Airport World, Issue 5, 2016

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In the spotlight: Safety & Security Airport profile: Sydney Events: ACI World Assembly Plus: Land development & customer service

Safety & Security: Every link matters October-November 2016 Volume 21 Issue 5


Airport World Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)208 230 7867 Sales Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 Sales Manager Ellis Owen +44 (0)208 274 1540 Advertising Manager Andrew Hazell +44 (0)208 384 0206 Subscriptions Beth Owen +44 (0)208 707 2743 Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 Published by Aviation Media Ltd PO BOX 448, Feltham, TW13 9EA, UK


Airport World is published six times a year for the members of ACI. The opinions and views expressed in Airport World are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect an ACI policy or position. ISSN: 1360-4341 The content of this publication is copyright of Aviation Media Ltd and should not be copied or stored without the express permission of the publisher. Printed in the UK by The Magazine Printing Company using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers

Spotlight on security Airport World editor, Joe Bates, considers the need to make airport security more efficient and customer friendly ahead of the AVSEC World Conference in Kuala Lumper.


he last year has been one of the most challenging on record for terrorist atrocities across the globe, and aviation has once again been singled out for these acts of violence. Excluding the perpetrators, 61 people died and nearly 400 were injured in the horrific terrorist attacks at Brussels and Istanbul Atatürk airports earlier this year. The incidents and the appalling death toll, which neither gateway could have done anything to avoid, just goes to show vulnerable airports and indeed all public buildings are to random acts of violence. It also, sadly, proved once again that airports must continue to remain vigilant when it comes to security and always look to invest in new security equipment, procedures and processes to try and stay one step ahead of the terrorist. Security in public places will always be a balancing act between getting things right in terms of ensuring the safety of many without creating an oppressive environment that is perceived as being stressful, bad for business and, in some cases, even intimidating. Luckily, an ever increasing number of airports realise this and in this ‘safety and security’ themed issue you will be able to read about some of the latest pioneering initiatives designed to make the airport screening process faster, more efficient and passenger friendly. You will also hear from ACI World about the industry’s landside security efforts and the need for global co-operation and understanding on security. The global adoption of the same airport security processes, procedures and screening methods would certainly be most welcome.

If nothing else, this would finally end the confusing scenario of not quite knowing what to expect at airport security checkpoints as procedures often differ from country to country. Do you remove your shoes or not, for example? Similarly, is it OK to leave your laptop in its case or does it have to be removed and placed in a separate tray at the X-ray machines? Last year I was actually stopped and given a telling off by a TSA officer at a US airport for not taking my handkerchief out of my pocket before being patted down at the security checkpoint. I genuinely had no idea that this would be an issue. Also in this issue we take a look at cybersecurity and find out what ACI is doing to combat this very real and growing threat; discover how biometric technology will continue to change the travel process; and learn about Cork Airport’s wildlife control pioneers. This issue also comes hot on the heels of Civil Aviation Week in Montréal, which in addition to the joint ACI-NA Annual Conference/ACI World Annual General Assembly (WAGA) included the 39th ICAO Assembly; organised tours to some of the city’s aerospace facilities; and a series of workshops and public lectures. You’ll find our review of WAGA, which for a whole host of reasons was one to remember, on page eight. Elsewhere in this issue you can find features on Sydney Airport; Kuala Lumpur’s aerotropolis; and customer service, the latter suggesting that airports can learn a lot from Ryanair! Now, if that doesn’t whet your appetite, nothing will! Enjoy AW the issue.




In this issue Issue 5 Volume 21

3 Opinion Airport World editor, Joe Bates, considers the need to make airport security more efficient and customer friendly ahead of the AVSEC World Conference in Kuala Lumper.

8 All aboard! Joe Bates looks back at some of the highlights of the joint ACI-NA/ACI World Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Montréal.

12 ACI news The ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016–2040 will help airports better prepare for future growth.

15 View from the top ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on some pioneering security initiatives, industry challenges and the need for a more collaborative approach to airport security.

16 Leading the way Sydney Airport’s managing director and CEO, Kerrie Mather, talks to Joe Bates about traffic growth, sustainability, IT innovation and a host of pioneering initiatives.

20 Reducing the risks ACI World’s head of security, Nina Brooks, discusses some innovative new approaches to landside security in the wake of this year’s terror attacks on Brussels and Istanbul Atatürk airports.

22 The silent enemy Chair of ACI’s Cybersecurity Taskforce, Dominic Nessi, tells Airport World more about what the organisation is doing to combat the growing threat of cybercrime.

24 Testing times Joe Bates takes a look at a handful of the latest security initiatives ranging from trialling new screening technology to efforts to make checkpoints more efficient and customer friendly.




Director General Angela Gittens Chair Declan Collier (London, UK) Vice Chair Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa) Immediate Past Chair Fredrick J Piccolo (Sarasota, USA)

29 Face time Biometrics is enabling a new era in travel identity management, writes SITA’s vice president for airport solutions, Matthys Serfontein.

31 Going wild Ciarán Curran tells us more about how Cork Airport has become the first gateway in the world to have ICAO qualified wildlife operators.

32 Back to basics Exambela Consulting’s David Feldman and Laure Villeroux consider the opportunities, challenges and rewards of providing good customer service and why they believe that airports can learn from Ryanair.

36 Big and bold Airport World finds out more about the blueprint for a pioneering aerotropolis development at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

39 Everybody counts ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, discusses the publication of a new guide designed to help airports better understand passenger profiles and motivations.

40 ACI’s World Business Partners The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners.

42 People matters Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on what we can learn from disasters following presentations made at the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Montréal.

Treasurer Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) ACI WORLD GOVERNING BOARD DIRECTORS Africa (2) Pascal Komla (Lomé, Togo) Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa) Asia-Pacific (8) Kjeld Binger (Amman, Jordan) Kenichi Fukaya (Tokyo, Japan) Fred Lam (Hong Kong) Seow Hiang Lee (Singapore) Xue Song Liu, (Beijing, China) Kerrie Mather (Sydney, Australia) Emmanuel Menanteau (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) PS Nair (Delhi, India) Europe (7) Daniel Burkard (Moscow, Russia) Declan Collier (London, UK) Robert Deillon (Geneva, Switzerland) Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) Elena Mayoral Corcuera (Madrid, Spain) Augustin de Romanet (Paris, France) Sani Şener (Istanbul, Turkey) Latin America & Caribbean (3) Fernando Bosque (Guadalajara, México) Martin Eurnekian (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Héctor Navarrete Muñoz (Merida, Mexico) North America (6) Thella Bowens (San Diego, USA) Howard Eng (Toronto, Canada) Deborah Flint (Los Angeles, USA) Maureen Riley (Salt Lake City, USA) Tom Ruth (Edmonton, Canada) William Vanecek (Buffalo, USA) Regional Advisers to the World Governing Board (8) Aaron Adderley (Hamilton, Bermuda) Lew Bleiweis (Ashville, NC, USA) Joyce Carter (Halifax, Canada) Zouhair Mohamed El Aoufir (Rabat, Morocco) Michael Kerkloh (Munich, Germany) Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Robinson Misitala (Livingstone, Zambia) Andrew O’Brian (Quito, Ecuador) Stefan Schulte (Frankfurt, Germany) Observer World Business Partner Observer Greg Fordham (Airbiz) Correct as of October 2016




All aboard! Joe Bates looks back at some of the highlights of the joint ACI-NA/ACI World Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Montréal.


t was billed as Civil Aviation Week in Montréal due to the city’s hosting of ACI’s biggest event of the year at the same time as ICAO’s 39th triennial Assembly, and with a packed agenda, lively debates and a host of announcements being made it certainly didn’t disappoint. Arguably the first highlight of the ACI-NA/ACI World Assembly, Conference and Exhibition was the attendance with over 2,200 delegates and 263 exhibitors from 63 nations descending on Montréal for the event. Opening addresses were given by Aéroports de Montréal president and CEO, James Cherry; ACI World director general, Angela Gittens; ACI-NA president and CEO, Kevin Burke; ACI-NA chair and executive director of Salt Lake City Department of Airports, Maureen Riley; Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport and chair of ACI World; Montréal mayor, Denis Coderre; and Canada’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Martin Coiteux. Cherry proudly hailed Montréal’s status as home to ICAO, ACI, CANSO, IATA and IFALPA as well as numerous aerospace companies, which he said ensured its status as the world’s capital of civil aviation. He noted: “Montréal is one of only a few cities in the world where all the expertise exists to build an aeroplane from A to Z, and the same can soon be said for aircraft recycling.” Cherry said the conference also coincided with the launch of the Aviation Think Tank at Concordia University in Montréal, which he described as a first of its kind project designed to “foster research and multistakeholder exchanges on the key issues of strategy, policy development and communications for the benefit of the world aviation industry.” ACI-NA’s Riley told delegates that it had been a good year for both ACI-NA in the US and the Canadian Airports Council in Canada in terms of their advocacy efforts on behalf of the region’s airports, collaboration with industry partners and successes.



She did, however, admit that ACI-NA had not achieved all of its goals with regards to the newly passed FAA Reauthorization Bill in the US – specifically referring to failing to persuade Congress to raise the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) from $4.50 to $8.50 to help airports fund much needed infrastructure development projects. ACI-NA’s latest Capital Needs Survey states that US airports need to invest a staggering $75.7 billion in new infrastructure between now and 2019 to accommodate growth, so failing to win support to raise the cap on PFC revenue is a blow. “We experienced tremendous co-operation and collaboration as an industry in advancing airport priorities as part of the FAA Reauthorization, and while we have not yet achieved all of our goals we have made a lot of progress,” said Riley. She noted that 2015 had been a record breaking year for North American airports with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta retaining its status as the world’s busiest airport, annual regional traffic growth of 5.4% and many of the fastest growing airports undertaking major capital improvement programmes to “ensure their global competitiveness”. ACI World chair, Declan Collier, used ACI economics and traffic data to remind delegates about the size, resilience, and economic importance of aviation to the North American economy, which he pointed out grew by 2.4% and 1.2% respectively in the US and Canada in 2015. “Despite mixed economic indicators, air transport demand in North America remained robust in 2015, with passenger traffic growing by 5.3%, which was well above historic levels,” commented Collier, noting that the upturn has continued at a similar pace this year. “The growth rate at the major commercial airports in North America between January and June this year is equivalent to an extra 43 million passengers going through our doors, and I think that demonstrates the scale of the air transport industry in this region.” He added: “Aviation directly accounted for 2.4 million jobs in North America in 2014 and that figure jumps to 7.6 million and generated $800 billion in contributions to the GDP if all the indirectly induced and tourism related jobs are taken into consideration.” Gittens used the opportunity to praise the work of ACI’s founding fathers for paving the way for the success that the organisation enjoys today. She said: “The pace of change within the industry has accelerated over the last quarter century, but one thing has remained constant: ACI’s efforts still fulfill the original vision of its founding members.


