-linked development in most other regions will also be stymied, at least in the short-term, by the 2020 collapse of aviation created by the pandemic and its associated global economic downturn. With air traffic in many countries depleted by as much as 90% in April 2020 compared to a year earlier, passenger terminals throughout the world were near empty and new investment initiatives in their surrounding commercial zones at a virtual standstill. Yet, just as was the case with SARS in 2003, the great recession of 2008–09, and prior health and economic crises, resolutions of the coronavirus pandemic and the global economic downturn will occur with worldwide air passenger and cargo volumes rebounding in the years afterward to new heights. Consequently, commercial airports and their outlying economic zones, which together constitute the aerotropolis, will resume their 21st-century roles as modern business magnets and metropolitan area economic catalysts. It must not be forgotten that aviation, airports, and the aerotropolis are inextricably interwoven and that their growth represents long-term structural trends. These long-term growth trends (measured in decades) will endure and not be reversed by periodic short-term downward cycles of a year or two, no matter how steep they may be. Dictated by the wants and needs of people and business, the 21st century will remain the aviation century with airports, airport cities AW and their greater aerotropolises taking on ever more importance.

About the author Dr John Kasarda is president of the Aerotropolis Institute China and professor at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He can be reached via Kasarda@aerotropolisbusinessconcepts.aero


Future thinking Exploring and developing ways of sharing technology will make airport operations more efficient and cost effective and help transform the passenger journey, writes Sarah Samuel, Amadeus’ head of airport IT for Asia-Pacific.


odern technology is playing an ever-increasing role in ensuring airports can meet the challenges faced today by the industry globally. Whether it’s the use of advanced analytics to optimise operations, or self-service automation to increase throughput while streamlining the journey for passengers, new and innovative technology can support airports in reaching their business objectives. Thanks to advances in underlying technology architecture, the ability for software to be provided ‘as a service’ allows multiple airports to use the same system without the need for costly and complex local IT infrastructure. The advantages of a shared approach include reduced on-site infrastructure and energy costs. But, while these savings are significant, cloud technology is about much more than that.

Flexibility when you need it There are some airports that do not have the agility to scale operations to match changes in demand and, due to a combination of limitations on physical expansion and rigid legacy systems, flexibility is inhibited. Innsbruck Airport in Austria, for example, was the first to adopt a complete cloud-based common use solution. With cloud technology effectively allowing an airport to scale capacity up and down depending on demand, a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) approach provided the flexibility at check-in required based on traffic at any given time. The needs of Hong Kong International Airport, another early adopter of cloud computing, are very different. As one of the world’s busiest airports, it typically caters to upwards of five million passengers a month. But even here, ebbs and flows in passengers at check-in, places pressure on ground handlers. Through the deployment of mobile, cloud-supported ‘iCUSS’ check-in kiosks, the airport has been able to significantly increase capacity at peak times, while also being able to scale back as demand declines. This flexibility allows airports to adapt more quickly to changing situations. For example, were an extreme weather event to force an airport to close a terminal, mobile ‘pop-up’ workstations could be used to quickly resume operations in an adjacent one. Meanwhile, the fixed workstations no longer in use in the previous terminal could be powered down to minimise operational costs, such as those associated with energy consumption.



Rapid adoption of new innovations Cloud computing provides airports much greater flexibility at check-in. But while airports such as Hong Kong have been able to scale capacity, ground handlers like Off Airport Check-in Solutions (OACIS) have taken this approach a step further. Initially launched in 2017 at Sydney Airport, the company has plans to expand further across Australia and internationally in New Zealand, and the South Pacific. Linked to the airport via the cloud, it can check-in passengers at any location with a mobile connection: conferences, city centres, hotels, and homes. It envisions a truly distributed airport, where luggage and passengers are handled separately; and where both extra space and saved time can be devoted to transforming airports into ‘retail and entertainment complexes’, helping drive additional revenues.

