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In the spotlight: Concessions Airport profile: Oslo Events: Beacon technology Plus: Baggage handling & airport leadership

Concessions: Creating something special December 2016-January 2017 Volume 21 Issue 6


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


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

On the menu Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the growth and development of retail/F&B concession offerings at the world’s gateways and looks forward to 2017.


irports are clearly in my blood because my very first job was as a trainee journalist at Heathrow Airport back in the early 1980s. The company that took a chance on me was called Brenard Press and it was fronted by two former WWII spitfire pilots who, to an impressionable 18 year old, were larger than life characters from a bygone age that I admired and was petrified of in equal measures. The only reason I mention this really is that within a few days of starting work there one of them told me to think upon Heathrow as being like a city in its own right, as it effectively had everything you would find in any metropolis, plus a couple of runways. Its population was its workforce and like most other big airports across the world it had its own police force, fire brigade, tenants, restaurants, bars, shops, car parks, taxi stands, bus garage, train stations and a church (religious building). About the only thing it didn’t have was someone living there, although there used to be a pig farmer whose house was literally a few hundred feet from the runway and a resident photographer spent so much time in the old Control Tower Bar that we used to joke that he never left the place! Realising that the then operators of Heathrow, BAA, couldn’t do all of this on their own I quickly discovered the importance of concessions and concessionaires for retail/F&B operations and other services such as managing airport hotels and operating car parks. Today, most airports use concessions to provide the bulk of their non-aeronautical activities and many airports themselves are operated as concessions. Arguably the most high profile concessions at airports are the retail/F&B offerings, and these have undergone somewhat of a transformation in the last few years as airports have realised the importance of concessions offerings to the bottom line and customer satisfaction levels.

Indeed, shops and restaurants now generate significant non-aeronautical revenues for airports and it feels like an ever-increasing number of gateways and concessionaires have recognised that providing better facilities, more varied offerings and a new focus on the passenger experience can yield remarkable results. It is certainly no coincidence, for example, that almost without exception all of the top performing gateways in ACI’s annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey have impressive and, in some cases, award winning concessions programmes. The once bland and dull airport shopping and dining experience has increasingly given way to bold, innovative and sometimes unique facilities that more often than not express a ‘sense of place’. More and more airports, for instance, are bringing popular local restaurants into their terminals that often provide a traveller’s only chance to visit them on a short trip to the region. It’s true that, outside of duty free sales, airport shopping isn’t really that cheap, but it isn’t generally that expensive either, which is some achievement considering that airports are capital-intensive assets to operate, maintain and develop. We put the latest retail/F&B trends, innovations and visions under the microscope in this ‘concessions’ themed issue of Airport World and also consider the appeal of airport hotels and on-site advertising opportunities. Elsewhere in the magazine we have features about beacon technology; baggage handling; and Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport’s soon to open new terminal. In our final airport profile of the year we talk to Oslo Airport’s managing director, Øyvind Hasaas, about the gateway’s new capacity enhancing facilities, retail/F&B innovation and pioneering ‘green’ initiatives. I hope you have enjoyed our global coverage of all the aviation industry news, views and events of 2016 and look forward to doing it all again next year both in print and online at





In this issue Issue 6 Volume 21 Cover image: Singapore Changi’s Terminal 3.

3 Opinion Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the growth and development of retail/F&B concession offerings at the world’s gateways and looks forward to 2017.

8 ACI news ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, considers how to maximise the impact of the ASQ programme at your airport.

11 View from the top Director general, Angela Gittens, discusses ACI World’s new Policy Brief and the importance of non-aeronautical revenues.

12 On top in Europe Oslo Airport’s managing director, Øyvind Hasaas, talks to Joe Bates about the gateway’s new-look terminal, the importance of its retail/F&B offerings and environmental leadership.

18 Bed and board Airport hotels are some of the most sought after concessions on the planet with the big chains boasting facilities at or around most of the world’s busiest airports, writes Joe Bates.

23 Shopping list Dufry CEO, Julián Díaz, provides his thoughts on airport duty free concessions and some of the opportunities and challenges facing the travel retail market.

24 Better buys Airport World highlights some of the more high profile global retail/F&B stories of the final quarter of 2016.

27 In plain sight On-site advertising can entertain, delight and intrigue passengers and deliver airports extra revenue, writes Steve Cox, marketing director at JCDecaux Airport.




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

28 What is in-store for airport retail? With retail currently accounting for around 30% of the non-aeronautical revenues made by airports worldwide, creating winning concessions strategies is essential, writes Pragma Consulting’s Alex Avery.

31 One vision Luxottica Group’s head of global channels, Francis Gros, reflects on the potential of sunglasses and the shared vision of the industry’s key suppliers to boost sales in the future.

35 On the case What’s hot in the world of airport baggage handling? Joe Bates reviews some of the latest contract awards, openings and innovations.

36 The benefits of beacons Unisys Corporation’s vice president and global head of travel and transportation, Dheeraj Kohli, explains why he believes that beacons represent the future for air travel.

39 Project Watch Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.

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

42 People matters Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on the importance of stakeholder engagement.

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




World in motion ACI World’s head of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), Dimitri Coll, considers how to maximise the impact of the ASQ programme at your airport.


n 2016, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Airport Service Quality (ASQ), ACI’s world-renowned and globally established benchmarking programme that measures passenger satisfaction levels while they are travelling through airports. Throughout this time ASQ has helped over 300 airports worldwide manage their customer experience as well as regulators and operators, in monitoring service quality. The ASQ programme is now available in 41 languages. ASQ is a widespread community of airports sharing the same interest in improving the passenger experience and best practices over time. The community meets multiple times a year across the world at ASQ Forums. ‘The people behind the numbers’ was the theme for the 2016 ASQ Forums. The ASQ programme provides airports with a wealth of data on their passengers’ needs and expectations, building a solid foundation for excellence in customer service. However, this is only half the story. At its core, ASQ is about the people behind the numbers: the seven billion passengers that move through the world’s airports every year. The 2016 Forums were designed from the ground up for delegates who wanted to develop a deeper understanding of their customers’ wants and needs with the goal of crafting a passenger service strategy that not only meets expectations, but also exceeds them. The events are opportunities for the world’s airports and the ASQ team to discuss key findings and learning’s from the programme and how it can continue adapt to the evolving landscape of passenger satisfaction. Attendance is complimentary for airports interested in joining the programme and those that are already participating. In addition to the Forums and the long list of standard reporting deliverables, ACI also offers a suite of value-added optional add on products for participating airports, such as: executive presentations;

On the road with ASQ The third and final ASQ Forum of 2016 took place in Naples, Italy, at the end of November, kindly hosted by Naples International Airport operator, GESAC. The European regional event is the largest of the global forums and attracted an impressive 120 delegates from 60 airports and across 39 countries. Presentations in best practices were shared from a variety of airports including Napoli, Milan, Rome, Amsterdam Schiphol, Liverpool, Gatwick, Inverness, Cork, Dublin and Toronto. Please keep an eye out for the 2017 ASQ Forum dates and locations.



Comprehensive Insight Report; ACI Passenger Personas guide; and the Passenger Comment Analysis Report, which provides additional analysis and findings from the completed ASQ surveys. – Airport executive presentations Airport executive presentations are designed to provide the participating airport’s management team with an executive summary of the results, analysis, benchmarking and insights for an airport from the ASQ Survey. The content is specifically tailored and the presentation is provided in person by market research professionals ready to discuss opportunities for improvement. – Comprehensive Insight report Produced annually, the Comprehensive Insight Report provides a thorough analysis of the participating airport’s strengths and weaknesses using annual survey data. It also provides deeper insights into the factors that drive passenger satisfaction. The analysis enables the development of an action plan for improvement that prioritises initiatives and investments. – ACI Passenger Personas guide ACI has also developed a new guide to help airports better understand what types of passengers they serve and how best to cater to their needs. It opens up new opportunities for benchmarking that include: • Breakdown of passenger personas with score • Participating airport’s personas versus world personas • Participating airport’s personas versus regional personas • Participating airport’s personas versus a customised panel The end goal of the ACI Passenger Personas guide is to support the design of a satisfying and memorable passenger experience that can comprehensively target customers’ needs. Furthermore, ACI ASQ can help airports to perform a diagnosis of their customer experience management. – Passenger Comment Analysis Report The Passenger Comment Analysis Report collates the passenger comments from the participating airport’s completed questionnaires. Each passenger comment is transcribed, translated, coded and categorised, allowing for more in-depth analysis and comparison over time. I invite you to get in touch with us via for more information.


ACI events






March 20-22

September 17-20

June 12-14

October 14-18

April 10-12

Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition London, UK

ACI-NA Annual Conference & Exhibition Fort Worth, USA

ACI Europe General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition Paris, France

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

ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Doha, Qatar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As of December 2016, ACI accounts for 617 regular members operating 1,884 airports in 173 countries. In 2015, airports worldwide welcomed 7.1 billion passengers and handled 105 million metric tonnes of cargo and 86 million aircraft movements. ACI is a non-profit organisation whose prime purpose is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations.




View from the top


Director general, Angela Gittens, discusses ACI World’s new Policy Brief and the importance of non-aeronautical revenues.