“Our ability to evolve in step with the industry would not be possible without the efforts of those that came before us.” Later in a press conference Gittens unveiled the ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016-2040 – which predicts that global passenger numbers will double to 14.6 billion per annum by 2029 and soar to 23.6 billion by 2040. The upturn is based on an annual global traffic growth of 5.2% to 2040 with the upturn driven by rising demand for international traffic, which ACI predicts will outstrip domestic passenger numbers from 2028. Indeed, the report, which covers the short (2016-2018), medium (2016-2020) and long-term (2016-2040), states that international passenger traffic will be 1.42 times greater than domestic passenger volumes by 2040. You can read more about it on page 12. ACI-NA president and CEO, Burke, agreed with Riley that one of the biggest challenges facing the US is the need to upgrade its existing airport facilities, stating that “modernising airport infrastructure remains a top priority”. “I have heard from industry colleagues – even some in this room – who have said our efforts [to raise the PFC] are in vain and that we will not win out at the end of the day; that there is no hope to modernise the PFC to help airports prepare for the future,” said Burke. “To those individuals, we are not an association that accepts defeat. We are not an association that settles for the status quo. We are not an association that backs down because something is too difficult. We are an association that works tirelessly, aggressively, and relentlessly for our members, communities and passengers. “At the same time, our success depends entirely on an engaged membership that sees industry-wide benefit in sharing their perspectives during important policy discussions. Many airports have taken their needs to Capitol Hill or shared how a modernised PFC benefits passengers and their communities. We need more airports to join the narrative on why airport infrastructure matters.” The conference opening was followed by a fascinating session about crisis communication during which Malaysia Airports advisor and former managing director, Tan Sri Bashir Abdul Majid, talked about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370; Scott Clements, the former president and CEO of Fort McMurray International Airport discussed the devastating wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray earlier this year; and Brussels Airport CEO, Arnaud Feist, remembered the terrorist attack on his gateway on March 26, 2016, which killed 16 people and injured another 150.

All agreed that the dissemination of fast, accurate information was vital during a crisis to try and maintain control of the situation and avoid the spread of speculation, gossip and rumours – often globally, within minutes on the internet – that only added to the confusion. Flight MH370 has, of course, yet to be found two-and-a-half years after it crashed, and Tan Sri Bashir admitted that the fact that nobody really knew what had happened to the flight at the time, and people’s disbelief that “in this day and age, a flight can just disappear”, made things especially difficult. He said: “What we learnt is that any information you get you have to disseminate immediately using all forms of communication necessary. These efforts must be co-ordinated and done in collaboration with all the stakeholders involved. And, lastly, you must ensure that any information you give out is correct.” Clements told delegates that his former airport acted as an essential base for fire fighters tackling the wildfire despite some of its own buildings going up in smoke in the inferno, which destroyed 3,000 homes and forced more than 20,000 people to be evacuated. He also revealed that if the airport hadn’t chopped down 425 acres of boreal forest for an air show in 2014 the new terminal would have been lost in the wildfire. Asked about lessons learned from how his airport responded to the terrorist attack, Brussels Airport’s Feist admitted that there were many, the biggest one possibly being that it was a mistake to hold his initial press conference outside and not in the controlled environment of the nearby hotel as it led to a shoving match between reporters/ photographers that resulted in one of his female colleagues being pushed to the floor. He said 5,000 passengers and 10,000 bags were stranded at the airport in the immediate aftermath of the incident and that staff and some passengers returning to the airport for the first time since attack, were still receiving “psychological support” from counsellors today. During the conference, ACI revealed that 170 airports from across the globe are now certified under ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, launched by ACI Europe in 2009. And ACI-NA held a special ceremony to recognise its 20 airports to date that have achieved Airport Carbon Accreditation. They include Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which recently became the first North American gateway to achieve carbon neutral status. “It’s been an incredible year for Airport Carbon Accreditation, with applications to the programme still increasing and new developments such




as the important partnership with the UNFCCC and its Climate Neutral Now initiative signed at the COP21 climate negotiations,” enthused Gittens. “In terms of results, in the past year, accredited airports succeeded in collectively reducing the CO2 emissions under their direct control by 206,090 tonnes – enough energy to power over 86,000 households for a year.” She added: “The momentum keeps building. As of this week, we now have 170 airports in the programme and over 36% of global air passenger traffic – well over two billion passengers – now travel through airports certified at one of the four levels of the programme.” Gladstone Airport Corporation and Hobart International Airport (Australia), GRU Airport (Brazil) and Eugene, Mobile Airport Authority and Stockton Metropolitan Airport (USA) were among 14 new regular members welcomed to the organisation during ACI World’s annual Assembly. New resolutions passed at the Assembly included ACI’s support of the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation as the Global Market Based Measure for international aviation; and expressed commitments to join the fight against human trafficking and efforts to stop the transportation of illegal wildlife products. It also pledged to promote a common sense approach to landside security. Indeed, ACI World submitted working papers to the ICAO Assembly calling for a “common sense, risk based approach to landside security supplemented by clear guidance materials”, as well as others on the



use of safety data for aerodrome design and the allocation of slots at airports. Gittens told Airport World: “It is so important to make the maximum use of our existing airport infrastructure before we start spending millions and millions on new facilities, and one of the areas where improvements in efficiency can be gained is slot allocation. “Historically IATA has managed the worldwide slot guidelines but some of the issues that have emerged, and will continue to emerge, is that this way of doing things is really based on a bygone era as it was before Open Skies and the liberalisation of the airline industry. “Today, airports for the most part are not involved at all in slot allocation despite it being the airport’s property on the ground. “Our paper to ICAO is that they recommend to States that they include airports in their slot decision making and policymaking. We want to work with IATA in this process.” Day two featured a series of education sessions on topics ranging from ‘driving your own innovation’, ‘responding to new and emerging security threats’ and ‘breaking down silos in safety’ and ended with a memorable Closing Night at New City Gas in downtown Montréal where visitors rubbed shoulders with performance artists and danced the night away to a mixture of pop and some good old fashioned country and western music provided by next year’s ACI-NA host, Dallas Fort/Worth International Airport.



World in motion The ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016–2040 will help airports better prepare for future growth.


nveiled at the beginning of the ACI-NA/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, ACI’s newest report, ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016–2040, provides the organisation’s most detailed traffic predictions yet. WATF presents aggregate airport traffic projections at the global, regional and country levels based on internationally comparable airport traffic data. Both absolute figures and compounded annual growth rates are presented over the short (2016-2018), medium (2016-2020) and long-term (2016-2040) periods. With global traffic surpassing the seven billion passenger mark in 2015, and expected to double by 2029 based on a projected growth rate of 5.2% per annum, ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens, has no hesitation in labelling WATF as an “indispensable resource” for airports. “Air transport forecasts are a crucial element in airport planning and for the determination of future capacity requirements,” said Gittens. “Because infrastructure projects are costly and often disruptive, a data-driven understanding of future demand – such as the expected number of aircraft movements, passenger traffic throughput and air cargo volumes – gives airport planners and investors the necessary information for effective decision making. “Irrespective of short-term fluctuations in the business cycle, future growth in air transport demand will originate to a large extent from emerging markets.” She went on: “Large population bases and increases in per-capita incomes in these markets are major forces driving this demand. At the same time, microeconomic factors, which include heightened competition across the aviation sector and the increased presence of the ‘no-frills low cost’ business model among air carriers, will continue to stimulate demand with lower airfares. “However, there are several impediments that could curtail the continued rise in demand, potentially hampering growth prospects over the short and medium-term. Specifically, these are related to geopolitical unrest, terrorism and threats to security in certain parts of the world. “Physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure also pose challenges in accommodating future air transport demand. Finally, protectionist policies that retreat from further economic integration and air transport liberalisation could contract air service demand.” With respect to cargo, Gittens advised that “the weakened global economy and a sluggish global trade environment” were definite deterrents to growth in air cargo volumes.



“There also continues to be a structural substitution effect in the delivery of goods across modes of transport, even in the face of strong economic fundamentals,” stated Gittens. “While the shipment of raw materials and perishables have been affected the most by a move away from air cargo services to ocean freight, the modal shift can also be seen in shipments of high-tech and machinery parts. “The largest trade flow from Asia has experienced the weightiest shift away from air cargo. Thus, in the short to medium terms, global air cargo volumes are expected to increase modestly, in the realm of 2.4% on annualised basis up to 2025.” In addition to global forecasts, regional forecasts have been developed for Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, Latin America-Caribbean, Middle East and North America. Airport traffic forecasts are also presented for major markets, which comprise of individualised national projections for over 90 countries. The WATF is distributed in a standard EXCEL format. For a detailed understanding of the methodologies used to produce the forecasts, please refer to the ACI Guide to World Airport Traffic Forecasts. Please visit for more information.


ACI events






March 20-22

November 8-10

October 19-21

October 25-27

December 6-8

Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition London, UK

ACI Latin-America & Caribbean Conference & Exhibition Brasilia, Brazil

ACI Africa General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Maputo, Mozambique

AVSEC World Conference Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Investing in Airports Goa, India

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

ACI Fund for Developing Nations’ Airports Angela Gittens Managing Director Tel: + 1 514 373 1200 Fax: +1 514 373 1201

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

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

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

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

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

As of January 2016, ACI accounts for 592 regular members operating 1,853 airports in 173 countries. In 2015, airports worldwide welcomed 7.1 billion passengers and handled 105 million metric tonnes of cargo and 86 million aircraft movements. 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.




View from the top


ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on some pioneering security initiatives, industry challenges and the need for a more collaborative approach to airport security.


aintaining the safety and security of the travelling public is ACI’s top priority and the changing variables of threat to aviation, growing passenger numbers and limitations on resources calls for a paradigm shift towards a genuinely risk managed approach, and a collaborative effort between all stakeholders. ACI maintains that each layer of security should be based on a risk and vulnerability assessment for a particular country and airport, where factors such as location, physical infrastructure and passenger and airline demographics are taken into account. We recently submitted a working paper supporting a risk-based approach to security in the public areas of airports at the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which took place during Civil Aviation Week in Montréal. The working paper also highlighted the importance of collaboration between regulators, intelligence agencies and airports, and identified the need for guidance materials that identify a range of flexible options for measures to enhance security as the threat situation dictates. Equally important is a strong security culture. Vigilance and security awareness provide one of the greatest defences; all staff should have the required knowledge to detect, take note and report suspicious behaviour and/or items. Implementing a service culture with greater customer-centric interaction can also provide greater opportunities for passenger behaviour analysis. ACI’s Global Training offers a range of security courses including Baggage Screening, Behavioural Analysis and Security and Facilitation in order to provide airports with relevant and up-to-date knowledge to ensure compliance with current regulations. To assist airports in their ability to implement the most appropriate, effective and efficient security measures, ACI World has recently completed the first pilot of its Airport Excellence in Security programme (APEX) and hopes to be able to launch the programme in full early next year. This is a voluntary capacity building programme that enables airports to benefit from the experience of other security experts through a peer review process. The joint ACI/International Air Transport Association (IATA) Smart Security Programme is an excellent example of how collaboration between governments and industry stakeholders can benefit all parties.

