Volume 18 (2023-24)

Each volume of Journal of Airport Management consists of four, quarterly 100-page issues published both in print and online. Articles published in Volume 18 include:

Volume 18 Number 3

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publishing Editor, Journal of Airport Management
  • Practice Papers
    Can airports be a catalyst for reducing aviation’s effect on the climate?
    André Schneider, Geneva Airport, et al.

    The aviation ecosystem is increasingly coming under pressure to decarbonise from the public and governments. Airports are at the leading edge of transforming their operations, alongside airlines and aerospace companies. While, however, the levers to reduce Scope 1 and 2 airport emissions are well understood, how to address Scope 3 emissions (which account for the bulk of an airport’s emissions) remains a major challenge. This paper provides an overview of potential Scope 3 decarbonisation levers across aircraft operations, ground transport and infrastructure construction. The paper then assesses the potential impact on emissions, and ease of implementation of these levers, highlighting aircraft operations as the area with highest potential to reduce ecosystem emissions. Next, the paper looks at how some of these levers have been implemented in practice, based on the case study of Geneva Airport, focusing on supporting sustainable mobility, energy support for aircraft and financial incentives for airlines to use latest-generation aircraft. The paper then identifies and discusses key barriers that must be overcome, including the ability of airports to influence domains outside their direct control, competing governmental policies and need for investment, highlighting the need for collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders. Based on this, the paper suggests a number of actions that airports should take to satisfy stakeholders and catalyse the aviation ecosystem towards its goal of achieving net zero.
    Keywords: airports; aviation; decarbonisation; sustainability; SAF

  • Improving the passenger experience by providing targeted information to passengers
    Christof T. Kontogiannis, Cologne Bonn Airport

    This paper focuses on the importance of the passenger experience at airports and the role of targeted and controlled information in improving this experience. Satisfied passengers not only return, but also make positive recommendations, which in turn has an impact on non-aviation-related revenues. The amount of available information for passengers can be enormous, which can lead to stress, but is also important for their journey and thus for their airport experience. Therefore, targeted information and updates play a crucial role in making the journey from arrival to departure seamless and enjoyable. The paper emphasises that better-informed passengers are less stressed, highlighting the need for targeted information. Modern technologies enable airports to establish direct communication channels with their passengers and integrate targeted and controlled updates into these platforms to not only provide important information, but also to respond to individual needs and requests, thus personalising the passenger experience. Furthermore, the importance of targeted and controlled information at various points in airport operations is highlighted, such as in general terminal areas, security checks and border controls. Adjusting the volume and content of announcements to the specific situation can provide passengers with a more pleasant experience. Additionally, the implementation of modern technologies, proactive communication and continuous development are crucial to providing a seamless, personalised and enjoyable experience.
    Keywords: passenger experience; passenger journey; information; communication; terminal announcements; stress reducing; enjoyable

  • Making airports attractive workplaces again: Perspective from the private aviation security services
    Catherine Piana, Aviation Security Services Association – international

    Historically aviation has gone through periods of immense innovative growth. Today the air transport industry is in the midst of yet another revolutionary period. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) includes technological advancements in electric and hydrogen propulsion, battery capacity and autonomy, resulting in the development of a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft. These emerging technologies and new aircraft show promise in addressing historical concerns such as noise, safety, and negative environmental impacts. AAM has the potential to revolutionise the way we live by serving as the catalyst to robust, sustainable transport systems for people and goods. AAM can assist with emergency response, medical transport, reduced travel times, improve accessibility and reduce harmful emissions. Airports are an essential part of the transport infrastructure, serving as hubs for air travel, cargo shipments and emergency response centres in the wake of natural disasters. With the rise of AAM technologies, airports will need to adapt and prepare to accommodate these new types of aircraft. Each airport is unique and airport management will need to understand not only the potential of AAM but the capabilities of the airport itself. This paper aims to capture what the aviation industry has been, what it could be through AAM, lessons learned while planning for AAM, and how airports can use critical success factors to evaluate their readiness and plan for this innovative era.
    Keywords: aviation security; security jobs; airport jobs; private security; aviation labour shortages; security skills