CI has developed a Policy Brief on airport ownership, economic regulation and financial performance, which will be available in early 2017. Until relatively recently, most major commercial airports were government-owned and government-operated, primarily on a cost-recovery basis. Initially, deregulation in the aviation sector predominantly focused on airlines, although many countries have also divested their airports and air traffic control services. Deregulation of the aviation industry in many parts of the world was followed by a shift in the way airports were operated. Now, airports no longer operate as a homogeneous group of public utilities but as a heterogeneous group with ownership structures ranging from government-owned to partially or fully privatised, that in many cases compete with each other to be the gateway to cities, regions and even entire continents. As with any other business, airports continuously seek to increase operational profitability and efficiency. As competition increases and partners and stakeholders shift their business model to meet new market trends, some airports face many economic challenges. Airports are asset-intensive businesses, which require a critical mass of revenue generating traffic volume to start recovering their large operating costs and infrastructure investments. In an economic climate where States are increasingly cutting government expenditures, government financing and ownership of airports is not always a viable and sustainable option. For this reason, the involvement of private sector participation has grown significantly over the last couple of decades. Today, more than 40% of global airport traffic is held by airports that are managed and/or financed by private stakeholders. Airports have become more commercially focused and the result has been a more competitive and dynamic airport market. Airports have thus diversified their sources of revenue, relying not only on the traditional aeronautical revenues made up of airport charges, but also increasingly on a variety of other revenues including retail, parking, real estate, and other commercial activities. These sources of commercial revenues, known as non-aeronautical revenues, are a key contributor to the financial success of airports. They not only provide diversification in an airport’s income portfolio, but also serve as additional cushion during economic downturns. According to the 2015 ACI Economics Report, non-aeronautical revenues represented over 40% of total income as an average for world airports.

To meet this increasing reality, ACI Global Training offers a course titled ‘Airport Non-Aeronautical Revenues’, that focuses on the opportunities available to airport managers to enhance non-aeronautical revenues through third-party services. The course also addresses best practices in cultivating relationships between airport management, its primary customers (airlines, passengers and cargo operators, for example), concession providers and suppliers such as retail brands. In fact, retail concessions remain the leading source of non-aeronautical revenue for airports worldwide, representing 28% of total non-aeronautical revenue. Car parking revenue and property revenue/rent follow retail concessions as the secondand third-largest sources of revenue. There is a close correlation between non-aeronautical revenue performance and airport customer service excellence. In the fall of 2016, ACI released Does passenger satisfaction increase airport non-aeronautical revenue? A comprehensive assessment research report, analysing the influence of customer service quality on airports’ non-aeronautical revenue. Based on the ASQ annual global survey, the analysis found that an increase of 1% in the global passenger satisfaction average generates an average growth of 1.5% in non-aeronautical revenue. However for airport revenue to thrive, economic regulation and the oversight function must evolve in step with the industry. The regulatory model and accounting for non-aeronautical revenue not only determines an airport’s business in terms of the structure and magnitude of its revenues, but also the resulting economic health and performance of its operator. For this reason, ACI has successfully produced the second annual Investing in Airport Conference organised in co-operation with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Transport Forum at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Together with governments, regulators, airport operators, airlines and investors, we have taken one step closer to ensuring that regulatory oversight evolves in step with the realities of the industry so that it can be sustained to accommodate growth in the demand for air service, now so vital to the economic and social well-being of the world’s communities. AW




On top in Europe Oslo Airport’s managing director, Øyvind Hasaas, talks to Joe Bates about the gateway’s new-look terminal, the importance of its retail/F&B offerings and environmental leadership.


hen Oslo Airport officially opens its expanded new terminal on April 27, 2017, the gateway will boast one of the most modern, customer and environmentally friendly facilities in Europe with the capacity to handle up to 30 million passengers per annum. The fact that it is one of Europe’s most modern airports should come as no surprise, of course, as the gateway only opened 18 years ago as a replacement for downtown Fornebu, which simply had outlived its day. When the NOK11.4 billion (€1.2 billion) airport opened on October 8, 1998, it was heralded as the beginning of a new era for Norwegian aviation as its state-of-the-art facilities and bigger and better design was incomparable to the much loved but outdated Fornebu. However, managing director, Øyvind Hasaas, believes that effectively doubling the size of the central terminal building and the addition of a new 11-gate North Pier will take things to a new level in terms of creating a distinct and efficient user-friendly facility. “The new integrated terminal will have more of everything – more check-in counters, more commercial areas, more comfort and more space to move around. It will also have a greater sense of place and be a much nicer airport for everyone,” he says. Adding another 117,000sqm of terminal space as part of the NK14 billion (€1.5 billion) upgrade has allowed for the creation of new Arrivals and Departures halls and a new baggage handling system built by Vanderlande Industries. Nine of the 11 gates on the new North Pier will be “flexigates” capable of being used for either Schengen or non-Schengen flights, which Hasaas believes will hugely improve Oslo Airport’s operational efficiency and ability to adapt to last minute schedule changes. He notes that each new gate will be expected to handle between one and 1.2 million passengers yearly. The addition of the 63,000sqm North Pier means that the central terminal has three 300m long concourses (North, East and West) which between them are equipped with 45 gates. The North Pier actually opened to domestic traffic in mid-October and began handling its first international flights in December, although many of its new F&B/retail outlets will continue to be added in the coming months until it becomes fully operational in April 2017.



Why did the airport need expanding less than 20 years after being built? Hasaas simply states that the airport was initially built for 17mppa and in 2016 he expects it to handle close to 25 million. Fornebu, which was located alongside Oslo Fjord and served as the city’s gateway from 1939 until 1998, handled around 12 million passengers in its last year of operations. Hasaas, who points out that he is relatively new to aviation having only joined Avinor from the private sector in August 2014, says: “I obviously wasn’t around back then but what I can tell you is that we have enjoyed incredible traffic growth since opening and it was always the plan to expand the airport when traffic demanded it.” He reveals that the current average annual growth rate of about 4% per annum is helped by Norway’s strong economy, wealthy population with a hunger for travel and the entry into the market of Norwegian Air Shuttle. Indeed, such has been Norwegian’s growth that the airline is now on an equal footing with SAS at Oslo Airport, each accounting for around 40% of the traffic at the gateway. He also admits that Norway’s size – it is 2,600km long – and wild and rugged landscape can make travelling between cities by road a long and arduous process, ensuring that aviation is often the preferred mode of transport for domestic travel.


Hasaas remarks that this phenomenon means that Norway is effectively an “airborne nation” and this is backed up by the fact that Oslo enjoys a 50/50 split between domestic and international traffic. A total of 24.6 million passengers passed through the airport in 2015 with transfer traffic representing around 23% of the total. The top five international destinations served from Oslo are Copenhagen, Stockholm, London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt while Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger, its top three routes within Norway, are among the top eight domestic routes served anywhere in Europe handling 1.8 million, 1.5 million and 1.9 million passengers respectively last year.

Retail/F&B facelift Hasaas remarks that the airport has invested considerable time and effort into improving its concessions offerings in a bid to have a line-up of outlets that appeal to all tastes and pockets. And he tells Airport World that introducing more of a Scandinavian feel to the concessions offering was a vital component of its retail/F&B development strategy for the expanded terminal. He says: “We challenged the architects to come up with a Scandinavian look for the airport and they have responded, so now visitors are left in no doubt that they are in Norway and Scandinavia.

“We also wanted our new concessions offering to be exciting and appealing to all travellers and budgets and I now believe that we have the right mix of outlets to do this.” In terms of facts and figures, the concessions revamp will increase the number of eateries from 20 to 37 and retail outlets from 12 to 21. The latest new additions to the airport’s commercial offerings include the opening of a new Heinemann Duty Free outlet and several new restaurants that include Jamie’s Deli, British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s first restaurant in Norway. Already one of the world’s leading gateways for Arrivals duty free sales, Oslo Airport doubled the size of its Arrivals offering in September with the opening of a new 4,000sqm store operated by Travel Retail Norway (TRN). The outlet alone has added 700 new items for sale and a selection of high quality Norwegian merchandise. Hasaas says: “It means shorter queues and more room and choice for customers. What’s not to like?” Non-aeronautical revenues currently account for 60% of Oslo Airport’s income and retail/F&B for 40% of this total.




Speedy security

Environmental pioneer

As well as a world of new facilities to explore in the expanded terminal, airport visitors can also be assured of super quick security processing times with 95% of passengers already passing through checkpoints in five minutes or less. Oslo achieved the enviable times 18 months ago and with 11 new security lanes opening next year, taking the total to 30 across the airport, Hasaas is confident that things can only improve. According to Hasaas, the new lanes are significantly larger than the current ones and are designed to ensure that each passenger has more room to place their hand luggage on the belt before they pass through the security check, and more room to organise and repack items after passing through the inspection process. “The security check is looked upon as a stress factor by many, so it is particularly important to us that this part of the journey goes smoothly,” he says, noting that a happy passenger is more likely to spend money shopping or enjoying a meal than an agitated or angry one.

Such is Avinor’s determination to be a good neighbour and green pioneer that it is almost impossible to talk about Oslo Airport and not mention its environmental efforts. Among its numerous initiatives have been the creation of a snow depot to collect snow in the winter, which it later uses to cool the terminal building in the summer; providing 240 free charging stations for electric vehicles owned by passengers and staff; recycling 65% of waste in the terminals; and achieving the highest ‘Neutrality’ status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) endorsed publication Aviation Climate Solutions has also recognised the fact that more than 7,500 curved approaches have been performed at Oslo Airport since 2012 courtesy of satellite-based navigation technology that has helped the gateway reduce its overall noise impact and greenhouse gas emissions.

