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On the agenda: Customer service Airport profile: Airports of Mauritius Special Report: Air Transport IT trends Plus: Amsterdam Schiphol, Rail links & Going green

In the spotlight: Customer service October-November 2017 Volume 22 Issue 5 www.aci.aero


Airport World Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 joe@airport-world.com Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)208 707 2743 mark@airport-world.com Sales Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 jonathan@airport-world.com Sales Manager Ellis Owen +44 (0)208 274 1540 ellis@airport-world.com Advertising Manager Andrew Hazell +44 (0)208 384 0206 andrewh@airport-world.com Subscriptions subscriptions@aviationmedia.aero Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 jonathan@aviationmedia.aero Published by Aviation Media Ltd PO BOX 448, Feltham, TW13 9EA, UK

Website www.airport-world.com

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 www.magprint.co.uk

The sky’s the limit Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the global benefits of the aviation industry and the customer service theme of this issue.


oeing’s recent projection that it expects the world’s airlines to invest $6.1 trillion on 41,300 new jet aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years provides another timely reminder of just how dynamic and ever evolving the aviation industry is globally. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to lead the way in the commercial aircraft buying game, accounting for over 16,050 aircraft, followed by North America (8,640), Europe (7,530), Latin America (3,010), the CIS states (1,230) and Africa (1,220). Boeing is, of course, not alone in projecting a positive outlook for aviation or in recognising the benefits that the air transport industry brings globally on a daily basis. Indeed, the ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2016-2040 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. While the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reminds us that one in ten jobs is linked to tourism, which accounts for 10% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the latest Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) figures reveal that the air transport industry directly generates close to 10 million jobs worldwide. Finally, another newly released industrybacked report, Aviation Benefits, states that by spurring tourism and trade as it continues to grow, aviation contributes to increasing consumer benefits and choices, creating jobs and generating numerous socio-spin-offs.

It says: “The increased connectivity that it delivers leads to further re-investment in aviation, creating a healthy cycle of aviation development and economic prosperity in those countries and regions which set out suitable planning and investment commitments. “This very healthy dynamic of investment and economic development has helped aviation to become a truly global economic force. If it were a country, its GDP would be similar to that of Switzerland’s at around $660 billion (with the total economic impact of $2.7 trillion), and the 62.7 million jobs it supports directly and indirectly is comparable to the United Kingdom’s current population. “The availability of reliable air transport services provides people with access to what they need: decent livelihoods, food, healthcare, education, safe communities and spaces, etc.” In this ‘customer service’ themed issue of Airport World we discover that there is now a strong business case for airports to be customer focused and committed to going that extra mile for passengers. And many are being increasingly innovative in how they are going about delivering in these areas. The themed section contains features about the importance of making emotional connections with passengers; social media excellence; ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme; building passenger loyalty; creating the right ambiance; and transforming the passenger experience with next generation analytics. The airport in the spotlight is Mauritius’ Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, and we also have features about Amsterdam Schiphol; airport IT; rail links; and the environment. Enjoy!





In this issue

On the agenda: Customer service Airport profile: Airports of Mauritius Special Report: Air Transport IT trends Plus: Amsterdam Schiphol, Rail links & Going green

In the spotlight: Customer service October-November 2017 Volume 22 Issue 5 www.aci.aero

Issue 5 Volume 22

3 Opinion Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the global benefits of the aviation industry and the customer service theme of this issue.

8 ACI News Sabrina Guerrieri reports on the release of a new film, the latest global traffic trends and the impending release of a new Policy Brief by ACI World.

11 View from the top ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the road to success in customer service excellence.

12 Good times Airports of Mauritius CEO, Romesh Bhoyroo, talks to Joe Bates about the expansion and development of the country’s gateway to the world, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.

17 Unlocking Africa’s potential ACI Africa’s secretary general, Ali Tounsi, considers some of the challenges and opportunities facing the continent’s airports.

18 Feels good! Butterfly Consulting’s Joanne Paternoster argues that making emotional connections with passengers can enhance an airport’s customer service levels and boost retail revenues.

20 Being part of the conversation London City Airport’s social media manager, Danielle Kirkby, discusses how social media has become a key communication and customer service tool for her gateway.

23 Winning formula ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, looks forward to the first ASQ Customer Experience Forum in Mauritius.




Director General Angela Gittens Chair Declan Collier (London, UK) Vice Chair Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa) Immediate Past Chair Fredrick J Piccolo (Sarasota, USA) Treasurer Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) ACI WORLD GOVERNING BOARD DIRECTORS

26 That’s entertainment Airport World takes a closer look at a handful of new customer service focused initiatives introduced by airports across the world.

29 Analyse that! Airports can transform the passenger experience with next generation analytics, writes Niels Kroese.

31 What passengers want A new study reveals that airports can build greater customer loyalty by improving the way they communicate with passengers, writes Katie Smith.

33 Illuminating experience Creating the right ambiance, like Zurich Airport did with its 2016 Christmas lighting, holds huge positives for airports, writes Thomas Mark.

34 Investing in technology Airports and airlines will spend nearly $33 billion on IT this year as they bid to enhance their operations and put passengers more in control of their journeys.

39 Double Dutch Airport World turns the spotlight on two development projects at Amsterdam Schiphol – its planned new Terminal 2 and recently re-opened Holland Boulevard.

40 Going in the right direction Liam Henderson and Milda Manomaityte consider some of the ground access challenges facing Europe’s airports and what needs to be done to improve surface connectivity.

42 Going green We report on the Royal Schiphol Group’s decision to turn to wind power, dnata ramping up its recycling efforts and the latest biofuel initiatives.

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

46 People matters Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on airport security and its impact on passengers.



Africa (2) Saleh Dunoma (Lagos, Nigeria) Bongani Maseko (Johannesburg, South Africa) Asia-Pacific (9) Aimen Al-Hosni (Muscat, Oman) Kjeld Binger (Amman, Jordan) Datuk Badlisham Bin Ghazali (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Fred Lam (Hong Kong) Seow Hiang Lee (Singapore) Xue Song Liu, (Beijing, China) Kerrie Mather (Sydney, Australia) Emmanuel Menanteau (Osaka, Japan) PS Nair (Delhi, India) Europe (7) Daniel Burkard (Moscow, Russia) Declan Collier (London, UK) Elena Mayoral Corcuera (Madrid, Spain) Arnaud Feist (Brussels, Belgium) Michael Kerkloh (Munich, Germany) Jos Nijhuis (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Sani Şener (Istanbul, Turkey) Latin America & Caribbean (3) Ezequiel Barrenechea (Lima, Peru) Martin Eurnekian (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Andrew O’Brian (Quito, Ecuador) North America (7) Lew Bleiweis (Asheville, USA) Joyce Carter (Halifax, Canda) Howard Eng (Toronto, Canada) Deborah Flint (Los Angeles, USA) Joe Lopano (Tampa, USA) Tom Ruth (Edmonton, Canada) William Vanecek (Buffalo, USA) Regional Advisers to the World Governing Board (9) Zouhair Mohamed El Aoufir (Rabat, Morocco) Pascal Komla (Lomé, Togo) Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Candace McGraw (Cincinnati, USA) Joseph Napoli (Miami, USA) Hector Navarrete Muñoz (Merida, Mexico) Augustin de Romanet (Paris, France) Brian Ryks (Minneapolis-St Paul, USA) Stefan Schulte (Frankfurt, Germany) World Business Partner Observer Babatunde Oyekola (El-Mansur Atelier Group) Correct as of September 2017


World in motion Sabrina Guerrieri reports on the release of a new film, the latest global traffic trends and the impending release of a new Policy Brief by ACI World.


ntil the end of the year, TV viewers in the US will have a chance to view a short film by ACI that outlines the important role the organisation plays in ensuring that the world enjoys a safe and efficient airport system. Called ‘Behind the Scenes with ACI’, the film was created with the objective of educating regulators and decision makers, the industry, and the public at large on ACI’s mission and work. The documentary will also be featured through ACI’s diverse communication channels and at international and regional ACI Events, including the 27th Africa/World Annual Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Mauritius.

World Airport Traffic Report The conference, being held under the theme ‘Bold Leadership in a time of change’, will also pull from ACI’s reliable data source, the World Airport Traffic Report. With comprehensive data coverage for over 2,400 airports in 175 countries worldwide, ACI’s flagship publication remains the authoritative source and industry reference for the latest airport traffic trends, rankings and data rankings on air transport demand. It shows that air transport demand continues to march to the beat of its own drum, posting growth rates in excess of 6%. International travel and tourism in particular, remains irrepressible, considering the geopolitical risks that persisted in certain parts of the world. There is a growing disconnect between global gross domestic product (GDP) growth levels, which have remained modest after 2011, and passenger traffic growth, which continues to be robust year after year. Many of the factors behind this are micro-economic in nature and directly related to industry dynamics. On a year-to-date basis, passenger traffic jumped 6.6% for the first half of 2017 and will undoubtedly exceed the eight billion mark in 2017. Air cargo markets experienced a revival in the second half of 2016 to surpass 110 million metric tonnes by the end of the year and achieving growth of 4%. Despite the backdrop of economic uncertainty regarding trade policies in the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the world’s largest aviation markets, business confidence has persevered into 2017. On a year-to-date basis, airfreight volumes (excluding mail), point to estimates of an astounding increase of over 8% in volumes for the first half of 2017. ACI forecasts reveal that passenger traffic will continue to rise rapidly in the short-term, based on a projected compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6% per annum, with global traffic set to surpass the eight billion passenger mark in 2017. Domestic traffic will continue to climb steadily over the next two years – especially in the Asia-Pacific, European and North American regions – achieving a global CAGR of 5.4%. Despite the recent resurrection of domestic passenger traffic, gains will come primarily from international traffic, featuring a two-year CAGR of 8.1%.



Former CEO of Miami and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airports, Angela Gittens, has served as director general of ACI World since 2008.

Air cargo, following on its surge in the latter half of 2016 and into 2017, will continue to rise at rates averaging 5.9% worldwide. Over a two year period, this growth will add up to an estimated thirteen million additional tonnes by December 2018, of which almost 50% will be handled by the Asia-Pacific region, increasing the region’s total market share to just above 38%. Notwithstanding, the industry must be cognisant of the fact that there are several impediments that could curtail the continued rise in demand. Specifically, these are related to geo-political 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 have adverse contractionary effects on the air transport industry.