The programme’s goal is to strengthen aviation security while increasing operational efficiency and improving passenger experience. Smart Security solutions already being implemented include: Full body scanners that address metallic and non-metallic threats in a single process; advanced X-ray equipment; Centralised Image Processing (CIP) for remote cabin baggage screening; and, innovative lane design to increase passenger throughput. An important part of the programme is sharing information gained from trials and lessons learned for the benefit of airports the world over. Comprehensive guidance material is already available on many elements, and regional workshops will be held over the coming months. Cybersecurity is also high on ACI’s agenda. We are working at the global level through an Industry High Level Group advocating better awareness, information sharing, strong guiding principles and consistent use of standards. Specifically for airports, ACI recently launched the Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool, offering airports the possibility to benchmark and improve their level of IT security protection, based on the most recent ISO security standard. All of the layers of security are valid, but they need to be applied globally and consistently. Not all measures are appropriate in all locations, especially when it comes to expensive technologies. However, a solid risk management approach, robust security culture, good training and improved technology is needed everywhere to ensure the security of the travelling public. AW




Leading the way Sydney Airport’s managing director and CEO, Kerrie Mather, talks to Joe Bates about traffic growth, sustainability, IT innovation and a host of pioneering initiatives.


ydney Airport continues to impress, handling a record 39.7 million passengers in 2015 (+3%), facilitating the export of A$14.6 billion worth of freight and being a pioneer in terms of the environment, customer service and IT innovation. The rise in traffic is being driven by route development – the gateway has welcomed six new international airlines and seven new routes in the past 12 months – and existing carriers increasing capacity on existing services. The new routes include Changsha, Hangzhou and Chengdu in China operated by Hainan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China respectively meaning that 12 cities in Mainland China are now served direct from Sydney by six Chinese airlines. Sydney has also become a major destination for low-cost, long-haul travel, with Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) now accounting for 10% of all international passengers. Jetstar, Scoot, AirAsia X, Tiger Airways and Cebu Pacific lead the way serving a host of destinations across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand that include Bali, the top outbound destination for Australians. As the head of a public listed company, traffic predictions are not disclosed by Sydney Airport, but managing director and CEO, Kerrie Mather, points out that the gateway is on target to handle more than 41 million passengers in 2016 based on record breaking first seven months of the year. The airport actually handled 41.1 million passengers in the 12 months ending July 31, 2016, the upturn being driven by a 9.8% rise in international traffic and 4.9% increase in domestic passenger numbers. Decisions to take a strong leadership role in tourism development and place a greater focus on collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders certainly appear to have proved instrumental in Sydney’s route development success.



Sustainability Mather is particularly proud of Sydney Airport’s environmental credentials, noting that it is the first Australian airport to publish a Sustainability Report in line with Global Reporting Initiative G4 guidelines; has achieved Level 2 ‘Reduction’ status in ACI’s Carbon Accreditation programme; and continues to innovate in terms of new facilities and initiatives, the latest being the introduction of the nation’s first fleet of electric airport buses. “Sustainability is absolutely a key strategy for us and it’s an area where we have taken a leadership role as it is embedded in our business strategy,” she says, noting that the airport has reduced its carbon emissions per passenger by 18% over the last five years. “We have developed our sustainability strategy in consultation with our stakeholders and as a result have implemented a range of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, maximise our energy efficiency, improve our air quality and generally enhance our local environment. “In terms of our social licence to operate, community engagement is also vital as we have to recognise the impact the airport has on local communities and give something back to them.” This philosophy led to the airport investing A$2.6 million in community initiatives in 2015 with a key focus on helping families in need; health, education and the environment.

Customer service Mather says that a “very strong focus on the customer experience” is reflected in the vision for the airport, which includes the commitment to continuous improvement and responding to feedback. “A main area of focus has been developing a much stronger customer focus, which has meant listening to our customers and understanding their priorities and developing a new vision for the business to reflect these priorities,” she says. Examples of Sydney Airport’s customer service strategy include the fact that the gateway has its own customer service charter, which it


requires all employees to follow. Similarly, all staff must undergo service standard training before they are issued with their Aviation Security Identification Card. The airport also has a dedicated Customer Experience Committee, which regularly reviews customer surveys and feedback from passengers. “This ensures that we know what the key drivers of customer satisfaction are at Sydney Airport and are able to prioritise our investments and initiatives in response to what passengers want,” remarks Mather. She cites last year’s independent International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) certification from the Customer Service Institute of Australia for its commitment to service excellence, customer centric culture and leading edge complaint handling framework as an example of the growing recognition of Sydney Airport’s customer service efforts.

IT innovation As part of an ongoing A$1.3 billion investment programme over the next five years the airport plans to “transform” its check-in areas, enhance the airfield, expand the apron and add new roads and boarding gates. The project to transform the check-in process includes the installation of more self-service check-in and self-bag drop kiosks to take into account changing passenger behaviours that are largely being driven by IT advancements. Indeed, IT surveys show that most passengers now check-in online and embrace self-service technology at airports, and Sydney Airport is actively looking to introduce more self-service options for travellers following the successful trial of different technologies with Qantas. “We are looking to roll out more self-service check-in and self-bag drop kiosks across the airport to streamline both the passenger and baggage handling processing,” states Mather. “We already have SmartGates at Immigration for both inbound and outbound passengers, which have reduced the average processing time for those that use them from eight minutes to 23 seconds. “This initiative has allowed the Australian Border Force to reduce the number of Immigration desks required to handle passengers, so

we’ve added more security process lanes to make it quicker, easier and more customer friendly.” She notes that the Arrivals SmartGates – which use information in ePassports and facial recognition technology to conduct checks usually carried out by an Australian Border Force officer – were first introduced four years ago. “However, usage further expanded when we introduced it for Departures. People got used to it and penetration rates soared,” says Mather. About IT in general, she adds: “Today’s travellers are looking for more choice, control and connectivity, so we are using technology across the whole airport experience. “We are doing this to improve the operational efficiency of the airport, improve productivity for our airline partners and improve the passenger experience. “Passengers are embracing technology because it is creating a more efficient journey and a better experience for them. So, what we are doing is reaching our customers at a number of touchpoints throughout their journey and giving them the information they need when and where they need it.” One of the ways the airport does this is the use of beacon technology, but Mather points out that it also uses its website, Sydney Airport app, Bluetooth, free Wi-Fi, “dynamic wayfinding”, multi-language directories and FIDS screens in 13 different languages to communicate with passengers.

Retail/F&B offerings Arguably the most highly visible change at the airport in the last 18 months has been the revamp of the retail/F&B facilities as part of the ongoing upgrades of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Indeed, the airport’s concessions offering has been “totally transformed”, according to Mather, who notes that almost every single concession outlet will have been “turned over” in the last 18 months. This, incredibly, has amounted to the opening of 36 new shops and 34 F&B outlets in response to feedback from travellers, with more to come. “Shopping and dining is a key part of the airport experience and our passengers told us what they wanted and we have listened and totally transformed our offerings,” she says.




“Our strategy is based on creating Australian and airport firsts and the ongoing improvement programme for Terminal 1, which is our international terminal, gave us the chance to reconsider the layout and design of the retail offering, and we opted to change everything.” New duty free operator, Gebr Heinemann, has already opened 7,000sqm of retail space in T1 bringing over 400 new brands to the airport. When fully open it will cover 10,000sqm, making it its biggest single duty free outlet in the world. Mather says that it will be joined by 13 new fashion stores, of which eight are already open, offering a combination of high-end brands to appeal to the big spending Asian customers, middle tier brands aimed at Asian travellers looking for value, and a number of Australian firsts. She adds that the new concessions mix includes a host of extra F&B outlets, many of which form part of two new precincts – The Marketplace, offering street-food style fare in a light, bright atmosphere in T1 Departures, and the more upmarket City View. Elsewhere the casual dining precinct in the T1 check-in hall now showcases an expanded range of healthy and tasty food outlets such as Roll’d, Mach2, Hokka Hokka, Soul Origin, Oliver Brown, Mad Mex, Nando’s and Grand Cru, which according to Mather provide more dining options for passengers and cater to all budgets and tastes. “We have given our customers what they wanted – more variety and choice when it comes to food and beverage outlets. This includes the introduction of more unique dining experiences and a better sense of place,” enthuses Mather. And there’s more to come as in June the gateway began the next phase of the revamp of the casual dining precinct in Terminal 2, which it claims will enhance the airport experience for passengers, visitors and staff. Like at most airports, retail/F&B is an important source of revenue for Sydney Airport, currently accounting for around 22% of the airport’s income. The gateway can expect this figure to rise following all the new additions, although Mather prefers to concentrate on the impact the new outlets will have on customer satisfaction levels. She says: “The income is, of course, important as is any source of revenue, but we believe it is more important to have the right offerings



for passengers so that they can enjoy the airport experience, and I am confident that we have now achieved this.” Mather points to “excellent feedback” from passengers and rising customer satisfaction scores as early indicators that people like what they seen and experienced from the new concessions offerings.

Western Sydney Airport The Australian government’s decision to build a second Sydney gateway, now known as Western Sydney Airport, means that Mather and her board will soon have to make a big decision of their own – do they want to operate it! Set to be located in Badgerys Creek to serve western Sydney, the new airport will be a full service gateway and is initially expected to boast a single runway and terminal building and the capacity to handle around 10 million passengers per annum. As part of its sale agreement with the government in 2002, Sydney Airport has the right of first refusal to develop and operate the new airport, which is being built to complement the existing airport to best serve the needs of the entire Sydney basin. Mather says that Sydney Airport is currently in a consultation phase with the Australian government and is expecting to be issued with a Notice of Intention before the end of 2016. When that happens, Sydney Airport will have either four or nine months to issue its response to the government, so not unsurprisingly, she was reluctant to go into much more detail about things for now. “What I can tell you is that Sydney will need another airport as independent traffic forecasts predict that we will be serving 74.3 million passengers by 2033 and government forecasts suggest that demand in the Sydney market will reach 120 million passengers by 2050,” muses Mather. “We have the right to develop the new airport and it is a very valuable right and an opportunity and an option that we take very seriously.” With the Australian government already talking about a mid-2020s opening date for Western Sydney Airport, decisions certainly need to be made soon. Watch this space for further developments.