Bigger and better security All 11 new security lanes in Oslo Airport’s expanded terminal will be equipped with a custom built Tray Return System (TRS) supplied by Herbert Systems. The airport is confident that the new set-up will help boost passenger satisfaction levels by making the screening process even quicker and easier. The bespoke TRS was designed and developed by Herbert Systems in close collaboration with Oslo Airport and introduces a wood and ice theme to reflect the Norwegian countryside. This is the first Herbert Systems bespoke X Project, and the design offers a more friendly and aesthetic security lane than traditionally found at airports. The TRS can be simultaneously used by multiple passengers, who no longer have to wait for security staff to hand them a tray. The system also has two reclaim modules per lane which automatically return the trays without staff having to lift or move them, ensuring



that security staff spend less time as tray handlers and more time focusing on the security role. Herbert Systems was awarded the contact following the successful trial of two prototype lanes earlier this year. “This project has allowed us to focus on the development of a passenger friendly and aesthetically calming TRS,” enthuses the company’s director of business development and marketing, Suzie Barratt-Crane. “Designed to meet the customer requirements, these lanes offer a unique and stylish enhancement to the security checkpoint.” Herbert Systems’ local agent, Nordic Defence & Security AS, will be responsible for maintaining and servicing the TRS lanes. Talking about the new security lanes, Oslo Airport’s head of communications, Joachim Westher Andersen, says: “We have placed great emphasis on logistics in the design of the lanes, with the objective of boosting capacity through the security check, whilst also ensuring that the passengers’ travel experience gets off to the best possible start.”


Another major milestone included becoming the first airport in the world, just ahead of Los Angeles International Airport, to start offering jet biofuel to its airline customers. Air BP is the supplier of the biofuel and Lufthansa, SAS and KLM have already signed agreements to purchase it, although Hasaas notes that it is expensive and other airlines have yet to join them. “The initial slow take up of jet biofuel is not unexpected as the introduction of biofuels for aircraft is still in its infancy, but it is a start. Elsewhere on the airport we have been quite successful in the introduction of bio-diesel for vehicles,” says Hasaas. “I believe the new snow depot is a world first for an airport and quite an exciting project that is good for the environment and reduces our electricity bill. “We are part of the aviation industry value chain and therefore must act responsibly and do our bit to address the challenges facing planet earth.”

Popularity of public transport Despite its location 47km northeast of Norway’s capital, excellent bus and train links mean that 70% of Oslo’s passengers use public transport to travel to and from the airport each year. Indeed, the percentage of passengers arriving by private vehicles dropped from 27% in 2014 to 22% last year while the numbers arriving by train courtesy of the NSB (Norwegian State Railway) has soared from a 7% market share in 2007 to 15% in 2014 and 21% in 2015. Hasaas attributes the increased popularity of the train to more frequent services and lower prices, both of which fit in with Avinor and the Norwegian government’s respective policies of getting more cars off of the roads.



According to Avinor, no other airport in Europe has achieved a higher public transport share and Hasaas believes that the figure will be similar or even higher for airport staff. “Worldwide, to my knowledge there are just three airports that can boast of a higher rate of public transportation,” says Hasaas proudly. “We work diligently to improve the public transport share through a number of targeted measures that make it more attractive to take public transportation to and from Oslo Airport.” Has the inevitable decline in car parking revenues been tough to take? “This is a price we are prepared to pay for being more eco-focused,” he states.

Customer service Hasaas is keen to stress that Avinor and Oslo Airport are 100% committed to delivering top quality customer service and hopes that the opening of the impressive new facilities will finally allow the gateway to shine in ACI’s annual Airports Service Quality (ASQ) Survey. “Satisfied customers are the key to success, but it has been hard to impress with overcrowded facilities and all the construction work going on around the airport site in the last few years,” he admits. “However, we are nearly done with the construction work and after April 2017 our two main customers, passengers and the airlines, will be able to enjoy one of the most modern, user-friendly airports in the world and I am sure we will do better.” There is certainly no doubt that passengers have an ally in Hasaas who, on joining Avinor, stated that he had a “blackbelt in travel” and therefore saw things very much from a traveller’s perspective.



Bed and board Airport hotels are some of the most sought after concessions on the planet with the big chains boasting facilities at or around most of the world’s busiest airports, writes Joe Bates.


ith global passenger traffic at the world’s gateways set to double to 14.6 billion annually by 2029, the number of travellers seeking an overnight place to stay close to an airport is set to soar in the coming decades. And with airport hotels having some of the highest, year-round occupancy levels in the world – statistics firm STR Global reveals that occupancy levels reached an all-time high of 72.3% last year – the appeal of on-site facilities to airports is obvious. Arguably the most high profile airport hotel opening of the last year happened in Colorado with the unveiling of the 519-room Westin at Denver International Airport atop of the gateway’s new Transit Center. Designed to resemble a bird in flight, the airport describes the 433,000 square foot, 14-story Westin Denver International Airport hotel as “a modern day oasis for both business and leisure travellers at the sixth busiest airport in the United States”. It cost the airport around $580 million to build and its facilities include a 37,500 square foot conference space and a 82,000 square foot open air plaza for arts and entertainment. Westin Hotels & Resorts, an upscale hotel chain owned by Marriott International, has a 15-year management contract for the hotel, which recently collected three awards from the travel, hospitality and engineering industries despite only being open a year. Denver International Airport CEO, Kim Day, enthuses: “The opening of the Westin Denver International Airport marked the completion of a vision for an on-airport hotel that began more than two decades ago. “From the floor-to-ceiling glass walls to the ballrooms and boardrooms, passengers are experiencing Denver like never before via this new front door to the city.” The hotel, which is expected to generate $42.4 million in revenue in 2016, welcomed a total of 131,049 guests in its first year – the equivalent to filling more about 574 B757 aircraft. In November the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, confirmed plans to build a new 440-room, four-star InterContinental hotel “within steps” of the domestic terminal despite having more than 50 hotels located within a five-mile radius of the gateway. The new addition will cost $250 million and be part of a development that includes an office complex and travel plaza – including a petrol station – developed on a 26.5-acre site next to the terminal by Majestic Carter Atlanta Mixed Use LLC.



Rooms with a view: Denver International Airport’s new Westin hotel (above) and the planned new InterContinental at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (below).

The firm – a partnership between Majestic Realty Co, real estate firm Carter, and GPM Investments LLC – has signed a 50-year lease with the airport to develop and operate the hotel and other properties. Construction of the 11-storey property, which has been designed by John Portman & Associates, is expected to start in 2018. “Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest passenger airport, and one of the region’s most important economic generators,” says Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed.


“With this partnership, Hartsfield-Jackson will soon have a world-class hotel worthy of the world’s leading airport. We are making investments today to secure the future of the airport and create long-term economic and business growth.” Visitors to the iconic new hotel will have access to 750 parking spaces, MARTA and direct access to the SkyTrain, which travels from ATL to the nearby Rental Car Center and Georgia International Convention Center.

A restaurant is planned in the main lobby and a skybar that overlooks a runway will be constructed on the hotel’s tenth floor. Two more hotels are planned in Phase II of the project, which ATL has conservatively admitted will cost in excess of $350 million. Also in November the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a hotel operator to develop a new hotel adjacent to Terminal 5 and renovate an existing hotel at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “Today’s passengers and business travellers need and expect modern facilities for lodging, events and office space critical to their unique needs, like direct access to and from the airport and ground transportation options,” says CDA commissioner, Ginger Evans. “We are building hotels at O’Hare to provide a significantly higher level of customer service and increased non-airline revenue. We are creating construction and service jobs for Chicago residents and enhancing O’Hare’s status as one of the world’s premier airports.” The RFP calls for an operator to develop a new hotel adjacent to Terminal 5 at O’Hare that will provide direct access to airport travellers to the terminals via the free, 24-hour Airport Transit System (ATS). It is envisaged that the new, full-service hotel will have 300-400 rooms, 25,000-65,000-square-feet of conference space, banquet rooms, ballrooms, and other amenities. The RFP also solicits hotel operators to renovate and modernise the existing O’Hare Hilton with a goal to accommodate large-scale trade shows and events, as well as adding amenities such as spas, extended room service, concierge services and quality restaurants and boutiques. Each respondent to the RFP must submit a plan demonstrating a commitment to conduct at least four job fairs in designated socio-economically disadvantaged areas throughout the city to recruit employees for the new hotels and related facilities. The Airport Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program participation goal of 15% for these airport projects represents one of the highest goals that have ever been solicited for an airport hotel project. According to the CDA, the development of these hotels represent Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-term vision for strengthening O’Hare as not only the economic engine of the city, but for the entire country. In Europe, Dublin Airport is another gateway proposing to build a new hotel, its plan being for a new 402 bedroom facility linked to Terminal 2, which is expected to create 400 new jobs and become Ireland’s fourth biggest hotel when it opens in 2019. According to airport operator, daa, the new four-star hotel will provide employment for 250 people, while an additional 150 new jobs will be generated during the construction phase of the project. Planning permission for the 11-storey hotel has already been granted. Construction is expected to begin next October and the property will open in 2019. The new hotel will have a total floor area of 22,840 square metres comprising 402 bedrooms, as well as extensive bar, restaurant, café and conference facilities and a fitness suite. Located just 95 metres from Terminal 2, it will occupy a prime 0.81 acre site between it and the T2 multi-storey car park. Dublin Airport has appointed property consultants Savills Hotels & Leisure to seek expressions of interest for the development and operation of the new hotel, which will be developed under a Finance, Build Operate and Transfer (FBOT) model.