New Policy Brief The conference will also see the release of a new ACI Policy Brief on airport networks and the sustainability of small airports. Focusing on one specific management model: the airport network, it aims to provide an overview of the state of airport networks worldwide, based on a robust dataset and inventory of the world’s networks. It also puts forth several practical policy recommendations to ensure that airport operations and development are sustainable and beneficial to airlines, passengers, communities and economies. The Brief emphasises that airport networks should be able to cross-subsidise smaller airports as such practice is in accordance with the ICAO framework, and largely benefit to aviation stakeholders as well as communities and economies.


ACI events






November 7-9

October 3-4

December 5-7

October 16-18

November 1-3

ACI-LAC Annual Assembly, Conference & Exhibition San Jose, Costa Rica

Global Sustainable Aviation Summit Geneva, Switzerland

Airport Exchange Muscat, Oman

ACI Africa/ACI World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Port Louis, Mauritius

Trinity Forum Bangkok, Thailand

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@aci.aero www.aci.aero

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

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

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

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

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

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

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2017, ACI serves 623 members operating 1,940 airports in 176 countries.




View from the top


ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the road to success in customer service excellence.


rom digital services to tailored experiences, today’s passengers are more knowledgeable and have higher expectations of airports than ever before, meaning that the ones that are best able to meet customer expectations will have an advantage over their competitors. Like just about every other business, airports must continually improve their service levels in order to thrive in an ever-dynamic environment. The good news, however, is that airports large and small are making the commitment to provide an excellent customer experience. And ACI is committed to helping airports achieve their goal through a host of Airport Service Quality (ASQ) products and services. ASQ is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. Every year, the programme delivers some 600,000 individual surveys in 42 languages in 85 countries and, in 2017 to date, 46 new airports have joined the programme. The new additions have grown the total number of ASQ participants to 344 airports, which between them account for 59.9% of global passenger traffic. Indeed, ASQ is present in 74% of the world’s top 100 busiest airports – up 4% since 2016. This summer, ACI released two new ASQ tools to help airports measure, benchmark and promote customer service excellence: the Employee Survey for Customer Experience (ECE) and the ASQ Arrivals Survey. Both tools are add-ons to the existing ASQ programme that focuses on the experience of departing passengers. Like the ASQ Departures Survey, the ASQ Arrivals Survey gives airports the tools they need to improve their passenger service initiatives and the flexibility to adapt the programme through optional services, such as, analysis by terminal, comprehensive insight report and customised extra questions. The ASQ Arrivals Survey provides the full picture needed to enhance service levels everywhere in the airport, delivering valuable insights on: disembarkation; immigration; baggage reclaim; customs; infrastructure and services; and, passenger profiles. Once again, the Survey is one-of-a-kind, conducted just after the experience occurs. It is also our first to be delivered in tablet mode so it will be easier for the airport to process. In addition, airports have learned that to provide customer experience excellence, the entire airport community must be involved. As such, ACI has developed the ECE and the ECE toolkit to support member airports in assessing and improving their engagement with all staff working in an airport. The ECE is an annual internal diagnostic designed to: understand the level of commitment of airport staff to improving the customer experience; provide a global index; help airports prioritise areas of improvement and

support the development of an action plan; and, allow airports to benchmark and share best practices with other participating airports. Under the umbrella of engaging the entire airport community in customer service excellence, ACI hosted three Forums in 2017 (Haikou, Prague and Detroit) dedicated to ‘Cultivating a customer experience airport community’. This year’s theme recognised that putting the passenger first is a shared priority among all aviation stakeholders, and ACI will give focus to the role of all members of the airport community in cultivating a culture of customer service excellence. As evidence of the success airports are having in satisfying the needs of the travelling public, this year the programme celebrates the largest group of ASQ Award winners ever. We will highlight the achievement at the ASQ Awards Ceremony during the Gala Dinner of the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition. And we will also celebrate the nine airports that have been inducted into the ACI Director General’s Roll of Excellence in 2016 and 2017. The honour goes to those that have ranked in the top five airports by size or region for five of the last six years in the ASQ Survey. The conference will also have a session entitled, ‘The road to success: learning from the world’s best airports in customer experience’, which will allow delegates to obtain vital lessons directly from winners of the ASQ Awards on how they have built and maintained an excellent customer experience. To top this off, ACI will also hold a pre-conference workshop on Monday, October16, which will feature first-hand accounts from the top-performing airports who will be candid about what worked, and what didn’t work, in their journey to customer service excellence. With a workshop, session and awards ceremony, the 27th Africa/ World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition promises to deliver the tools, strategies and encouragement needed to face passenger expectations, improve service levels and foster a competitive advantage in the years to come. AW




Good times

Airports of Mauritius CEO, Romesh Bhoyroo, talks to Joe Bates about the expansion and development of the country’s gateway to the world, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.


he rather tongue twistingly named Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, more commonly referred to as SSR International Airport, hasn’t really looked back since the 2013 opening of its modern and impressive looking new terminal. Boasting a palm tree shaped design and some of the most modern facilities in Africa, upon opening the terminal doubled the airport’s capacity to four million passengers per annum and ensured that Mauritius finally had a gateway to match its growing status in the region. Indeed, the terminal’s opening has coincided with an unparalleled period of success for the gateway, which has won Best Airport in Africa, in the under 5mppa category in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for the last three years, and enjoyed record traffic levels. Its ASQ success led to it being inducted into the ACI Director General’s Roll of Excellence in 2016, the honour recognising airports that have delivered outstanding customer service over a sustained period of time. SSR International Airport also received a Best Airport-Safety Award from ACI Africa last year.

Traffic growth A record 3.5 million passengers (+10.6%) passed through the airport last year as the gateway handled more than 19,000 aircraft movements (+10%) and 52,000 tonnes of cargo, which has enjoyed sustained growth for nearly a decade.



And with more new routes to come this year and a series of international traffic enhancing government agreements in place, 2017 looks like being another good one for the gateway, which is located on a 2,000 square kilometre island in the middle of Indian Ocean midway between Asia and Africa. Romesh Bhoyroo, CEO of Airports of Mauritius Limited (AML), certainly has no hesitation in stating that 2016 was a “very positive year” for SSR International Airport in terms of traffic growth, and believes that this year will be even better. “Based on the current trend of sustained yearly growth, we expect passenger numbers to increase by around 7% in 2017 and aircraft movements by 8%,” enthuses Bhoyroo. “There are also encouraging prospects ahead in terms of freight. For instance, one of the two licenced ground handling companies operating at the airport has set up a new Cargo Terminal in the new Cargo, Freeport and Logistics zone. “Coupled with the introduction of the ‘speed to market’ initiative by the Government of Mauritius, there is a possibility that airfreight costs might be subsidised by up to 40% for locally manufactured exports. “The gradual increase in the export or transhipment of live and fresh fish and seafood, allows us to predict that total cargo volumes will also rise by around 5% in 2017.”


‘World class facility’ The new terminal was built and is operated under a 15-year concession by Airport Terminal Operations Limited (ATOL), a joint venture of AML and Aéroports de Paris (now Groupe ADP) subsidiary, ADPM. Described upon opening by ADPM’s director general, Jacques Follain, as a “world class facility” that would play a crucial role in the economic development of Mauritius and help it better fulfil the demands of its growing tourist industry, the 56,900sqm complex has eight aircraft stands, one of them capable of accommodating the A380. Made from glass and 140,000 tonnes of steel, the terminal is designed to be light and easy to navigate through as well as unique, courtesy of its distinct roof modelled on the Ravenala palm, a tree found across Mauritius. The central section, which symbolises the trunk, covers the entrance hall, while ‘palm fronds’ cover the boarding lounges, with views of Lion Mountain, forests and green fields. The use of colours also figures strongly in the terminal’s design and appearance. The extensive use of the colour blue in the Arrivals Hall, for example, is designed to reflect the island’s blue lagoons and the Indian Ocean; while the use of red and yellow throughout the terminal building is said to represent the island’s flora and fauna – the country’s national flower is the red bell-shaped (Trochetia Boutoniana) – and the sunshine, which is ever present. Built on three levels, the ground floor houses tour operator desks, customs services and a baggage reclaim area with six carousels. On the first floor, the departure concourse has 52 check-in desks situated less than 100m from the boarding lounges and more than 4,400sqm of duty-free shops. While the second floor has a 2,500sqm glazed area for dropping off departing passengers. In line with the country’s sustainability policies, the terminal has 264 solar panels, rainwater recovery systems, natural lighting for the public areas and a host of green spaces (see green credentials overleaf).

In addition a number of water features are said to serve as an invitation to visitors to discover the country’s many waterfalls. The gleaming €270 million facility was designed by Aéroports de Paris Ingenierie (ADPI), with Alain Davy as chief architect, and built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd.

Airlines and traffic growth A total of 18 airlines currently serve SSR International Airport, between them operating non-stop services to more than 30 destinations across the globe. They are not surprisingly led by Air Mauritius, which accounts for the bulk of the traffic at the gateway. The next biggest carriers in Mauritius in terms of operations are Emirates Airlines, Air Austral, South African Airways and Turkish Airlines. Dubai (transit point), Reunion Island, Paris, Johannesburg and London are the most popular routes served from the airport. Bhoyroo expects passenger numbers at the airport to rise by an average of 5% to 7% per annum over the next five years and believes that the recently introduced Air Corridor initiative between Mauritius and Singapore will prove to be a key growth driver. He points out that it has led to a marked increase in traffic between the two countries and that Air Mauritius is set to increase its frequency on the route to four flights per week during the Northern Winter Schedule 2017-18. “Our national airline has already entered into an interline agreement with Singapore Airlines on certain routes that facilitate travel both ways beyond Singapore,” says Bhoyroo. “We also expect passenger numbers at SSR International Airport to be boosted by the November launch of KLM services between Amsterdam and Mauritius, in partnership with Air Mauritius, which should bring an increase in travellers from Central and Northern Europe to Mauritius.”




He notes that Air Mauritius – which codeshares with KLM to 47 destinations beyond Amsterdam – is currently modernising and expanding its fleet, which would better equip it to develop its route network. And it is not just tourism that is expected to act as the catalyst for growth in the future, as Bhoyroo reveals that Mauritius has recently signed a number of business deals with countries in Asia and Africa. “These will encourage the use of Mauritius as a platform for investment,” he comments. “We note that more and more Mauritian businesses are opening up branches in Africa, while Mauritius itself, through its collaboration with African countries, is setting up free trade zones in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Ghana.”

