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The official publication of ACI Asia-Pacific

Customer service: Everything counts In the spotlight: Customer service Airport report: Sydney

Issue 3, 2016

Future build: Hong Kong and the Maldives Plus: Route development and World Business Partners

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Asia-Pacific Airports Issue 3, 2016

6 View from the top

22 Best intentions

ACI Asia-Pacific regional director, Patti Chau, reflects on the organisation’s growing membership, activities and recent initiatives.

8 News A snapshot of some of the biggest stories from across the region.

12 ACI News

Vivian Fung rounds up all the latest news from ACI Asia-Pacific, including a report on its participation at the 53rd ICAO Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region.

14 Australian firsts

Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport’s managing director and CEO and new president of ACI Asia-Pacific, talks to Joe Bates about the growth and development of Australia’s busiest gateway.

Joe Bates takes a closer look at some of the latest and most innovative customer focused initiatives unveiled at the region’s airports.

26 Building loyalty

What do airport retailers and F&B operators have to do to win over customers and convince them to return again and again? Clare Williams investigates.

30 Striving for more


Kirsten O’Neill, customer experience research manager at Dubai Airports, talks to ACI World’s Sevda Fevzi about the benefits of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) benchmarking programme.



CONTENTS 32 Culture club

40 Bigger and better

Asia-Pacific Airports magazine turns the spotlight on Hong Kong International Airport’s multi-billion dollar third runway project.

Robbie Gill, managing director of The Design Solution, explains why he believes that every airport needs to express a ‘sense of place’.

38 Transforming the passenger experience

Recognising the positive impact wayfinding has on passengers can help airports better manage their customer experience and boost revenues, writes James Ackomann.

42 Route One Joe Bates reviews the 2016 route development success of a handful of the region’s airports.

44 World Business Partners News, views and reviews from the region’s WBPs.

46 Design & build Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

Asia-Pacific Airports (APA) Editor Joe Bates +44 (0)1276 476582 Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper +44 (0)7495 611207

APA Issue 3, 2016

Published by Aviation Media Ltd PO BOX 448, Feltham, TW13 9EA, UK Managing Director Jonathan Lee +44 (0)208 707 2743 Advertising Manager Ellis Owen +44 (0)208 274 1540

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Asia-Pacific Airports (APA) is published four times a year for the members of ACI Asia-Pacific. The opinions and views expressed in APA are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect an ACI policy or position. The content of this publication is copyright of Aviation Media Ltd and should not be copied or stored without the express permission of the publisher.

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ACI Asia-Pacific regional director, Patti Chau, reflects on the organisation’s growing membership, activities and recent initiatives.


sia-Pacific has long been ACI’s fastest growing region for traffic growth, and I am pleased to report that our membership numbers continue to rise as well and now stand at 104 members, which between them operate 581 airports in 48 countries. The newest addition is Hobart Airport, in Tasmania, Australia, which has served notice of its ambitions through a recently approved project to extend its runway to allow it to better serve Asian markets and “be a stronger Antarctic Gateway for Australia and other nations”. In addition to new airport members we have also welcomed a number of new World Business Partners, the newest of which include Brüel & Kjær, EMCAT (Asia) Pte Ltd, Nuctech Company Limited, PPMDC and Rockwell Collins. I would like to extend our warm welcome to all of them.


We are, of course, totally committed to representing the interests of Asia-Pacific’s airports and to do this successfully it is crucial for us to have a close working relationship with all segments of the aviation industry and its many different stakeholders as cooperation and understanding are key to getting things done. APA Issue 3 2016

This goal ensured our participation at ICAO’s 53rd Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Asia and Pacific Region, held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August. The conference, which had the theme of ‘Fostering Safe, Secure and Efficient Aviation System in an Eco-friendly Environment with No Country Left Behind’ was attended by over 300 delegates from Asia and the Pacific as well as representatives from industry partners that included ACI, IATA and CANSO. The discussion focused on the five ICAO strategic objectives of safety; security & facilitation; navigation capacity efficiency; environmental protection; and air transport economics. Three Information Papers were submitted by ACI Asia-Pacific covering APEX in Safety, APEX in Security and Airport Carbon Accreditation, which provided an update on the programmes and solicited support for them.


As part of our outreach programme to members, I was on my travels again in June to attend the World Aviation Hub Conference organised by Incheon Airport, where the main topic of discussion was on air connectivity and network development. In my ‘State of the Industry’ address I shared ACI’s latest information on traffic



We note and welcome the fact that India’s new National Civil Aviation Policy has paved the way for the introduction of a hybrid till system at the nation’s airports. ACI believes that this is a significant step forward in assuring that the country takes its rightful place in aviation as a driver of economic and social development. Indeed, we are confident that the decision will result in an increase in airport investment and enable the airport sector to play its role in facilitating growth in air travel.


We have made significant progress in a number of ACI initiatives over the past six months. A few examples of our achievements include an APEX in Safety review at Bali Airport in July and the continued momentum of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme across the region. Conducted with the support and participation of Brisbane Airport, Singapore Changi, Dublin Airport and Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) as safety assessors, it was our third APEX in Safety review of 2016 and we expect growing recognition of this ICAO endorsed programme in our region. I am delighted to say that the number of Asia-Pacific airports becoming Airport Carbon Accredited continues to rise. And we are particularly excited by the fact that Beijing Capital International Airport has become the first airport in China to be certified under the scheme.


We continue to work closely with our members and industry partners in tackling the challenges of climate change, and I believe

that the recent Asia-Pacific Environmental Survey provides further evidence of our strong commitment to the sustainable growth of our airports. Another initiative is the inaugural issue of the ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Review. The issue, covering 2015, aims to share high-level regional insights and summaries on airport economics matters.


In order to better address our members’ needs and to improve our range of services for the future we have expanded our team this year by adding two permanent positions.


We were thrilled with the record-breaking attendance at this year’s Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Gold Coast, Australia. An amazing 610 delegates from 52 countries attended the conference and I can honestly say that the positive feedback and comments we have received from attendees, including those telling us how we can make improvements, has been very rewarding. Indeed, partly as a result of the feedback, we can assure you that next year’s Regional Assembly in Doha will be just as memorable.


Last but not least, I would like to call for your participation in the series of events planned for the in Asia-Pacific region in the final quarter of 2016. They include the AVSEC World Conference in Kuala Lumpur in late October (25-27) and ACI’s Investing in Airports conference in Goa, India, this December (6-8). As this issue will be distributed at this year’s ACI Asia-Pacific Small and Emerging Airports Seminar in Siem Reap, I would like to wish all of the delegates reading this in Cambodia a productive APA three days!


trends and economic development at the major global hubs. My presentation covered the past, present and the future and was followed by a debate about some of the challenges facing the airport industry.




NEWS CHANGI’S VISION OF THE FUTURE Singapore Changi’s new Terminal 4 will provide passengers with a vision of the future in terms of its implementation of self-service facilities, according to operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG). “Based on current trends, airports of the future will have a suite of self-service options from self service check-in and bag drop all the way through to self boarding gates,” says Jayson Goh, CAG’s managing director, airport operations management. “This trend is in line with a wider global push towards self-service options at airports to improve productivity and efficiency, while at the same time providing passengers with greater flexibility and convenience. “To cite Changi’s new Terminal 4 as an example, when it opens in 2017, passengers can expect a complete suite of self-service and automated options from check-in and bag drop to immigration clearance and boarding. “For the first time at Changi Airport, facial recognition technology will be introduced at T4, to eliminate the need for manual identity verification by staff and enable the full automation of

processing and checks from departure check-in to aircraft boarding.” Elsewhere on the airport, CAG has awarded a S$1.1 billion contract for the second package of works relating to the development of a threerunway system at Singapore Changi to a joint venture between Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure and Sembcorp Design and Construction. The airport’s master plan includes provision for a three-runway system by the early 2020s, a target it aims to achieve by extending a former military runway to ensure that it is capable of accommodating larger commercial aircraft. Yam Kum Weng, CAG’s executive vice president, development (Changi East and Terminal 4), says: “The development of a three-runway system is an important part of Changi Airport’s expansion plans, which will take the Singapore air hub into its next phase of growth. “The project, which takes place amid ongoing airport operations, is complex and requires meticulous planning and excellent execution across different phases.”