  • Case Studies
    The connected airport: How actionable insights are driving more strategic operations for Manchester Airports Group
    Kasper Hounsgaard, Copenhagen Optimization and Nick Woods, Manchester Airports Group

    Airport operators have long known the importance of data collection. While many still struggle to utilise data in daily operations, best practice is emerging in the form of Connected Operations — a software-enabled approach whereby data is used proactively and flows through all operational areas. Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is committed to adopting this approach and is partnering with software company Copenhagen Optimization to help achieve its mission of operating the most intelligent airports in the world. The focus of the near two-year partnership has been the creation of an Airport Intelligence Platform. The platform is now reaching a level of maturity where, thanks to the effective use of artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms, MAG’s airports can predict what will happen in their operations, and through the use of prescriptive analytics, understand how to react. The result is a shift from siloed, short-term reactions to connected, proactive scenario planning in pursuit of strategic goals. This paper outlines the vision of the Connected Airport, reflects on the authors’ shared experiences, the steps taken to make the vision a reality, and details the challenges experienced along the way.
    Keywords: airport intelligence platform; connected operations; airport optimisation; intelligent airports; airport efficiency; data utilisation

  • Why a small airport must punch above its weight: Resilience and resolve — a case study of Lynden Pindling International Airport
    Vernice Walkine, Nassau Airport Development Company, et al.

    This paper addresses the redevelopment of the Nassau Airport in The Bahamas and how this airport is constantly adapting to meet the needs of a tourism-dependent country while protecting itself from potential shocks that may disrupt tourism demand. By diversifying its revenue streams and expanding its physical footprint, the airport is positioning itself to provide commercial opportunities and generate sustainable income beyond passenger traffic.
    Keywords: revenue streams; redevelopment; diversification; tourism; infrastructure

  • Making a green transition at Christchurch Airport
    Piers Locke, Solutions for Sustainable Futures and Claire Waghorn, Christchurch International Airport

    Commitments to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from aviation are growing stronger, stimulating efforts to meet net zero targets. As critical infrastructure for air travel, airports obviously have an important role to play in making the transition away from fossil fuels. This requires major organisational change, operational innovation and future planning for low carbon and zero emission travel. New Zealand’s Christchurch International Airport has taken a pioneering lead, developing a transformational agenda, achieving global recognition for its emissions reductions and mobilising to build renewable energy infrastructure. This paper reports on research commissioned to assess the airport’s journey toward a green transition. It discusses how the airport made sustainability integral to its business purpose and organisational culture, how it developed a Green Transition Plan, and how it has raised sustainability on the agenda, locally, nationally and internationally. It also reports the airport’s development of a renewable energy precinct and its partnerships for the future implementation of low emission travel powered by renewable electricity and green hydrogen.
    Keywords: airport sustainability; emissions reductions; renewable energy; energy transition; sustainable aviation; net zero

  • Messaging that resonates with a community during airport construction
    Nancy Volmer, Salt Lake City Department of Airports

    Airports throughout the world are remodelling, expanding and upgrading to handle increasing travel demand and Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) is no exception. In 2020, SLC opened the first new hub airport built in the USA in the 21st century. There were many challenges along the way, such as a worldwide pandemic and an earthquake with an epicentre just miles away from the airport. Perhaps the most monumental task was to build a 4 million square foot airport adjacent to an operating one. But beyond navigating construction and operations, building support for a new airport — when the existing airport was so beloved in the community — created additional challenges. SLC’s communication and marketing team was tasked with crafting messages to help the community navigate this change, while also educating, informing and engaging the public. This paper discusses how, in order to provide a roadmap for communicating through the massive construction project, a Strategic Communication and Marketing Plan was developed for The New SLC Redevelopment Program that outlined goals and audiences, messaging, branding, marketing, traditional and social media and video production. The paper presents how the campaign was rooted in research and continually adjusted based on feedback and other evaluation mechanisms. The first step in developing a comprehensive communication plan was to conduct research by surveying SLC’s audiences prior to undertaking a branding programme. An important research component was to identify key audiences and stakeholders, including internal audiences — such as employees and tenants — to help spread the project’s message through grass-roots efforts. Once feedback from the survey was compiled, a brand was developed that resonated with the intended audiences. Just as important was to develop strategic messaging to inform audiences, while also educating and engaging. Next, determining the most effect ways to deliver the message was key, and was done through a combination of advertising, events, press conferences and traditional and social media.
    Keywords: advertising; branding; community; communication/marketing; media; messaging