Capacity enhancement Although the airport is capable of accommodating four million passengers and 65,000 tonnes of cargo annually, and up to 12 aircraft arrivals and departures per hour, rapid traffic growth means that AML is already looking at ways of enhancing the gateway’s capacity. “We have initiated an action plan for the refurbishment of the facilities and services in the Departures boarding lounge and associated airside corridor of our old passenger terminal to maximise the use of the aircraft contact stands and provide additional capacity to meet the forecasted increase in traffic,” says Bhoyroo. “The works will also comprise the installation of vertical passenger circulation to connect existing aircraft stands in contact with the old passenger terminal, to the Arrivals corridor at Level 2 of the new passenger terminal. The stands will also be used for the departures boarding process. “With regard to the Airport Master Plan, AML has already launched a bid exercise for its review prior to embarking on the next, extension phase of the main passenger terminal, and associated aircraft parking stands and car park. “As of today, it should be noted that 60-70% of the recommendations of the existing Master Plan have been implemented.” Elsewhere, work is scheduled to begin on the construction of a 70-metre high Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower by end of 2017. And talking of air navigation services, Bhoyroo states that Mauritius plans switching to a satellite based navigation system that will enable more airfield movements.



Green credentials Bhoyroo is quick to remind us that SSR International Airport achieved Level 1 Mapping status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme this July. “We are the tenth African airport to be accredited, and I believe that this, and our goal to be one of the world’s most sustainable airports, means that SSR International Airport could be considered one of the continent’s environmental airport pioneers,” says Bhoyroo. “We are now working towards devising an action plan to move ahead with the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme in the coming years. I should add that our new corporate office, which we opened in 2016, has received LEED Gold Certification from the USA Green Building Council, in recognition of its environment friendly features. “Our efforts and environmental protection strategy also cover regular noise and air quality monitoring, the installation of oil-water separators to avoid water contamination, and the implementation of LED lighting in all recent and future projects. “We also have a modern waste water treatment plant with a processing capacity of 1,500 cubic metres of water per day. Water treated at this facility is used for the irrigation of green spaces at the airport.” He goes on: “Some unique green features were built into the new terminal at the time of construction that allow for the optimum use of natural sunlight through glass roof ceilings, photovoltaic panels, a more efficient air conditioning system and other amenities to ensure that the environmental impact of the terminal operations is controlled and monitored. “We are presently focusing on solid waste segregation in a bid to better manage waste generated at the airport. As a result, we have partnered with a local NGO to collect paper and plastic waste for recycling. We expect that this will substantially reduce the amount of solid waste that ends up in our landfill sites. “Yet, these are only a few of the initiatives we have undertaken as part of our airport environmental strategy.” When the writer, Mark Twain, visited Mauritius in 1896 he quoted an islander as saying: “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” It’s nice to know that AML is doing its bit to ensure that this little bit of heaven remains that way for AW the foreseeable future.

Unlocking Africa’s potential


ACI Africa’s secretary general, Ali Tounsi, considers some of the challenges and opportunities facing the continent’s airports.


young population, growing labour force, accelerating adoption of new technology and urbanisation – according to the United Nations an additional 187 million Africans will live in cities in the next decade – are all factors that favour future economic growth, and subsequently aviation development, across Africa. In facts and figures, the air transport industry generated an estimated 381,000 jobs across the continent in 2014, according to the Air Transport Action Group. Indeed, some 37,000 people (10% of the total) worked for airport operators and 170,300 jobs (45%) worked on-site at airports in retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, and so on. Including direct, indirect, induced and catalytic segments, air transport in Africa generates in excess of $72.5 billion in gross domestic product. However, Africa is also a region that faces many challenges. While African aviation continues to be stifled by security concerns and the threat of terrorism, lack of volume, protectionism, currency complications and sluggish growth in income levels in some key markets, it is expected to emerge from this weakened state in the medium-term, achieving a compounded annual growth rate of 4.2% in the long-term. Unfortunately, many African airports suffer from certain issues that prevent the application of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (ICAO SARPs). They include: • A low level of knowledge of security regulations; • Inadequate and often outdated documentation; and • Unmaintained aviation security-equipment While some airports have implemented sound security and safety programmes in accordance with ICAO SARPs, others have failed to do so due to a lack of national legislation and oversight, equipment or staff training and local supervision. Many of these issues and more will be discussed at the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in Port Louis, Mauritius, which has the theme of ‘Bold leadership in a time of change’ and is expected to attract 500 airport professionals from across the globe. The theme recognises the fact that whatever the set of changes, airports play a crucial role in the economic and social health of communities, countries, regions and the world at large, and they must craft a strategy for their sustainable development to continue providing those benefits.

In terms of the sustainable growth of African airports, the conference will highlight ACI initiatives such as the Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security programme that helps airports understand where they can make improvements with regards to security standards, as well as in operational efficiency and the passenger experience. The APEX programme is a voluntary review programme that enables airports to benefit from the experience of other security experts. Review teams look at all aspects of security, depending on the needs of the airport, which result in a set of recommendations and an action plan. ACI Africa’s new development programme for the region’s airports will also be launched at the event. The new initiative is designed to help and assist member airports to improve and respond to different challenges, including those posed by security operations, and achieve professional excellence in the application of international standards and best practices. Each ACI Africa Member airport can benefit from this programme according to the priorities and availability of funds. But funding isn’t the only aspect of the development programme, it also includes training, technical assistance, and capacity building and expertise development through access to ACI Global Training and the APEX programme. The Mauritius conference programme is impressive and features a series of meetings, forums and panel discussions on key subjects including recognising leadership; creating a strong security culture; learning from the world’s best airports in customer experience; taxes, connectivity and sustainable tourism; and, the airport digital transformation. I hope you agree that it is an action packed agenda that promises to deliver airports with the tools and strategies they need to survive and successfully compete in an ever changing industry.





Feels good! Butterfly Consulting’s Joanne Paternoster argues that making emotional connections with passengers can enhance an airport’s customer service levels and boost retail revenues.


ore and more airports today are focused on enhancing customers’ experiences at their airports. Indeed, airport strategic plans typically include customer experience as a key pillar. Strategic airport brands, which are a blueprint for how customers are to be treated, are also being crafted. They provide a sense of purpose and a shared vision for the entire airport community so it can “act as one” to the delight of its airport’s customers. Customer feedback is dutifully analysed to understand the drivers of customer satisfaction in hopes of achieving more highly satisfied customers. Service standards, programmes and initiatives are being implemented to enhance customer satisfaction. In many cases, customer service key performance indicators are displayed on airport executive dashboards and addressed as a priority, and collaboration with the airport community to assure innovation and service excellence are all becoming part of the fabric of how business is done at today’s progressive airports. However, although airport customer experiences are improving, consistent service excellence is still often lacklustre at many airports. So, even more needs to be done to create consistently positive, ‘wow’ experiences that differentiate one airport’s experiences from others and assure loyalty when their customers have choices.

All about emotions The vey nature of a ‘wow’ experience involves emotion, and arguably this is an area that airports need to improve on as making positive emotional connections with visitors can significantly boost positive word-of-mouth marketing and non-aeronautical revenues. Customers are emotionally connected with an experience when the experience resonates with their motivations and helps them fulfil deep, often unconscious, desires. I know many readers may be shaking their heads at this point saying: “This is an airport after all! It’s not a spa or Disney!” That is true, but the importance of emotional connectedness with one’s customers transcends all industries and services, and none are more problematic then an airport. An airport is a continuum of experiences provided by many, who work interdependently and diligently, to serve their customers. However, in the end, without a shared vision, a unifying brand promise, and a focus on making emotional connections with customers, the end result of all that hard work and significant investment is no real experience at all. But if the airport community ‘acting as one’ can get in touch with their customers’ emotional motivators then the potential to create an emotional connection with them is strengthened and the results are even greater.



Identifying and measuring emotional motivators is not simple. Most customers may not even be aware of them. For example, what customers say are the sentiments that will move them to feel emotionally connected to a particular experience or a specific brand are often very different from the words they use to describe their emotional responses to the same experience or brand after the fact. Indeed, although people say they would prefer a certain experience, at the moment of truth, they often choose the opposite. Moreover, customers’ emotional motivators vary by customer demographic, industry, brand, touchpoint and stage of their journey. Emotions typically precede thoughts and subsequent actions. Therefore, new tools and strategies are needed beyond traditional ones to engineer airport experiences that ‘move’ customers from being highly satisfied to being fully connected emotionally. And the payback for doing so is significant. Most airports today are focused on turning dissatisfied customers into highly satisfied customers. However, studies conducted by Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon have shown that moving customers from highly satisfied to fully connected emotionally can have three times the return of moving them from emotionally unconnected to highly satisfied.

Moving towards emotionally connected airports Following are some suggestions regarding where to begin to transition from the pursuit of highly satisfied airport customers to fully connected airport customers:  Pursue with a passion truly understanding the different customer segments that use your airport and their emotional motivators at different touchpoints across the entire customer journey. Many airports are exploring the use of personas, a semi-fictional way to synthesise research data to humanise (‘put a face on’), and thereby better empathise with, their significant customer segments.


This is an encouraging trend, but more innovative analytics are needed to dissect complex airport experiences into the components that drive emotional connection. But once equipped with this more robust information, more creative strategies should be identified to engineer customer journeys holistically (even door-to-door) with an eye towards connecting emotionally. Gone are the days of continually improving processes and procedures in a siloed manner without focusing with empathy on how the resulting holistic experience makes customers feel.  Tap into rich media insights that help airports focus on emotional motivators. These insights are readily available for the mining. Many customers, especially millennials, are more than willing to air their feelings on social media. Blend these insights with more traditional feedback mechanisms to create a truer picture of what drives emotional connections.  Encourage airport leaders to speak and act in a manner that is more emotionally intelligent. For example, rather than asking “How can we satisfy our customers?” ask “How can we delight them?” Change the question and a different answer is discovered. Broadening the focus to include emotional connection may prevent an airport from focusing on the wrong solution.  Introduce emotional intelligence awareness and techniques to elevate emotional intelligence in management development programmes, as well as in customer experience training, for frontline and supervisory airport staff. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to recognise and understand emotions in oneself and others, and the ability to use this awareness to manage behaviour and relationships. Increasing ‘airport’ EQ across the board will lead to better relationships within the airport community and more emotionally

connected airport customers, because airport partners, their staff, and the experiences they holistically and strategically deliver are more empathetic and emotionally aware. These steps will begin to change an airport’s culture to be more emotionally intelligent and to make handling emotion one of its strongest links. Airport communities get re-engaged, re-energised, and emotionally connected themselves as EQ awareness goes up and emotional connectedness “goes viral”. Try it yourself – after reading this article focus on your EQ. Start to change the way you speak. Instead of asking “What do you think about it?” ask “How do you feel about it?” You will get a different, and often insightful, answer. Opt to regularly use emotionally-charged words that connote a positive emotion when speaking to airport colleagues as well as customers – interject words such as to delight, thrill, surprise, wow, de-stress, relax, calm, and welcome customers in your everyday language. Also, perhaps try calling your airport’s customers your guests. We think of guests differently than customers and that can lead to hosting them better as well. If we change the way we speak, we will change the way we think and the way we act, and ultimately that will influence how we genuinely connect emotionally with others. Soon how we speak will touch those with whom we interact and they will find themselves using emotionally intelligent words as they too become more emotionally aware. It’s time airports look differently at the importance of the emotional components of their customers’ (and their employees’) journey. Change is in the air – can’t you feel it? The results will be invaluable, rewarding, and self-sustaining. As Maya Angelou has been credited as saying: “People will often forget exactly what you said or what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”