The successful bidder will construct the hotel and operate it for a specified period of time, before transferring it back to daa at the end of the agreed term. “There is significant demand for a new terminal-linked hotel at Dublin Airport and this development will benefit not just the airport but the city and region as a whole as Dublin needs more hotel beds,” says Dublin Airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison. “We’re constantly striving to improve the product that we provide to our customers and this new hotel will offer extra choice and convenience to passengers and to the many companies that are based on the Dublin Airport campus.” Meanwhile in the UK, the Arora Group has broken ground on two new hotels it is building at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 – the 300-room Crowne Plaza and 450-room Holiday Inn Express, both of which are set to open in early 2018. Arora, which lists Whitebridge Hospitality and the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) as its key partners on the £100 million project, currently operates the Renaissance, Sofitel and Holiday Inn hotels at Heathrow and also has outline planning permission to build a new 298-room hotel with direct access to Terminal 2 in the gateway’s Central Terminal Area. Speaking at the October 26 groundbreaking ceremony for the new T4 hotels, Arora Group’s founder and chairman, Surinder Arora, said: “The construction of the hotels will expand the footprint of the Arora Group at London Heathrow Airport from 1,434 bedrooms to 2,184 across five hotels. “This dual-brand development presents us with another exciting opportunity to work in partnership with IHG to bring not one, but two, new hotels to London, and working in collaboration with LJ Partnership and Heathrow Airport Limited we’re looking forward to developing these two best-in-class hotels for our business and leisure guests and creating up to 350 new jobs for the local community.” Finally, Kansai International Airport (KIX) will become the latest Japanese gateway to boast ‘budget style’ accommodation when First Cabin opens a new “compact hotel” as the gateway in March 2017.



Dublin Airport plans to build this new hotel next to Terminal 2.

Located in KIX’s Aeroplaza, the new facility will be equipped with 153 cabins, lounge area and a large communal bath. Accommodation will include new ‘luxury’ 12sqm Premium Class cabins for families/couples, which are two-and-half times the size of its First and Business Class cabins. First Cabin also plans opening a facility at Tokyo Haneda’s Terminal 1 in 2017. Eight existing First Cabin hotels across Japan enjoy a 90% occupancy rate. Statistics firm STR notes that global occupancy levels for airport hotels remained extremely high in the first 10 months of 2016, although at 73.5% it is fractionally down on the corresponding period a year ago. Airport hotels in the US (75.4%) enjoyed the highest occupancy levels in the world during the 10-month period, and by region the Americas (74.6%) led the way followed by Europe (73.8%), Asia-Pacific (69.8%) and the Middle East/Africa (69.6%). For the record, the world’s best airport hotels in 2016 according to the SKYTRAX Awards are: 1. The Crowne Plaza Changi Airport 2. Regal Airport Hong Kong 3. Pullman Guangzhou Airport 4. Hilton Munich Airport 5. Sofitel London Heathrow 6. Langham Palace Beijing 7. Hilton Frankfurt Airport 8. Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain 9. Fairmont Vancouver Airport 10. Grand Hyatt DFW Airport hotels are nothing new, of course, and arguably date back to the 1928 opening of the Aerodrome Hotel at London’s Croydon Airport. The hotel, which welcomed former silent screen legend, Charlie Chaplin, as one of its first guests, still survives today as the Hallmark Hotel although the airport, sadly, is long gone.



Shopping list Dufry CEO, Julián Díaz, provides his thoughts on airport duty free concessions and some of the opportunities and challenges facing the travel retail market. How healthy is the airport duty free market? The airport duty-free market is very resilient and all indicators point to yearly growth in industry sales of around 5% to 7% over the next three years, and with passenger traffic expected to double to over 14 billion by 2029, there is plenty of scope for future growth.

What are the main challenges/threats to the future success of the industry? Short-term challenges for individual airports can, of course, be created through external factors like economic crises, natural catastrophes or diseases; but these factors will never impact all locations at the same time. Passengers may change destinations as a result, but are unlikely to stop travelling.

How do you build loyalty and is there any evidence to suggest that passengers look for outlets operated by specific duty operators? We already have a customer loyalty programme called ‘Dufry RED’, which is currently being deployed in several countries and which allows customers to benefit from promotions and special services only for members. Indications show that customers appreciate our offers and services, since spending of RED members is above average. And digital technology will further support CRM [customer relationship management] activities with new features.

How big a role do you believe an airport’s retail/F&B offering plays in its overall customer satisfaction levels? Although travellers go to the airport to fly and not to shop, the concessions offering is often a key part of the ‘airport experience’ and therefore can become a crucial factor in overall passenger satisfaction levels. An airport that offers its customers an enjoyable atmosphere and a positive retail/F&B experience can only benefit from it. It should also be noted that many airports have recognised the value of non-aeronautical revenues, and continue to invest, while others are still behind the curve and have huge potential to improve their attractiveness. In some cases non-aeronautical revenues already make up for close to 50% of the airport’s turnover and travel retail is often the most important contributor.

We strongly believe that common efforts and partnerships between airport operators and travel retailers can considerably improve revenues for both partners if the collaboration starts when defining passenger flows, the allocation of retail space, shop design and communication rather than just discussing remuneration schemes.

Why isn’t Dufry that big in Africa and is this something you are looking to change? This is a continent with only two airports in the top 100 worldwide for international passengers. Having said that, it is a continent set to grow and Dufry is there. We are basically looking at opportunities and recently signed a new contract in Cairo and opened new shops in Kenya. Our approach to new business is the same the world over. We evaluate each opportunity on its merits, independent of the country or continent, and have clear return expectations on new projects. So, for us, it depends only on the availability of interesting projects with profitable business cases.

How successful are Arrivals duty free shops? They are very successful although, with the exception of Brazil, they rarely match the sales levels of Departure shops. Ideally they complement the ‘normal’ duty free offerings service. To have both Arrival and Departure shops in the same airport allows a travel retailer to offer additional services to customers, such as buy now and pick-up upon arrival, which are highly appreciated. Unfortunately, Arrivals shops are not yet allowed in all countries, but as the recent attempts undertaken in Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgystan show, more and more countries recognise their importance.

What is the most expensive item anyone has ever bought at one of your airport shops? Recently, in one of our shops in Switzerland, an Indian customer bought several watches for a total of CHF121,300 [$120,000]. It is difficult to say if this is our biggest ever sale, but for sure it is an exceptional one.





Better buys Airport World highlights some of the more high profile global retail/F&B stories of the final quarter of 2016.


ong Kong International Airport has announced plans for a new retail and entertainment development a short walk from its terminals. Called SKYCITY, the new development is being driven by the airport’s desire to create a unique new destination for Hong Kong and further strengthen HKIA’s position as an international aviation hub. Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) claims that SKYCITY will feature retail complexes, entertainment facilities, dining space, hotels and office towers. All will be located on approximately 25 hectares of land at the north of the airport island, reveals AAHK chairman, Jack So Chak-kwong, noting that it is the airport’s vision is to “create a new destination that goes far beyond the traditional notion of a shopping mall”. He says: “Located right next to the airport, SKYCITY aims to capture broad opportunities in tourism and business, while also providing a dynamic lifestyle and family entertainment hub for Hong Kong residents and visitors alike.” The initial phase of the three-phase project will comprise a 450 to 750-room hotel and a “unique 195,000sqm retail, dining and entertainment (RDE) destination” set to open in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

California dreamin’ Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Westfield have unveiled the latest milestone in the gateway’s modernisation programme, its new-look Terminal 6, which features a bold new design and 21 new retail and dining concepts.



Terminal 6 is the second redesigned terminal unveiled this year following the transformation of Terminal 2, which debuted in February. More than 22,000 square feet has been transformed in Terminal 6, delivering what operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) believes is a unique traveller journey inspired by LA’s iconic Sunset Boulevard. The redevelopment includes the new retail and dining collection and nearly 5,300 square feet of improvements to common areas, including the new terrazzo floor and ribbon ceiling, three sets of bathrooms, new electrical and IT infrastructure as well as tenant office spaces. The transformation was made possible through a $70.5 million total investment from LAWA, Westfield and its operating partners. “We’re raising the bar for what’s possible at an airport,” enthuses Deborah Flint, LAWA’s chief executive officer. “LAWA and Westfield are providing passengers with a special experience that allows them to sample the best of LA, food and drink, unique shops and modern amenities. Now they can find all that and more in Terminal 6.” Six operating partners worked together with LAWA and Westfield on the T6 project – Delaware North; HMSHost; Hudson Group; J&H Enterprises; SSP America; and TUMI, Inc.

Back in the game HMSHost has effectively re-entered the airport retail business following the purchase of venue retailer, Stellar Partners Inc. Stellar, which will operate as an independent subsidiary, currently operates 38 convenience and specialty retail stores in 10 airports in the US and has annual revenues of $38 million. The subsidiary will continue to be led by president and CEO, Susan Stackhouse, and senior vice president and COO, Ramon Bosquez, and remain headquartered in Tampa, Florida. According to HMSHost, the expertise of Stellar’s leadership will help it develop its airport retail business, as well as help enhance the company’s retail business in its motorway channel. It adds that its resources and decades of experience will also support Stellar’s growth and provide new opportunities for its 250 associates and management team. Talking about the deal earlier in this year, HMSHost president and CEO, Steve Johnson, said: “We are thrilled to be re-entering the airport


retail business by bringing Stellar, considered the best small operator in the industry, into the HMSHost family. “The expertise Susan and Ramon bring will help us to develop our airport retail business, as well as enhance our existing retail stores in our motorway channel. “I have known Susan and Ramon for many years, and very much look forward to working with them to grow Stellar in North American airports and position HMSHost to re-enter this $1.5 billion market.”