Reducing the risks ACI World’s head of security, Nina Brooks, discusses some innovative new approaches to landside security in the wake of this year’s terror attacks on Brussels and Istanbul Atatürk airports.


ublic accessibility, the high profile nature of airports, the opportunity to create major operational disruption and the mass gathering of people makes the landside of an airport an attractive target for terrorism. There are, of course, a number of mitigating measures that can be implemented to address the threat from attacks in the public areas of airports. These include additional layers of security, such as visible patrols, appropriate building design features and increased surveillance. However, the primary layer of security – intelligence and timely information sharing – remains the most powerful tool that governments have to protect their citizens wherever they are, be it at work, in their homes or while travelling.

The human factor Equally important is the human factor, providing both staff and passengers the motivation and means to recognise and report suspicious articles and behaviours. This might include reminding passengers and visitors to be vigilant and report unattended baggage or suspicious behaviour, and providing security awareness training for all staff (both airport and non-airport employees, including those not involved directly in security). The presence of regular high visibility patrols of public areas by airport security, police or other law enforcement agencies can be a means of both detection and deterrence. Law enforcement patrols can use detection dogs effectively in landside areas to identify explosives without affecting passenger flows. Specialist behaviour detection officers can also be beneficial.

Better by design Where intelligence fails to stop an attack, design features can be implemented to provide better protection from landside attack, and to encourage the disbursement of people arriving at the airport. This area of work is relatively new, and best practices can be gathered from leading airports. Physical measures to mitigate the impact of an attack might include the separation of drop off zones from the terminal building through zone design and use of pedestrian concourses, restricting access to the front of the terminal with physical barriers such as bollards or plants, ensuring that traffic cannot wait close to the building (fast drop off only) and the use of shatterproof glass and blast proof materials to reduce impact and injury.



Removing queues from airports However, an alternative approach is to remove the attractiveness of the target. Without queues and crowds, an attack on an airport can still have economic and logistical impact, but cannot cause mass casualties or target specific populations. The rapid movement of people quickly and efficiently through airport terminal buildings to reduce gatherings and crowds can therefore be of significant benefit. At the same time, a lack of crowds makes the job of surveillance and patrolling much simpler, adding to the security benefit. No one solution will address the issue of queues and crowds; often there are many inter-linked elements that need to come together.

Key drivers of change A number of key areas have been identified as drivers for change and in many cases these are dependent on each other, such as process improvement for identity management, which needs a combination of regulatory change, the use of automation and the better use of data. There are already many initiatives that identify self-service solutions throughout the passenger journey, including check-in, bag drop, self-tagging, re-booking and boarding processes. Greater use of automation for processes such as the collection of biometrics, automated document verification and payment of departure taxes would enable processes to be implemented at remote locations, off-airport or using mobile technologies. Arguably greater emphasis should also be placed on either automating and eliminating processes or moving them away from the airport completely. Remote/mobile check-in and printing baggage tags at home already provide examples of this and perhaps one day there will be no need to use any on-site check-in technology. Another area where technology is starting to play a key role is in the provision of timely information for passengers. Knowing security wait times in advance of travel courtesy of mobile applications, for example, can actually change the way people behave at airports. And this type of technology offers further opportunities to streamline passenger journeys and subsequently the habits of airport visitors. Knowing the approximate time it will take passengers to get from their arrivals gate to kerbside, for instance, could enable those picking them up to arrive at the airport/terminal at a more appropriate time.

Discouraging non-essential visitors Another area where possible improvements could be made might be to try and reduce the number of non-essential visitors entering terminal


buildings. Providing alternative areas and processes for taxi drivers and tour guides, for example, might discourage them from going inside the terminal building. The pre-booking of ancillary services such as taxis and hotels may also offer opportunities to address crowds in arrivals halls by pushing better information to customers on arrival at their destination.

Rules and regulations Naturally, regulation plays a key role in the elimination of redundant steps in the passenger journey. Areas for consideration will be the removal of the need for physical document checks prior to security, the elimination of departure controls (immigration), alternatives for passport control using biometrics, and the automation of departure tax payment in countries where it is still required. Regulation will also need to allow for the wider use of passenger data, intelligence and information sharing between agencies, countries and with industry to facilitate automated solutions and streamlined processes. Measures that may be considered redundant should also be reviewed as they contribute to delays and thus airport crowding.

Working together None of these solutions can be implemented by any one entity; collaboration will be needed by airports, airlines and regulators for all of these elements to fall in to place. A combination of physical infrastructure, a strong security reporting and awareness culture, visible and comprehensive patrolling and reducing crowds can all help to address the threat of landside attack.





The silent enemy Chair of ACI’s Cybersecurity Taskforce, Dominic Nessi, tells Airport World more about what the organisation is doing to combat the growing threat of cybercrime.


he World Economic Forum has identified cybersecurity among its top global risks in each of the last eight years. As the world shrinks, governments will continue to focus on open trade policies, allowing for significant trans-border investments, promoting international collaboration and encouraging international tourism, increasing air traffic as a significant by-product. To meet this growing need, airports will implement transformative technologies to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction, and increase productivity in airport operations. Similarly, passengers (business and leisure) will be communicating around the clock at all airport locations and the overwhelming majority will have significant digital literacy and the mobile devices available to stay communicated. The result is that airport operations, technology and passenger interaction will be fully converged. It is estimated that by 2025, there will be 4.7 billion Internet users – an almost 300% increase from today. A critical aspect of this growth is that 75% of it will be occurring in emerging economies, primarily in Asia and Africa, where cybersecurity strategies are struggling to keep pace with this explosive growth. This explosion in the digital landscape will have a significant impact on airports, and while it is fairly obvious that each airport is responsible for its own cybersecurity environment, airports as a community must work together to establish an industry-wide secure environment. ACI is leading the charge for improving cybersecurity at airports throughout the world through a series of cybersecurity-related projects. These initiatives are focused on improving security awareness at the airport management level as well as providing specific guidance on operational tasks that all airports should execute. Indeed, ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens, has taken a personal interest in cybersecurity and has directed that the organisation establish “stronger IT security for a stronger airport community.”



In 2014, ACI World created a Cybersecurity Taskforce with the objective of developing a comprehensive cybersecurity programme. Composed of airport representatives from across the world, the taskforce has been instrumental in creating a focused approach to airport cybersecurity. The latest product produced by ACI is the implementation of its ‘Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool, which is based on the international cybersecurity framework ISO 27002. ISO 27002 is an advisory document, which recommends information security controls addressing information security control objectives arising from risks to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. The tool provides a framework for determining a cybersecurity approach, though leaves airports with the flexibility to assess their own information risks, clarify their control objectives and apply appropriate controls using the standard for guidance. While the full ISO 27002 framework contains over 1,200 detailed with some 35 control objectives focusing on the need to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of airport data and physical assets, the newly implemented Benchmarking Tool lists 106 specific controls that an airport should employ to help it assure that its cybersecurity programme is robust and comprehensive. Once an airport completes its ISO 27002 assessment it receives an over-all score based on a capability maturity model which ranks an airport’s cybersecurity practices from non-existent to optimised. Airports can then develop a risk mitigation strategy to meet the ISO 27002 guidance and regularly test its progress towards achieving a higher level of maturity.

An important aspect of the Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool is that an airport can compare its cybersecurity programme and readiness against other airports, geographically and by size. Though all information is maintained anonymously, an airport will still get an indication of where its own programme stands. Furthermore, ACI will be able to use all of the information compiled to get a better picture of cybersecurity globally. While ACI is focusing on ACI members to start with, the Benchmarking Tool can be used by non-ACI airports as well. It is available on an annual subscription basis and almost 30 airports have already signed up or expressed interest in acquiring it in just its first week of availability. The Benchmarking Tool is just one of the ‘Ten Points of Cybersecurity’ that ACI is advocating to its member airports. The ten points are: 1.



Recognise the reality and don’t underestimate the problem – ACI is emphasising that cybersecurity is a real concern and that there have already been enough cybersecurity incidents experienced by airports to make cybersecurity an important topic on ACI agendas at all levels. Cybersecurity is a top management issue – ACI is working to inform and educate airport management that cybersecurity is an issue which must be addressed. Think aviation industry-wide – ACI is working with the entire air transport industry (airlines, aircraft manufacturers and

SPECIAL REPORT: SAFETY & SECURITY governments etc) to complement industry-wide cybersecurity goals and initiatives. 4. Establish a security programme – ACI is advocating that all airports, irrespective of size, establish a cybersecurity programme with a full governance programme which identifies airport information assets and prioritises cybersecurity mitigation efforts. 5. Perform risk assessment and prioritise airport defences – ACI advocates that all airports conduct a risk assessment, identify threats and vulnerabilities and develop an appropriate mitigation programme. 6. Establish a strong patching programme – ACI is emphasising the importance of each airport developing a comprehensive and timely patching programme. 7. Include cybersecurity in all levels of the organisation – ACI emphasises that cybersecurity is not just an information technology issue. It affects all airport organisations and education specific to each function is essential. 8. Increase airport internal capability/acquire qualified external assistance – ACI encourages all airports to either acquire internal cybersecurity expertise and/or acquire external assistance to assist in the implementation of cybersecurity tools and defensive practices. 9. Develop an adaptive security architecture – Because an IT environment is dynamic, ACI encourages all airports to continually evaluate its cybersecurity environment and to evolve its defences to meet the latest security threats. 10. Acquire the Airport IT Security Benchmarking Tool – To help evaluate your airport’s progress in securing its cybersecurity environment. We have to take cybersecurity seriously as airports have already been attacked and more will be attacked in the future, and anyone who says that this won’t happen is badly mistaken. Baggage systems, utilities, credentialling systems, ground radar, airport business systems, we have so many potential areas that can be hacked at an airport and it can be done in so many ways, including new ‘ransomware’ software, which denies you access to systems until a ransom payment is made to unlock it. This is why sharing critical data on cybersecurity is important as we really don’t know how many airports have been attacked or how much money we’ve lost as an industry. Also you have to remember that a cyber attack is a completely different animal to a physical terrorist attack, which airports prepare for and its impact is immediate. In comparison, it takes an average of 240 days to discover a cyber attack and many airports would not be prepared to deal with it.