Being part of the conversation London City Airport’s social media manager, Danielle Kirkby, discusses how social media has become a key communication and customer service tool for her gateway.


e live in a world where technology is at the forefront of our lives. So much so, in fact, that many people start their day with a scroll through newsfeeds and messages on their smartphone. Social media in particular is now firmly embedded in society. There are 42 million active social media users in the UK alone – that’s 64% of the country’s population communicating via social media platforms. On a global level, earlier this year, Facebook announced there are now two billion people logging in on a monthly basis. This kind of usage is something that cannot be ignored, social media isn’t a fad, it is absolutely here to stay. At London City Airport (LCY) we recognise this and understand that our passengers expect to be able to communicate with us in this way. The fast and ever changing nature of social media has meant that customers want rapid response, there’s no time for emails, phone calls, certainly not letters, they want to have timely and relevant conversations – and social media is the best way to get it. This is even more pertinent when it comes to air travel, which presents situations that most people don’t experience day-to-day, magnified by the fact that much of the time our passengers have a flight to catch or a meeting to reach. As a business, we need to adapt and fit in with our customers’ day-to-day lives, we want to be part of the conversation, so being where the customers are is vital.



To give an idea of just how rapid and valuable social media is, London City Airport’s following has increased by 131% in just three years and our Twitter account alone has gained 100,000 followers in that time. There is no other medium that can provide as big an audience ready to engage with you. Our strategy puts our passenger at the centre; we focus on our passenger profile and align that with relevant social media platforms. We only operate on those significant to LCY passengers as we’re not looking to have a presence on a platform they’re not using, which is why our priorities are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. The focus for us is quality not quantity, we want to add value in any way we can. This approach means that what we’re getting from social media is significant because we’re making real connections and generating tangible engagement. For example, we provide customers with news and updates about the airport (be it the latest route or retail promotion), gather feedback and opinions directly from passengers, and adopt a tone of voice which is playful yet informative – we want to have a human conversation with our customers. This gives existing passengers a direct line to the business, connecting them to the brand, and increases awareness amongst potential new passengers.


What makes London City Airport unique is its speed of transit, convenient location (the only airport actually in London) and premier customer experience. Social media helps to uphold these USPs. When it comes to passenger traffic, LCY remains a relatively small airport. And although we did accommodate 4.5 million passengers in 2016, our size certainly comes with benefits. It means we can be nimble and work with our dedicated terminal teams to troubleshoot issues on the ground, should they arise. Last year we investigated how we could improve our customer service via social media, by bringing the online and offline together. We created an internal WhatsApp group linking the social media manager with relevant customer service agents across the airport, giving us a quick and easy way to communicate directly. Our intention was to be able to provide that extra level of customer care for passengers. For example, if a passenger tweeted with a query, we had the ability to provide assistance offline, through a member of staff who was already up to speed with the situation, within minutes. This has improved the customer service experience by allowing us to react quickly and effectively with no delay in response to the passenger, and adding a human face as the next step in the communication process – actions, not just words. The result is a streamlined customer service offering that goes above and beyond passengers’ expectations. Since rolling out the internal WhatsApp initiative, there has been a significant increase in overall positive sentiment relating to passenger experience. Not only does this benefit LCY, but the many concessions within the airport as we’re always on hand to provide assistance with restaurants and shops. We have also embraced new tools that provide automated practical help. LCY Flight Info, which we have launched on Twitter and Facebook Messenger, uses BizTweet’s social decisioning software to communicate real-time flight information to customers.

Both departing passengers and those waiting for passengers to arrive can access the required information – you simply send your flight number on the day of travel via Twitter or Facebook to receive personalised flight information, including up-to-the-minute departure or arrival times, and boarding gate numbers. This removes the need for passengers to constantly check flight information screens, which has a practical benefit for the airport, reducing bottlenecks created by overcrowding near screens, which can be an issue at peak times due to the limited footprint of the airport. With 64% of the UK population active on social media, the precedent has been set. Social media is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ for businesses. It is also constantly evolving, so companies must be able to adapt and respond accordingly. This two-way form of communication is extremely valuable to both business and customer when used correctly. No matter what the strategy, customer service should be a standard thread within any business social presence; it’s already embedded in the customers’ expectations. The opportunities within the aviation sector are only going to grow. In September, KLM became the first airline with a verified WhatsApp business account and Virgin Atlantic announced that all of its flights will be equipped with Wi-Fi. Traditional passenger communications have been thrown out of the window. At London City Airport, a £350m development programme is soon to begin, which will see the airport add seven new aircraft stands, a parallel taxiway and an extended terminal. It means the airport will be able to cater for an additional two million passengers per year by 2025. Social media is now firmly established as the airport’s digital shop window, bite-sized newsroom, information channel and instant access customer service portal. It will continue to be a vital tool in the future, the challenge for the airport will be keeping up with demand and evolving with our customers.




Concierge services at Paris CDG. Image courtesy of Pascal Dolémieux/Groupe ADP.


Winning formula ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, looks forward to the first ASQ Customer Experience Forum in Mauritius.


o longer just a buzzword or catchy terminology, it feels like ‘customer experience’ is high on the agenda of almost every business these days, and rightly so, because focusing on customers has proven to be a commercially winning formula across the globe. Indeed, our 2016 research paper, ‘Does passenger satisfaction increase airport non-aeronautical revenues?’ clearly demonstrated that a good customer experience is usually the best way to increase non-aeronautical revenues. But what exactly is meant by the customer experience? Well, according to the Harvard Business Review, a customer experience “can be defined as the sum of all interactions a customer has with a company or an entity providing a paid service.” This, it says, “can include everything from a customer’s initial awareness or discovery of a company, product or service, through to the purchase and use of that company’s products or services.” These interactions can be delivered in person, through the Internet or other channels, and together they all add up to the critical moments – what we call touchpoints or moments of truth – that create an organisation’s overall customer experience. Forrester Research argues that there is convergence between customer experience and human experience, and customer experience is mainly driven by emotions. We take customer service very seriously, of course, and therefore I am particularly proud to announce that we are holding the very first ACI-ASQ Customer Experience Forum in Mauritius. The pre-conference forum, held a day before the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition, will begin at 2pm and be 100% dedicated to customer service.

More specifically, the three-hour customer experience forum will be split into three components dedicated to examining the following: • How and why airports should understand their customers; • How airports can engage with their communities and stakeholders to deliver excellent customer service; and, • How to enhance customer experience through the use technology. During the event, we will see how the service-profit chain establishes relationships between profitability and customer loyalty and employee satisfaction, loyalty and productivity. The links in the chain are as follows: profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer satisfaction; satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers; value is created by satisfied, loyal, well-trained and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers (Harvard Business Review). Customer experience in an airport is a very complex business, with a lot a people involved from different airport teams and other stakeholders such as airlines, retailers, governments and more. A driving force that makes the ASQ programme so powerful is its ability to get all stakeholders on the same page. As an old African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Customer experience vs employee experience: Why does it matter? Customer experience is essentially an encounter between two people, although every employee contributes to the final customer experience. Of course, people directly involved with the customer not only contribute, but also provide benefits to the customer even though there are no direct interactions.




Who cares wins: Customer service at Dubai International (left) and Oslo (right) airports.


In the second portion of the ASQ Customer Experience Forum, we will see how airports can engage with their communities and stakeholders to deliver excellent customer service and contribute to the global experience. Customer experience is human to human, and this is why a concept called ‘symmetry of attention’ is crucial. Symmetry of attention can best be described as follows: If you keep your employees happy, the employees will keep your customers happy. You can also treat and consider your employees like your customer. We can even talk about the employee experience and not just the customer experience. The graph (above) shows the link between the customer experience and the employee experience. It illustrates the relationship between the level of employee engagement in an airport and the level of customer satisfaction. It also illustrates the concept of symmetry of attention.



A disengaged employee may behave rudely towards a customer as the result of a certain level of dissatisfaction, thereby acting as a detractor. Fortunately, this mirror effect works the other way around as well. A dedicated employee can delight a customer, thereby acting as an ambassador. Finally, it is important not to forget that customer experience is all about emotions, and it really doesn’t take that much to change our mood from the negative to the positive or vice versa. And good customer service with a smile is often the best and easiest way to create a positive emotion. Airport community, be customer experience ready!


Learn more about ASQ Want to know more about how to make your passengers happy? Please contact us at contactaciasq@aci.aero to see how ACI can help you to manage your customer experience programme.



That’s entertainment Airport World takes a closer look at a handful of new customer service focused initiatives introduced by airports across the world.


ree movies and TV shows are now on the menu at Dubai International Airport (DXB) following the signing of a new partnership deal between Dubai Airports and regional content provider ICFLIX. The initiative combines DXB’s free Wi-Fi experience, ‘Wow-Fi’, with ICFLIX’s award-winning video-on-demand service, allowing passengers to stream the latest Hollywood, Bollywood and Jazwood (Arabic) content to their smartphones and laptops. It is the latest in a series of unique bespoke concepts to be rolled out by Dubai Airports at the world’s busiest international airport as it strives to make DXB a destination in itself. In recent months, Dubai Airports has introduced Wow-Fi, artDXB, Early Birds discounts of up to 25%, the first Jones the Grocer in an airport and a brand new sleep lounge ‘sleep ‘n fly’, with several other major projects in the pipeline. “Dubai Airports is on a mission to engage more directly with our customers, and transform the airport experience for millions of travellers each month,” explains Eugene Barry, executive vice president of Dubai Airports’ Commercial and Communications Group. “We intend to lead the practical application of available digital tools to exceed customer expectations, across multiple points of their journey at our airports, and including demands for more variety within the airport experience. “Our continued investment in a superior Wi-Fi product (Wow-Fi) has ensured that our customers are connected with a free and fast service, and now we aim to enrich that platform with managed content and relevant messaging.” He continues: “Thanks to our partnership with ICFLIX, travellers at DXB can now enjoy a wide range of streamed entertainment before and between flights, and this is a service which is completely free of charge to users. “We are delighted with this new addition to our consumer strategy and look forward to evaluating its impact.” Content on ICFLIX is available in three languages: Arabic, English and French.