Unlocking tailored services for passengers This flexibility is now proving to be the first step in a transformation journey for many airports as they seek to harness new technology to deliver travellers a tailored experience. Today’s passenger expects a smooth and frictionless airport experience, one that’s sensitive to the nature of their trip. For example, a young business passenger is likely to opt for a self-service automated approach at every touchpoint. A family with three young children that aren’t native English speakers are more likely to choose full-service, agent-assisted check-in. With flexible modern IT systems, airports can personalise journeys to meet the needs of both types of travellers, as well as for others. Another example is the emerging trend of ‘self-connecting’ passengers. Currently, flyers connecting between different airlines without a traditional interline agreement must, on arrival at their transit airport, pass through immigration and pick up their bags, before checking


in for their next flight, dropping off their bags, and passing through security again; a highly inefficient process. But when the IT is flexible, passenger services can be portable, and self-connecting travellers can be checked-in upon arrival at the transit area instead. Not only does this make life easier for the passenger, but it also clears additional congestion at check-in and creates a new optional service which can be monetised to generate new revenues for the airport. Biometrics is another case in point. When each airport and airline offer their own biometric solution, there is typically little or no integration between systems, meaning passengers have to enrol and re-enrol, each time they fly with a new airline or arrive at a new airport. This means a hugely inefficient duplication of systems and friction for the passenger, who has to navigate multiple biometric systems across numerous locations. The solution is a single, common and shared approach to IT, standard across the industry, which would allow passengers to travel using one biometric system across multiple airlines and airport destinations. However, despite the passenger experience and economic advantages of a SaaS approach, there are still many airports choosing to stay with their traditional method of keeping IT infrastructure on-site at the terminal. This has contributed to a number of common misconceptions.

Modernising IT infrastructure so you can adapt as required The first is regarding control. Naturally, there’s a sense of comfort that comes with being able to touch and feel the servers that power your airport. However, airline departure control systems run remotely, communicating with the common use service at the airport over Wide Area Network links. In essence, they’re already in the cloud.

Secondly, it is often difficult for resource-constrained in-house teams to match the number of IT experts and investment levels of a dedicated provider that can benefit from significant economies of scale. A dedicated provider can offer a team in the hundreds monitoring for issues and patching systems, as they are identified. We are also witnessing an evolution in off-site computing with applications and processes that can be replicated across multiple physical data centres, and ‘turned-on’ for an airport using a fixed internet, Wi-Fi or 4/5G link. This form of computing has been envisaged since the early 2000s and has now matured to a level where it is trusted by even the most sensitive of industries. In the US, for example, the Pentagon’s recent award of the world’s largest contract for off-site computing to Microsoft, in a $10 billion deal to house its critical data and systems, marked a watershed moment. The significance of this moment was not lost on Baku Airport in Azerbaijan when it became the first fully cloud-based airport last year. The decision was indicative of a mindset shift among some of the world’s most innovative airports. The airport recognises that if it is to achieve its ambitious digital transformation goals, its underlying technology architecture would have to be based in the cloud. Shared IT with common standards has been a defining characteristic of air transport, helping to connect the world’s first truly global industry. The advance of technology now presents us with another opportunity to choose a globally shared infrastructure that facilitates co-operation, so we can make air travel frictionless for all.





The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Six of the best

Plaza Premium Group now boasts six Plaza Premium Lounges in the Middle East following the opening of a new 1,260sqm facility in Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3. “Dubai International connects travellers to more than 220 destinations across the globe including the US and Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Taiwan, Europe and more, in many of which we operate airport lounges and other airport hospitality services,” enthuses Plaza Premium Group’s founder and CEO, Song Hoi-see. “This is part of our strategic expansion plan in the region to introduce our Skytrax-winning Plaza Premium Lounge in Dubai, ensuring a complete departure-transit-arrival experience for our guests. We are now able to serve more than 15 million passengers passing through the airport terminal’s Concourse A every year.” Situated on the upper level overlooking departure gates A2 and A3, the lounge’s design is said to draw inspiration from the surrounding desert sands and ocean waves. It features a sweeping balcony, high ceilings and is bathed in natural light.

Milan gateways opt for Copenhagen Optimization solution

Milan’s Malpensa (MXP) and Linate (LIN) airports are to introduce a cloud-based planning solution from Copenhagen Optimization (CopOpt) that operator, the SEA Group, is confident will help it improve its forecasting capabilities. SEA has opted for CopOpt’s Better Airport software which has already been successfully implemented at a host of other international airports that include London Heathrow, New York JFK’s Terminal 4 and Toronto Pearson. CopOpt notes that it was awarded the contract after a competitive tender, where several forecasting solutions were trialled in a head-to-head competition, with the most accurate being declared the winner. The ability to more efficiently forecast future passenger developments, subsequently allowing for the better utilisation of infrastructure and manpower, is said to the USP of its software solution. CopOpt managing partner, Anders Dohn, said: “Going through the competitive tender was a great experience and we have been impressed by the professionalism of SEA. We are delighted to be implementing our forecasting solution and through it supporting SEA Group in their mission of providing value to all stakeholders and being a beacon of growth in Northern Italy.” While SEA’s airport operations management applications manager, Riccardo Conti, noted: “The Better Forecast solution was not only the most accurate in our trial but will also be able to reduce time spent on forecasting through automation. “From the beginning, we were impressed with CopOpt’s data-driven approach to airport operations. We are looking forward to a successful and lasting collaboration.”