AUCKLAND HELICOPTER TERMINAL CLOSE TO COMPLETION Construction is at an advanced stage on a new helicopter terminal and hangar at Auckland Airport that is expected to cater to the airport’s growing number of affluent and adventure-seeking passengers. The new facility will be built, owned and managed by local helicopter tour operator Helicopter Me. Anil Varma, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical operations, says the helicopter terminal is a timely addition to the services provided by the gateway. “Our international passenger numbers continue to rise, up 8% in the last financial year to just under nine million. This has led to an increase in the number of high-spending tourists wanting to connect quickly to their luxury holiday destinations. “The new helicopter terminal will also provide international and New Zealand tourists with greater choice when it comes to heading out for a scenic flight, lunch or a wine tour while visiting Auckland.” Situated just 200 metres from the international terminal, the heliport is believed to be one of the closest such operations to an international airport anywhere in the world. APA Issue 3, 2016


Christchurch Airport has revealed that its strategy of opening new revenue-boosting commercial developments on the airport site continued in its 2016 financial year when it pumped more than NZ$180 million in new GDP into the local economy. “We have also continued the development of our bare land to lift revenues, grow shareholder value, increase dividends, and balance risk associated with what can be a dynamic aviation industry,” enthuses David Mackenzie, chairman of operator, Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL). Indeed, during FY16 the airport company completed and opened Spitfire Square, its new convenience retail complex, and unveiled Mustang Park, its new tourism transport hub. It currently has $168 million of new investment property development underway, which will begin generating additional income in FY17 and FY18. This includes the South Island Freight Hub, being developed with Freightways and Courier Post; the 240-bed JUCY Snooze pod hostel, the first in New Zealand, due to open October 2016; and the 200 room Novotel Christchurch Airport due to open December 2017.

NEW ARRIVALS The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and North QLD Airports, which operates Cairns and Mackay airports in Australia, have both made key new appointments in the past few months. Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra has taken over as chairman of the AAI, moving from the position of Joint Secretary in the Department of Commerce for the Indian government. While North QLD Airports has named Norris Carter as its new CEO, although he is not expected to take up the position until December. AAI’s new man at the top has worked extensively in the power sector, urban development and industry. Carter, currently general manager aeronautical commercial at Auckland Airport, will succeed Kevin Brown who resigned in April to take up the role of chief executive at Perth Airport. Before joining Auckland Airport, Carter spent 14 years at Qantas where he led strategy, network planning and revenue management for the airline’s international operations, and played a leading role in the growth of its frequent flyer business.




SWEET EMOTIONS Bahrain International Airport looks a little more colourful these days following the opening of a new Candy Cloud shop. Unveiled by Bahrain Duty Free, the 60sqm store is located on the main passenger walkway of the departures retail area and, according to its operator, is home to “top toy and confectionery brands, and the range is aimed at the young, and young at heart alike”. Bahrain Duty Free’s general manager, Bassam Alwardi, believes that the store’s opening has totally transformed the area, ensuring an even better retail experience for passengers. “As this is in a prime location within the terminal it was important for us to ensure that we created something fun and innovative, and we believe that with Candy Cloud we have succeeded,” he says. He adds that the outlet was a sign of the customer-centric approach adapted by the retailer; and how this opening is the first of many openings scheduled by the retailer for the remainder of 2016. Bahrain Duty Free is currently refurbishing its 1,500sqm departures outlet at the gateway. North QLD Board chairman, Ross Rolfe, says: “We are excited by the experience that Norris brings to the role and believe he is the ideal candidate to drive future growth in the business by attracting new services to Cairns and Mackay airports as well as continuing to support our existing customers to grow their businesses. “We are very much looking forward to working with him to achieve new growth in our business that will benefit the communities we serve.”



NEWS WINNING BREW Emirates Leisure Retail Australia (ELRA) is celebrating a series of prestigious industry awards for its Hudsons Coffee brand. Fresh from taking home the title of Global ‘Best Airport Coffee Shop of the Year’ for its store at Brisbane Airport at the 2016 Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards, ELRA has been awarded a Silver medal for Interior Design at the 2016 Sydney Design Awards + Summit for its new Hudsons Coffee outlet at Sydney Airport. According to ELRA, the awards recognise the brand’s growing popularity among airport

passengers and reinforces its key contribution to the overall growth of the travel retail sector. ELRA managing director, Adam Summerville, says: “Creating a real sense of place at the Brisbane outlet using local Queensland materials and cleverly utilising such a small space by designing the outlet around the existing clock tower is testament to our commitment to creating concepts that deliver an outstanding F&B product. “In parallel, the Sydney outlet was a great collaboration with the airport who wanted to see the spirit of Sydney coming through the store.”

QUEEN SIZED EXPANSION Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport is celebrating the completion of the second phase development of its new terminal. The $214 million expansion project has added 43,513 square-metres to the terminal that has allowed the airport to double its number of gates and effectively raise its capacity to 12 million passengers per annum. The new capacity, up from 9mppa, will be increased to 16 million in the next expansion phase, which will be triggered by demand. The new-look terminal now boasts a total of 25 gates, including eight remote stands and 17 contact gates. The additional nine contact gates are operated from two Fixed Link Bridges, as well as four new Super Fixed Link Bridges, two of which can accommodate the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380. APA Issue 3, 2016

Other new additions include two business lounges, two duty free areas and four prayer rooms. The airport notes that it has also installed additional telephone/laptop charging stations and an upgraded Wi-Fi system. And in a bid to ensure that QAIA’s short transit processes and walking distances are maintained despite its increased area, 10 new travellators, 24 escalators and 18 lifts have also been installed in the expansion. AIG chairman, Faras Al Ramahi, said: “The much-anticipated completion of QAIA’s second expansion phase is an extraordinary milestone, which was made possible thanks to the dedication, hard work and passion of our employees at Airport International G roup and QAIA, as well as the unwavering support of the government of Jordan, our shareholders and our partners.”




Regional update Vivian Fung rounds up all the latest news from ACI Asia-Pacific, including a report on its participation at the 53rd ICAO Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region.


busy few months for ACI Asia-Pacific culminated in representing the interests of our member airports at the 53rd ICAO Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, this August. The annual summit attracts civil aviation policymakers from 38 states across the Asia-Pacific region and the theme of this year’s event was the all-encompassing topic of ‘Fostering a Safe, Secure and Efficient Aviation System In An Eco-friendly Environment With No Country left Behind’. Over 300 delegates were in attendance to listen and take part in debates that focused on ICAO’s five strategic objectives – safety; security and facilitation; navigation capacity efficiency; environmental protection; and air transport economics. Three Information Papers were submitted by ACI covering Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety, APEX in Security and Airport Carbon

Accreditation. The documents provided an update on the programmes and solicited support from the civil aviation regulatory bodies in the region.


A key economic initiative of the Regional Office is to develop regionalised analysis and reports and advocacy material for members in response to specific policy issues. This commitment has led to the compilation of the inaugural ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Review by our Regional Economics Committee. Covering the year 2015, the report is designed to share high-level regional insights and summaries on airport economics matters with members through the analysis of data obtained from ACI surveys and public sources. It also aims to provide pointers in specific areas for further studies.


Regional director, Patti Chau, was on the road again in late June attending the World Aviation Hub Conference organised by Incheon Airport, where she gave a keynote address on the state of the industry. On airport capacity, Chau noted: “In less than two decade’s time, some 45% of global traffic is forecast to be coming from emerging markets, but many of these countries lack the funding [to develop their airports] or simply the permission to grow. “If these countries are to fully realise aviation’s potential as a driver of economic and social progress, the right investments in infrastructure, capacity building, safety, security, and efficiency need to be made.” APA Issue 3, 2016

October 25-27 AVSEC World Kuala Lumpur


April 10-12 ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Doha, Qatar


December 6-8 Investing in Airports Goa, India


October 24-26 ACI Asia-Pacific Small and Emerging Airports Seminar Siem Reap, Cambodia


Kerrie Mather* (Sydney Airport, Australia)


Seow Hiang Lee* (Changi Airport Group Pte Ltd, Singapore)


Fred Lam* (Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong) PS Nair* (Delhi International Airport Limited, India)

SECRETARY-TREASURER Emmanuel Menanteau* (Kansai Airports, Japan)


Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid** (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Malaysia)


Sulaiman Zainul Abidin (Pioneer Aerodrome Service Co Ltd, Myanmar) Tariq Al-Abduljabbar (General Authority Of Civil Aviation, Saudi Arabia) Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni (Oman Airports Management Company, Oman) HE Ali Salim Al Midfa (Sharjah Airport Authority, UAE) Kjeld Binger* (Airport International Group, Jordan)

Correct as of September 2016.

Il-Young Chung (Incheon International Airport Corporation, Korea)

Sasisubha Sukontasap (Airports of Thailand, Thailand)

Kenichi Fukaya* (Narita International Airport Corporation, Japan)

Il-Hwan Sung (Korea Airports Corporation, Korea)

Datuk Badlisham Bin Ghazali (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Malaysia)

Dar-jen Tseng Taoyuan International Airport Corporation (Chinese Taipei)

Derun Li (Shanghai Airport Authority, China)

Mark Young (Adelaide Airport Limited, Australia)

Xue Song Liu** (Beijing Capital International Airport Co Ltd, China)


Pedro Roy Martinez (AB Won Pat International Airport Authority, Guam)

Vikas Gupta (GrayMatter Software Services, India)

ACK Nair (Cochin International Airport Limited, India) * WGB member **Regional Advisor on WGB

The ACI Asia-Pacific region represents 104 members operating 581 airports in 47 countries and territories.