The video-on-demand service is complimentary to all DXB passengers for an initial trial period of two months. Following this trial, Dubai Airports and ICFLIX will assess customer feedback and options for future services.

On the menu Frankfurt Airport’s latest customer service initiative is as brilliant as it is simple – multi-lingual digital restaurant menus for passengers who don’t speak German. Initially available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Russian, the menus have been adopted by three restaurants in a bid to better serve the airport’s growing list of international passengers. Airport operator, Fraport, is quick to point out that transfer traffic currently accounts more than 60% of the gateway’s 60 million passengers annually. It states: “Frankfurt Airport is where the world meets. A place where people of all nationalities and languages meet, with various cultural backgrounds and requirements. “Many of our guests spend the time before departure doing exactly the same things: enjoying an airport shopping spree or having a good meal and a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in one of FRA’s many restaurants. “So, as a service to overcome language barriers, Fraport has developed a multi-lingual digital menu in co-operation with three airport restaurants. “Guests can simply ask service staff for the order tablets containing the menu. They provide a clear overview of the available options in four different languages (English, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese).” It adds that ‘appetising pictures of the dishes and drinks” help customers to choose. Then, it’s just a matter of placing the order in the shopping cart and submitting it to the service staff, who are also on hand to answer any questions that arise. Ute Pohl from Fraport’s Airport Retailing department enthuses: “With the multi-lingual digital menus, we have developed a service that makes communication between guests and service staff much easier.


“At the same time, we are recognising the fact that our guests have a limited timeframe. The ordering tool is easy and intuitive to operate.” Large screens in the entrance area of the restaurants show guests an overview of the wide range of options. The new service is initially available at the following restaurants in the airport’s post-security area: Deli Bros (Terminal 1, Concourse B), Lucullus Nero (Terminal 1, Pier Z) and Mondo (Terminal 2, Concourse D). Fraport plans to roll out the digital menus at other airport restaurants in the coming months, following in the footsteps of Brisbane Airport, which did something similar for Asian visitors using its International Terminal last year.

“Airports are full of stories, and beyond spending the year bringing together two major passions, aviation and building with LEGO, I am excited to have the opportunity to engage travellers, illustrating their stories and travel experiences with LEGO bricks,” he enthuses. Craig is the third artist-in-residence to be appointed by Brisbane Airport following the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, which played pop-up performances to surprise and delighted travellers, and realist painter, Robert Brownhall, who illustrated his visions on canvas from hours exploring the airport.

Out of this world LEGO, anyone? Talking of Brisbane, the Australian airport’s new artist-in-residence, Ben Craig, is an expert in a very popular field... the art of building things with LEGO! Ironically Craig, aka ‘Ben the Brick Builder’, once failed an art assignment at school because he was told building with LEGO was not an acceptable form of art! For the next 12 months, as part of the BricksBNE project, Craig will be creating two ‘walls’ of artwork depicting the favourite travel experiences of passengers, entirely from LEGO bricks at Brisbane Airport (BNE). Throughout the year travellers will be encouraged to share their travel experiences for the opportunity to be recreated in LEGO bricks. Together the passenger inspired creations and larger centrepieces will form two patchwork walls of art celebrating the best of aviation and travel. He will also host a series of public workshops in and around the airport to share his LEGO-building skills and tips. Julieanne Alroe, CEO and managing director of Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), revealed that BNE was inundated with interest from LEGO brick artists vying for the position of artist-in-residence. “The number of applications we had from all over Australia and as far away as India was quite surprising and the way in which people are building art-forms with LEGO bricks is very impressive. “Ben blew us away with his skill and artistic ability in creating incredibly detailed mosaic pictures and large scale 3D artworks with the bricks. “This is the first year passengers through Brisbane Airport will have the opportunity to be really hands on in workshops and influence the artworks themselves and we’re really looking forward to seeing the result.” Since failing his school art assignment, Craig has received a number of accolades for his works, some so complex they are made from over 20,000 LEGO pieces and stand nearly two metres high, like his model of London’s iconic St Pancras train station and clock tower.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s next concessions offerings promise to be out of this world as they come in the shape of an airside Flying Saucer Draught Emporium as well as an entertainment and bar concept called DFW Flying Square Live. Both are being developed by SSP America in partnership with acclaimed restaurateur and Dallas/Fort Worth native, Shannon Wynne, owner of the legendary Fort Worth-based Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. With its original location at Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium has 16 locations in six states. SSP America and Wynne aim to replicate the brand’s successful street side presence by creating two separate spaces in Terminal D – a pub and a place of entertainment that includes an elevated performance area featuring live and local music. Both spaces will feature custom cocktails and an impressive collection of craft beers and elevated gastro pub fare. Shannon Wynne says: “We are happy to finally have our brand represented at DFW. As one of the leaders in the craft beer movement in Texas starting 22 years ago, we have tried to spread the word about great craft brewing and grow its popularity. “With Saucers throughout the southeast, I think we have great name recognition and will be popular with world travellers.” SSP America’s vice president for business development, Bob Stanton, notes: “Our goal at SSP America is to deliver restaurants that offer airport passengers a taste of place which we’re sure to accomplish by collaborating with Shannon, his team and our local partners Charles Bush Consulting, Renee Brooks and JBJ Management.” While DFW’s vice president of concessions, Zenola Campbell, says: “We are constantly looking at ways we can enhance our eating experience as well as retail experience. “Today’s consumer really wants to be engaged, they want to have great tasting food, and they want to experience the same type of relationship inside the terminal as they do outside.” AW




Analyse that!

Airports can transform the passenger experience with next generation analytics, writes Niels Kroese.


lthough everyone travels for different reasons and in different ways, we all essentially want the same thing from air travel – a seamless, connected journey. We dream of moving smoothly through the airport from the minute we arrive to boarding the plan, passing effortlessly through check-in and security before enjoying some stress free shopping and dining or maybe simply checking emails over the free Wi-Fi or visiting the airline lounge. The reality, unfortunately, is often very different and, for most of us, our journey is far from a seamless experience. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as each point along our journey presents numerous opportunities for the airport to better understand their passengers through data, and subsequently improve their airport experience. So why in today’s hyper-connected world, are so many airport hubs still failing – or are completely unable – to join the dots? The widespread use of beacons and other proximity sensors are, of course, already helping airports track passengers across their facilities. But this doesn’t reveal who the passenger is, whether they’re travelling with anyone or, in fact, much else at all. In isolation, and without analytics, the value of the data is limited. Similarly, heat map technology might help airports identify and alleviate queue congestion and bottlenecks, but if a particular passenger is frequently affected and decides to use an alternative hub as a result, the airport might never know. There’s only so far we can go with anonymous data. Simply put, airports need to better understand who is in their terminal. The irony is that the data exists; as the airlines know who is travelling, retailers know who is buying and the border authorities know who is leaving. But without all stakeholders on-board to share insights – not to mention the technological, regulatory and economic challenges around it – initiatives are sometimes difficult to get off the ground. However, there are still pockets of data to exploit. For many hubs, it’s best to start small and build from there. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, in southern France, for example, has developed a simple but effective opt-in scheme for passengers to have each departure and retail purchase tracked via their boarding pass. After 10 departures, the passenger is eligible for fast-track services, VIP lounges and more, driving further insight. Membership

points accrue and accelerate status for the following year, prompting continued engagement. In return the airport gets a wealth of data, and the use of back-end analytics will allow it to develop a profile of each passenger that constantly evolves over time. The airport can then use this insight to predict the future behaviour of travellers and deliver actionable insight.” As long as the benefits are right, passengers will be willing to share their data. And by combining this type of information with other data sources and analytics, airports can go even deeper. Wi-Fi sensors, for instance, show when the same device is in a terminal and allow for a mass of other actionable analytics through usage, such as language preference, demographic and interests. And although it is probably an unpopular thing to say, the data collected from cameras with facial recognition could significantly enhance an airport’s ability to build up accurate passenger profiles. How often does passenger use the terminal, for example? How long do they spend in specific areas? What do they eat and drink? How much do they spend and what they spend it on? Pain points are also revealed such as queuing times at check-in and security, both of which can impact on a passenger’s retail and F&B spend. Indeed, according to SITA’s research, an extra 10 minutes spent at security may reduce retail spend by as much as 30%. With a robust analytics engine that learns as data is fed in from multiple sources, any airport vision for transformation can finally take-off. And with global air passenger numbers expected to double to 14.6 billion by 2029, if a data-driven journey to new customer personalisation horizons isn’t part of the strategy now, expect turbulence ahead. AW

About the author Niels Kroese is Unisys’ head of sales for airports & airlines across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).




What passengers want A new study reveals that airports can build greater customer loyalty by improving the way they communicate with passengers, writes Katie Smith.


e all like to talk, but imagine a conversation with someone when you want to find out about something in particular and they tell you about something completely different instead. You ask about a film you’re going to see, for example, and their reply is about a restaurant recommendation. Similarly, they want to tell you about the result of a sporting event you’ve just come back from and know what happened. It sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but these kind of conversations are reminiscent of the dialogues airports are engaging in with their passengers every day. And according to Mignon Buckingham of airport loyalty specialist ICLP, this failure to communicate effectively is in turn impacting their ability to build the loyalty that could significantly increase non-aeronautical revenue. “There’s a real lack of personalised and relevant communication between the two parties,” she says. “This is having a negative impact on airports’ ability to engage with passengers, and increase both dwell time and spend.” ICLP recently undertook a study, which highlighted a gap between the number of airports that are sending passengers timely communications, and the number of passengers that want to receive them. Currently 83% of passengers actively seek updates on flight arrival and departure times from the airport prior to transit, but only 58% of airports are sharing this information. Nearly a quarter (23%) of passengers surveyed reported that they do not receive any communications from the airports they use, with 65% of those passengers declaring that they have never been given the option to sign up or subscribe. However, 45% of surveyed passengers stated that receiving communications that contained airport offers and discounts prior to travelling would encourage them to spend more. This already substantial figure rises to over half (51%) of Asian travellers, and 54% of travellers from the Middle East. The majority of passengers are keen to hear from airports at all stages of their journey. Indeed, 55% said that they would like to receive information on the day of travel and 48% when relevant.

