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re-building of terminals one after the other and basically re-defining passenger experience. And I see a lot of other hubs investing in this area.” Ground handling – now widely externalised - is another important operational area activities ranging from checking in to aircraft cleaning and baggage loading, re-fuelling to de-icing.

“Before 9/11 security took up eight percent of operating costs; now it is 28 percent, with typically 41 percent of airport staff security-related” for the use of the infrastructures amount to 19 percent of our overall revenues. And even if you take account the amount paid by passengers for the infrastructure usage it still leaves us with an annual under-recovery of some five billion euros. Clearly the airlines and the passengers are not paying for the full cost of the infrastructure they are using and these pressures on the level of charges will only increase.” As these challenges stack up in the skies, European airports are responding with a drive for greater efficiencies and passenger care. “Efficiency, especially of ground operations, is becoming increasingly relevance, especially for congested airports. So too is the issue of quality. And what we are seeing is an greater share of capital expenditure going not to developing infrastructure but to improving it.” “BA and London Heathrow is a very good example with the

“The focus should now be on improving the quality of these services. We have very little control over what the ground handlers are doing, and we want airports empowered to co-ordinate their activities and set minimum standards of service quality.” “While these companies are using our facilities and structure, we have no authority on how they are performing - we are just one of the actors involved, one part of the equation. And this has a direct impact on the quality and efficiency of ground operations.” Of all the issues affecting passenger experience airport security is the biggest. Before 9/11 security took up eight percent of operating costs; now it is 28 percent, with typically 41 percent of airport staff security-related. “We have transformed ourselves into big security companies but at the same time we’ve not been able to achieve this in a way that

increases passenger satisfaction. Quite the contrary.” “And here the main cause is the regulatory framework. Since 9/11 we have kept adding layers after layers of regulations, new rules and checks without looking to see if this is the way to achieve the best security framework. It’s time we looked at the aviation security system and start thinking out of the box, looking both at effective security and the kind of service our passengers expect. We want a complete change in philosophy but this is in the hands of our regulators.” “At the moment we are treating every single passenger as a potential terrorist and this simply isn’t effective. We want a system where the focus is more on differentiating between passengers based on collected data information, and with different check points.” With the sector undergoing a corporate culture transformation and management moving from infrastructure overseers to service providers, Jankovec re-iterates his call for governmental and legislative support. “Airports are continuing to go through a business transformation. We are increasingly competitive concerns, tackling the challenge of quality and efficiency very seriously. But as a key to the economy we need a more supportive policy and regulatory framework, one that gives us new business opportunities and a licence to grow.” “Aviation is extremely good for society. And given where the global economy is heading - and Europe increasingly dependent on external trade - we need a policy framework that understands and supports us if European aviation is to deliver for the public good.” 37

European Outlook / Issue 2  

European Outlook / Issue 2

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