Australian firsts

Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport’s managing director and CEO and new president of ACI Asia-Pacific, talks to Joe Bates about the growth and development of Australia’s busiest gateway.


ike most Australians, Kerrie Mather is used to travelling as, to use her words, “Australia is a big country at the bottom of the world” and to get anywhere invariably involves hopping on an aircraft. She has certainly done a lot of hopping over the last 20 years as prior to becoming managing director and CEO of Sydney Airport five years ago, Mather was CEO of Macquarie Airports (MAp), and its investment in airports across the globe would mean regular trips to Europe to attend board meetings in Brussels, Copenhagen, Rome, Birmingham and elsewhere. The travelling continues today, of course, as in addition to meeting different shareholders and stakeholders in her capacity as boss of Sydney Airport, she is a member of the ACI World Governing Board, deputy chair of Australia’s Tourism and Transport

APA Issue 3, 2016

Forum and a board member of the Committee for Sydney. And the air miles are now going to soar even higher as her decision to become ACI Asia-Pacific’s first female president in April – succeeding fellow Aussie Dennis Chant in the role – will add a few more flights to the calendar. So does she like collecting air miles? “Travel is part and parcel of the job,” she says, noting that the chance to lead ACI Asia-Pacific for the next few years was an opportunity that she couldn’t turn down. “I am very honoured and proud to take on the role of leading the board of ACI AsiaPacific, ACI’s largest and fastest growing region,” enthuses Mather. “ACI plays a critical advocacy role for the industry. It has a vital role in shaping policies that support the growth of the aviation




industry and help drive tourism, trade, and investment outcomes for the world. “I am excited about the opportunities, and with those opportunities come challenges, but I look forward to them and can assure everyone that I will never lose sight of our key priorities of safety, security and the sustainability of airports for the benefit of all our members, business partners and passengers. “I also look forward to working with airports across the region to help promote professional excellence in airport management and operations and gaining insight and knowledge from my colleagues about best practice and other issues.”


Her day job, of course, remains overseeing the operation, growth and development of Australia’s busiest airport, which continues to impress, handling 39.7 million passengers in 2015 (+3%) and facilitating the export of A$14.6 billion worth of freight. In the last 12 months the airport has welcomed seven new routes, attracted six new international airlines, witnessed “significant capacity growth” from its existing carriers and

seen average 76% load factors despite the increase in capacity. The latest new arrival is Hainan Airlines, which launched a twice-weekly, year-round service between Sydney and Changsha on September 13 that is expected to bring an extra 17,000 Chinese visitors a year to the region and generate upwards of A$62 million into the local economy. And the trend will continue in November 2016 when China Eastern Airlines launches three-weekly services to Hangzhou and Air China launches three-weekly services to Chengdu. The new services cement Sydney’s status as the No.1 destination for long-haul operations by Chinese airlines and means that 12 cities in Mainland China are now served direct by six airlines from the gateway. Its extensive route network ensured that the airport handled the bulk of the estimated one million Chinese visitors to Australia in 2015, and the figure is expected to grow considerably over the next decade. Indeed, the airport has implemented a range of China ready initiatives to welcome Chinese passengers, including using Mandarin




speaking airport ambassadors, digital channels and wayfinding in simplified Chinese, support of events such as Lunar New Year, and tailored retail and F&B offerings. “This direct Hangzhou service is expected to bring 22,000 Chinese visitors who will contribute an anticipated $88 million in additional visitor expenditure per year, which is fantastic news for the local economy,” says Mather. “The new routes and extra capacity also reflect the attractiveness of Sydney and Australia as a destination from a tourism and business perspective. Australia is a unique market because of our geographic location and size. We are an island continent and our major population centres are a long way apart, so aviation is crucial to everything.” She says that the airport works very closely with both the government of New South Wales (NSW), Tourism Australia and other stakeholders to attract new airlines to increase connectivity, tourism and trade for the economic benefit of Sydney, NSW and Australia. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise as adding new routes/services; improving the passenger experience; raising customer service standards; sustainable development: and greater collaboration with stakeholders are key business strategies of Sydney Airport.


Mather, who celebrated five years in the hot seat this year, has been instrumental in driving a A$3 billion investment programme at Sydney Airport since 2002 which has delivered significant aviation capacity and customer service enhancements. The investments have also led to a transformation of the retail/F&B offerings at the airport and the installation of new self-service technology, and more is to come with a further A$1.3 billion planned to be spent on upgrading the airport over the next five years. So, how does she think that the first five years has gone? “It’s been a really exciting time and a period of significant but positive change,” she replies. APA Issue 3, 2016

“A main area of focus has been developing a much stronger customer focus, which has meant listening to our customers and understanding their priorities and developing a new vision for the business to reflect these priorities. As a result we are in a period of significant investment and expansion. “There has also been a much greater focus on collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders. I’ve actually made it a high priority to meet with all of them over the last five years and continue to engage with them today so that we better understand their needs. “The other area which has been very exciting for us is the way that we have developed a very strong leadership role in tourism development. We are working very closely with the NSW Government, Destination NSW in particular, and also Tourism Australia, our airline partners and other industry groups like the Tourism and Transport Forum to drive tourism and aviation business development in Sydney.” The period of greater collaboration coincided with the election of a new government in NSW five years ago, since then both it and Tourism Australia have unveiled 2020 strategies for increasing visitation to the state and the nation.



AIRPORT REPORT: SYDNEY She notes that working more in tandem with the tourism bodies has allowed ’Team Sydney’ to identify key priority markets and how they can focus on them together. In addition to the airport’s success with China, Mather points out that it has also become a major destination for low-cost, long-haul travel, with LCCs now accounting for 10% of all international passengers. Jetstar, Scoot, AirAsia X, Tiger Airways and Cebu Pacific lead the way serving a host of destinations across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand that include Bali, the top outbound destination for Australians. As a listed company, traffic predictions are not disclosed by Sydney Airport, but Mather points out that the airport is on target to handle over 41 million passengers in 2016 after a record breaking first seven months of the year. The airport actually handled 41.1 million passengers in the 12 months ending July 31, 2016, the upturn being driven by a 9.8% rise in international traffic and 4.9% increase in domestic passenger numbers.


Arguably the most highly visible change at the airport over the last five years has been the revamp of the retail/F&B facilities as part of the ongoing upgrades of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Indeed, the airport’s concessions offering has been “totally transformed”, according to Mather, who notes that almost every single concession outlet will have been “turned over” in the last 18 months. APA Issue 3, 2016

This, incredibly, has amounted to the opening of 36 new shops and 34 F&B outlets in response to feedback from travellers, with more to come. “Shopping and dining is a key part of the airport experience and our passengers told us what they wanted and we have listened and totally transformed our offerings,” she says. “Our strategy is based on creating Australian and airport firsts and the ongoing improvement programme for Terminal 1, which is our international terminal, gave us the chance to reconsider the layout and design of the retail offering, and we opted to change everything.” New duty free partner, Gebr Heinemann, has already opened 7,000sqm of retail space in T1 bringing over 400 new brands to the airport. When fully open it will cover 9,000sqm, making it Heinemann’s biggest standalone duty free store in the world. Mather says that it will be joined by 13 new fashion stores, of which eight are already open, offering a combination of high-end brands to appeal to the big spending Asian customers, middle tier brands aimed at Asian travellers looking for value, and a number of Australian firsts. She adds that the new concessions mix includes a host of extra F&B outlets, many of which form part of two new precincts – The Marketplace, offering street-food style fare in a light, bright atmosphere in T1 Departures, and the more upmarket City View. The latter will be home to restaurants such as The Bistro by Wolfgang Puck, Benny Burger by Shannon Bennett and Kitchen by Mike, all of which are unique to Sydney Airport. It will




also soon boast a Heineken House bar as part of the airport’s A$400 million investment programme in 2016. Elsewhere, the casual dining precinct in the T1 check-in hall now showcases an expanded range of food outlets such as Roll’d, Mach2, Hokka Hokka, Soul Origin, Oliver Brown, Mad Mex, Nando’s and Grand Cru, which according to Mather provide more dining options for passengers and cater to all budgets and tastes. “We have given our customers what they wanted – more variety and choice when it comes to food and beverage outlets. This includes the introduction of more unique dining experiences and a better sense of place,” she says. And the airport isn’t finished yet, as in June it began the next phase of the revamp of the casual dining precinct in Terminal 2, which it claims will enhance the airport experience for passengers, visitors and staff. According to the gateway, the next stage of improvements include increasing value and choice by delivering six new food kiosks catering to all budgets and tastes; redesigning the casual seating area to increase capacity with upgraded flooring, columns, ceiling finishes, and contemporary furniture with textural finishes; and improving amenities and connectivity by providing smart device charging stations at communal tables. The six new F&B kiosks will be positioned throughout the new casual dining precinct and include brands new to Australia such as Joe & The Juice. They will join Krispy Kreme, Soul Origin, and Mrs Fields to further enhance value and choice for passengers.