Around 47% are happy to receive information at any time after booking their flight, 25% when they are at the airport, and 11% when they have passed through security. Nevertheless, even with these wide parameters, many airports are getting the timing very wrong, with 30% of passengers stating that they receive communications from the airport post travel, when they are no longer relevant. There is also a misalignment between the information that airports are communicating and what passengers want to receive. For example, details of airport car parking options are sent by 88% of airports while just 31% of passengers want to receive this information. Even when airports do open communications channels, they often fail to capitalise on the relationship. Well, over half of passengers (58%) say they would share personal information in exchange for free Wi-Fi, for example, and this increases to nearly a third (61%) of Asian passengers, and 66% of passengers from the Middle East. However, although 100% of the airports taking part in ICLP’s study provide free access to public Wi-Fi, less than half (only 48%) are collecting data from the passengers using this service. And when airports do collect data, they rarely use it to maximum effect, with just 45% of airports saying they use the information they collect to drive marketing campaigns, and an alarming 23% confessing that they don’t use it at all. “What the research is highlighting loud and clear is that customers are open to having a dialogue and airports are missing opportunities to engage with them,” insists Buckingham. “Airports need to capture passenger information and use it to personalise communications in order to drive better engagement and relationships. “This in turn will leave airports better able to meet the needs and demands of their passengers, helping to secure longer-term loyalty and increase dwell time and spend.”





Illuminating experience Creating the right ambiance, like Zurich Airport did with its 2016 Christmas lighting, holds huge positives for airports, writes Thomas Mark.


rchitects know it, so do psychologists, health care specialists, educational establishments, retail/F&B operators and the leisure sector – the ambiance of a place is all-important. When you get it right it can create a welcoming atmosphere and even a sense of wellbeing that boosts customer satisfaction levels and subsequently passenger spend on shopping and F&B. People simply feel more positive when they are exposed to the right ambiance and, in this respect, lighting makes a significant contribution to their overall experience. This was not lost on Zurich Airport when it came to deciding on its 2016 Christmas lights, the Swiss gateway opting to go for some unique displays in a bid to surprise and delight visitors during one its busiest times of the year. Its partners for the project were Zurich-based marketing agency, AROMA, and Austria’s MK Illumination, a company with over 20 years experience of creating festive lighting in locations ranging from city centres to Tyrolean villages and local government offices to shopping malls. The latter is particularly relevant as Zurich Airport is one of Switzerland’s busiest shopping centres and one of the few places in the country where people from the region can shop on a Sunday. By their very nature airports tend to be big buildings with oversize facilities, and Zurich is no exception, so MK Illumination focused on using rich showers of warm, golden light points to bring out the best of its architectural design. They created multiple large centrepiece chandeliers suspended from the ceilings and introduced “brilliant carpets of warm light” spilling over balconies on the upper and mezzanine floors as well as on escalators. The bedazzling mix of lights meant that wherever passengers were in the terminal they were met with a warm, and unmistakably inviting Christmas atmosphere.

“We really wanted to put our passengers and visitors in a Christmas mood and Christmas lighting, and some beautifully decorated promotional areas, was integral to achieving this goal,” says Andrea Etter, Zurich Airport’s head of advertising and promotions. “In this respect, I suppose, we can be compared to a big shopping centre. The aim was to make our visitors feel comfortable and have a positive experience of their stay at Zurich Airport, and based on their feedback, we know they felt very comfortable during the pre-Christmas period. “They also confirmed that the beautiful decorations had a positive effect on them. As a result, we can recommend upgrading the shopping areas with lighting, decorations and music over the Christmas period.” In today’s ultra-competitive operating environment where passengers have more choice of which gateways to use than ever before, airports are more than aware that they need to become almost destinations in their own right to attract passengers. Indeed, market research from companies like AT Kearney claim that airports need to transform themselves into distinct brands to standout from the crowd and differentiate themselves from their rivals. In Zurich Airport’s case, there is no denying that last winter’s distinctive Christmas lighting helped it in this respect, and it is planning something similar this holiday season.


About the author Thomas Mark is president co-owner of Innsbruck-based MK Illumination – www.mk-illumination.com




Investing in technology

Airports and airlines will spend nearly $33 billion on IT this year as they bid to enhance their operations and put passengers more in control of their journeys.


irports will invest more money on IT than ever before this year and their commitment to spending big on technology is being matched by the airlines, with both focusing their efforts on similar priorities. Indeed, according to SITA’s latest report, Air Transport IT Trends Insights, top of the agenda for CIOs at both airlines and airports are investment in cyber security and cloud services. In addition, they are prioritising investments in passenger self-service. SITA’s research shows that their IT spend remains strong, with a colossal $33 billion expected to be invested by the world’s airports and airlines on new technology in 2017. It says that airport spend as a percentage of their overall revenues will rise an estimated 5% this year or $8.43 billion, while for airlines the upturn is expected to be 3.3% or $24.3 billion in 2017. Looking ahead to 2018, over 70% of airlines and 88% of airports are expecting IT spend to increase or remain at the same levels as today. And as IT spend rises, says SITA, both airports and airlines agree that the number one priority for their investments is cyber security. Nearly all of them – 96% of airports and 95% of airlines – plan to invest in major programmes or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. According to SITA, this shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing in this area.



Digital transformation Ilya Gutlin, SITA’s president of Air Travel Solutions, says: “The air transport industry is going through a digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. “Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry, so building solid defences is essential. “Cloud services provide important efficiencies which play a key role in keeping costs down. Investments in self-service improve passenger satisfaction as they welcome the independence and efficiencies it delivers.” He continues: “When it comes to IT investment, airports and airlines are aligned to provide better, more secure service to customers. “The interdependencies built into air transport systems mean investments and improvements in all these areas, by airlines and airports alike, will continue to contribute to a strong global industry.” Antoine Rostworowski, director of airport customer experience and technology at ACI World, notes: “SITA’s research, which was cosponsored by ACI, reveals valuable insights for our industry. “It is encouraging to see the alignment of investment priorities among airports and airlines, which reflects the collaboration between ACI and IATA on best practices. “ACI and IATA have joint initiatives such as Automated Border Control, end-to-end baggage tracking (Facilitation), Data Exchange, Common-Use (Airport IT) and Smart Security.


“Industry partners such as SITA and others are also involved in these initiatives to make airports more efficient and to improve the passenger experience.� Cloud services are another top investment priority with 95% of airlines and 85% of airports planning to invest over the next three years, continuing an upward trend that SITA has recorded since 2015. The third key area of investment that was highlighted by both airlines and airports is the desire to provide more self-service options to passengers. At airports, self-service processes at check-in, bag drop and boarding are increasingly popular with passengers and 89% of airports are investing in these processes. Airports operators are also said to have a keen focus on improving the journey through the terminal, and as a result, are looking to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, beacons and sensors to support their goals.

SITA’s insights show that 80% are investing, or planning to invest, in these technologies over the next three years. Nearly three quarters, 74%, are investing in wayfinding solutions and 68% in solutions to improve personalisation for the passenger. Airlines, says SITA, are focusing on providing mobile services. Today the majority provide check-in (73%), boarding (70%) and flight status notifications (68%) via mobile and by 2020 more than 97% plan to do so. A key area of growth, suggests SITA, will be providing real-time flight updates over social media, which will jump from 31% of airlines doing so to 92% in the next three years. Providing a seamless experience is key to the airlines. In total, 94% rate streamlining services into a single app as a priority, with 58% rating this as a high priority. Mobile app capabilities and usability are developing quickly and an increasing number of airlines plan to use mobile as a customer service tool, including at times of disruption.




AI, chatbot and beacons Another revelation of the new report is that airports and airlines are increasingly embracing new technologies and turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to support their customer service. In fact according to SITA, over the next three years, 52% of airlines plan major AI programmes or R&D and 45% of airports will invest in R&D in the next five years. Airlines are looking at how technology can help minimise the impact of disruption on the passenger experience and their business and, over the next three years, 80% of them plan to invest in major programmes or R&D into prediction and warning systems, which rely heavily on AI. Another technology that is catching the attention of the industry, says the report, is chatbots. Today, 9% of airports and 14% of airlines use



chatbots, however, there is said to be a “significant appetite” among air transport CIOs to embrace this technology over the next three years. So much so, in fact, that Air Transport IT Trends Insights predicts that 42% of airports and 68% of airlines plan to adopt AI-driven chatbot services by 2020. SITA’s report also shows that mobile app development is a top priority among airlines and airports. Indeed, over the next three years, 94% of airlines and 82% of airports plan major mobile programmes or R&D. The main area of focus is in the commercialisation of their mobile services with airlines looking to boost both direct and ancillary sales via their apps. In fact, airlines expect sales via their mobile apps to double by 2020 and reach 17% of their total sales. Streamlining services into one single app to deliver a seamless experience is a priority for almost every airline (94%) and a high priority for more than half (58%). Jim Peters, SITA’s chief technology officer, says: “We know that passengers prefer to use technology, and when it is well designed it can really improve the passenger experience. “Airlines and airports are investing in AI and mobile programmes to make services even better for the passenger, supporting sales and providing customer support, particularly during times of disruption. “The industry is using a healthy mix of in-house and outsourced development which will combine expert and industry-specific knowledge with emerging approaches to tech offerings.” Airports plan to use chatbots for services such as notifications and airport guides. They are also looking to beacons and sensors to help provide context and location-aware services. SITA’s research shows that 40% consider this area a ‘high priority’ for app development and a further 43% consider it a ‘priority’. “Airports clearly recognise the opportunity to provide useful and relevant mobile services to passengers to optimise time spent at the airport,” says SITA. AW

Double Dutch


Airport World turns the spotlight on two development projects at Amsterdam Schiphol – its planned new Terminal 2 and recently re-opened Holland Boulevard.


msterdam Schiphol has chosen the design of KAAN Architecten for its planned new terminal. The new terminal will open in 2023 and will allow 14 million more passengers to travel through Schiphol annually. The new terminal is an expansion of Schiphol’s existing terminal, making it possible to retain the one terminal concept. The consortium’s innovative thinker is Arnout Meijer Studio from the Netherlands. According to Schiphol, the expansion is required in order to strengthen its competitive position, keep pace with the growth in aviation, and continue to enhance the position of ‘Europe’s preferred airport’ among both airlines and passengers. Amsterdam Schiphol CEO, Jos Nijhuis, says: “This design suits the Schiphol DNA. That was the main reason why the jury decided to go with it. “The design solution contributes to excellent processing, it provides optimal support to passengers, contributes to our sustainability ambitions and is future-proof. “We are looking forward to welcoming airlines and passengers in the new terminal and adjacent new pier.” The new terminal will form an expansion of Schiphol’s existing terminal and will adjoin Departure Hall 1 and Arrival Hall 1. Keeping the buildings together allows Schiphol to ensure that all the facilities are under one roof. The last time that Schiphol permanently expanded the terminal was in 1993, when the current Departure Halls 3 and 4 and Arrival Halls 3 and 4 were built.