  • How can a balanced ecosystem of technology, collaboration and innovation build greener airports? The case study of Groningen Airport Eelde
    Meiltje De Groot, Groningen Airport Eelde

    This paper discusses Groningen Airport Eelde’s (GRQ) transition to sustainable aviation, emphasising its commitment to minimising environmental impact while enhancing regional connectivity. It details GRQ’s initiatives, collaborations and future plans, showcasing how the airport leverages its unique position to spearhead the adoption of sustainable technologies, particularly in hydrogen. Through collaboration, innovation and strategic partnerships, GRQ aims to lead the way towards a more sustainable aviation future. GRQ’s commitment to minimising environmental impacts aligns with community interests, maintaining local trust and government support. By 2030, GRQ aims for a fully emission-free ground operation. The airport has successfully implemented a 22MW airside solar park and is now pioneering a comprehensive hydrogen ecosystem, aiming to become Europe’s first Hydrogen Valley Airport. Despite challenges in funding and legislation, GRQ advises other airports to build consortia, connect with regional partners and prioritise sustainability.
    Keywords: sustainable aviation; Groningen Airport Eelde; hydrogen technology; renewable energy; regional airport development

Volume 18 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publishing Editor, Journal of Airport Management
  • Practice Papers
    Culture and human factors in aviation security
    Dorota Broom, Civil Aviation Authority – CAA International

    Culture and human factors in aviation environment are not new concepts. They have been primary components of the aviation safety system and have become fundamental to the operations of air carriers. Their significance in ensuring safe aviation practices is widely recognised and accepted today. These concepts have been seamlessly integrated into the organisational DNA of aviation safety, shaping core principles and practices. In contrast, aviation security has historically lagged behind, often seen merely as a component of the broader safety framework. Over the years, safety and security have evolved separately, reflecting their distinct natures. While aviation safety has reached a high level of maturity, aviation security is now in a position where it must catch up. Current aviation security staff recruitment and retention challenges need to be addressed by creating better strategy for future recruitment, professionalisation of security workforce and improved airport environment. Embedding strong and effective security culture, consideration of human factors and their impact on staff performance and development of mission valence can positively affect airport working environment, leading to better staff retention and positive perception of aviation security roles.
    Keywords: aviation security; security culture; human factors; airport security; airport training; security awareness; organisational culture; safety and security; airport management

  • Balancing commercial return with passenger experience
    Peter Farmer, Benoy

    As the aviation industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, airports need to diversify income streams to generate commercial return, with on-site retail, leisure, food and beverage (F&B) and other non-aeronautical activities becoming vital to the operator’s bottom line. This paper argues that in an age of virtual transaction, operators need to provide an immersive commercial experience within terminals to drive up footfall, dwell time and spend. It also discusses how airports first need to engage their target audience virtually, making the initial connection via online platforms, then deliver on that promise in the physical world to strengthen and deepen the passenger relationship.
    Keywords: airport terminals; experiential retail; commercial return; customer experience; virtual and physical

  • Lessons learned while planning for advanced air mobility
    Paul Wheeler, Jared Esselman and Aaron Organ, WSP USA