Aviation Strategies International (ASI) Location: Canada Type of business: Consulting and Management Contact: Pierre Coutu E: pcoutu@aviationstrategies.aero W: www.aviationstrategies.aero Aviation Strategies International (ASI) is an international multi-disciplinary network of seasoned aviation advisors, comprised of former senior executives from air transportation industry enterprises and international organisations who originate from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. ASI provides corporate-level strategic advice and consulting services, as well as executive training for aviation sector enterprises such as airports and airlines as well as for governmental and regulatory authorities in civil aviation.

Boingo Wireless Location: USA Type of business: IT and Communications Contact: Danielle Aiello E: daiello@boingo.com W: www.boingo.com Boingo Wireless makes it simple and easy for people to enjoy Wi-Fi access on their laptop or mobile device at more than 450,000 hotspots worldwide. With a single account, Boingo users can log on to Boingo Network locations that include the top airports around the world, major hotel chains, coffee shops, restaurants and convention centres. Boingo, and its Concourse Communications Group subsidiary, operate wired and wireless networks at 58 airports worldwide.

Bradford Airport Logistics Location: USA Type of business: Planning and Construction Contact: Benjamin Richter E: brichter@airportlogistics.org W: www.airportlogistics.org Bradford Airport Logistics provides dockmaster operations for managing any material freight bound for the airport terminal complex. In conjunction with airport material information system, dockmaster is a proven and deployed system that tracks and monitors all ground freight entering the secure airport operations area.




Going green


Airport World turns the spotlight on the green initiatives of three North American airports – Québec City Jean Lesage (YQB), San Diego (SAN) and Vancouver (YVR). YVR’s ambitious new Environmental Management Plan Vancouver International Airport’s 2020-2024 Environmental Management Plan (EMP) outlines the gateway’s commitment to become carbon neutral in 2020 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, while connecting British Columbia proudly to the world. “Environmental stewardship is central to who we are and how we operate at YVR. As we work to advance our position as a world class hub airport, we are looking ahead with a heightened sense of responsibility to continue building a sustainable future for YVR,” says Vancouver Airport Authority’s environment director, Marion Town. “Our plan recognises the importance of further reducing YVR’s environmental footprint and working together with our many business partners to support their climate action goals.” YVR strives to be a leader in airport sustainability and develops an EMP every five years to outline its environmental priorities. Under its previous plan, YVR led a number of actions to reduce its environmental impact, successfully reducing emissions, water use and waste to landfill. It also invested in one of Canada’s largest GeoExchange plants to bolster its ability to continue to reduce carbon emissions and became the world’s first airport to receive Salmon-Safe certification. According to the airport authority, YVR’s 2020-2024 EMP builds on the success of the previous plan and, in addition to carbon reduction, outlines clear, measurable targets to continue to conserve water, reduce waste and improve ecosystem health. Specifically, targets for YVR over the next five years are to: • Become carbon neutral in 2020 and continue to reduce emissions to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 • Improve water use efficiency across Sea Island by 50% per passenger • Divert 60% of airport waste from landfill • Continue to enhance and protect the ecosystem of Sea Island, including maintaining the airport’s Salmon-Safe certification

Climate Leadership Award for San Diego San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has received a Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management at the US’s annual Climate Leadership Conference. In addition, Brendan Reed, the airport authority’s director of planning and environmental affairs has received an Individual Leadership award for his efforts in environmental operations and strategies.

The Climate Leadership Conference and Awards bring together forward-thinking leaders from business, government, academia, and the non-profit community to address climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions. Awardees are honoured for exemplary corporate, organisational, and individual leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change. “It’s an honour to have the airport authority as well as our leadership recognised at this year’s Climate Leadership Conference and Awards,” said airport president and CEO, Kim Becker. “We are committed to sustainable business practices and works closely with our community, stakeholders and employees to address and limit environmental concerns at the airport. Thank you to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and The Climate Registry for recognising our efforts.” Initiatives such as committing to convert approximately 80% of ground support equipment to alternative fuels by 2024, and supplying adequate electric vehicle charging infrastructure to meet the forthcoming demand for electric vehicles for ground support equipment, proved instrumental to the airport winning the award.