Holland Boulevard These are busy times for the Dutch gateway, which in early September opened its new-look Holland Boulevard, providing visitors with an even more impressive snapshot of Dutch culture. According to the airport, the new-look boulevard – the public area between Departure Lounges 2 and 3 – has been developed

“to meet the needs of passengers wishing to step out of the travel process for a while”. The airport insists that the new transparent design gives visitors a clearer view of the entire area and its offerings. “Large areas of glass and low walls create a fresh, open feel. Passengers can spend time with friends and family, enjoy a spa treatment and work or shop in comfort in this area,” it says. “A traveller wanting to read can visit the new Airport Library, with around 500 books by well-known Dutch authors, translated into more than 40 languages as a literary calling card for foreign travellers. “In addition to its books, the Airport Library has touchscreens showing the best of Dutch culture.” It adds that the renovated Rijksmuseum annex also gives the traveller the perfect place to relax and unwind. The current exhibition introduces visitors to 17th-century Dutch painting. “It is a varied overview, with portrait, still life, landscape and seascape as genres,” promises Amsterdam Schiphol. The selection consists of a Delft Blue tiled tableau and ten paintings representing typical Dutch narrative themes from the Golden Age, such as flat lowlands, water and sea, floral magnificence and wealthy citizens. Elsewhere, other works of art include ‘10,800 Horizons’ by Samira Boon, which pays reference to the region’s polder landscape as well as the “floral magnificence of the House of Tulips shop”. Amsterdam Schiphol believes that The NEMO Science Museum challenges everyone, young and old, to discover how fascinating and relevant science and technology are. Two gigantic cuddly toys, designed by artist Florentijn Hofman, are among its exhibits. Tanja Dik, Schiphol’s director of consumer products and services, says: “Holland Boulevard is a place for you to stretch your legs after a flight, go wandering amongst the Dutch masters, curl up with a good book on a comfortable settee, enjoy a fellow passenger’s piano playing or to enjoy attractive shops and restaurants.”





Going in the

right direction Liam Henderson and Milda Manomaityte consider some of the ground access challenges facing Europe’s airports and what needs to be done to improve surface connectivity.


n a city with multiple airports, passengers seemingly decide which one to fly from based on several key preferences. Multiple research and airport passenger satisfaction surveys identify these choices as price, air service quality destinations, airline/alliance loyalty and airport ground access. The fact that ground access is so important to people shouldn’t come as any surprise as every passenger’s journey starts at home and ends with the turn of a door key somewhere around the world. It is also worth remembering that on many short-haul trips, travel to/from the airport takes as much, if not more time, than the actual flight itself, and can significantly add to the hassle of air travel. Traditionally, airports have earned a significant proportion of their revenues from passengers and employees parking their cars near the terminals. But growing congestions on roads and car parks, unreliable journey times, ever stricter environmental regulations and changing travel habits have made make public transport access to/from airports increasingly viable in recent years and, in many cases, are now the preferred option of passengers. The European Commission (EC) recommends that public transport and landside access to airports should be considered as part of the intermodal solution, stressing that where rail connections already exist at an airport, rail and air schedules should be aligned; and where there is no rail access, bus or coach shuttles to nearby rail stations should be provided. Flightpath 2050, Europe’s Vision for Aviation, sets out the European Commission’s goal for 90% of travellers within Europe to be able to complete their journey, door-to-door, within four hours. However, because there is only so much the aviation industry can do to reduce flight times, in order to meet the EC’s objective, radical steps will need to be taken to reduce the time passengers spend travelling to and from airports and making connections. At a recent Airport Access Ideas Forum organised by the Global AirRail Alliance, leaders of air and ground transportation companies



discussed how to make the journey to and from airport as frictionless as possible. One of the key challenges addressed was the inability to provide passengers with a travel guarantee for door-to-door journeys. Passengers indicate that they want their entire journey covered by partnership agreements (after all, they buy tickets to a destination city, not just its airport), so that in the event that their journey is interrupted, they will be offered an alternative means of transport. Lack of ambition, co-operation, the absence of data integration and regulatory constraints has meant that this type of service is not widely available today. To address this challenge, airports, airlines and ground transport operators need to start co-operating more with each other, and share data. Doing this will allow them to co-ordinate and plan for increased passenger flows, offer joint promotions and improve the overall passenger experience. And demonstrating these benefits would help encourage customers to share their data between operators. According to Blackstone Gates and the RE:Digital Group, which have partnered to design a global customer knowledge travel platform, passenger data held and used solely by individual travel service providers such as the airlines, hotels and rail companies, provides little value to passengers over the course of their entire journey. Steve England, founder of RE:Digital Group, explains: “For too long, transport providers have thought only about themselves and what is in it for their business. Yet, the only reason they exist is because of the fare-paying passenger. “It is time transport corporations stopped paying lip service to the mantra of putting the passenger first and truly think of the passenger experience in all they do. Technology can enable frictionless journeys, however, corporate ‘can’t do’ attitudes get in the way of a better passenger experience.”


It is also too easy to forget that many airport access issues actually begin in the terminal themselves with the problems passengers face trying to navigate their way through airport wayfinding systems to reach the public transport options. Indeed, just finding the right rail link, taxi ranks or coach station can sometimes be daunting and prove as stressful as worrying about delayed trains or traffic jams on the way to the airport. Passenger experience consultancy, Transporting Cities, recently carried out ‘passenger journey assessments’ at a number of airports with a direct rail link to the city centre, and discovered that ground access information for arriving passengers is often confusing and inconsistent. From our point of view, the biggest challenge to providing an excellent journey experience is recognising that passengers’ assumptions on rail services are informed by their home systems. In the case of major airports, passengers often arrive from far-flung destinations and will interpret rail services differently. Also, as service levels are normally defined by the local operator, the offering maybe very different to what the newly arrived passengers is used to experiencing. Each assessment involved a walkthrough from plane to train, assuming the role of a first-time user. This allows us to spot obstacles that a local doesn’t even notice, but there is more work to be done to advocate for the needs of passengers who are unfamiliar with the service.

Making the system more easily accessible for these passengers will increase the overall user experience. Both the Global AirRail Alliance and Transporting Cities have called for some level of standardisation in information provision across major airports so that a visitor to any global airport can expect to see a familiar guide through to the rail service. For example, if multiple rail operators and/or rail services serve an airport, more often than not passengers are left to their own devices to distinguish between them and to interpret the wayfinding signs or figure out which ticket machine sells the correct tickets. As a result, sometimes their first experience in a new city is being fined for having the wrong ticket! Improving airport access by introducing different public and private transport options is crucial for passenger experience, but more choice brings information noise. To simplify and ensure the consistency of information and services provided to passengers, all transport operators need to be part of the service planning conversations from the start, as this can improve the journey experience and increase operators’ revenue.


About the authors Liam Henderson founded passenger experience consultancy, Transporting Cities (www.transportingcities.com) while Milda Manomaityte is director of the Global AirRail Alliance (www.globalairrail.com).




Going green We report on the Royal Schiphol Group’s decision to turn to wind power, dnata ramping up its recycling efforts and the latest biofuel initiatives.

Life’s a breeze for Royal Schiphol Group The Royal Schiphol Group has announced that Amsterdam Schiphol and its entire Dutch airport network will utilise wind power from next year. The electricity will be provided by wind farms operated by renewable energy company, Eneco, and it is hoped that the decision will accelerate the development of sustainable electricity production in the Netherlands. Eneco will supply Schiphol, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Lelystad airports with sustainable power from January 1, 2018. Together, the airports consume around 200GWh, which is comparable with the consumption of 60,000 households. In the Netherlands, this is about the size of Haarlemmermeer or Delft. Jos Nijhuis, president and CEO of Royal Schiphol Group, enthuses: “For our new energy contract, we wanted nothing but sustainable power generated in the Netherlands. After all, one thing is certain: aviation can, and must, be made more sustainable. “We feel that the most important elements of this collaboration with Eneco are that all the Schiphol Group airports are involved and that additional sustainable energy sources will be developed in the

Load of rubbish

Netherlands. This will allow our airports to increase their sustainability and offer economic benefits.” While Jeroen de Haas, CEO of the Eneco Group, says: “For the energy transition, it is crucial for the business sector – which is by far the largest energy consumer – to embrace sustainability. “Pioneers such as Royal Schiphol Group are consciously choosing new, sustainable forms of production and are therefore setting the tone for others. As a result, they are also helping Eneco Group to invest in wind farms and other sustainable energy sources.” The first new wind farm that will generate power for Royal Schiphol Group is Vianen, which will be operational from January 2018. More wind farms will follow, and from January 1, 2020, all of the power will come from newly built farms. Until the new wind farms have been constructed, the power will come from existing sustainable energy sources in the Netherlands. The decision to use new wind farms means that Schiphol will not be drawing power from the existing sustainable energy network. It will also increase the range of sustainable power options in the Netherlands.

Planes could take off from British airports using fuels made from rubbish that gets sent to landfill, under a new scheme by the UK government. As part of plans to promote clean alternative fuels, the UK government is offering funding for projects in the UK to develop low carbon waste-based fuels for planes and lorries, with matching funding from industry. The government claims that it is already planning to revolutionise the motor industry with ultra-low emission electric cars, and now plans “going further and investing in a new generation of fuels” which will power aircraft and lorries. The Department for Transport (DfT) states that trials of sustainable jet fuel, made from waste materials, have taken place in Europe and North America, and now the launch of a UK competition will see British experts conduct pioneering research in this sector. Indeed, it notes that it has already had interest from more than 70 groups in bidding for the funding. According to the DfT, the new fuels are chemically very similar to conventional fuels, so can be used in existing aircraft without the need for any engine modifications. And it argues that low carbon transport fuels made from waste materials could be worth £600m a year to the British economy by 2030, and could also support up to 9,800 new jobs. UK Transport Minister, Jesse Norman, says: “We are committed to cutting carbon emissions and promoting new environmentally-friendly fuels that will help us meet that goal.”