About the author Dominic Nessi is Burns Engineering – AeroTech Partners’ senior technology advisor and former deputy executive director/chief information officer at LAWA. For more information about ACI’s cybersecurity efforts contact him at or ACI World’s Serge Yonke Nguewo at




Testing times Joe Bates takes a look at a handful of the latest security initiatives ranging from trialling new screening technology to efforts to make checkpoints more efficient and customer friendly.


o you remember the scene in the original sci-fi film ‘Total Recall’ where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character walks though a security checkpoint without stopping as it X-ray scans his body searching for weapons? Well, airport security isn’t quite there yet, but it may be about to take its first step in that direction thanks to a new technology that claims to be able to identify weapons hidden under people’s clothing as they walk through checkpoints. And the unique technology is currently under trial at a handful of international airports where it is being used to provide an additional layer of security against landside attacks. Developed by UK based security technology company, Digital Barriers, the new technology is called ThruVis and utilises a highly sensitive camera capable of detecting hidden objects such as weapons, explosives and drugs. Its creators envisage two main ways of deploying it at airports – at entrances to terminal buildings to identify threats before passengers reach the traditional security checks and as a secondary check of airport staff when they pass in and out of secure areas. Digital Barrier’s chief executive, Zak Doffman, says: “Our highly sensitive camera solution can be covertly deployed at airport entrances to spot items concealed under a person’s clothing before they reach baggage points and security chokepoints. “Once deployed, it will spot hidden explosives and liquids, with recent tests having a 100% success rate in identifying anyone carrying a hidden weapon or suicide vest. The solution does not replace an airport’s existing security infrastructure; rather it acts as an additional protection that can extend the airport’s secure zone as far as the terminal entrance.” ThruVis works on the TeraHertz frequency, meaning that unlike X-rays it has no harmful effects to the human body and does not reveal anatomical details.



The technology is currently being trialled at transport terminals in the US and the UK and is already in use in the Middle East and Asia.

The sound of music London City Airport (LCY) in the UK came up with a novel way of making the security screening process a little less hassle this summer by serenading passengers with music! In a first for the UK, LCY played a mixture of ambient electronica and upbeat acoustic music at the main security checkpoint and it proved to be a big hit with passengers. Melanie Burnley, director of customer experience at London City Airport, explains: “It takes passengers just 20 minutes or less to get from the front door of London City Airport to the departure lounge, and we wanted to enhance the customer experience with a soundtrack to security. “So far we’ve had a very positive reaction to the musical addition – from staff and passengers alike – with Ed Sheeran currently the most popular artist.” Music psychologist, Dr Stephanie Bramley, an Honorary Research Fellow in the Psychology of Music at The University of Sheffield, says: “Music is a flexible resource which can be used to serve a number of functions in retail and commercial environments. “In an airport, playing music which is subtle, fits in with the overall ambiance of the security search area, is deemed to be familiar and is liked by passengers, might act as a positive distraction where passengers focus on the music instead of the time spent completing the security search process. “The music at London City Airport may also enhance the passenger experience by helping to create a pleasant environment and potentially improving their mood.”

Screen test A new checkpoint concept, which it is claimed could halve the time spent in security by millions of passengers at airports around the world, is being trialled at Shannon Airport in Ireland. Shannon is the first airport in the world to trial the new pre-clearance checkpoint, which was developed as part of the EU funded XP-DITE project. The new approach being pioneered at Shannon – Europe’s first US pre-clearance airport – combines the European and US Pre-clearance checkpoints, replacing the two separate checkpoints which are used at present with just one. The Shannon trial will show how a checkpoint can be designed to comply with two different sets of regulations (EU and the US TSA systems). It is the first combined checkpoint of its kind in the world and has been designed to improve customer experience. As a result, passengers flying to the US will no longer have to queue up twice for separate security checks. Niall Maloney, the gateway’s airport operations director, says: “The elimination of the additional security measures in the US Pre-clearance facility in particular is a significant advancement in improving both our passengers and customer airlines experience.” Mark van den Brink, XP-DITE project co-ordinator, says: “Designing and evaluating airport checkpoints at system level gives the possibility to assess new approaches to airport security, which could maintain a high level of security while improving the experience for passengers and reducing costs for operators.” Ten major airports across Europe and around the world are looking to adopt the pre-clearance approach, which could benefit some 20 million US-bound passengers per year.

Bigger and better Gatwick Airport claims to have opened a world-leading new security area as part of its reinvention of the North Terminal, following the successful implementation of the technology in the South Terminal. The £36 million project is a major part of the airport’s growth strategy as it claims that the investment in the state-of-the-art facility will halve the time it takes passengers to pass through security, while maintaining the strictest security measures, and allow Gatwick to screen up to 5,000 passengers per hour. Phase One of the project was completed in February this year, with five new security lanes, and the final phase is now complete as a further five lanes are open for passengers to use.


Each lane has seven ‘loading points’, reducing queue times and increasing the number of passengers able to prepare their belongings for the screening process at any one time. There are also dedicated lanes for premium travellers, families and passengers with reduced mobility. On entrance to the security area, passengers will now pass through a set of 17 new e-gates, which will also help to reduce the build-up of queues and speed up the process of passing through security. Gatwick’s head of security, Peter Lederer, says: “This state-of-the-art facility is the culmination of several years of planning and development and provides us with some of the most sophisticated airport security measures in the world. “Direct feedback from both security staff and passengers was taken on board when designing the technology to ensure it provides the safest and most efficient experience possible. This facility will ensure we are able to screen 95% of our passengers through security within five minutes.”

CATSA trials Meanwhile in Canada, Montréal Trudeau is being used as a test bed by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) for a new pre-board screening line that it believes will help transform the passenger experience at airport security. According to reports, the new line is part of a CATSA Plus concept that involves bringing together several equipment and process innovations that it has successfully trialled over the past few years to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its screening operations. Angus Watt, president and CEO of CATSA, says: “CATSA is always looking at innovative concepts that can contribute to a better screening experience while ensuring the highest level of security. “CATSA Plus focuses on improving customer service and passenger flow and enhancing security.” The new line being trialled at Montréal-Trudeau’s screening checkpoint ‘A’ (Domestic/International) includes features such as motorised rollers, a remote X-ray viewing room, an automatic bin return system, and improved divest and repack stations for passengers. According to CATSA, the trial will allow it to fine-tune the system, if required, before the first full deployment in Canada of a complete CATSA Plus checkpoint in the new International Terminal at Calgary International Airport at the end of October.




We understand the security screening process can be a stressful element of the departing journey and we are constantly looking at ways to improve that area in particular Going 3D? Earlier this year Singapore Changi tested a new 3D screening technology that if claims if successful could mean that passengers no longer have to remove laptops and other electronic devices from hand luggage at security checkpoints. The trials involved the use of computed tomography (CT) security screening for hand luggage. Alan Tan, CAG’s vice president of aviation security, says: “At Changi Airport, we take safety and security seriously and are committed to maintaining the highest standards. “We work very closely with the authorities to review and adopt new advanced technologies and process innovation to improve security screening and enhance the passenger experience at Changi. “The data and passenger feedback we collect from the trials will help us assess the effectiveness and operational efficiencies of these new systems, before we ascertain their suitability for implementation at the airport.”

Dublin enhancements Travelling through Dublin Airport has become that little bit quicker and easier following the completion of a €15 million project to modernise the Departures Floor and Security Screening area in Terminal 1. A significant part of this investment relates to the delivery of 15 new automatic tray return system (ATRS) machines in the passenger security screening area. The new ATRS machines are six metres longer than the previous machines. This additional length includes a parallel loading area at the start of the lane giving extra preparation space so that up to four people can load trays comfortably at the same time. Earlier trials of the new system have shown faster passenger processing times while complementing security compliance procedures. “We understand the security screening process can be a stressful element of the departing journey and we are constantly looking at ways to improve that area in particular,” says Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison.



“We are confident the new ATRS machines, which are much quieter and more efficient, will improve the overall ambience of the area giving our customers a better experience,” he added.

Queue busting Meanwhile in the US, this July the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL), announced its lowest security wait times in seven years after processing 96% of the passengers using its main checkpoint in under 20 minutes. The figure also represents consistent improvement in previous months’ security wait times as 73% of June’s wait times were below twenty minutes and 63% of May’s wait times reached the sub twenty-minute level. Mary Leftridge Byrd, the TSA’s federal security director at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, says: “This is a true reflection of the strength of partnership and collaboration with the airport and airlines. “The success over the summer travel period certainly includes the hard work of every staff member and facet of the TSA Atlanta workforce and support provided by our headquarters. It’s been all hands on deck.” The airport cites a number of different factors that have contributed to the decline in wait times. Delta Air Lines financed the construction and implementation of two new innovation lanes at the South Security Checkpoint, which have improved screening efficiency by 30%. In addition, the Transportation Security Administration has added canine teams, reworked staffing schedules and increased staffing levels at the airport. Communication between ATL and TSA also remains strong, says the airport, noting that officials speak with their colleagues daily, while front line employees of both the airport and the agency communicate throughout the day. AW


Face time

Biometrics is enabling a new era in travel identity management, writes SITA’s vice president for airport solutions, Matthys Serfontein.


he emergence of single token travel over the next few years is one of the most exciting developments for travel. A true walkthrough experience, from check-in to the aircraft door, has been an ambition of the best airports around the world for some time. Today, this is possible using secure biometrics to create a single travel token. This is complex technology delivering a remarkably simple solution. It allows a passenger’s biometric details to be captured through a facial scan at the first touchpoint in their journey. The biometric record is checked against the passenger’s travel documents and a secure single token is created. Travellers can then use this single digital token as identification at every additional step in the journey. Whether it’s during self-bag-drop, at border control or aircraft boarding – passengers simply complete a facial scan to verify their identification without having to provide their passport or boarding card. It will also provide the ability to combine some travel steps into a single interaction, speeding up the time needed to complete these formalities. Fast-tracking passengers through the airport checkpoints will benefit passengers and airports alike. It’s not difficult to see why passengers, airports and airlines would embrace this technology so enthusiastically. It will improve security oversight and elevate the passenger’s travel experience while speeding up passenger processing and reducing the resources needed to manage the travel journey. When the passenger goes to board their connecting flight, the biometric information can be cross-referenced with government systems, providing a clear and accurate entry and exit record. A mobile system could also capture biometric details from e-passports using a hand-held smart device, allowing checks to be conducted anywhere in the airport by roving immigration agents. This will particularly help with travellers connecting to another flight, while the use of a single token would dramatically improve security oversight by providing a verified exit check for transfer passengers.

Single token travel in action Numerous products using single biometric tokens are being trialled and tested around the globe. These include SITA Smart Path, which has already been trialled at a major airport hub in the Middle East with further proofs-of-concept planned for other major international airports. A key advantage of the new technology is the ability to use and integrate it with existing airport infrastructure – including industry standard common-use self-service equipment, such as check-in kiosks, bag drop units, gates for secure access, boarding and automated border control. This makes rapid deployment easy and cost-effective. Smart Path also integrates with government systems and databases, allowing integrated immigration and border checks.