Like at most airports, retail/F&B is an important source of revenue for Sydney Airport, currently accounting for around 22% of the airport’s income. The gateway can expect this figure to rise following all the new additions, although Mather prefers to concentrate on the impact the new outlets will have on customer satisfaction levels. She says: “The income is, of course, important as is any source of revenue, but we believe it is more important to have the right offerings for passengers so that they can enjoy the airport experience, and I am confident that we have now achieved this.” Mather points to “excellent feedback” from passengers and rising customer satisfaction scores as early indicators that people like what they have seen and experienced from the new concessions offerings.


With three runways and three terminals there is no need for any brand new facilities for the foreseeable future, so the airport’s Master Plan 2033 is based on upgrade and expansion projects to enhance the efficiency and capacity of Sydney Airport’s existing infrastructure. Planned future or ongoing investments therefore include projects to “transform” the airport’s check-in areas, enhance the airfield, expand the apron and add new roads and boarding gates. The project to transform the check-in process includes the installation of more self-service check-in and self-bag drop kiosks




to take into account changing passenger behaviours that are largely being driven by IT advancements.


Indeed, IT surveys show that most passengers now check-in online and embrace selfservice technology at airports, and Sydney Airport is actively looking to introduce more self-service options for travellers following the successful trial of different technologies with Qantas. “We are looking to roll out more selfservice check-in and self-bag drop kiosks across the airport to streamline both the passenger and baggage handling processes,” enthuses Mather. “We already have SmartGates at Immigration for both inbound and outbound passengers, which have reduced the average processing time for those that use them from eight minutes to 23 seconds. “This initiative has allowed Australian Border Force to reduce the number of immigration desks required to handle passengers, and we’ve added more security processing lanes to make it quicker, easier and more customer friendly.” She notes that the Arrivals SmartGates – which use information in ePassports and facial recognition technology to conduct checks usually carried out by an Australian Border Force officer – were first introduced four years ago and are now very popular after a slow start. “Initial take-up was quite slow and we think that this was because we still had the manual process in Departures, so people were unfamiliar with the technology and only APA Issue 3, 2016

tended to use it when they had time on their side,” reveals Mather. “However, usage expanded when we introduced it for Departures. People got used to it and penetration rates soared.” About IT in general, she adds: “Today’s travellers are looking for more choice, control and connectivity, so we are using technology across the whole airport experience. “We are doing this to improve the operational efficiency of the airport, improve the productivity for our airline partners and improve the passenger experience. “Passengers are embracing technology because it is creating a more efficient journey and a better experience for them. So, what we are doing is reaching our customers at a number of touch points throughout their journey and giving them the information they need when and where they need it.” One of the ways the airport does this is through the use of beacon technology, but Mather points out that it also uses its website, Sydney Airport app, Bluetooth, free Wi-Fi, “dynamic wayfinding”, multi-language directories and FIDS screens in 13 different languages to communicate with passengers.


Mather says that a “very strong focus on the customer experience” is reflected in the vision for the airport, which includes the commitment to continuous improvement and responding to feedback. Examples of Sydney Airport’s customer service strategy include the fact that the gateway has its own customer service charter, which it requires all employees to follow.




Sydney Airport is also proud to be the recent recipient of another honour – being named as an Employer of Choice at The Australian Business Awards. Mather comments: “The Employer of Choice award is testament to our dedicated and diverse people, who together make Sydney Airport a collaborative and progressive place to work. “We continue to invest in learning and development, engagement, diversity, and health and wellbeing initiatives to make the airport an even better place to work.” She is particularly pleased with the success the airport operator has had in increasing the number of women in its workforce over the last year, noting that in 2015 the number of female employees grew by 8.5% and the number of women in leadership roles by 29%. Her ethnically diverse workforce also represent 28 different nationalities and speak more than 20 languages, which probably comes in handy as around a third of the passengers to pass through Sydney Airport today are foreign nationals visiting friends and family.


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


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





Best intentions

Joe Bates takes a closer look at some of the latest and most innovative customer focused initiatives unveiled at the region’s airports.


rom Incheon’s ice rink, Singapore Changi’s ‘Social Tree’ and roaming airport ambassadors in Dubai and Hong Kong, there is no doubting that the region’s airports continue to lead the world when it comes to customer service innovation. Indeed, Asia-Pacific airports led by Incheon, Changi, Seoul Gimpo, Delhi-Indira Gandhi, Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji and Amman– Queen Alia are among the perennial winners of the top awards in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction awards. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone to discover that the region’s airports continue to raise the customer service bar through the introduction of new facilities and services.


Passengers passing through Brisbane Airport are getting used to being surprised and delighted by talented folk courtesy of its Artist-in-Residence programme, however, arguably it reached new heights in August when members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) decided to take up the baton. APA Issue 3, 2016

As a result, passengers travelling through the gateway may find themselves being serenaded by the QSO, which has agreed to undertake six ‘pop-up’ performances in the international and domestic terminals during its residency – three of which are due to take place before the end of 2016. Brisbane Airport has long been a champion of the arts across Queensland, as a major investor in projects and organisations from music and theatre to ballet, exhibitions and festivals, and has commissioned dozens of works for one of the biggest and most significant collections of public art in Australia valued at more than $10 million. Julieanne Alroe, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO and managing director, reveals that the Artist-in-Residence programme aims to do more than entertain travellers as they pass through the terminals. “There’s a growing awareness of Brisbane as a city dedicated to the arts, and Queensland as a cultural destination, and we want to add momentum to that,” she enthuses.




“We are extremely lucky to have an abundance of creative artists and performers in our own backyard and, through our Artist-in-Residence programme, we’re able to showcase these talents to a broader audience and hopefully inspire visitors to our city and indeed locals to take a closer look at what Queensland has to offer.” QSO interim chief executive, Rodney Phillips, said his musicians were thrilled to perform for Queensland locals and visitors alike at Brisbane Airport. He says: “The experience of hearing orchestral music live is like the anticipation people feel at an airport – there’s the excitement of new places and new sounds as well as the memories and warm embrace of family, much like the feeling you get when you hear favourite pieces of music. “We hope our airport performances will encourage people to take full advantage of Queensland’s vibrant cultural landscape when they are visiting.”


It has been quite a year for IT innovation at Tokyo Haneda as hot on the heels of the appearance by Nao, Japan Airlines’ humanoid guide, the gateway unleashed a handful of robotic cleaners in the International Terminal to ensure that the complex was spotlessly clean and tidy for passengers. Fans of the Terminator films will smile when they discover that the creator of the slick new machines is Cyberdyne, although in this case it is simply has Inc at the end of its

name and not Systems, the fictitious IT company of the sci-fi films. The new cleaning robots have been in operation at behind the scenes locations in the Domestic Terminal for a year, but this is the first time that they have been so visible to the general public. They have been commissioned by Japan Airport Terminal Co Ltd (JATCO) – the private operator of Haneda’s passenger terminals – which has signed an agreement with Cyberdyne to provide it with the next generation of robots for the airport. Cyberdyne hopes that the robot’s success at Tokyo Haneda will eventually lead to contracts at Japan’s regional airports and beyond.


There is something a little different about Singapore Changi’s latest art works – they are interactive and fun! Installed across all three terminals in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board, Changi Airport Group (CAG) claims that the new arrivals are designed to “engage, excite and encourage visitors to explore in and beyond the airport”. Arguably the highlight of the new arrivals is a contemporary ‘digital wall’ in Terminal 2’s Departure Transit Lounge that uses motionsensing technology to make monochromatic portraits of passengers. “When a passenger stands in front of the wall, motion is detected and the option to take a portrait is offered,” explains CAG.



CUSTOMER SERVICE “Next, the passenger can pick a backdrop and the portrait is superimposed on it. The entire creation then appears on the screen in a black and white flip-dot display, which can be sent to friends and family over email. “Iconic background options include Gardens by the Bay, Merlion Park as well as Changi Airport’s control tower and Kinetic Rain art installation. On the other side of the interactive screen is a ‘Motion Silhouette Wall’, which responds to movements in real time. Adopting the same motion-sensing technology, backdrops and patterns change as passengers in front of the wall move and interact with the animation. Bernard Siew, CAG’s vice president of experience creation, says: “These new variations are designed to engage their senses and create pleasant memories of their visit to Singapore and Changi Airport. We look forward to offering even more unique concepts to delight our travellers.”


With long-haul travel on the rise and more transit passengers than ever before expected to pass through the world’s gateways over the next decade, arguably now is the time for airports to start thinking more about creating facilities and services for sleepy passengers. Some already are, of course, either through the opening of transit hotels, the APA Issue 3, 2016

creation of ‘quiet zones’ with comfortable seating or introducing facilities such as sleep pods or cabins where passengers can separate themselves from the outside environment. One such example of innovation in this area can be found at Tokyo Narita which has its own capsule hotel, called 9h nine hours, where travellers can sleep cheaply in air conditioned tube like spaces for around $40 for a night. Upon checking in, guests receive a key that provides access to a locker, a shower and their private capsule. They also receive a towel, a handful of toiletries and some loungewear. Each of the 129 capsules measures a metre high and two metres long and is stacked next to and on top of other in gender-specific sections – 71 rooms being for men and 58 for women. As check in time is 10am and guests paying $40 can stay until midday the following day, theoretically customers can stay up to 22 hours for their money. Tokyo Narita explains that the facility, located a minutes’ walk of Terminal 2, caters for passengers taking early morning flights and is a first for an airport in Japan. The hotel might not be for everyone, but it has enjoyed over 60,000 guests in its first year, so there is definitely a market for such APA budget style accommodation in Tokyo.