    Historically aviation has gone through periods of immense innovative growth. Today the air transport industry is in the midst of yet another revolutionary period. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) includes technological advancements in electric and hydrogen propulsion, battery capacity and autonomy, resulting in the development of a new generation of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft. These emerging technologies and new aircraft show promise in addressing historical concerns such as noise, safety, and negative environmental impacts. AAM has the potential to revolutionise the way we live by serving as the catalyst to robust, sustainable transport systems for people and goods. AAM can assist with emergency response, medical transport, reduced travel times, improve accessibility and reduce harmful emissions. Airports are an essential part of the transport infrastructure, serving as hubs for air travel, cargo shipments and emergency response centres in the wake of natural disasters. With the rise of AAM technologies, airports will need to adapt and prepare to accommodate these new types of aircraft. Each airport is unique and airport management will need to understand not only the potential of AAM but the capabilities of the airport itself. This paper aims to capture what the aviation industry has been, what it could be through AAM, lessons learned while planning for AAM, and how airports can use critical success factors to evaluate their readiness and plan for this innovative era.
    Keywords: advanced air mobility (AAM); AAM planning; airport AAM evaluation; AAM impacts

  • Case Studies
    Benefits of public–private cooperation: The case study of Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport in Spain
    Javier Gundelfinger, University of Cantabria

    Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport (SDR/LEXJ) is a success story among Europe’s small regional airports. This success is due, among other factors, to: 1) the commitment to the promotion of connectivity and tourism by the successive regional governments of Cantabria, one of the 17 regions making up Spain; 2) the management of the infrastructure carried out by Aena, with intense modernisation and expansion of the airport; and 3) the commitment of the airlines to Cantabria through the development of a large network of air routes, especially Ryanair, but also Air Nostrum, Vueling, Iberia, Volotea, Wizz Air and Binter. In the last 20 years, the airport’s traffic volume has quadrupled from 250.000 passengers to one million. The number of destinations has increased from just a few frequencies to Madrid and Barcelona to 30 destinations covering the whole of Spain and providing connectivity to the main European capitals and major cities. This paper will analyse some of the factors, including supply and demand, that have given rise to this success. It will also discuss the economic impact of the airport on the region and some of the main opportunities and challenges it will face throughout the coming years.
    Keywords: public–private collaboration; airlines; connectivity; public policy; welfare

  • Research Papers
    Developing your airport customer experience measurement model
    Yu-Jin Choi, Incheon International Airport Corporation, Airport Industry Technology Research Institute, et al

    In recent times, there has been a shifting paradigm in the realm of customer service, transitioning from a focus on the supplier’s quality management to prioritising the quality experience of customers. The primary objective of this study is to introduce a novel model known as the airport customer experience measurement model (Airport-CXMM). This model is designed to facilitate enhanced customerorientated service experience management and to reframe the assessment criteria for quantifying the customer experience (CX) within airport environments. Airport-CXMM takes into account three pivotal components — customer service quality, customer effort and customer value — all of which are critical factors in shaping CX, along with the influential factors traditionally employed in established models. Moreover, the study utilises the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to effectively capture the relative importance and assign quantitative weights to each of these factors. To demonstrate the suitability and effectiveness of Airport-CXMM, the model underwent validation through both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), utilising passenger survey data obtained from Incheon International Airport (ICN). This study holds significant value as it introduces an innovative model for the quantitative measurement of CX within airport settings. It is anticipated that Airport-CXMM can be effectively harnessed by airport operators and other stakeholders in the industry, enabling them to systematically manage and formulate strategies aimed at enhancing the CX, aligning with the recent shift in the customer service paradigm.
    Keywords: customer experience; customer effort; customer value; airport service quality; Incheon International airport (ICN); airport customer experience measurement model

  • Small airport adoption of environmental practices: A managerial perspective
    Grace Harley, Royal Air Force, Andrew J. Timmis, Loughborough University and Lucy Budd, De Montfort University

    Although the environmental effects associated with the operation of a small airport may not exceed regulatory thresholds and may be small in comparison to the environmental impacts associated with the operation of large hubs, the combined cumulative environmental impacts of small airports remains considerable and individual sites may aspire to improve their environmental performance. Small airports, however, may struggle to adopt the environmental practices (EP) that enable larger airports to manage and mitigate their externalities. As such, there is an unrealised potential for environmental mitigation at small airports. The aim of this research is to explore the drivers and barriers to EP adoption at small airports. Using in-depth semi-structured interviews with airport managers and environmental officers representing 19 small airports in the UK, this paper identifies and examines the drivers and barriers to EP engagement for small airports. The findings show that although cost can be an issue, human resource availability, levels of management support and local site-specific factors often pose the biggest challenges to EP adoption. Policy and practice-based recommendations to support small airport engagement with EPs are offered in the conclusion.
    Keywords: small airports; environmental impacts; environmental practices (EPs); environmental management