What’s next? This is just the start for this nascent technology. Looking to the future, the technology could become more convenient and nuanced. The ultimate goal is to have the single identity token permanently and securely stored on your mobile phone so you simply swipe your device at each step of the way at any airport in the world. Using blockchain technology – the technology behind bitcoin – SITA’s innovative research imagines passengers creating a verifiable ‘token’ on their mobile phone, which contains biometric and other personal data. In this vision of future travel, no matter where in the world you go, any authority can simply scan your face and scan your device to verify you are authorised to travel. Blockchain technology means this can be done without any agencies ever controlling or storing your biometric details or personal information, removing the major concerns associated with the provision and storage of such sensitive data. A full walkthrough airport experience is possible today, but it’s only the beginning for single token travel across all borders and airports. This story has only just begun.





Going wild Ciarán Curran tells us more about how Cork Airport has become the first gateway in the world to have ICAO qualified wildlife operators.


ake a look at the first ICAO qualified wildlife operators in the world, the entire team being based at Cork Airport in Ireland. All are members of the airport’s police and fire service and had the honour of becoming the first to complete the new ualification, which was devised, tested and delivered at Cork Airport. Airport police officer and ICAO subject matter expert, Kieran O’Regan, along with fire officer Kevin Dunne and the Dublin International Aviation Training Academy (DIATA) made it all happen. As a result, the new ICAO course and wildlife qualification will be rolled out to other airports worldwide later this year. DIATA’s vice president, Eoin Ryan, says that the open countryside surrounding the airport and its close proximity to the coast made it the perfect place to draw up, test and launch the new qualification. Indeed, Cork Airport’s location has led to a wide variety of inhabitants making the gateway their home, including gulls, swallows, hares and foxes. And the marshy grounds near a fresh water spring close to the Airport Fire Service training ground has also been home to ducks and geese, all of which create a very unique wildlife challenge. “The proximity to the sea means that there is an usually high volume of seagulls and swallows, who look to feed on the airport’s runway,” says O’Regan, noting that during bad weather, the rain drives bugs and grubs out of the grass and onto the runway, instigating a feeding frenzy amongst the gulls. And like other airfields across the globe, the warmth of the runways also provides comfort for flocks of birds. “Swallows are a particular issue, causing the majority of the bird strikes at Cork Airport,” adds O’Regan.

From early summer, swallows also make the most of the insect invasion, nesting in and around the airport buildings. Once they begin to nest, they also feed along the runway. When juvenile swallows take flight, there is a further spike in the numbers of strikes given they are inexperienced and unused to aircraft. O’Regan took over managing the wildlife logs nearly three years ago, which have always been meticulously maintained. The records gave him a thorough understanding of was happening in terms of wildlife activity and what was needed to control the situation. He points out that the new wildlife management training programme was drawn up over time, identifying effective measures for wildlife control. During the summer season, very pistols (flare guns) are the primary source of scaring gulls and crows. Given the very pistol is a manual process, it is only used 15 minutes before aircraft movements to minimise the potential of bird strikes. New technologies were also introduced to measure their effectiveness at Cork Airport, O’Regan tells Airport World. He says: “The use of laser is now commonplace at the airport in dealing with birds. It has proven to be a very useful tool as it can be deployed at distance to scare flocks, and it is cost efficient as there are no shells to be fired.” The data that has been captured over the past couple of years has shown a dramatic decrease in the instances of strikes at the airport, without interfering too much with the local wildlife or its environment. Dunne says: “We are very proud to have had the opportunity to be associated with this ICAO course and the manner in which our members have embraced the chance to enhance their expertise and knowledge in this area, which is a core function of the fire service AW here at Cork Airport.”




Back to basics Exambela Consulting’s David Feldman and Laure Villeroux consider the opportunities, challenges and rewards of providing good customer service and why they believe that airports can learn from Ryanair.


yanair, Europe’s hugely successful low-cost carrier certainly doesn’t spend a cent more that it has to, so the fact that it is two-and-a-half years into a major overhaul of its customer service offering is certainly noteworthy. The reason behind its new business strategy – five years ago the words Ryanair and customer service were hardly ever mentioned in the same sentence – is that it has worked out that by improving the customer experience it can generate considerably more income with minimal investment. The truth is simple: poor customer service, costs. There is the upfront cost of handling complaints, there is the hidden cost of premium-fare passengers avoiding the brand and there is the long-term cost of trying to recover a reputation. During a recent BBC interview, the airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, admitted: “We are a great example of one of those brands where we are better than anyone else at one thing — price. And then you do customer service in the right measure. “It hasn’t cost us that much more to be better to our customers, and during the last three years the price differential between us and our nearest competitor has become even greater.” There is another message from the Ryanair experience. Focus first on getting the basics right — developing a core, sustainable strategy which will attract increasing numbers of customers in the first place — and then you can fine-tune the customer service to the appropriate levels to improve the revenue streams even further. Strong service and strong profits can be mutually reinforcing, but they have to be done in the right order: developing excellent service levels to support a unsustainable business plan is simply a waste of effort.



What it means for airports For airports, as for airlines, there are clear financial benefits for improving the customer — and in this instance, we mean the passenger — experience. Offering more choice, more service opportunities and a friendlier, more personalised travel experience widens the market to more mature, corporate and affluent customers. And happy customers spend more and are more likely to return, so there are retail benefits, too. Indeed, satisfied passengers are likely to spend 10% more time at the airport; twice as likely to shop; spend 7% more on retail; and spend 20% more on duty free. Overall, ACI estimates that a 1% increase in passenger satisfaction levels delivers an increase of 1.5% in non-aeronautical revenue. Airports that exceed their customers’ expectations have a competitive edge, especially in regions where passengers can select among multiple airports. Two-thirds of Europeans live within two hours’ drive of at least two airports. In addition, improving non-aeronautical revenues makes the airport more resilient and better able to invest. There are important less-tangible benefits, too. For example, working together with colleagues from different departments and other on-site airport businesses towards common goals to improve the customer experience makes the overall airport more efficient and a better place to work. And as the airport is the gateway to a city, a region and a country, anything which makes the passenger’s passage through the airport a surprisingly enjoyable experience has wider economic implications. But how do airports make passengers happy? And, equally important, how do they translate passenger happiness into an improved bottom line?


An airline has a simple, relatively direct relationship with the passenger, but for an airport improving the customer experience is far more complex. Why? Well, for one, most airport organisations are designed around ‘silos’ for processes, not passengers. Also, airport managers are rarely incentivised to improve customer service, and third-party players — ground handlers, border control etc — who interact most with passengers, have zero incentive to improve their customer service. It should also be remembered that customer dissatisfaction in airports usually results from many small, hard-to-improve things and not one big that’s easy to implement. Many airports typically lack meaningful data about customers and their underlying needs; and what customer data exists is rarely shared or understood within the airport management team. And finally, improvements in ‘ambiance’ or ‘experience’ are very difficult to justify from a return-on-investment perspective; and more shops and bigger terminals do not always equate to happier passengers. So, for an airport that is serious about improving the customer experience and translating this into improved profits, a three-step process is required:

Get your house in order The journey to transforming customer service levels starts with a single step, but it involves a change of mindset – a shift from focusing on airport processes to understanding and improving passenger experiences. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Every airport CEO needs to ask a few basic, deceptively simple questions, such as: • Does the airport have a clear strategy for the airport – where’s it going, what it stands for and why? • Does the airport have a data-driven internal customer strategy with specific objectives for all senior managers? For example, a few years back Munich Airport set an ambitious goal of being Europe’s first five-star airport in the Skytrax survey and put in place a comprehensive management strategy to achieve this objective. • Is there a clear sense of what the appropriate customer service levels should be for the airport’s passenger mix? Is it ‘cheap and cheerful’ or a five-star palace?

Do airport managers have an incentive to put customer experience first and traditional silos second? To take an example outside the airport industry, 40% of all senior executive bonuses at Disney are typically driven by guest satisfaction. Would airport employees describe their experience working at the airport as positive? If not, it’s unlikely that passengers will have a positive experience either. Is customer service training a core element for all employees? And is good customer service rewarded? Airports in North America, such as Portland, have been innovative in introducing new customer-focused initiatives. Do stakeholders and partners (border control, security, shops/ restaurants, ground handling companies) share the airport’s objectives? Are they incentivised to work together?

Unfortunately, in my opinion, too many airport CEOs still act as passive landlords or traffic police whose job is simply to collect the rent and enforce regulations, so not surprisingly customer experience doesn’t improve. But if they act more as an orchestra conductor, at the centre of all airport activities focused on making something beautiful, things will get better. The art of excellent airport management is to bring all the elements together, all the orchestral instruments, and to make them work together to the composer’s score. The most notable orchestra conductors find something in the score which will surprise and delight an audience that has heard the piece a hundred times before. Similarly, the best airport CEOs know what their passengers will expect when they enter the terminal, but still find something, which will make travelling through their terminal a unique experience. To take this first step, airports need data. Most airports have stacks of data but rarely share them between internal silos, so they are of limited use. The trick is to convert data into useful market information about your customers and then begin exchanging data with the airlines, ground handlers, retailers, for instance, to build trust and create a shared approach to improve the overall customer experience to an agreed-upon level.




Get the basics right For any airport serious about improving customer experience, it is important to focus on the basics, which sometimes can be the most difficult. These include: • Fast, efficient check-in, security and border control • Clean toilets • Good, clear signage • Reasonably comfortable places to sit • A minimum level of courtesy • Good Wi-Fi and connectivity — now a must! But just one hitch in the process (whether it’s at check-in, security, signage or cleanliness of toilets) can damage a passenger’s perception of the entire airport and make him or her unwilling to spend time in the retail area. It is vital for the airport to be present in moments of truth. Most passengers are surprisingly patient with delay and disruption once they understand that there are staff at hand who are sympathetic and competent, doing everything they can to help. Even a routine problem such as a cancelled flight is an opportunity to show that the airport is truly customer-focused. It is important to realise that the experience of the passenger encompasses many aspects, seemingly small, but whose accumulation can create a difference. A successful customer experience translates into a competitive advantage, while a bad experience harms the airport and spreads, sometimes even going viral. One of the biggest challenges any airport faces involves service delivery, especially when most customer touchpoints are with ground handling, security and border control personnel. How can an airport get them on board with a shared vision? Both London Gatwick and Copenhagen have been innovative in creating a vision for their airports and then encouraging airlines, ground handlers and other partners to share the same vision. They’ve recrafted their role with their airport partners from just being a landlord to a real partner, an orchestra conductor that helps them become more efficient and profitable.