Building loyalty What do airport retailers and F&B operators have to do to win over customers and convince them to return again and again? Clare Williams investigates.


ith duty free and travel retail sales set to top $100 billion by 2023, according to the latest data from Generation Research, it makes sense for airports to make the best of this vital stream of non-aeronautical revenue. And cultivating loyalty among passengers so that they come back to the airport and actively look to return to a particular store or F&B outlet in search of a favourite brand or dish is one way to keep the cash flowing. Non-aeronautical revenue now accounts for well over two thirds of the income at many airports, and with duty free and travel retail sales currently standing at over $60 billion a year, it’s worth investing in this potentially highly lucrative business. So what should airports be doing to encourage loyalty? Undoubtedly the single most important thing airports can do, according to Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of TFWA, is to ensure that the airport processing experience is so smooth and slick that customers want to come back time and time again. A swift and stress-free passage from landside to airside is fundamental to ensuring that passengers are in the mindset to spend. Value also matters. “This is an issue across the commercial operations of an airport – if passengers feel they are being ripped off for APA Issue 3, 2016

parking or a cup of coffee, they are also likely to feel that the retail space offers similarly bad value,” he says. But above and beyond providing this, what else can airports do?


Well-crafted loyalty programmes have had success at some airports. Juul-Mortensen points out that as in many aspects of running a successful non-aeronautical business at an airport, the most successful schemes depend on close co-operation among a number of partners. Of course a number of airports are running successful loyalty programmes, working with their commercial partners. Similarly, some retailers have also implemented schemes that have performed well, often linked with their operations outside the airport. DFS’s LOYAL T initiative at Hong Kong’s T Galleria shops, which rewards passengers with a tiered range of benefits according to their spend both at the airport and at the retailer’s outlets downtown, is a sterling example. But many airlines have already ‘captured the hearts’ of passengers with wellestablished and sophisticated schemes, and much can be gained by working together, Juul-Mortensen believes.



Loyalty isn’t just about cards and points, it’s also about providing passengers with reasons to keep flying through an airport.


The partnership between Lufthansa’s Miles & More scheme and retailer Gebr Heinemann is a case in point, says Juul-Mortensen. “When airports get round the table with airlines and retailers, they can create a joined up offer that really delivers for the passenger. This is not easy, as the interests of each party are not always aligned,” says Juul-Mortensen. He adds that it’s also important to ensure that each party benefits equally from such alliances. “The costs and advantages of these schemes must be shared between all parties,” he notes. In an ideal world, these partnerships would be not only between the parties at an airport, but also between airports themselves, says Juul-Mortensen. “Very few passengers have the energy or inclination to join programmes at several airports, while others don’t travel frequently enough to make being a member of more than a single airport programme worthwhile,” he says. “This is something that has been considered by various parties, and although such a card would undoubtedly be a winner – it would be very difficult to pull together.”

“Many airport passengers are regular flyers, and we need to give these people something fresh and exciting as well as a sense of pride in the airport they use,” points out the TFWA chief. Mignon Buckingham, managing director of global loyalty agency ICLP, agrees and adds: “When designing a loyalty programme for airports, we know we aren’t just talking to one type of customer – the most successful programmes will give value to the very regular traveller as well as the holidaymaker.” ICLP believes that better understanding of customers as individuals is a crucial and often neglected element of running successful commercial operations at an airport. “Airports know how many passengers pass through their gates and when and where they are travelling. But many don’t really know these people or anything about their likes, dislikes, habits and preferences,” suggests Buckingham. “Without collecting this data and using it intelligently, they will never be able to truly drive loyalty.” When it comes to encouraging airport customers to return, for example, deep understanding of the motivations of the customer and which aspects of using an airport are top of their list of must-haves is a priority. ICLP recently conducted a survey into the relationships passengers have with the airports they use the most, and it found that many of the elements that airports aren’t able to influence, such as cost of fares or convenient transport links, were among the essentials in the decision-making process. However, many of the factors that could sway choice are within their control. These include a number of elements that improve the convenience of travel, such as efficient security (77%), preferred airline (65%) or easily accessible parking (48%). Others are swayed by the concepts that make the airport experience more pleasant, such as the food and beverage offering (44%), shop or restaurant offers and discounts from the airport (37%), a good choice of retailers (34%) and access to a premium airport lounge (34%).





Developing a real understanding of the needs and desires of passengers is the first step in the process of ensuring the travelling customer returns. “Fostering genuine loyalty depends on getting to know passengers at a personal level,” remarks Buckingham. “We need to move away from seeing ‘the passenger as a statistic’ and towards ‘the passenger as a human’ which means really getting to grips with their personalities and habits, their likes and dislikes.”


To achieve this ‘up close and personal’ relationship, airports first need to give passengers good reason to engage with them and share information about themselves, according to Buckingham. “We found that most people are open to having a two-way relationship with the airport, and nearly two-thirds (64%) already actively try to connect – whether that’s via the airport’s website or via social media,” she says. “Many of these people will, of course, be looking for practical information on how to make their journey easier, such as details on flight departures, the best way of getting to the airport or traffic news. But this clearly suggests that there might be an opportunity APA Issue 3, 2016

to develop that interaction and forge a deeper relationship. “We need to ask what turns a routine journey into an outstanding experience, and what information we need to answer that question.” For that first advance to happen, airports and retailers need to give passengers reasons to share information about themselves. To find out what these triggers might be, ICLP’s survey asked passengers what would tempt them to give up personal details. Practical help was high on the list, and over 50% of respondents said they would share information in return for free Wi-Fi or flight notifications, while 35% of respondents would provide information in return for road traffic information. Financial and more emotional incentives such as pre-flight vouchers (43%), shopping vouchers (42%) and loyalty cards (31%) also appealed. “It’s about giving customers information and experiences they want in an engaging way, which in turn, provides the platform to incentivise the commercial behaviours that airports want to encourage,” comments Buckingham. So there you have it, happy and engaged passengers are more likely to buy and become loyal customers in the years ahead, especially if the positive experience is repeated and even improved upon APA next time out.




Striving for more

Kirsten O’Neill, customer experience research manager at Dubai Airports, talks to ACI World’s Sevda Fevzi about the benefits of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) benchmarking programme. HOW AND WHY DID YOUR AIRPORT JOIN ASQ?

Nowadays, more often than not, what identifies an airport in the customer’s mind is the overall airport experience. Indeed, the experience can be as important as the infrastructure and often, the two go hand in hand. At Dubai Airports, our mission is to deliver a great customer experience by running a great business. Our ambition is to be the customer’s ‘airport of choice’ by effectively running the largest, most advanced, yet efficient, customer-centric airport in the world. With well in excess of 80 million passengers forecast to travel through DXB this year, it is more important than ever for us to know our customers, their needs, challenges, behaviours, motivations, expectations and their perceptions of us. APA Issue 3, 2015

It was in order to better understand our customers and the service levels we must deliver to delight them that Dubai Airports started using the ACI ASQ global benchmarking programme nearly a decade ago. It provides us with an extra tool to measure our passengers’ airport experience and corresponding customer satisfaction and allowed us to benchmark our performance against other aviation hubs.


For Dubai Airports to deliver a world-class customer experience at DXB, we know that our customers must be placed at the centre of our organisational decisionmaking processes. The ACI ASQ




programme is one of a suite of research tools we use to help define our customers’ functional and emotional needs and their perceptions as they travel through our airport. The ASQ results provide a baseline measurement tool, which we use as part of our planning process for the setting of short, medium and long-term customer experience targets.


Absolutely. For DXB to be the biggest and the best, Dubai Airports must be responsive to its customers at this scale. We are taking onboard what our customers have told us through both the ASQ programme and our ongoing internal research programme to enhance our service and the customer experience.


ASQ offers all members an opportunity to learn and continually improve to the benefit of our customers.


The growth of global aviation will continue to see the world seamlessly connect and, as a result, what we view today as remote regions will soon be humming with increased trade and tourism. The growing regions and destinations within Africa, South America and Eastern Europe would make excellent hosts for future ASQ Forums as their fresh outlook, innovative insight and imminent progress would no doubt be something from which we can all learn and grow.





Culture club Robbie Gill, managing director of The Design Solution, explains why he believes that every airport needs to express a ‘sense of place’.


f you want to grab the attention of any busy airport manager, the words ‘non-aeronautical revenue’ will usually do the trick, especially when combined with the promise of new, smarter and more effective ways to drive growth. In my opinion, too many terminals suffer from an approach where they all look the same. International style ‘white elegant architecture’ with the same brands repeated across the globe. To grab a passenger, you have to be different, open their eyes and minds, create an emotional experience as well as a practical one and a relevant prompt to jump on social media and say positive things about their experience. That revenue dream is increasingly associated with the concept of ‘sense of place’. It has no clear definition in the airport world yet has lucid potential to support the passenger’s airport experience and drive revenue. Academics, including geographers, anthropologists and sociologists, present a range of definitions and we all have an instinctive grasp of what the term means.