  • ACI Update: New ACI World Chair and Vice Chair

Volume 18 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publishing Editor, Journal of Airport Management
  • Case Studies
    Improving terminal fire safety with minor impact on operational continuity using performance based design
    Michele Di Franco, Aeroporto di, Diego Cecchinato and Daniele Andriotto, Safety Fire

    Bologna Airport is dealing with a significant increase in passenger flows. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, traffic volume is rapidly growing and will soon exceed previous traffic records. Against this background, the airport has supported new infrastructure investments in order to both optimise existing terminal functional use and to comply with stringent fire safety requirements on terminal buildings, in line with new Italian airport safety legislation. In particular, Bologna Airport has planned a short-term investment specifically regarding the Terminal Smoke Management System, consisting of smoke vents and smoke extraction fans that work in coordination with fire detection systems and other fire suppression systems already installed into the building, and with the Terminal Fire Emergency Plan. For this kind of system, the Italian laws and standards set a basic prescriptive approach that simplifies the design phase with conservative solutions, with invasive, costly and time-consuming installations that are generally not compatible with operational continuity needs for terminal areas. As an alternative, a performance-based design approach is allowed for more customised solutions, focusing more closely on the design phase and terminal functional strategy. This case study shows how Bologna Airport implemented a performance-based design approach in order to minimise the impact of the new system installation throughout the terminal, optimising the engineering solutions with no constraints from the terminal functional flexibility point of view as well as saving over 75 per cent costs and construction time, compared to a traditional prescriptive approach.
    Keywords: safety; flexibility; performance-based fire strategy; fire safety engineering; operational continuity

  • Evaluation of the impact of a wildlife trafficking educational display at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
    Bettina Friese, Aleyna Sandar and Bryan Rodriguez, Port of Seattle/Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington, installed an educational display to raise passengers’ knowledge and awareness of wildlife trafficking. Little is known about the efficacy of wildlife trafficking-related educational displays at airports. In the fall of 2022, Port of Seattle (PoS) Business Intelligence conducted an evaluation to assess the impact of the display. The evaluation included three components: observation of passengers viewing the display; a survey with passengers who viewed the display; and a survey with passengers who did not view the display. Observations revealed that 0.8 per cent of passengers stopped to view the display. Mean viewing time was 48 seconds. The more passengers passed through the concourse, the fewer stopped at the display. Most non-viewers (88 per cent) did not notice the display as they passed it on the way to their gate. Non-viewers who noticed the display but did not stop to view it gave being in a hurry and wanting to get to their gate as primary reasons for not stopping. Viewers of the display, compared to non-viewers, reported a greater level of confidence that they could spot a product made from endangered wildlife, increased knowledge about actions that can contribute to wildlife trafficking and a greater belief that their actions can help save endangered animals. Although the display did have an impact on viewers, fewer than 1 per cent of passengers who passed by the display viewed it. Most passengers did not notice it. The findings of this evaluation raise the issue of whether passengers on the way to their departure gate are receptive to viewing an educational display. There may be more opportune approaches to educate passengers about wildlife trafficking, such as presenting information about wildlife trafficking on television screens in gate areas or as part of in-flight entertainment.
    Keywords: education; wildlife trafficking; prevention; international travel

  • Practice Papers
    The future of airport infrastructure resilience
    Joseph Gale and Dassie Persaud-Van Der Westhuizen

    The threat of rising sea levels, flooding, freeze, extreme heat and changes in the intensity and frequency of severe weather poses substantial risks to critical airport assets and infrastructure. As the gateways to cities and countries around the world and engines of economic development, airports are the backbone for the movement of people and goods across the globe. This paper presents an actionable approach to building resiliency across the airport environment to climate change threats and geophysical hazards. The four-step methodology focuses on planning, designs and engineering, prioritisation of financial investments and ongoing industry research and development.
    Keywords: airports; resilience; infrastructure; vulnerability; assessment; method