Going mobile In other news, HMSHost has announced that it continues to expand its mobile dining concepts of food trucks, carts and cycles at US airports. It says: “Customers are not always able to get the service or merchandise they desire because of store location, peak store traffic, disabilities, or tight connections. “The concept of mobile offerings combats these issues by bringing food options directly to the gate at an airport, or to the parking lot at a motorway service plaza. “The mobile aspect provides the opportunity to place dining offerings in regions that lack store presence and the flexibility to even shift location depending on demand.” Examples of these innovative new food offerings include its E Komo Mai and Wiki Wiki food wagons at Honolulu and Maui airports in Hawaii; the Mobile Ala Cart food cart at Chicago O’Hare; and a Food Cycle at Memphis International Airport, the latter two both delivering select food and beverages to travellers at their gates. “HMSHost created these mobile vendors to meet the dining needs of travellers, right where they are,” says HMSHost’s vice president of innovation, Jim Schmitz. “To us, innovation is more than technology – it is being at the right place, at the right time, with the right food and beverage offering. “We’ve found that a significant group of travellers don’t like to leave their flight’s gate area or their vehicles while on the road, yet would love something to eat, or to have a drink to take on their journey. Mobile carts make grabbing a snack quick, easy, and convenient.”

Kids corner Meanwhile in Europe, Gebr Heinemann has opened its first Heinemann Duty Free Kids Shop anywhere in the world at Vienna Airport. Located in the plaza of Check-in 2 and described as “a genuine feel-good shop”, Heinemann hopes its offering of toys, sweets and a pit full of Lego bricks where kids can play and build things will surprise and delight kids and adults alike. Covering an area of around 130 square metres, passengers are met by a bright and inviting ambience, sporting oversize wooden jigsaw pieces on the ceiling and walls. It believes that a stylised tree in the centre evokes memories of playing outdoors and also offers a fun photo image. “Children, parents looking for something to take home for the kids and all those who have retained some of the magic of childhood will find a wide selection of high-quality toy brands such as Steiff, Playmobil, Disney, Lego or Brio, and sweets from Kinder chocolate, through Chupa Chups to Haribo,” promises Heinemann. “The toys category has grown disproportionately in the Heinemann Duty Free Shops in the last year and still shows great potential. We have picked up on this positive trend and taken the opportunity to open a separate Kids Shop for the first time here in Vienna,” explains Kai Langnickel, managing director of Gebr Heinemann Wien GmbH, which operates the shop. “We are delighted that Vienna Airport has welcomed our idea and provided us with a perfect space, right next to our Heinemann Duty Free Shop. The initial passenger response shows that they are impressed by the emotional presentation and the brands on offer.” The store’s pre-Xmas opening was certainly perfectly timed by the airport, which believes that the outlet adds to its facilities and services aimed at families with children. “We want to make the travel experience a pleasant one for our smallest passengers, which is why we are providing various services for families such as children’s play areas and family security checks,” says Vienna Airport’s chief operations officer, Julian Jäger. “The new Heinemann Duty Free Kids Shop is the perfect addition to our offerings. Our partnership with Gebr Heinemann has been a long and successful one, and we are delighted to be the first in the world to host this innovation.” AW




In plain sight On-site advertising can entertain, delight and intrigue passengers and deliver airports extra revenue, writes Steve Cox, marketing director at JCDecaux Airport.


ention ‘advertising’ to most people and they’ll understandably assume you’re talking about the actual adverts themselves and the talented people responsible for creating them. And most of us will have strongly held views about what we believe makes a good newspaper ad, billboard or TV commercial and we’ll debate this with friends and colleagues and express vigorous opinions about what works and what doesn’t. But there’s another side to the process that’s far less well known, but arguably equally important if advertising campaigns are to effectively change consumers’ perceptions and ultimately sell more products. I’m talking here about the world of media placement. Working alongside the creative agencies are a multitude of media agencies and sales companies planning and buying media ‘space’ to ensure that the right ads appear at the right place at the right time. That’s our world. We try to persuade advertisers and their media agencies that advertising at the airport will be the most cost-effective place to convey their advertising message – whatever that might be. We need to persuade them of four things – their target market will be present at the airport; they will be in a receptive frame of mind to engage with the brand message; we offer a very visible range of panels and screens on which this message might be displayed; and all of this can be achieved at a reasonable price. The challenge, of course, is that a whole range of competitive sales companies representing other platforms are also presenting similar arguments for their own media. So what can advertisers expect from an airport ad campaign that they might not achieve elsewhere? Let’s address some of those points from the preceding paragraph. First of all they’re able to present their message to air travellers – a uniquely affluent, exclusive and influential set of individuals difficult to reach with most other media. Secondly, most passengers are highly receptive and attentive when at the airport where, typically they have time to kill and are looking for a

distraction in an exciting environment. Indeed, the architect of Heathrow’s Terminal 2 recently described terminal buildings as being “the cathedrals of the 21st Century”. And finally they’re surrounded by a ‘creative canvas’ of massive illuminated iconic media spaces, and state-of-the-art digital screens displaying HD moving images. The ‘Towers @T5’ are a fantastic example of one of these unique opportunities. It’s hard to imagine a more powerful environment in which to advertise an appropriate brand – small wonder we refer to the airport as offering advertisers a ‘world of possibilities’. But it’s not just the airport advertiser who benefits. Most of the money spent by advertisers in purchasing these outstanding media opportunities is returned to the airport to help fund maintenance, expansion and development, ensuring that the airport of tomorrow will be better than the airport of today. Plus, of course, the advertising itself has the power to intrigue and entertain the passenger, improving the whole air travel experience. There’s no doubt that passengers feel the airport environment is enhanced by the presence of advertising. They welcome the fact that it’s there, not something consumers are often inclined to say about ads in most media! And the good news is that this advertising will only get more engaging. In fact, increasingly we’re using data regarding airport passengers to deliver more tailored, more personally relevant messages. Already the likes of British Airways and Heathrow Express have used digital screens on baggage carousels to display messages in the language of the country from which the plane has just arrived, or which reflect the weather outside, or the current traffic conditions for onward travel. So the next time you’re passing through one of these ‘21st Century cathedrals’ by all means enjoy the fabulous advertising artwork on display, but spare a thought for all the planning, science and thought that’s helped get it there in the first place!





What is in-store for airport retail? With retail currently accounting for around 30% of the non-aeronautical revenues made by airports worldwide, creating winning concessions strategies is essential, writes Pragma Consulting’s Alex Avery.


he landscape in airport retail is constantly evolving as changes in consumer behaviour and retail strategy develop at significant pace. Enhanced technology, sophisticated customer data and consumer demands – set against a context of challenging macro-economic conditions – have all combined to create this environment. At the same time, global passenger traffic is growing, people’s disposable income has reached an all-time high and emerging market spend is rising. As a result, in many instances, passenger spend has continued to rise, despite limited innovations from airport retailers to adapt to new consumer behaviours and trends. But is this sustainable in the long-term? A unique selling point, value-driven tax and duty free proposition, together with a captive audience, has to date, protected airport retailers from high street competition. Essentially, the industry has often considered travel retail to be a channel of its own, safe from the market pressures and competition of downtown. However, the rise of digital has led to a diminishing price advantage due to the global dominance and reach of e-commerce giants, which enjoy significant cross-border fulfilment and increasing price transparency. Indeed, digital continues to raise consumer expectations to the extent that today’s consumer expects to be able to demand what they want, whenever they want, however they want. So, to maintain and grow customer conversion and spend, the airport retail proposition needs to adapt. The travel retail spirits market is a case in point, contracting 3.3% in 2015.

Airport retail trends in the year ahead At Pragma, we expect 2017 to be transformative year for travel retail as operators engage digital strategies to shape that convenient, relevant customer proposition.



What can we expect from airport retail in the next 12 months? Below is a quick snapshot of the major trends shaping the airport retail environment.

– Customer convenience To date, the combination of a customised offer and purchasing convenience has been a neglected area in terms of airline retail propositions. However, the need to expand the reach of retail beyond the walls of airport stores is set to change this. New partnerships, such as the collaboration between Fraport, Lufthansa and Heinemann that seek to deliver more convenience for customers, suggests a step change forward for both on-board retail and collaborative stakeholder partnerships at airports to better serve the airport customer. The partnership covers key aspects of the experience to improve customer convenience: • A new Inflight Shopping service allows passengers to shop from a range of products, ordering and buying online to be delivered on arrival. This can deliver a more effectively targeted retail experience, as Heinemann can use its significant knowledge of in-store data capture to match the product offer to the passenger profile on the flight. • Optimising digital marketing, a lounge shopping experience enables travellers to purchase exclusive products from the comfort of the executive lounge to be delivered in half an hour • The Taste & Travel service means customers can pre-order F&B at selected points in the passenger journey, such as check-in and security. Personalised selections are delivered to the departure gate, to enjoy on the plane Ultimately, airports are logistics eco-systems. Next year will see retailers leveraging the compelling assets available to them to improve purchasing and delivery options; click & collect, collect on return, or deliver to home. Placing digital at the centre of this approach will create a more convenient experience as it can free up customers’ hands, increase the ease of purchase, and presents an opportunity to promote both traditional core category sales as well as drive spend into new areas.

SPECIAL REPORT: CONCESSIONS to too much ‘stuff’, hence passengers are keen to seek out different experiences, rather than be exposed to endless shelves of static commerce. Airport retailers have the opportunity to make the journey less of a process, and more of an experience.

Challenges to growth

– Data, data, data The pure online retailers have been leading the way, in terms of using transactional and customer data to improve sales performance, enhance customer experience, and plan ranges more effectively. The growing sophistication of data capture in airport retail opens up innovative ways to support sales, through demographic profiling, destination spend analysis, or tracking passenger flows around the terminal through beacon and Wi-Fi enabled technology. For retailers to maximise value and return on investment, however, airport management executives need to ensure their teams have the right skill sets to understand, analyse, and act upon the data they’re capturing. Data is only good if it’s understood. It’s about ensuring data insight leads to strategic actions that enhance profitability and sales.