Dnata steps up its recycling efforts Dubai-based dnata has ramped up its recycling programme for its fleet of 12,000 units of GSE (Ground Services Equipment) at both of its Dubai hubs (DXB and DWC). Since the launch of the recycling programme this year, over 80 units of GSE have been renewed at the GSE maintenance base, reducing waste generated from GSE by 110 tonnes, while passing all safety and quality checks. The projection for 2017 is an estimated 140 pieces of GSE being recycled, saving the company approximately over AED13 million and reducing waste by 250 tonnes. As GSE reach the end of their lifecycle, they were previously replaced with newer versions. However, given the sturdy and enduring nature of the machinery, it says that the GSE mostly simply required a mechanical overhaul to be put back into service. Located at DXB its GSE maintenance facility spans 36,000sqm and employs 1,145 dedicated team members who carefully check the GSE for any faults before replacing parts that need renewing, therefore extending the lifespan to up to 18 years. “Our reality is that sustainability is a necessity, not a choice, and at dnata, we endeavour to meaningfully fulfil our environmental responsibility wherever we operate,” says dnata president, Gary Chapman. “We are extremely motivated by the success of our GSE recycling programme in Dubai. It provides us with a tangible way to reduce our carbon footprint at the source, rather than carbon offsetting as a way of merely clearing the corporate conscience. “It has been rewarding to see the impact of this initiative, and it is the start of many initiatives dnata has in the pipeline to bring about a change

in the way we use resources, in our effort to promote sustainability. We are getting creative and innovative when collaborating with our equipment suppliers, to seek more environmental efficiencies for our fleet,” he added. Other initiatives for a greener operation include the conversion of all forklifts in dnata’s cargo operations to electric. Out of a fleet of 102 forklifts in Dubai, 73 are electric and the remainder are powered by diesel. The plan is to replace all current diesel forklifts by the end of 2017 with electric alternatives – reducing the carbon footprint at dnata’s cargo operations by 80%, generating a fuel savings (consumption) of 200,000 litres per year, and CO2 emissions reduction of 47 tonnes per year.

Norway leading the way on biofuels

In August, Bergen Airport became the second Norwegian gateway after Oslo to begin the sale of biofuels to its airline customers. Talking about the launch of AirBP provided biojet fuels at the airport, Avinor’s CEO, Dag Falk-Petersen, says: “Those involved in Norwegian aviation are sharing the responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Biofuel, together with new more energy-efficient aircraft, is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry. “Biofuel can be imported or produced in Norway. A report from Rambøll shows that it is possible to achieve a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions using Norwegian sustainable biofuel obtained through biomass from forestry. This would also help create new businesses and jobs in Norway.” While Bergen Airport’s director, Aslak Sverdrup, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to become the second airport in Norway to make aviation biofuel available to airlines. “This is an important step in establishing a market and infrastructure for the production and delivery of biofuel on a large scale.” According to Avinor, biofuel can be mixed directly with conventional fuel and no adjustments to the aircraft engines or distribution system are required.



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The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Double delight for Siemens It has been a very good summer for Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL), which has won a major order to implement a cutting-edge cloud-based software platform for dnata’s Dubai cargo operations and been awarded a contract to modernise and maintain the baggage handling systems at 13 of the 14 Greek regional airports operated by Fraport Greece. The Dubai deal will allow all land transport processes up to the ramp to be handled digitally at both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al-Maktoum International-Dubai World Central (DWC) airports. According to Siemens, the benefits for dnata will include significantly increased transparency and seamless, IT-based co-operation with freight forwarders, agents and airlines. Taking about the Greek regional airport contract, SSPAL CEO, Michael Reichle enthuses: “We are

helping in this major step to improve the airport infrastructure in Greece. “At the same time, the modernisation of the airports plays a major role in raising passenger satisfaction – among tourists and all other passengers to and from Greece.” To thoroughly modernise the baggage handling systems, Siemens is installing equipment that includes the latest VarioBelt conveyors, vertical sortation units (VSUs) and horizontal diverting units (HDU). In addition it will integrate Standard 3 X-ray equipment for hold baggage screening (HBS) to further improve security. The scope of delivery also includes smart SCADA software for monitoring and controlling the technical processes.

December date in Dakar for Lagardère Lagardère Travel Retail has been awarded a ten-year contract to operate and manage shops at Senegal’s new Blaise Diagne International Airport, which is finally set to open for business on December 7. Located 50 kilometres east of capital, Dakar, the $575 million gateway will replace Dakar’s capacity constrained Leopold Sedar Senghor International Airport, which handled close to two million passengers in 2016. Lagardère will operate over 1,000sqm of duty free shopping space at the airport offering perfumes and cosmetics, confectionery, tobacco, liquor, accessories and electronics. It will also manage a 100sqm Relay store, which will sell newspapers, magazines, books, snacks and souvenirs.

Lagardère Travel Retail’s chairman and CEO, Dag Rasmussen, says: “We are very proud to have been awarded this new concession in Senegal, which is the 33rd country in which we will be present in travel retail. “Lagardère is entering a new region that offers many opportunities for our group. “We will do our utmost to live up to the expectations and to provide a service and experience of the highest quality.” It has taken more than a decade to construct the new airport, which will boast a capacity of 10mppa and is expected to handle around three million passengers in its first year of operations. The airport itself will be operated by a consortium comprising private companies Summa and Limak, and AIBD SA, a 100% Senegalese government owned entity.

FCI International Ltd Location: Lagos, Nigeria Contact: Fortune Idu, CEO and senior partner E: idufortune@yahoo.com or info@fciint.net W: www.fciint.net FCI International Ltd, also known as the Centre for Technical Development, is an international intermodal consulting company providing services in the following areas: human capacity development; project management; transaction advisory; intervention training; business promotion; and trade facilitation and location services for government, public and corporate clients. We are also the proud owner of the Airport Business Summit and Exhibition, a promotional airport industry development event held annually in Nigeria.

Penhall Company Location: Grand Prairie, TX, USA Contact: Bill Bauman, national account manager, airports E: bbauman@penhall.com W: www.penhall.com Penhall was founded in 1957 and has become the largest and most trusted provider of concrete cutting, GPR scanning and X-Ray services in North America. We offer an extensive range of options to help customers from homeowners to the largest industrial companies.

Quantum Innovation Corporation Location: Millbury, MA, USA Contact: Peter DiDomenica, president E: pdidomenica@gmail.com W: www.quantuminnovationcorp.com Quantum Innovation Corporation is a training and consulting firm that specialises in training airport personnel in prevention of terrorist acts, criminal acts and workplace violence. The firm also provides consultation services to airports on threat assessment mitigation and security systems designs for prevention and mitigation of terrorist acts.






matters Security pass Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on airport security and its impact on passengers.


hat role does the security experience play in shaping the passenger experience? It has to be said that the prospect of standing in a long queue at an airport, having to submit to a body search, and then having one’s carefully packed bag taken apart piece by piece by a suspicious official is not something that most people look forward to. So, what if anything, can be done to make the passenger experience of airport security as good as possible? Dealing appropriately with passengers is a challenge. The prime reason for airport security nowadays is to minimise the risk to civil aviation from terrorism. The nature of the role requires security staff to remain alert and open to the possibility that any individual passenger could pose a threat. Technology can help, but detection of dangerous items still ultimately depends on human judgement. At the same time as having to remain perpetually vigilant, security staff are under pressure to ensure efficient operation and good service. It is a difficult balance to strike. Fortunately, most people accept that security is a necessity and will put up with a lot if they feel they are being treated fairly, reasonably and professionally. What can help to achieve this?

waiting more acceptable. More generally, those who rarely travel deserve particular attention as they don’t know what to expect, and can cause bottlenecks and problems for themselves and others.

Find ways of engaging and motivating security staff Security is a challenging area to work in. The environment is busy and bustling with activity. Many of the jobs are shift-based, have a short cycle time and are relentlessly repetitive. Rules and regulations change frequently. As a consequence, turnover is often higher than in other areas. In these circumstances, it’s important that airport leaders pay attention to their people. Well thought through processes are the foundations. Proper training is essential. Communication is of the essence. A genuine concern for the wellbeing of security staff also makes a difference. Naples Airport in Italy, for example, has built a relaxation facility close to the work. Feedback on this has been very positive.

Invest in the development of interpersonal skills

People of every possible disposition, background, and culture pass through airport screening. Being treated fairly is the starting point. Thereafter, it’s amazing Educating passengers in advance how much difference a smile, encouraging Passenger experience is shaped by the gap word, non-verbal behaviour and the style between expectations and reality. It’s of interacting with colleagues can make. important to find ways of increasing people’s A professional, considerate and helpful awareness of security before they get there. approach to security can transform the For example, letting people know passenger experience, reducing the stress about anticipated queue times helps for all involved and preventing a bad start people to prepare and can make the to a journey.



Dublin born Dalton Philips is the new chief executive of Irish airport operator, daa, succeeding Kevin Toland, who left earlier this year. He has held a number of senior leadership roles in retail and related industries, working in 14 countries for companies including Walmart, Loblaw (Canada’s leading retailer) and Morrisons. “Daa plays an essential role within the Irish economy, with Dublin and Cork airports alone generating or facilitating more than 100,000 jobs in the Irish economy and contributing the equivalent of 4.4% of GDP,” says Philips. “Our focus will continue to be on providing the best customer experience for the millions of passengers who travel through our airports every year.” London City Airport (LCY) has announced that Wilma Allan will become its new chief finance officer in early 2018. She has over 20 years’ experience in finance, procurement, systems and IT management and is currently the CFO for Govia Thameslink Railway. She said: “I relish the opportunity to be involved in adding much needed aviation infrastructure, connecting London and London business to new and emerging global markets and continuing to provide, what I already consider to be, a market leading passenger proposition.” Con Dooney is Cork Airport’s new general manager of operations and safety. He will have responsibility for leading the Cork Airport operations and asset care teams, ensuring safe, reliable and effective operations. On the other side of the world, Julia Hoare is expected to join the Board of Auckland Airport as an independent non-executive director. Her appointment, recommended by the Board, will be rubber-stamped by shareholders at the airport’s AGM on October 26. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) has named acting chief security officer, John Bilich, a former NYPD deputy commissioner of operations and chief investigator at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, as its new permanent chief security officer.

About the authors Dr Richard Plenty is managing director of This Is… and runs the ACI World Airport Human Resources programme. The next one is in Abu Dhabi, on November 5-8, 2017. Terri Morrissey is chairperson of This Is… and CEO of the Psychological Society of Ireland. Contact them through info@thisis.eu


Profile for Airport World

Airport World, Issue 5, 2017  

• On the agenda: Customer service • Airport profile: Airports of Mauritius • Special Report: Air Transport IT trends • Plus: Amsterdam Sc...

Airport World, Issue 5, 2017  

• On the agenda: Customer service • Airport profile: Airports of Mauritius • Special Report: Air Transport IT trends • Plus: Amsterdam Sc...