APA Issue 3, 2016

However, for shared clarity, I like the summary developed by a geographer, Yi-Fu Tuan, who suggests that it is “the affective bond between people and place or setting”. At heart, the passenger journey is a physical and emotional interaction with the airport. Absolutely every element of the airport journey – from the smoothness of drop-off to the air quality in the lounges – is assessed. Airports are still commonly perceived by many travellers as ‘non-places’ that are, at best, a necessary stage in the journey of getting to where they actually want to be. The challenge of ‘sense of place’ is to persuade them that, right now, this airport is actually a good place to be. The key point is that absolutely every aspect of the airport journey, no matter how seemingly small, plays an influence on the passenger mindset and on their perception of sense of place. Getting the ‘big’ issues consistently right – access, queue management, security times, wayfinding etc – has to be complemented by getting the seemingly ‘small’ issues right, too.




The concept of ‘sense of place’ has developed an extraordinary momentum, featuring in almost every airport announcement of a new or planned development, particularly as a flagship element in any modern airport design, such as the much-anticipated Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport, for example. Indeed, the project has set new benchmarks in everything from the ambition in the initial RFP process to the retail and F&B experiences, particularly in its deeply embedded focus on ‘local’ input, passionately emphasised not on ‘passengers’ but on ‘the guest experience’. Distinctly local elements contribute strongly to the expression of the terminal’s sense of place, from the character of the architecture of the terminal building to how retailers and brands invoke the location in their offer.


As an architect, my perspective is that sense of place begins with creating exciting space that also delivers operational and commercial efficiency. The ideal stage to project a location’s sense of place is a balanced mix of local ingredients – such as Xian Xianyang International Airport’s eight giant lanterns or

Heathrow’s use of the iconic London Taxi in Terminal 2 – alongside compelling shopping, enticing restaurants and cafés. Talking about sense of place at Xian Xianyang’s general manager and chief operations officer, Wolfgang Weil, says: “Our eight huge contemporary lanterns are marvellous ambassadors of Xi’an’s cultural heritage and for our airport. “Together with the shop surrounds and many other great details, they perfectly reflect our vision of blending Xi’an’s great history with its modern ambition. “The sense of place design underlines our strategy of Xi’an – ‘where history meets future’ and the installations at XIA Terminal 3 made this facility unique. We receive lots of positive comments, especially from our international passengers who enjoy this unique atmosphere.” Elsewhere, I believe that putting a diverse portfolio of local favourite ‘hero’ brands in the F&B offer has helped Copenhagen Airport to become repeat winners of the industry’s FAB award for ‘Best Airport F&B’. Toronto Pearson has the ‘Tastefully Canadian’ concept store incorporating an intriguing range of local artisan producers, from ice wines to artisan biscuits and maple



CUSTOMER SERVICE syrup, providing sights, sounds, tastes and textures that enhance the sense of place through a distinctly local dynamic.


At Istanbul, İGA Havalimanı İşletmesi AŞ (IGA) planning for the city’s new €10.2 billion airport, scheduled to be the world’s largest airport under a single roof, is due to open in 2018 with a development capacity of more than 150 million passengers. However, the project isn’t simply about size as IGA states that the airport “will set new standards in operational and service quality – and a new benchmark for travel”. With a design that aims to resemble the flow of the Bosphorus, and with a firm emphasis on local products and artisans, the commercial heart of Istanbul New Airport will take travellers on a journey through one of Europe’s greatest cities. The airport’s emphasis on customer service and local inputs, including a traditional bazaar concept, will help to transmit a powerful sense of place that reflects the city’s unique personality. Unifree Duty Free are taking what appears to be a challenging and pioneering path but, in fact, it’s also very natural. By that I mean that they are thinking local and fully exploiting their unique local resources – which range from Turkish culture, style, brands and food to Unifree’s own brand qualities. The creation of Istanbul’s unique ‘sense of place’ will be brought to life with an exciting F&B offer from the region’s wonderful cuisine. APA Issue 3, 2016


‘Local’ elements are available to every airport and so, by definition, can help create a unique experience, making a very special contribution to sense of place, so it is crucial that each airport fully exploits its local strengths. However, commercial realities mean that global icon brands dominate travel retail – driving the majority of retail revenue – but they can also make a powerful contribution to sense of place, as they have been challenged to do in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul. Sense of place works powerfully, outside of the architectural and the commercial. When it comes to airport-based artistic expression in sense of place, India is a front-runner. At Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport T2, owner GVK – driven by the artistic passion of vice chairman, Sanjay Reddy – has developed an extraordinary sense of place through the huge scale and quality of its constantly evolving artistic installations. The centrepiece being ‘Jaya He’, a gigantic art wall four floors high and stretching of over three kilometres! In creating this mesmerising series of museum-quality displays throughout the terminal, incorporating historic and contemporary themes, over 7,000 artefacts were sourced from across India, many of which were meticulously restored. The display themes celebrate many aspects of Indian culture, from ‘India Seamless’, depicting the myths, histories and popular culture of the regions, to ‘India




Global’, celebrating the nation’s contemporary urbanscapes and lifestyles. Commenting on the airport’s sense of place vision, Reddy says: “We used the peacock feather as the design inspiration for the architecture of Terminal 2. Further, we implemented a three kilometre long art programme called ‘Jaya He’ which showcases art from every single region of India. “The purpose of this design strategy was not only to showcase India’s beauty to the world but also to remind Indians, especially the next generation, about the beauty that lies within our country. “Today when travellers pass through T2, we hope that they will be impressed with what India can offer and take back a small part of it with them. We hope that this would also influence Indians to bring Indian design into their life in whatever shape or form. We also believe that T2 will influence all new airports globally to bring the sense of place into the centre stage of their design strategy.” There is absolutely no doubt in the traveller’s mind about their location when they are in this extraordinary building and, once seen, it is never forgotten. Another Indian gateway to capture sense of space in all its glory is Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, where arriving passengers in Terminal 3 are greeted by a stunning ‘welcome wall’ devised for GMR Group by Indian industrial design firm Incubis Consultants.

Its scale is designed to give the terminal an authentic Indian context, infused with Indian values. The sculpture’s mudras (hand gestures) are adapted from Indian classical dance, and are also used in yoga, making them instantly identifiable with the location. The gestures were carefully adapted to express an open ended symbolism and avoid the potential pitfalls of being perceived as a religious symbol. The wall runs the length of the ‘canyon’, extending from the roof to the arrival level on the ground floor, and represents a transition for departing travellers as they leave the security area for the engaging lounge experience. The canyon wall display incorporates an amazing 675 discs mounted on a cast aluminum structure with a series of hands, each weighing 150kg, performing a series of nine gestures that traditionally express emotions and aspirations, including themes of travel/journeys, safety from harm, the act of giving etc. As the major gateways to cities and countries, airports have a duty – and an incredible opportunity – to present an authentic and memorable sense of place. Delivered well it’s a powerful influencer on an enjoyable and satisfying passenger experience; which in turn helps drive non-aeronautical revenue. That’s why, on the bottom line, the concept of sense of place should grab the attention of every APA airport manager.DOHA




Transforming the passenger experience Recognising the positive impact wayfinding has on passengers can help airports better manage their customer experience and boost revenues, writes James Ackomann.


eing able to navigate your way through any building is important. If that building is an airport moving millions of passengers through often-unfamiliar environments, processes, procedures and languages, the need for good wayfinding is imperative. When successful it can enhance the user experience and have a significant impact on both the airports operational efficiency, and the passenger’s spending behaviour. Comfortable and relaxed passengers explore an airport’s facilities and spend money in retail and restaurants significantly more than lost, anxious or stressed passengers. The latest ACI research found that for every 1% increase in passenger satisfaction levels, an average growth of 1.5% in non-aeronautical revenue is generated, significantly outperforming the same increases in retail space and passenger traffic. With more than 300 new airports planned across the Asia-Pacific region in the next 10 years, improving the passenger experience is rapidly becoming a major competitive advantage and revenue driver. Wayfinding has traditionally been understood as the signage within any environment that provides directional information to users. In recent years, however, contemporary wayfinding practice has developed a much more integrated role within airport planning and the design of the passenger journey. APA Issue 3, 2016

According to Australian agency, Büro North, the best wayfinding solutions are those that are highly integrated as part of the airport design, influencing both the physical space and the operational processes to deliver legible environments rather than relying on signage. Its strategic director Finn Butler – who was part of the BAA design team for London Heathrow’s award winning Terminal 5 – says: “Unfortunately, many people still think wayfinding is just about signage, and often this leads to spaces that have had sign upon sign continually added until there is a forest of conflicting messages and millions of lost, frustrated and unsatisfied passengers.” The key to the delivery of successful wayfinding, he says, ideally involves treating it as part of the design process of the terminal and relies on a broad and sometimes complex range of design and human behaviour factors. These include understanding the airport processes, the capabilities and cognitive load on users, the development of logical and sequential numbering across terminals, check-in desks, piers and gates whilst creating clear sight-lines to ensure spacial legibility for users. The design of clear signage relies on the sensitive management of typography, pictograms, colours, illumination and often multiple languages through both static and flexible signage. Büro North has worked on user experience and wayfinding projects at airports for over a


decade, and following Butler’s role at BAA on London Heathrow’s T5, the agency has been worked intensively with Brisbane, Sydney and Perth airports in Australia. Its team uses an evidence-based approach to the development of wayfinding, focusing on the user experience and co-ordination of the ‘sensory inputs’ experienced by passengers on their journey. More than signs, their approach takes in the environment, the processes and the procedures passengers go through from airport arrival to the moment they board their flight. They believe they owe their success in the space to their collaborative approach to working with clients and co-designing solutions, which they claim brings many of the competing agendas within airport businesses together. Indeed, they believe that this way of doing things helps bridge and develop a shared understanding of the overall airport user experience between commercial operations, aviation planning, retail, hospitality, advertising and marketing teams. At Brisbane Airport, for example, the agency recently worked with the owners of the airport to develop a unique passenger experience strategy that incorporated digital content, advertising placement and terminal wayfinding.