– Customer experience is key Airport retail needs to major on emphasising in-store experience if it’s going to increase footfall and in-store conversion. It is here they have the most to learn from the high street in terms of pushing boundaries around concepts and innovation. Digital simply can’t compete with the physical sensory experience; the store environment is crucial to delivering product and brand engagement. Experience is what will stimulate purchases and drive customer loyalty. Expect to see more sophisticated use of how retailers deliver brand values through design, customer service, and sensory experience. Concepts such as The Store, a hybrid retail space beneath Soho House in Berlin, combines the best of commerce, hospitality, and lifestyle. We expect to see more of these engaging environments created for shopping, socialising, dining, or working, in the airport space. Attention is really the new currency, integrated with the digital eco-system to present multiple sales avenues, with digital facilitating an on-going dialogue and convenience for the consumer. There is a strong correlation between customer satisfaction and spend. In current times, consumers are arguably now exposed

Looking at the challenges ahead and barriers to airport retail growth. Starting close to home, there’s the inevitable impact to UK travel retail if Britain leaves the single market and the customs union. While there may be the opportunity to implement duty free spend, it could present a significant logistical and operational challenge for retailers. Macro-economic conditions such as exchange rate volatility continue to make airport sales a challenge in the highly lucrative emerging markets of Chinese, Russian and Brazilian passengers, particularly in the luxury sector. Airports and retailers will be looking to mitigate these risks by opening up retail offers beyond the narrow focus of highest income brackets. There are core issues that will also prevent some airports’ ability to adapt to incoming shifts. Inflexibility, long-term retail contracts, high operational costs and an aggressive pursuit of minimum annual guarantees and margin could work against retailers. With a focus on maximising income and profitability, especially in the context of increased privatisation and resulting airport acquisition costs, growing return from non-aeronautical income is key. Airports have a role to play here by balancing expectations of contract size, margin structure and length of contract against the need for their retailers and brands to invest more in store design, customer service and digital innovation. The reality of the retailers’ profit and loss sheets must come into consideration when looking to promote more innovation. And while there is very much a drive for more exclusivity within the airport retail channel – and this will continue to be an important line to enhance sales – a wider market opportunity and cost structure means that it is often challenging for brands to develop profitable lines in this way.

A compelling airport retail strategy Looking at 2017, winning airport retailers will be those that understand the customer composition and how their buying behaviours are evolving. Enhancing the customer experience is everything, recognising the need to invest in high quality design and place making with closer collaboration and input of brands into the physical store experience. Price will, of course, remain important, but it’s good customer service, quality of product, and customer experience that will deliver the value. Additionally, investing in methods that promote airside dwell time, will always help to drive penetration and sales. Airports with strong and trusted partnerships with both airlines and retailers that work collaboratively to increase the scale of the commercial opportunity, rather than fight over its distribution, will come out winning in 2017. It’s in this way that travel retail can create an experience that doesn’t just match the high street – it exceeds it.


About the author Alex Avery is managing director for airports, travel and commercial spaces at travel retail specialist Pragma Consulting. Visit for more information.




One vision Luxottica Group’s head of global channels, Francis Gros, reflects on the potential of sunglasses and the shared vision of the industry’s key suppliers to boost sales in the future.


ake no mistake about it, the sale of sunglasses at airports is big business with the latest data by Mindset-Generation data revealing that the category was worth $1.69 billion in travel retail sales worldwide in 2015. Between 2005 and 2015, sunglasses has been the second fastest growing product category at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +12%, only behind skincare, which is booming in Asia in particular. That is very impressive growth from sunglasses, taking into consideration that the total fashion & accessories category grew at +8.7% CAGR and the total sector including all categories grew +7.5% CAGR over the same period. Airports represent the largest channel within travel retail for sunglasses. Indeed, Mindset-Generation predicts that sunglasses will be worth $7.85 billion in travel retail sales by 2025, which points to consistently high growth for the category over the coming decade. How will we achieve that growth? I firmly believe that travel retail needs a common category vision, a precise strategy and significant investment from all Trinity stakeholders. That’s investment in money, time and creative energy to get to the size the sunglasses category could be. Airports have a very important role to play in responding to the growth trends and giving sunglasses the appropriate space and high-quality visibility that we require to maximise the potential, and in turn maximise non-aeronautical revenues for airports.

Vision 2020 As the category leader and also an active category-growth partner, Luxottica is more focused on growing the overall category pie than fighting for the slices. Uniquely, we are part of a group of seven of the leading sunglasses suppliers – De Rigo, Essilor, Kering Eyewear, Luxottica, Marchon, Marcolin and Maui Jim – that this year have developed a common category vision for travel retail, which we unveiled at the TFWA World Exhibition in October. Vision 2020 is a roadmap for growth, bringing the category closer to new consumer trends, as well as promoting the latest category

strategies specifically tailored to the shopper in global travel retail, and to airports in particular. Vision 2020 is about making travel retail the expert channel for sunglasses. The shopping destination of choice for consumers when they want the best and most comprehensive shopping experience for sunglasses. We want to differentiate the sunglasses category in travel retail compared to domestic markets and pure e-commerce, and elevate the category to an innovation leader in the channel. We want retailers to try things in sunglasses as a pilot for other categories, particularly in an omni-channel world.

Sunglasses as a pilot Sunglasses can be the pilot category in travel retail, where retailers and airports trial new initiatives before rolling them out across all their categories. I think sunglasses are perfectly placed to do this, as it is a category that appeals to all travellers and so inherently link to a travel lifestyle. Personally, I would like to see every airport, airline, cruiseline and downtown complex audit the way they present the sunglasses category and develop bespoke strategies to drive growth, with clear and realistic targets – in partnership with their retailers and the leading brands in the category.

Multi-formatting strategy for travel retail Luxottica firmly believes that the continued growth of sunglasses will be driven by the increased adoption of multi-formatting. This strategy revolves around executing the sunglasses category in different formats at different stages in the passenger journey through an airport, targeting varying shopper needs and behaviours. This spans a sunglasses department in the main duty free shop, sunglasses in a brand boutique with the best mono-brand experience, and a specialist standalone sunglasses shop with definitive specialist service and the most extensive range and after-service support. Then we have the last-minute and Arrivals stores for fast purchases – often of the best sellers – and pop-up promotional concepts, which bring additional tactical visibility and interaction for the category.




Pop-ups are also effective in increasing the visibility for the category in peak seasons such as summer months or promoting new technologies. We have the case studies and the best practices that demonstrate that this strategy drives incremental sales growth and does not cannibalise sales from one point of sale to another. Within sunglasses departments inside the main duty free store, Luxottica is focussed on driving category penetration by sign-posting the category with an anchor brand; personalised merchandising of category icons such as Ray-Ban and Oakley. This is taking place in airports in all regions and with most key retailer partners, and the sales uplift we see for both Luxottica’s brands and the total sunglasses category tend to be in the high double-digits. Standalone sunglasses concepts such as Luxottica’s own sun retail brand, Sunglass Hut, are also a key component of multiformatting at airports, and we have ambitious plans to grow the Sunglass Hut brand in airports worldwide. Today we have 165 plus airport stores as part of a global network of over 3,300 stores and, in fact, six of the top 20 best-performing Sunglass Hut shops worldwide are at airports. One of our biggest success stories for the brand has been the opening of a 76.5sqm flagship Sunglass Hut store at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2. Instrumental to this success was Heathrow Airport’s commitment to growing the overall sunglasses category across their four terminals. In an industry first, the airport – a pioneer in adopting the multi-format approach – set a spend per passenger target for the sunglasses category, and supported this with extensive on and off-airport marketing activity through its digital and CRM platforms to make the category more visible to passengers. The results have been exceptional, and this particular store at Terminal 2 became one of Sunglass Hut’s top shops worldwide and the most productive specialty fashion & accessories store in the terminal in sales per square metre.



New space and innovation Experiential activities will be a critical factor in the future growth of our category. This requires innovation from brands – maximising our creativity and ability to tell stories – combined with the exciting platforms that travel retailers and airports can provide. I’d like to see retailers reward this innovation with longer-term promotional slots for the sunglasses category, meaning the investment can deliver a better return. Sunglass Hut is doing some very cool work around point-of-sale in domestic markets which could likely make its way into travel retail in the future. In our London Soho flagship, for example, we have introduced a ‘Pop In Shop’, which changes quarterly. Concepts have included a Ray-Ban artist series with the graffiti artist Mr Brainwash. Additionally, selected stores globally now have a Luxury Room, where we present our luxury collections in a destination shop. Locations where this has been executed include 5th Avenue in New York, Miami, Cape Town and London – including Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, and more recently a Luxury ‘Bar’ in our Terminal 4 store. Ultimately, our ability to deliver these kinds of innovations in travel retail is somewhat dependent on space limitations. Many airports want to focus solely on deriving the highest possible productivity from every square foot, sometimes at the expense of these customer-experience focused elements. Going forward, the best way to make travel retail the expert channel is to better balance productivity with experience – even if the sunglasses category and/or Sunglass Hut, can deliver the productivity, we are a category that adds a return beyond the financial. We bring payback on the emotion and experience of the passenger. This will shift consumer perceptions and deliver great rewards for all in the long-term. I also think innovation is not always about what consumers see in-store. For example, just as important are the fundamentals of retail such as supply chain. For our part, our Stars Programme is built around an inventory management software platform that is designed to improve sales performance in areas such as product assortment, continuous product refresh, optimised stock levels and automatic stock replenishment.