  • Innovative baggage handling solutions to enhance passenger experience
    Ravi Singh, Leonardo Group

    It does not matter if the passenger experience is quick, convenient and totally effortless. It can all count for nothing because of a lost bag. Mishandled baggage on arrival can completely ruin the passenger experience, even if all the other elements of the journey were perfect. This paper offers a comprehensive study of the reasons behind bag mishandling (delayed, damaged, missing items or lost baggage); innovative technologies with focus on gentle and reliable baggage handling; impact of COVID-19, which further necessitates innovative technologies for efficient handling of bags. The paper further dives down into green, efficient and sustainable technologies, with focus on overall costs of the baggage handling system in its complete life cycle. It outlines the importance of innovation in baggage handling to minimise mishandled bags with the ultimate aim of putting a smile on the faces of passengers at baggage arrival. Baggage handling is one of the critical systems of airports and airlines and is affected by many factors such as transfer/arrival mishandling, ticketing error, security, customs, weather, space-weight restriction, tagging error, etc. This paper focuses more on baggage sortation, which is a core element of any baggage handling system, and its efficiency has significant impact in reducing mishandled bags and improving passenger experience. Moreover, the manpower crisis across the aviation industry, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, is having a profound impact on baggage success rates; innovative baggage handling technologies with advanced automation can significantly reduce pressure on manpower demand.
    Keywords: baggage handling system (BHS); sortation; mishandled bags; innovative technologies; green/sustainable; contactless technologies

  • The modern threat: Be prepared
    Michael Nonnemacher, Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

    This paper aims to educate airport operators in how to be better prepared for an active threat incident. The paper does not discuss preventative measures but focuses on lessons learned from a real-life incident that took place in 2017. Information included is derived from a detailed after-action report that focuses on mitigating strategies, communication methods, employee training, and business resumption.
    Keywords: interoperability; training; communication; warning; command; control; awareness

  • Research Papers
    A discrete event simulation model for airport runway operations optimisation: A case study of Cairo International Airport
    Awad Khireldin, Singapore Institute of Technology and Colin C. H Law, Emirates Aviation University

    Runways are the major crucial infrastructure for all airports around the world. The efficient handling of runway operations is the key to ensuring that airports are running smoothly with minimal delays and reduced queuing time on both approaches and departures. Many factors affect the efficiency of runway operations, such as the aircraft wake separation, runway system configuration, the number of runways and the fleet mix. This paper aims to address how to maximise runways operations by using the discrete event simulation model (DESM) at Cairo International Airport (HECA). The study has applied the model to evaluate the operational performance of an airport with three parallel runway setups to compare the result of the DESM with the actual runway performance in different operational scenarios. As HECA has provided its results from historical operations, the proposed scenarios will help to set the new benchmark to explore the opportunities for runways performance improvements at the airport.
    Keywords: airport performance; runway; discrete event simulation; capacity; airside

  • Airport technical efficiency: Evidence of privatised airports in Latin America
    Oscar Díaz Olariaga, Universidad Santo Tomás, et al

    Since the mid-1990s, the main airports in Latin America have been privatised. This is the result, on the one hand, of the liberalisation of the aviation industry in almost all the countries of the region, and on the other hand, of the application of an extensive and uninterrupted programme of air public policies, currently underway. Based on this, this paper first analyse how public policies have influenced the development of airports in Latin America, generating the privatisation of the most important in the region (in a context of structural reform still in progress). Second, it studies how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the technical efficiency of the privatised airports in the region. Therefore, in this paper, the measurement of technical efficiency is carried out (using only technical variables, that is, infrastructure and aeronautical or air traffic variables) on a representative set of Latin American privatised airports, both in the pre-pandemic period (2017–19) and in the severest pandemic period (2020). The methodology used to carry out the study is data envelopment analysis (DEA). The main results of the research reveal high, and in some cases ideal, technical efficiency indices in the pre-pandemic period, and not very severe drops in technical efficiency in the pandemic period.
    Keywords: efficiency; airport privatisation; data envelopment analysis; air transport policy