Airports are increasingly competing with shopping malls for customer spending, and with a captive audience due to the airport check-in and arrivals processes, they have a unique competitive advantage. However, this advantage will only result in retail growth if passenger experiences are managed to ensure lower stress levels, decreased anxiety and increased comfort within airports. Moving beyond just delivering comfortable environments might just be the next challenge, and if so, then creating entertaining and enlivening experiences could provide a significant competitive advantage. Büro North’s design director, Soren Luckins, states: “We want to design the future aviation user experience to reflect the awe and wonder it had 50 years ago. We want to help our clients create pleasurable and meaningful experiences. 
 “The best shopping malls internationally have 10 million litre fish tanks, children’s playgrounds designed by world leading artists, cinemas, zoos and truly exciting experiences. There is no reason the airport of the future should not be as exciting as these shopping malls.” It is clear that the future of airport design must begin with a user-centered approach, to ensure passenger experiences are better, and APA more meaningful than ever.


And together with Virgin Australia the team has developed and delivered the passenger experience from airport arrival to aircraft boarding for Perth Airport’s Terminal 1 expansion. Recently winning the 2016 Melbourne Design Award for User Experience, the project encompassed the arrival experience, self check-in, self bag-drop through security and onto departure lounges and gates. Through mapping the physical process and digital touchpoints of the passenger experience and co-ordination with architecture, interiors, lighting and branding, it claims that its team ensured every step of journey was clear, logical and easy.






and better Asia-Pacific Airports magazine turns the spotlight on Hong Kong International Airport’s multi-billion dollar third runway project.


ong Kong International Airport has begun construction work on the new three-runway system (3RS) that it believes will guarantee its long-term success. The airport, which currently has two runways, claims that a third is vital to ensure that it is capable of meeting future demand, and to accommodate it, it first has to reclaim 650 hectares of land from the sea. According to operator Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), the 3RS project will cost HK$141.5 billion (US$18.2 billion) and is expected to take eight years to complete, although it is confident that the new 3,800-metre runway will be commissioned two years earlier in 2022.


AAHK’s chairman, Jack So Chak-kwong, says: “The 3RS is a critical infrastructure project to support the aviation industry and the long-term economic development of Hong Kong. “We urgently need this expansion project as HKIA’s existing two-runway system is reaching its full capacity soon. “With the additional capacity to be provided by the 3RS, airlines can provide more destinations and more frequent flights, and passengers will have more choices and convenience. APA Issue 3, 2016

“Some 139,000 man-years of construction jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with some 123,000 direct employments created upon the commencement of the 3RS operation.”


The construction entails reclamation of approximately 650 hectares of land, which will be completed in phases for the subsequent works such as the new runway, taxiway system and 280,000sqm concourse with 57 parking positions. According to the airport, the new concourse will be “traveller-centric, hi-tech and environmentally friendly” and feature a design that balances operational efficiency with HKIA’s commitment to being one of the world’s greenest airports. “It will boast many green features and a courtyard at the centre of the concourse, where its lush green lawn and groves of trees offer a tranquil setting for relaxation and enjoyment,” promises AAHK. “Spanning a floor area of around 283,000 square metres, the spacious concourse will offer departure and arrival passengers a green environment with plenty of natural sunlight, exquisite shopping experience and a wide array of dining options.” Currently referred to as Third Runway Passenger Building, the new concourse will




be connected to Terminal 2 by a new Automated People Mover (APM) system. AAHK reveals that it will build a 2,600-metre long track to accommodate the APM, which will be equipped to handle 10,800 passengers per hour. And with a top speed of 80km/h journey times between T2 and the new concourse are guaranteed to take no longer than two-anda-half minutes. As part of the project, Terminal 2 will be modified and expanded. The 3RS will also include a new highspeed baggage handling system (BHS), expanded road and transportation networks. AAHK believes that the BHS’s top speed of 36km/h means that it will be able to deliver the first bags to the baggage reclaim carousels within 20 minutes of a flight’s arrival and the last within 40.


The huge land formation programme will account for around 40% of the budget of the entire 3RS project, which is perhaps not surprising when you consider that 650 hectare site recovered to the north of the existing airport island will be protected by a new 13.4 kilometre-long seawall. To protect the environment, non-dredge methods including deep cement mixing will be adopted for land formation, while the 3RS buildings will incorporate a range of green and sustainable features in their design, construction and operational aspects.

Indeed, such is the size of the project that AAHK claims that the scale of works is similar to the construction of a new airport. Upon completion, the new three-runway equipped gateway will be capable of accommodating around 100 million passengers and nine million tonnes of cargo annually – some 30 million more passengers than today.


The mammoth project will be part funded by a new Airport Construction Fee (ACF), which will be added to the cost of airline tickets and paid to AAHK when passengers depart HKIA. Under the terms of the financial agreement for the 3RS, the ACF will remain in effect until all borrowings related to the project are fully repaid. In essence the funding for the project is based on a “joint contribution and user-pay” principle and will come three sources – bank loans and bonds; HKIA’s operational surplus, which has typically been paid to the government as dividends; and end-users, including passengers and airlines. CEO, Fred Lam, enthuses: “Around 70% of HKIA’s passengers are non-Hong Kong residents. Our suggested user-pay principle makes good sense, because subsidising the project through the government means local taxpayers would be footing the bill for APA overseas passengers.”




Route One

Joe Bates reviews the 2016 route development success of a handful of the region’s airports.


good route network is the life’s blood of any airport and the successful addition and development of new airlines, services and destinations can be transformational for a gateway in terms of its stature, economic impact and public perception. It is probably not an understatement to say that every airport across the Asia-Pacific region would welcome a new, non-stop service to Europe or North America, which for some of the smaller gateways might finally put them on the map. While the bigger airports are always looking to expand their passenger appeal and subsequently boost revenues by adding new routes or increasing capacity on existing ones. What is a new route worth? Well you maybe surprised, as in reply to the question two years ago, the then commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation, Rosemarie Andolino, told me: “When we talk about airports as economic engines, depending on the size of the aircraft and the destination, a new route could add anything from $20 million to $200 million of investment per annum into your city.” Figures such as these just cannot be ignored and perhaps help explain why airports will go APA Issue 3, 2016

to great lengths to attract new airlines, often offering them a package of incentives ranging from joint marketing campaigns to promote the new service to reduced landing fees or initially waiving them altogether. The following airports have been busy developing their route networks over the last 12 months.


Airport chief executive, Malcolm Johns, says it has been a good 12 months for the New Zealand gateway in terms of passenger growth and expects the upturn to continue its 2017 financial year (FY17), with transTasman airline capacity forecast to increase by around 15% and international long-haul capacity by around 20%. “We have also seen domestic airline capacity reach record levels, with Air New Zealand adding additional services between Auckland and Christchurch and also to the regions. This city has never been more connected to Auckland and Wellington, and the regions, than it is right now. Nor has it ever been more connected to the big airport hubs in Australia and Asia as it is right now. “On the Tasman, Qantas is offering new services from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, to tap into the South Island



Cambodia Airports is celebrating the launch of daily ANA B787-8 Dreamliner flights between Phnom Penh and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. ANA, Japan’s biggest airline, has timed the first ever non-stop service between the two countries to allow easy onward connections to North America via Narita. The inaugural flight was welcomed with an official water cannon salute, and passengers were greeted by ANA flight attendants dressed in Japanese traditional Kimonos specially designed with symbols of Cambodia. Éric Delobel, CEO of Cambodia Airports, says: “After the inauguration of the new passenger terminal of Phnom Penh International Airport in March, this is another key milestone for Cambodia airports and its grantor the Royal Government of Cambodia. “This new direct and scheduled air service between Japan and Cambodia is a great opportunity to increase the traffic between those two countries and a concrete way to both develop tourism and business.”