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On the case What’s hot in the world of airport baggage handling? Joe Bates reviews some of the latest contract awards, openings and innovations.


anderlande has been awarded the baggage handling contract for Moscow Domodedovo Airport’s new Terminal 2. The terminal is being constructed to ensure that the gateway is equipped to meet rising demand and the thousands of extra visitors that are expected to descend on the city during Russia’s hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Dutch baggage handling giant, which also recently announced that it has supplied and installed 72 STACK@EASE units as part of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3 integrated baggage system, installed the baggage handling system in Domodedovo’s Terminal 1. Domodedovo is one of Moscow’s three major airports alongside Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo. It is also one of the largest airports in Russia in terms of passenger and cargo traffic, handling a record 30 million passengers in 2015. The gateway’s new Terminal 2 will feature Vanderlande’s TUBTRAX 2.0 (an individual carrier system) and BAGSTORE (with over 1,000 storage positions) technologies. In addition, an advanced hold baggage screening system compliant with ECAC 3 will be integrated with the new BHS as well as check-in positions and carousels. The capacity is expected to be around 5,400 bags per hour. The deadline for handing over the baggage system is March 1, 2018. This was an essential condition owing to Russia’s staging of the FIFA World Cup the same year. “Our team faces a tight deadline, but I am confident that we will deliver a world-class baggage handling system on schedule,” says Vanderlande’s executive vice president for airports, Andrew Manship.

Daifuku wins BHS contract at Montréal Trudeau In North America, Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) has selected Daifuku Airport Technologies to supply its Baggage Tray System (BTS) as part of an Explosives Detection System (EDS) Retrofit contract for the Montréal Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport. Daifuku Airport Technologies will replace the existing international BTS technology to improve the tracking efficiencies and reduce in-system times.

The new system will be installed over multiple phases, including the integration of Morpho CTX 9800, standard belt conveyors and the BTS to provide transportation both pre and post Explosive Detection System with delivery to final sortation and baggage make-up. The system will also utilise the latest tray management software to ensure the maximum operating efficiency and future expansion. “Our BTS solution is one of the most flexible products on the market and facilitates easier integration with existing baggage facilities,” enthuses Matt Walker, Daifuku’s Aéroport de Montréal account manager. “Our vast experience and expertise in providing customers with innovative and flexible solutions were key factors in winning this project.”

BEUMER complete huge Gatwick installation BEUMER Group UK has completed the installation of a new CrisBag Early Bag Store (EBS) and baggage handling system as part of Gatwick Airport’s £186 million redevelopment of the South Terminal Pier 1. The system is the first EBS to be installed at Gatwick and, uniquely, checked baggage can be viewed by passengers through a window overlooking the baggage handling system. Other viewing windows in the new passenger gate rooms provide passengers with outstanding views across the runway. Gatwick’s new system provides 2,600 EBS spaces, which according to BEUMER, has enabled the gateway to offer advance check-in of baggage up to 18 hours before departure. It believes this service will contribute to improved passenger satisfaction and help reduce Departure Hall queues by allowing Gatwick to spread check-in times. BEUMER is also quick to point out that 100% traceability of each bag within the EBS will virtually eliminate the possibility of a bag being lost in the baggage handling process. The baggage handling system serves the entire South Terminal and provides the capacity to handle over 4,240 bags per hour. “The new systems in Gatwick’s Pier 1 combine some of the most advanced and energy-efficient baggage handling technologies,” explains Peter Gilks, managing director of BEUMER Group UK’s Airports Division.





The benefits of beacons Unisys Corporation’s vice president and global head of travel and transportation, Dheeraj Kohli, explains why he believes that beacons represent the future for air travel.


t’s a situation most air travellers can relate to. After arriving in an airport terminal, you check the monitors and see you have some time before your initial or connecting flight is set to depart, so you can relax and decide to enjoy the best the airport has to offer in terms of amenities. Finding them, however, can be a totally different story as the information kiosks at even the most sophisticated airports can be a frustrating experience. In today’s age of the connected traveller, more people rely on their mobile phones than ever before, especially as part of their travel experience. And as more people use their mobile devices to not only download their boarding pass and check in for their flights – but also to shop, surf, and catalogue their journey on social media – the mobile device presents an incredible opportunity for airports to connect with, support, and learn from the people travelling through their terminals. According to a report last year, it is estimated that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years. For context, we now generate more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, enough to fill 10 million Blu-ray discs. However, the vast majority of that data is unstructured, leaving many businesses – including airports and airlines – trying to figure out how to best gather and analyse this data to better inform how they operate. As the old axiom goes, getting started is the hardest part.

Enter the beacon In my opinion, the technology that can help build the bridge between airports, airlines and their travellers revolves around beacons. A beacon is a small wireless device that broadcasts a short-range Bluetooth signal. That signal is detected by an app on a mobile device as it comes in close proximity to the beacon, and can trigger notifications, open web pages, or push advertisements directly to that mobile device. A passenger need only download an app, which most airports have already developed.



Bluetooth beacons are relatively small, inexpensive and have a long battery life of several years. As long as a passenger downloaded the app and opted in for the notifications, beacons placed throughout a facility would enable airports to offer customers a range of helpful information about their flights, parking, security checkpoints and retail.

Real-time updates and navigation Airports can use beacon technology in conjunction with mobile apps to deliver real-time ‘day of travel’ information services directly to passengers at the appropriate point in their journey. For example, if a passenger’s flight changes gate as they are going through security, their device would ping a beacon in the security checkpoint allowing the airport to relay the new gate information directly to their phone in real-time, so they can adjust their path accordingly, rather than walk through the terminal only to arrive at the wrong gate. For the passenger with extra time who might otherwise be standing at a crowded information kiosk, beacons can help the airport communicate directions straight to their smartphone. As an example, say traveller John Smith lands in Atlanta with two hours before his connecting flight takes off. As he gets off the first plane, the app on his phone pings the beacon in that part of the terminal, and he is instantly sent the details of where he is, where he needs to go for his next flight, and the fastest way to get there – all while avoiding a crowded monitor or having to wander aimlessly in search of the tram to the next terminal.

Generating non-aeronautical revenues When it comes to dining and retail, beacons can also play a valuable role in offering food and shopping options, as well as additional incentives to promote airport shops. Continuing the example above, let’s say John Smith arrives 90 minutes before his connecting flight is to depart. Hungry for


lunch but not sure where to go, upon arriving in the terminal his phone pings the beacon there and John is sent information on nearby dining options and a coupon for 20% off his meal at the new high-end restaurant a short walk from his gate. This type of service makes it easier for travellers to plan out their stops, it builds customer loyalty, and most importantly it can foster growth in non-aeronautical revenue – always a priority for airports. With the right application and the right array of beacons an airport can get a detailed sense of their network and where their customers are going. While it’s impossible to expect 100% of all travellers in the airport to be using the app at once, the data generated from it can still provide valuable insight. For instance, if a beacon in Terminal A shows a heavy volume of people frequenting one location while another is neglected, an airport can look closer to try and determine why that might be the case. It also allows the airport or retailers the opportunity to send a ping to people nearby with promotions encouraging them to visit the store. Over time, it can help gauge whether a change is needed in order to maximise revenue opportunity.

Passenger flow management Information generated from beacons about passengers, airlines, and baggage can be key to effectively planning an airport’s service capacity, resource distribution, and staffing levels. If an airport sees a high volume of travellers pinging a beacon around security checkpoint 1 with a relatively low volume of people pinging the beacon at checkpoint 2, for instance, resources can be diverted to either move passengers to the less crowded security line or provide additional staff at the busy location. This not only creates a more harmonious experience for the airport and the traveller, but the data can also be used to generate predictive models that can allow the airport to better plan for and allocate resources where they are needed most, before there is an urgent need to do so.

Information generated from beacons about passengers, airlines, and baggage can be key to effectively planning an airport’s service capacity, resource distribution, and staffing levels Operational efficiencies Similar to the example with passenger flow, beacons can also help airports track their own employees to ensure that they are best utilised. For example, if a problem arises near one of the gates, the airport can quickly check to see which employees ping the beacon near where the issue is allowing for a faster and more efficient response to problems as they arise. Additionally, beacons can help detect if any employee or individual tries to access an area that they are not supposed to, which can help ensure proper airport security. As for the security of the beacons themselves, most beacons come with different security features – many of which are customisable. Depending on the application in which you use your beacons, there are several ways to ensure that the data being generated is kept secure.

Summary Not only do beacons generate analytics that can provide airports with an opportunity to improve the experience they offer to their travellers, but the data generated can help them bolster their own efficiency, organisation, and most importantly, their profitability. In the age of the connected traveller, being able to directly engage with customers where they are already playing can be a major differentiator for any airport or airline.





Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport Expanded terminal and introduction of new self-service technologies to boost gateway’s capacity and operational efficiency. project details Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Important developments: Creation of new self-service terminal, airfield enhancements and the opening of a US preclearance facility Scheduled completion: 2018


uébec City Jean-Lesage International Airport (YQB) may have just turned 75 years old but it remains highly ambitious, and a series of ongoing developments at the gateway should pave the way for growth for decades to come. Central to its plans are the expansion of the terminal building and recently announced proposals for a US preclearance facility that will make it quicker and easier for passengers to travel to between Canada and the United States. Indeed, the gateway believes that the new facilities ensure that “great things are in store” in the years ahead as it cements its status as a key economic generator for Quebec. “The airport has changed dramatically over the years to become a driver of economic growth in our vibrant, expanding region, as well as a hub for the thousands of passengers we accommodate every year,” notes Aéroport de Québec inc (AQi) president and CEO, Gaëtan Gagné.