Standout and delight Know your passengers, master your basics, and only then, focus on delighting your customers in a distinct and memorable way. Clean toilets and good signage are important, but customers will not love your airport because the loos are clean. Not only do the core airport processes have to be excellent and staff reasonably friendly but the overall airport has to have a positive, agreeable — and memorable — ambiance. Delighting passengers requires making an emotional connection, showing that you really care and are doing something imaginative and memorable. The aim here is to have Facebook and Instagram covered in page after page of passenger selfies — relaxing in the airport pool,



‘chillaxing’ in the airport meditation centre, standing by amazing statues, orchestras and art galleries at the airport, along with accompanying text, which effectively markets the airport around the world. Airports should be exciting places — the start of adventures and the first taste of a new country. Originality in design and thoughtfulness in providing unusual levels of comfort and tranquillity for passengers — artfully sponsored, of course — can create a buzz, which is part of a wider strategy of delight and surprise. Passengers need to feel they are entering a world where their safety and security has been considered carefully by professionals – yet there is space for their children to be entertained and, if they want it, carefully crafted frivolity. They can choose between rest, relaxation, entertainment and work. There is a quick route through the terminal if time is against them and places to relax in comfort if they have time to spare. Competing airports need to be noticeably more passenger-friendly than their rivals. New infrastructure helps, but it’s also about good interior design and ensuring a consistent, pleasant visual experience. Some of the world’s most successful airports bolster their success by creating delightful experiences that build upon the airport’s core identity and are memorable. Some examples include beach volleyball and a Christmas market at Munich; the Butterfly garden at Singapore Changi; Rijksmusuem at Amsterdam Schiphol; and cultural processions at Seoul Incheon.

Airport customer experience – no longer a nice-to have In an age of increasing airport competition and traveller expectations, the only choice for airports is to become more customer-focused. For the CEO of a regional airport or a major global hub, it requires a new way of thinking, no longer just as a facility manager or traffic cop, but as a genuine leader at the core of the airport focused on improving customer experience to a level that’s appropriate for his or her airport, whether it’s low cost or first class. It begins with transforming the airport internally, before mastering the core passenger processes and eventually surprising and delighting passengers to create value. At the end of the day, happy customers are good for the airport’s bottom line — and the airport CEO’s career!

About the authors David Feldman is managing partner of Geneva based Exambela Consulting, which works with airport CEOs, their boards and investors along with related airport industry players in Europe and around the world. Visit for more information.




and bold Airport World finds out more about the blueprint for a pioneering aerotropolis development at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.


alaysia Airports has unveiled plans for what it claims is its “most exciting endeavour” to date, the creation of a huge, national economy boosting aerotropolis at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Identified as one of the strategic pillars in the airport operator’s five-year business plan, Runway to Success 2020 (RtS2020), it describes the planned aerotropolis as an “eco-system development that is synergistic with the airport business and aligned with Malaysia’s development agenda”. Effectively a blueprint to transform Malaysia’s busiest gateway into a “world class airport city” and tourist destination in its on right, Malaysia Airports calls the project KLIA Aeropolis and admits to being inspired by airport city developments at Amsterdam Schiphol, Frankfurt, Incheon and other gateways across the globe. Success in its endeavours, states Malaysia Airports, will signal its transformation from an infrastructure provider to a key economic enabler by contributing significantly to the national GDP and job creation. “We have decided to develop KLIA Aeropolis in response to the demand that exists for businesses and trade to thrive in an environment



that offers connectivity, speed and agility in one place,” says Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, managing director of Malaysia Airports. “Asia and ASEAN countries are the new emerging economies with ASEAN GDP expected to double by 2020 to $5 trillion. Meanwhile, Malaysia, with its location in the heart of ASEAN as well as its extensive air and ground network, and ready pool of skilled talent, is expected to experience GDP growth of 4.9% per annum up to 2020. “The decision was taken in tandem with the intention of establishing KLIA as the preferred ASEAN hub, which is also one of our RtS2020 strategic pillars. “We have come a long way since our days at the former Subang International Airport where we served 16 million passengers per year. Today, KLIA caters to nearly 50 million passengers per year, with over 60 airlines serving more than 120 direct destinations, and there is much more to come as the potential for air traffic growth within the Asia-Pacific region is vast.” KLIA’s land bank of over 100 square kilometres certainly gives it a distinct advantage over most other gateways in terms of having space to grow and develop. And with only a fraction of it used today and just 60% of the site set aside for aeronautical use, the airport has an abundance of land available for the development of non-aviation related commercial activities. “The land designated for airport and aeronautical use will serve the core airport growth needs over the long-term,” explains Badlisham. “The rest will be clearly demarcated into zones comprising Airport Central, which will serve as the core commercial area; a business park functioning as a secondary commercial area; an aerospace park, logistics park and aeronautical support zone to cater to aviation-linked businesses; and a leisure and recreational zone.”

Demand-driven initiative According to Malaysia Airports’ development strategy, KLIA Aeropolis will be a demand-driven project initially centred on three key clusters – Air Cargo & Logistics; Aerospace & Aviation; and MICE & Leisure. As a result, plans are on the drawing board for a Cargo Logistics Park, Aerospace Park and a Aeronautical Support Zone for MRO


(Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) services across 90, 100 and 200 acre plots respectively with the airport operator admitting that it is considering a number of options for funding and developing the projects. “Various financing options and development structures are being evaluated to ensure the maximum value to the airport,” says a spokesman. “These include BOT type projects funded by private investors but built on land under Malaysia Airports management and leased to them on long-term contracts. “We will create value through smart partnership and synergistic collaboration with our business partners in order to achieve mutual benefits.” Malaysia Airports is, however, happy to reveal that all future developments for the MICE & Leisure cluster will follow the successful joint venture model it adopted with Mitsui Fudosan to create the highly popular Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA at Sepang, six kilometres from the airport. The existing Sepang International Circuit used for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix sits within the area allocated for leisure and recreation/MICE related projects. “We are very clear in our KLIA Aeropolis development strategy,” says Badlisham. “The clusters identified are synergistic to the larger airport system and will serve to not only benefit the airport operator but also the aviation supply chain as a whole.” Talking about the Air Cargo & Logistics cluster, Badlisham notes that express cargo shipments at KLIA have grown by 33% since 2010, mirroring the growth of the e-commerce market in South East Asia, which is expected to account for $35 billion worth of business annually by 2018. And with intra-Asian airfreight projected to grow by an average of 6.5% per annum up to 2033, he believes the future potential of air cargo for KLIA is clear for all to see. He says: “We are targeting an annual long-term forecast of 2.5 million to three million tonnes by 2050, from about 726,000 tonnes today. KLIA Aeropolis will serve as the core of our air cargo and logistics eco-system that extends to Penang and East Malaysia.”

He is also confident that KLIA Aeropolis has the potential to become a leading centre for aerospace development, pointing out that the country’s appeal to the industry has already led to over 300 companies setting up operations in Malaysia, a quarter of which are based at either KLIA or Subang, about 60km away from KLIA. This boom has led to the country formulating a clearly defined national aerospace blueprint that aims to position Malaysia as a leading player in the global aerospace value chain. “Boeing and Airbus tell us that 30% of all their aircraft deliveries today are to the Asia-Pacific region,” comments Badlisham. “APAC also accounts for 21% of the global MRO market demand and is expected to grow at 4.6% per annum for the foreseeable future. Our aim is to capture at least 5% of the global market share.” He adds: “As a result of this strategy, KLIA Aeropolis will enable an aviation business eco-system by leveraging on businesses such MROs and OEMs. It will function as the core of Malaysia Airports’ aerospace belt, which includes Subang and Melaka airports. “Our focus on attracting first-tier aerostructure manufacturers is also expected to drive the growth of second-tier set-ups.” Based on PWC’s economic analysis of the KLIA Aeropolis development plans – excluding airport terminal operations and expansion – the total estimated impact of the project over a 15-year period could amount to a GDP contribution of around $7.2 billion and 56,000 new jobs. The projected figures certainly support the government’s agenda of striving to make Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020. Sharing his aspiration on the future of KLIA Aeropolis, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah, the chairman of Malaysia Airports, says: “I envisage KLIA Aeropolis to be a truly remarkable airport city development with top class tourism and business attractions. “It marks a promise of sustainability and growth for companies who will call it their home.”





Everybody counts ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, discusses the publication of a new guide designed to help airports better understand passenger profiles and motivations.


e have launched an innovative new guide called ACI passenger personas: A new approach to passenger profiling which is designed to support airports in developing a deeper understanding of the needs of travellers, an important factor in raising non-aeronautical revenues. Airports tend to focus a lot on passenger demographics or the type of travel in order to understand what types of travellers they are serving. This is important, of course, but is just a small part of the picture. We must, for example, also look at what a passenger does in an airport, what they want or need and whether these wants or needs may change depending on circumstance. A ‘passenger persona’ approach gives us all this information. A persona is a way of modelling, summarising and communicating research undertaken on airport passengers. Through building a persona, researchers are able to better empathise with that type of passenger and gain insight into their mindset as they move through the airport. Personas consist of a visual representation of a fictitious traveller combined with a collection of key personality traits that belong to that particular type of passenger. ACI has developed five passenger personas based on 2015 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passenger data gathered from over 550,000 travellers and 300 airports worldwide. The five passenger personas represent key traveller profiles and allow airports to strategically create different customer experiences to meet the needs of each group. In addition to the above benefits of using passenger personas, they also allow for new benchmarking opportunities whereby service quality can be judged by how well airports are catering to each of the five personas. Moreover, passenger personas provide reliable data on core traveller types in a dynamic industry, allowing airports to more effectively meet their customers’ needs. So who are the passenger personas? We have broken them down to five – the workman; friendly vacationer; value seeker; sun lounge tourist; and, the airport enthusiast.

The workman The workman is an experienced and demanding passenger with specific needs and high expectations.

The friendly vacationer The friendly vacationer is organised, looks for efficiency in airport processes and places importance on traditional customer service. This passenger persona has clear core needs and is highly responsive to airports that get it right with consistently clear wayfinding and a friendly staff.

The value seeker Although the value seeker does not fly frequently, this persona is confident in their expectations of the airport experience. The value seeker is highly demanding, not easily satisfied and has clear expectations of both the efficiency of processes and the quality of the retail and food and beverage experience. This persona is the highest spender but expects value for money.

The sun lounge tourist Although the sun lounge tourist is not a seasoned airport traveller, they are an experienced consumer eager to enjoy an entertaining experience at the airport.

The airport enthusiast The timekeeper is not a frequent flyer but is confident in using airports. This persona has clear and specific priorities and is likely to be satisfied by the airport experience if their needs are met.