Québec City Jean Lesage joins exclusive club Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases have earned it Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. Thanks to numerous energy-saving measures in recent years, YQB has succeeded in reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 44% compared to 2016, even though the terminal has expanded by 60%. In order to achieve ACA Level 3 accreditation, YQB engaged its stakeholders in its efforts to reduce GHG emissions and, in the coming months, will take part in an air emissions management committee that will prepare concerted actions to limit GHG production at the airport. “Protecting the environment is a priority for YQB, and the organisation is working constantly to ensure that its practices meet the highest environmental standards in the industry,” enthused president and CEO, Stéphane Poirier. “YQB has established several environmental measures that have made Québec City’s airport one of the most energy-efficient in North America. This certification shows once again that our efforts to limit the emissions from our own energy use are paying off.” Only 17 airports in North America have reached Level 3 certification in the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, and just six of those AW are in Canada.





matters Resilience in crisis Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on adversity and crisis management.


he COVID-19 crisis has profound implications which require global, collective and personal responses. We live in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, and when we hit a crisis like this it can test us all to the limit. Can we learn from previous crises or are we in uncharted territory? What strategies should we adopt? How do we cope?

The social isolation that will be essential to get us through this period is a particular challenge. We can all play a part in making sure we keep in touch with others, only spread accurate information, keep our emotions in check and don’t get trapped into believing and spreading fake news.

Stay rational Remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel Crises don’t last forever, although it can feel like that at the time. An inspiring vision, mission and sense of purpose – which everyone can buy into – becomes really important. In the Brussels Airport terrorist incident of 2016, a determination that the airport would ‘come back stronger’ proved a very effective rallying cry. In the COVID-19 situation, we need to remind ourselves that there will be an end in sight, even if we can’t see it right now. We are all in this together. It is important to focus on what we can do now, where we are, that will contribute to the overall collective and global response required.

Take personal responsibility and leadership Quite often ‘natural’ leaders emerge, sometimes unexpectedly, in response to fast moving and rapidly changing local circumstances. We are seeing it already in local WhatsApp groups, online volunteering, supportive messaging and virtual ‘keeping in touch’.

Support others rather than behave selfishly There is a human toll with emotional and physical exhaustion, fear, panic and anxiety are common responses. A combination of practical and psychological support is required, which is based on a strong evidence base. All of us need to think of how we personally behave: are we creating a positive spirit? Are we supporting the vulnerable? Are we being kind? Are we using our emotional intelligence? The evidence is that a positive proactive approach to helping others makes us feel better, too.

Prioritise communication In a world of social media and 24/7 news coverage, speculation and misinformation can swiftly fill any communications vacuum. As soon as relevant and accurate information emerges, it needs to be communicated. Delivering clear messages, which people understand in the way that is intended – and which they are prepared to act on – is very difficult to do. A balance must be struck between ‘rationality and humanity’, and care taken in how information is presented. Pictures of empty supermarket shelves, for example, can just reinforce the perception that no food is available and make the situation worse.



Crises can lead to fear, anxiety and ultimately panic as we stop thinking rationally and instead react emotionally. This is rarely effective in uncertain and crisis situations where we do better if we keep our cool. If you feel yourself starting to become anxious, a useful way of trying to prevent this is to think ‘STOPP’ – Stop: pause for a moment; Take a breath; Observe how you are thinking and feeling; Pull back and put things in perspective; Proceed: Think before you act.

Pay attention to our own wellbeing It’s really important to take care of our wellbeing, particularly if we are isolated for long periods. Ways to do this include keeping physically active and rationing our intake of information. In times of crises we can become overwhelmed by the volume of information that we receive. Listening to the news non-stop not only takes up an enormous amount of time that could be spent on more useful activity but also can make people feel depressed and anxious. This is especially so if the news is distressing and there is nothing that they can do about it. On the other hand, shutting out all information is not sensible either. Better to filter news so as to keep up to date and aware but not get overloaded. Control the things that you can control.

Keep the big picture in mind Airports connect the world physically. In times of crisis, we need to connect in mind and spirit as well as body. Global collaboration, sharing information and resources, being open and transparent, working together, and taking a whole world view are all vitally important at the same time as paying attention to our local situation. There is much we can learn from others if we are prepared to take a step back, listen to the evidence, and are prepared to change our minds when necessary.

About the authors Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey are managing director and chair, respectively of This Is…and deliver ACI World’s Airport Human Resources training. Their new book, Uncertainty Rules? Making Uncertainty Work for You is out now and can viewed at https://b2l.bz/Rhjcc7


Profile for Airport World

Airport World, Issue 2, 2020