New self-service terminal The key project of the airport’s YQB 2018 master plan is the C$225 million expansion of the existing terminal, which will raise Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport’s capacity to more than 2mppa by 2020. The upgrade will effectively double the size of the terminal to 50,000sqm and allow for the addition of four new gates, new self service check-in kiosks and automated baggage drop-off facilities, extra baggage carousels and an expanded foodcourt. The revamped terminal is actually being designed to be a 100% self-service facility.

“Our expanded terminal will essentially be a 100% self-service facility, meaning that the typical process for passengers will be to use self-service kiosks and bag drops, although agents will still be on site and there will be some hybrid stations for those that need additional assistance,” says Marc-André Bédard, the airport’s vice president of IT. “The initiative, which will help increase the airport’s capacity, is being driven by our desire to offer better services to passengers who want to go through the airport quickly and easily. “Other advantages of self-service technology include greater efficiency, more space and more flexibility. The new smart facilities also mean greater efficiency for the airlines and the whole airport community.”

IT innovation The Canadian gateway is certainly no stranger to IT innovation and last year became the first in the world to introduce the Apple Watch as a tool to assist staff during a three-month pilot project with SITA. Employees used the watches to connect to the airport’s management systems and push regular operational alerts to duty managers in a bid to ensure operations ran smoothly. “We are always looking for new technology to help enhance our operations and ultimately better serve our passengers,” adds Bédard. “Wearable tech is one area of interest to us and with the Apple Watch and SITA’s Airport Management solution our duty managers received important notifications at just the right time to take action as needed.

Principal companies involved: Gagnon Letellier Cyr Ricard Mathieu (GLCRM); WSP; SNL Lavalin; Stantec; SITA, Pomerleau Total investment: C$277 million (Excluding US preclearance) “For example, they were getting alerts to say that two planes were arriving simultaneously and have been assigned to the same gate or that there is a delay at a certain gate. “It was pretty useful because they didn’t have to look at their tablets regularly for updates. With the watch, a vibration alerts them to an update so they receive vital information just by glancing at their wrist. They can then take immediate action.”

Other projects YQB 2018 actually involves a total of 20 construction projects, which include C$52 million set aside for the overhaul of the airport’s two runways, apron renovation and the creation of additional aircraft parking areas. Construction has also started on a new heating and cooling plant that will use geothermal energy to provide the bulk of the airport’s energy needs, saving 200,000 cubic metres of natural gas annually. The revamped terminal will have its own geothermal energy supply courtesy of 60 wells extending 550ft below the surface. A perennial high performer in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction awards – winning Best Airport in North America in 2010, 2011 and 2014 – Québec City Jean Lasage International Airport has a clear vision for the future and is quietly going about AW achieving its aim.




The latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners

Camas Training Location: Paris, France Contact: Grandoulier Patrick E: W: CAMAS was founded in 2001 to meet the high demand for professional training in the aviation and airport industries. Over the last 10 years CAMAS has been working side-byside aviation professionals to deliver high-quality training courses. With over 21 physical training centres across the globe, CAMAS is growing rapidly as a leader in the airport and aviation training sector.

InterVISTAS Consulting Ltd

Key Hong Kong role for AECOM

AECOM has been awarded the detailed design consultancy work for Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) new passenger building, part of the HK$141.5 billion Three-runway System (3RS) project. According to AECOM, the design proposal for the state-of-the-art facility will deliver a “great passenger experience and innovative retail offerings”. “The airport is an important symbol of any city, and we are extremely pleased to continue making Hong Kong International Airport the pride of Hong Kong,” says Sean Chiao, president of AECOM Asia Pacific. “We look forward to leveraging our connected expertise to deliver designs for this major project as well as the airport’s Terminal 2 expansion, for which we were awarded consultancy work earlier.” AECOM’s team with its partners will research and conduct benchmarking studies that will assist the design team working with the client to deliver the new passenger facility. The studies will look at the future trends in information technology and airport systems, retail and advertising. With a floor area of 280,000 square metres, the spacious passenger building is expected to be one of the world’s greenest facilities when it opens in 2024.

Construction project Share and learn on new of the year security website The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) has named Chicago O’Hare’s new runway as its 2016 Project of the Year. The award for runway 10R-28L recognised the efforts of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff. The runway also received CMAA’s Project Achievement Award for infrastructure with constructed value greater than $150 million. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff served as construction manager for runway 10R-28Lm, which is part of CDA’s multi-billion dollar O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). Runway 10R-28L is the fifth east-west parallel runway at O’Hare and the fourth new runway component opened since 2008 as part of the OMP.

Smiths Detection has launched Aviation Insider, a new online hub for the aviation sector which it hopes will showcase best practices in aviation security and facilitate global discussions. The company notes it will only host expert opinions and articles written by leading voices in the sector. Cameron Mann, global markets director for aviation at Smiths Detection, says: “Aviation Insider is designed to be a critical hub for industry opinion; a place where best practice ideas can be shared and where discussion between practitioners can thrive for this evolving landscape. “Passengers need to keep flying with minimal delays and maximum safety and we hope that this hub will contribute to making that happen.” The website’s launch comes as Smiths Detection has set up a dedicated aviation solutions team to help airports improve their security, based on a fully integrated approach to security from kerb to gate.

Location: London UK Contact: Dr Sabine Reim E: W: InterVISTAS Consulting Group is a leading management consulting company dedicated to aviation, transportation and tourism. With a strong commitment to working collaboratively with clients applying vision and expertise to achieve maximum results, their core area of expertise includes: air service development; airline management consulting; PPP partnership/ commercial; airport planning; travel market intelligence; and strategy, tourism, economics and security and borders. InterVISTAS Consulting is part of Royal Haskoning DHV.

Page Location: Denver, Colorado, USA Contact: Karen Gilbert E: W: Founded in 1898, Page is one of the oldest continuously operating integrated architectural and engineering firms in the US. With a staff comprising over 500 people, Page has offices in Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, San Francisco and Washington DC. It provides architecture, engineering, interiors and planning services for aviation facilities, data centres, administration buildings, parking structures and central utility plants.






matters The human touch Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on the importance of stakeholder engagement.


alking into the Arrivals Hall at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 last December was an uplifting experience. As the doors to the Hall slid open from the functional but rather soulless customs area, a wave of familiar festive tunes provided a wall of cheer for everyone, whether visiting the country or returning home for Christmas. For the incoming passenger the warmth of the welcome was striking, the more so since the local community were taking the lead with adult choirs, choral societies, orchestras and even schools contributing to the entertainment. There was a sense that people had turned out voluntarily in a spirited and concerted effort to make first impressions memorable. The airport experience should be all about the joy of connecting people and places – and episodes like this remind us of that. Unfortunately, only too often all that gets remembered is the hassle of travel. Fears about personal safety, long lines at security and immigration, lost baggage, endless walks through buildings undergoing renovation – not to mention traffic to and from the airport – can all make the journey stressful and difficult for the passenger. The human touch plays a major role in mitigating the strain and stress of travel. However, to do this well, day in and day out, is difficult to achieve. Everyone who works at an airport, whether employed by the airport itself, by airlines, contractors, concessionaires


or government authorities have some part to play in the passenger experience, either directly or indirectly. How can airport leaders ensure the human touch gets the attention it deserves given the number of players involved? • Walk in the passengers’ shoes and see things with their eyes. Map their journey through the airport; identify the bottlenecks and potential difficulties in interfaces with people. Seek passenger feedback, including ASQ data and complaints. Redesign where necessary to improve their experience • Make the time and resources available to explain to all stakeholders the customer experience vision for the airport. Ensure training is in place for all stakeholders, not just direct employees. Aim to get people enthusiastic and engaged in the passenger experience. Involve them in the process, listen to their ideas and address any issues they may have Leaders don’t always give stakeholder engagement the priority it deserves. It can seem much less important than pressing operational, security and technical issues. But improvements in passenger experience depend critically on the contributions of many different groups and all stakeholders have a role to play. Investing in the resources needed to bring stakeholders on board makes good sense. While airports connect people with places, airport leaders connect stakeholders with the customer.


Philippe Rainville will become the new president and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) on January 1, 2017, succeeding James Cherry, who retires at the end of 2016. He has served as ADM’s vice-president of planning, engineering and construction since 2014 and therefore knows the airport well. The former managing director of Tirana International Airport in Albania, Andrea Gebbeken, has joined the top table at Munich Airport as the managing director responsible for end-customer business, corporate security, and quality and project management. Robert Gilbert is the new chief development officer of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). He will be responsible for leading and co-ordinating the planning and delivery of all elements of the LAWA capital programme including LAX’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). London Heathrow has a new chief financial officer, Javier Echave, who has assumed the position permanently after a period as interim CFO. Since joining Heathrow (then BAA) in 2008, he has advised the board and chief executive on establishing the company’s current capital structure and positioning Heathrow with a strong credit rating in the financial markets. Bert van der Stege has been appointed vice president business development and chief commercial officer of Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), replacing Ian Arthur, who recently resigned from HIAA for family reasons. London City Airport has recruited from within and named Alison FitzGerald as its new chief operating officer following the departure of Darren Grover. FitzGerald, who joined the airport in 2014 as chief information officer, takes on responsibility for all operational areas of the business across the terminal and airfield. She will also retain responsibility for technology. Auckland Airport has announced the appointment of Shakeel Adam as its new general manager aeronautical commercial. He will start work at Auckland Airport in the New Year.

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


Profile for Airport World

Airport World, Issue 6, 2016  

In the spotlight: Concessions Airport profile: Oslo Events: Beacon technology Plus: Baggage handling & airport leadership

Airport World, Issue 6, 2016  

In the spotlight: Concessions Airport profile: Oslo Events: Beacon technology Plus: Baggage handling & airport leadership