He added that Cambodia airports looked forward to further co-operating with ANA and other airlines to unlock the full potential of this new route, especially by building onto the airports in Osaka (Japan), managed by parent company VINCI Airports and its partner Orix. Other route development successes for Cambodia Airports in 2016 include the launch of services to Siem Reap from Danang, Vietnam (Cambodia Angkor Air); Haikou, China (Capital Airlines); Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Thailand (Thai Smile Airways); and commencement of three weekly Hong Kong Airlines services to Hong Kong from Phnom Penh.


Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport continues to add new routes and airlines, welcoming Tarco Airlines (Khartoum) in August and low-cost carriers Pegasus Airlines (Ankara) and Fly Jordan (Antalya, Bodrum, Bursa, Istanbul, Sharm El Sheikh, Samsun) earlier in the year. Queen Alia operator, Airports International Group (AIG), claims that the new arrivals reaffirm its “ongoing efforts to provide new options to international destinations that expand QAIA’s airline network, and stimulate traffic growth at the Kingdom’s prime gateway to the world”. Talking about the new twice-weekly Tarco Airlines service between Amman and Khartoum, Sudan, AIG CEO, Kjeld Binger, says: “We are very pleased to welcome yet another airline to QAIA’s growing network, underlining our ongoing collaboration with the government of Jordan to market the airport and the country’s tourism industry to airlines, as well as to introduce incentives for newlyestablished routes. “We look forward to providing passengers with more flight options by attracting additional regional and international airlines, which subsequently help position Jordan as a dynamic destination for business, leisure APA and investment within the region.”


market growth and feed visitors and residents between the South Island, Asia and Europe through their Australian east coast air service networks. This means Qantas’s international capacity will double at Christchurch over the coming year. “Long-haul we have worked with China Southern Airlines to establish direct services with Mainland China, with Air New Zealand to introduce the B787 on Perth, and Asiana Airlines to test the market with a new direct service to Korea this summer. “Our focus over the past two years has been to build strategic partnerships that increase our connectivity to the big airport hubs of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Singapore, Guangzhou, Taipei, Seoul and Dubai, which collectively handle more than 200 million passengers a year.” The gateway has been further boosted by the announcement that Emirates will soon fly the world’s largest passenger aircraft into Christchurch on a daily basis.





What passengers want Passengers continue to embrace new technology, according to 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey.


t should come as no surprise to learn that we love IT and continue to embrace it in increasing numbers, the findings of SITA’s 2016 Passenger IT Trends Survey revealing that a staggering 92% of today’s passengers use self-service technology to book their airline tickets. This means that traditional travel agents – once an essential part of the travel experience – are now virtually a thing of the past as just 8% of people want ‘human interaction’ when booking. In fact, SITA claims that the change in how we book our flights shows just how comfortable passengers across the globe are with technology, with many choosing to use it rather than interacting with people. The rejection of face-to-face communication with others is, of course, just one of the key findings of the survey, which this year took an in depth look at the impact human factors, and perhaps more accurately emotions, had on the adoption of new technology. Airports will be delighted to learn that the survey revealed that 85% of passengers had a positive travel experience, up from 80% last year. Noticeably, passengers are happier at the steps of the journey where they have more choice and control in how they manage their trip such as booking, check-in, and during dwell times. Passengers experience the most negative emotions during the security screening, passport control and baggage collection steps of the journey, peaking at nearly one third of passengers at security. These are also the steps with the least number of self-service technology options. But not all passengers are the same and SITA has analysed the behaviour of four different APA Issue 3, 2016

types – the careful planner, pampered, hyperconnected and open-minded adventurer. Each profile uses technology in different ways and SITA’s research shows that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach risks alienating some passengers as everyone is different. Talking about the survey, SITA’s market insight research expert ,Christelle Laverriere, notes: “Our survey showed that once people start using self-service technology they won’t go back. For example, 91% of those using self service today said that they may switch to a new technology in the future but they won’t ever go back to face-to-face service at the check-in desk.” She, however, reminded everyone that although 85% of today’s 3.5 billion passengers per annum are happy, it meant that at least 400 million are not, and that this figure is likely to increase as global passenger numbers double to around seven billion per annum by 2035.”






EMCAT (ASIA) PTE LTD Location: Singapore Contacts: Lars Crone, managing director, Eloi Courcoux, director E:, W: EMCAT operates over 50 stores at nine airports in Cambodia, JACOBS TO WORK ON FORRESTFIELD Malaysia, Singapore and Laos. AIRPORT RAIL LINK Motivated by a passion for food, a Jacobs Engineering Group is acting as a client-side technical advisor commitment to excellence and a to the Western Australia Public Transport Authority (PTA) for the memorable guest experience, A$2 billion Forrestfield Airport Rail Link. EMCAT has a powerful mix of The new train line will connect Forrestfield to the city, opening up well-known international brands Perth’s eastern suburbs to the rail network for the first time and giving and locally created concepts. Perth Airport users a travel option five minutes faster than by car. The rail link will connect with the existing Midland line near Bayswater Some of the brands operated are Burger King, Costa Coffee, Station and will run to Forrestfield through 5.3 miles of underground tunnels to ensure minimal impact on the existing land and road network. Subway, Yoshinoya, The Pizza Company, BBQ Chicken, PHO24, Funded by the government, it is currently the largest infrastructure Dairy Queen and Chatime. project in Western Australia. “We are proud to be part of this important public transport project Ports Project Management & for Western Australia, and we look forward to contributing significant Development Co (PPMDC) value based on our expertise in the rail sector,” says Patrick Hill, Jacobs’ Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia senior vice president for buildings and infrastructure. Contacts: Adnan Taha Al Saggaf, deputy CEO; INDIAN GET AWAY Samir Mirah, consultant Passengers using Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport can now E:; check in faster due to the implementation of Rockwell Collins’ new ARINC vMUSE mobile passenger processing solution. W: India’s busiest gateway and the largest in South Asia is the first Formed in 2007, PPMDC is a airport to implement ARINC vMUSE, which gives airlines the ability leading company in the field of to check in travellers wherever and whenever needed. port management and “Passenger delight’ is a driving principle that has helped shape our development. It is dedicated to company, services, goals and all that we stand for today,” says the offering the highest standards airport’s, head of IT, Jeewan Khulbe. in planning, designing, organising, “ARINC vMUSE mobile from Rockwell Collins is a way to improve controlling, marketing and the passenger experience and to provide our airports with cutting-edge co-ordinating ports, facilities and solutions when traditional systems are not enough.” passenger flow while ensuring The system enables airline and ground handling agents to utilise the wellbeing of all travellers a tablet-based application to check in passengers from anywhere and goods. in an airport.






Ibrahim Nasir International Airport


ale’s Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, the capital city gateway of the Island nation of the Maldives, has started work on the biggest expansion programme in its history. Funded by the government and loans from foreign investors, state-owned operator Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) is looking to transform the gateway with a new 73,000sqm terminal and additional 3,400m runway. Constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), the new $800 million terminal will be built on reclaimed land to the south west of the existing facilities and raise the airport’s capacity to 7.5 million passengers per annum when it opens in 2019. Its facilities are expected to include 10 gates, including six with aerobridges, up to 40 check-in desks, a state-of-the-art baggage handing system and, just as importantly, a host of new revenue generating shops and F&B outlets. MACL has chosen China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) to build the new 3.4 kilometre long runway as well as a new fuel farm and cargo complex equipped to handle up to 120,000 tons of freight per annum. The size of the new runway means that the gateway would be able to handle commercial aircraft up to the size of the A380. The fuel farm will have a storage capacity 45 million litres of Jet A1 fuel along with fuel hydrant system. State funding and loans have made MACL’s highly ambitious development programme possible.

APA Issue 3, 2016


Malé, The Maldives New terminal, runway, cargo facilities and fuel farm. 2019 Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG); Saudi Bin Laden Group.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the airport’s 50th birthday earlier this year, Maldives President, Abdulla Yameen, revealed that securing “the syndicate’s main funding” for the project meant that it was now all systems go for the upgrade. He also stated that he was confident that, with expansion, the airport would become “the economic backbone of the Maldives and the main gateway of modern day development”. Economic Development Minister, Mohamed Saeed, admits that the government’s aim is to transform Ibrahim Nasir International Airport into a modern gateway worthy of the capital of the Maldives. MACL’s managing director, Adil Moosa, believes that Ibrahim Nasir International Airport will effectively be a “brand new airport” once the developments are completed. Around 1.2 million tourists visited the Maldives in 2015 and the figure is expected to grow significantly in the years ahead, boosted by the creation of 50 new resorts and the airport’s expansion. It is believed that tourism currently earns the tiny island nation around $3 billion a year and that the figure could rise to close to $5 billion within the next few years if the efforts to attract APA more foreign visitors prove successful.

Asia-Pacific Airports - Issue 3, 2016  

• In the spotlight: Customer service • Airport report: Sydney • Future build: Hong Kong and the Maldives • Plus: Route development and World...

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