ACI passenger personas: A new approach to passenger profiling is free to all ASQ members. In addition, ASQ also offers members the option of having a tailored version of this guide to fit the specific needs of their respective airport. For more information, please email





The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Asian fusion restaurant comes to Tampa HMSHost has added P.F. Chang’s to its F&B offering at Tampa International Airport (TPA). It describes the new addition as the perfect blend of Asian and American cultures that has a reputation for quality cuisine. Located in TPA’s Main Terminal, dishes at P.F. Chang’s are said to be influenced by its ‘Farm-to-Wok’ food philosophy which essentially means the daily

The big IT spend

With ACI forecasting a further increase in global airport industry revenues to $158 billion in 2016, absolute IT spending by gateways is likely to surpass the $9 billion mark this year, according to SITA’s latest Airport IT Trends Survey. In terms of specific investments over the next three years, the survey reveals that passenger self-service continues to dominate with two-thirds of airports planning major IT projects in this area. It claims that the growing influence of mobile is also evident with nearly every airport worldwide (90%) undertaking either a major programme or a trial project related to mobile apps. And with the greater availability of data from both passengers and business operations, half of airports worldwide are planning to capitalise on it with major business intelligence initiatives over the next three years, says the 2016 survey. Other initiatives said to be picking up momentum include interactive wayfinding and identity management using biometrics with 34% (26% in 2014) and 24% (14% in 2014) of airports respectively, planning major projects.


cooking of recipes made with fresh ingredients and “holding the highest respect for the power of a fiery wok”. “The commitment to quality that P.F. Chang’s follows is part of why the brand is so widely loved and respected,” says HMSHost executive vice president of business development, Derryl Benton.

The survey adds that the worldwide adoption of newer technologies by airports is progressing, with some such as cloud computing starting to reach maturity. “The proportion of airports undertaking major programmes in this area over the next three years has remained at 45% since our last survey, while the proportion of airports with no plans has dropped only marginally from 21% to 19% of airports,” states the survey. “On the other hand, sensing technologies, such as beacons, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, which gauge the movement of people and assets around the airport are attracting strong interest. “The adoption of contactless mobile technology Near Field Communication (NFC), remains subdued with only 10% of airports planning a serious deployment, down from the 14% of airports seen last year. Nevertheless, a sizeable proportion (43%) are assessing the technology with small scale evaluation projects.” A much more recent development is digital tags to replace the paper-based tags used for most check-in baggage today.


Latin lounges for Plaza Premium Rio de Janeiro’s Tom Jobim International Airport has become the first gateway in South America to open a Plaza Premium Lounge. The airport currently has Plaza Premium Lounges in International Departures and Domestic Departures and will open a third in Arrivals in October. Opened in conjunction with airport operator, RIOgaleão, the move is part of an initiative to enhance the experience for travellers departing, transiting and arriving at Rio de Janeiro. According to Plaza Premium Lounge, all three new facilities will offer a sense of place courtesy of their vibrant Carioca design, which aims to rekindle memories of the Copacabana beach and other landscapes of the city.

On the menu

AIRMALL has added a Starbucks and Steak ‘n Shake by Biglari outlet to its pre-security line-up at Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. “Starbucks and Steak ‘n Shake are welcome sights for travellers looking for a quick treat on-the-go,” enthuses Brett Kelly, vice president of AIRMALL Maryland. “We are very pleased to bring these well-known national brands, operated by local Maryland companies, to the AIRMALL at BWI Marshall.” BWI Marshall’s newest Starbucks has opened on the lower level in the Southwest Airlines baggage claim area, offering hot and cold drinks and sweet and savory snacks from the bakery. Also open in the Main Terminal Food Court is Steak ‘n Shake by Biglari. Famous for the 100% beef steakburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes that gave the restaurant its name, customers can also enjoy specialty items like the Frisco Melt, Classic Footlong, Grilled Chicken or Chicken Fingers.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow Oshkosh Airport Products has sold and delivered two Oshkosh H-Series Single Engine Blower vehicles to the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), operator of Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP) and six general aviation airports in the region. The vehicles will be placed into service in time for the upcoming snow season at Lake Elmo and Crystal airports, two of the MAC’s general aviation airports located near the Twin Cities. “We unveiled the H-Series Single Engine blower earlier this spring at the Snow Symposium, and are honoured to have already sold and delivered the first two units to one of the largest and most respected airport systems in the nation,” enthuses Jeff Resch, Oshkosh Airport Products Group vice president and general manager.

Clamping down on noise Heathrow has selected Brüel & Kjær to deliver, install and service 50 new noise monitoring terminals at and around the UK’s busiest gateway. A mix of permanent and portable terminals will provide unattended sound level monitoring to accurately and reliably measure, record, process, store and transmit noise data to Heathrow’s Airport Noise and Operations Management system, ANOMS. The portable terminals will be used to deliver continuous noise monitoring for shorter-term projects. Both types are specifically designed for continuous outdoor use. According to Brüel & Kjær, the units will automatically transfer-trusted data that can provide noise impact insights to both airport decision makers and the community. Matt Gorman, Heathrow’s director of sustainability and environment, says: “These monitors will allow Heathrow and our local residents to better understand the impact of aircraft noise in local areas.” Brüel & Kjær’s airport product manager, Matthew Barry, says: “We’re delighted to continue helping Heathrow work toward achieving its commitments to the community.”

Location: Jakarta Seletan, Indonesia Contact: Brendan Martin, managing partner E: W: Aeon Associates is a leading provider of innovative, independent aviation consulting and advisory services. Whether an operator, lessor, investor or support services provider, our global reach, regional knowledge and industry experience assists our partners in navigating new markets and achieving success.

“The Single Engine Blower is a versatile machine, and we are seeing a growing amount of interest in the vehicle by airports large and small.” Chuck Kanuit – who oversees maintenance for 400 vehicles in his role as MAC’s equipment superintendent – enthuses: “We’ve wanted Oshkosh to build a single engine blower for our reliever airports, and we got involved in the design from a very early stage. “We’re already familiar with much of the Single Engine Blower’s componentry and electronics from our other H-Series vehicles; this will be a big help when it comes to parts and maintenance. Our operators are pretty excited, although we’re not really thinking about winter quite yet!”

Park Assist Location: New York, NY, USA Contact: Darrell Brantley, business development manager – airports, North America E: W: Park Assist is a business intelligence technology company that utilises cameras to enhance the efficiency and profitability of parking facilities through guidance, license plate recognition, surveillance and its premiumparking feature. Our M4 and L4 camera systems improve the parking experience in 24 countries worldwide.

Lamar Alliance Airport Advertising Location: Las Vegas NV, USA Contact: Shauna Forsythe, VP business development, airports E: W: Lamar Airport Advertising creates custom advertising programmes for airports nationwide. Integrating the latest technologies, as well as local and national sales, Lamar achieves the most revenue possible for our airports while enhancing each airport’s individual ambiance. Specialities include digital, branding, sponsorship and marketing programmes. Lamar’s airport campaigns reach over 135 million passengers annually.






matters Learning from crises Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on what we can learn from disasters following presentations made at the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Montréal.


n March 22nd this year, 16 people were killed and 150 injured in a terrorist attack at Zaventem Airport in Brussels. The damage to the airport was profound. Reports at the time suggested that it would be closed for many months. Yet within 12 days a first flight had departed and in 72 days it was back to full capacity. The airport had achieved an amazing recovery from a massive blow. Brussels is not the only example of a recent crisis that has provided major challenges for airport leaders and their people. Consider, for example, the devastation caused by the raging natural wildfires at Fort McMurray or the complexities associated with the extended crisis of the missing MH370 airliner. Few of us would want to be caught up in such traumatic and extreme events. Yet invariably those involved have a powerful story to tell about what happened and how they managed. What lessons can be learned? • Having an inspiring vision, mission and sense of purpose which everyone can buy into – a light at the end of the tunnel – becomes really important when times are difficult. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In the Brussels case, a determination that the airport would ‘come back stronger’ proved a very effective rallying cry. • A co-ordinated approach to communication is essential. In a world of social media and 24/7 news coverage, continuous professional support needs to be available as speculation and misinformation can


swiftly fill any communications vacuum. The Malaysian authorities found that as soon as relevant and accurate information emerged, it needed to be communicated. A balance must be struck between ‘rationality and humanity’ in the tone of messaging. • A decentralised management approach based on mutual trust is helpful. Natural leaders emerge, sometimes unexpectedly, in response to fast moving and rapidly changing local circumstances. It’s important that the organisation gets behind these leaders and teams. In Brussels, empowered and agile teams provided the energy, commitment, ideas and capacity to deal with varying situations. • Support for people is important. In situations such as Fort McMurray and Brussels, there is a human toll with emotional and physical exhaustion, fear, and anxiety very common. People may also have financial concerns. A combination of practical and psychological support is required, provided by managers, peers and sometimes professional psychologists and counsellors. Assistance has to be tailored to individual circumstances These are tales of human spirit, strength and resilience. In a complex world where the unpredictable is becoming the norm, the lessons learnt from crises are directly relevant to the way we manage change and our everyday operations. As Veronique Vogeleer, human resources and corporate communications director at Brussels Airport says: “It’s the people that make the difference.”


ACI-NA has unveiled William (Bill) Vanecek, director of aviation at Buffalo Niagara International Airport as its chair, succeeding Salt Lake City’s Maureen Riley in the hot seat. “Bill brings the determination necessary to find solutions that ensure airports can keep up with the demands placed on them by their local communities. We look forward to continuing our work for the airport industry under Bill’s leadership,” says ACI-NA president and CEO, Kevin Burke. North QLD Airports, which operates Cairns and Mackay airports in Australia, has named Norris Carter as its the new CEO, although he is not expected to take up the position until December. Carter, currently general manager aeronautical commercial at Auckland Airport, will succeed Kevin Brown who resigned in April to take up the role of chief executive at Perth Airport. North QLD Board chairman, Ross Rolfe, says: “We are excited by the experience that Norris brings to the role and believe he is the ideal candidate to drive future growth in the business by attracting new services to Cairns and Mackay airports as well as continuing to support our existing customers to grow their businesses.” Frank Miller has accepted an offer from TBI Airport Management (TBI) to oversee day-to-day operations as the executive director of Hollywood Burbank Airport. Aviation veteran Miller served as the aviation director of Florida’s Pensacola Regional Airport for 22 years, although most recently held the top job at San Antonio International Airport. “Frank’s strong background in the airport industry, along with his excellent reputation for performance and community involvement, make him eminently qualified to pick up the torch at Burbank,” says Larry Gouldthorpe, president, TBI US Operations.

About the authors Dr Richard Plenty is managing director of This Is… and delivers ACI’s ‘Airport Human Resources’ training. Terri Morrissey is chairperson of This Is… and CEO of the Psychological Society of Ireland. Contact them through