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How Significant Is Airport Facility Management?

How important is airport facility management? Without a doubt, facility management is crucial to ensure operational functions around the airport works efficiently. Airports wish to maintain a positive brand image and keep their customers happy with consistent services standard to the customer, smooth airport operation flow, safe and secure environment and smooth security screening flow

As the airports dealing with the growing capacity on a daily basis, outsourcing facility management services is a great option because it eases the headaches of managing the physical airport. Moreover, airports save costs, enhance the passenger experience, and spend their time to focus on business growth.

Passengers Expectation

First impressions always count. Therefore, passenger’s satisfaction depends on their experience from the minute they reach the airport, expecting to feel relaxed throughout the check-in, waiting and boarding process. The basic requirements for better customer experience at the airport weigh from the speed of baggage delivery, smooth check-in at the airport terminals, little time taken for security checks and the cleanliness of the facilities.

Even though these days most passengers have obtained a boarding pass before they arrive at the airport, however, not knowing how long it will really take to move through the terminal, passengers tend to arrive very early for flights thus spend more time waiting at the airport. The ground experience before passenger boards an aircraft can be divided into these segments:

  Getting to the airport

  Waiting in the terminal before security

  Passing through security checkpoints

  Finding the gate

Practical check-in facilities improve arrival and departure flow at the airport. Delays for passengers, airport staff and airline crew resulting in disruptions to airport and airline operations. Therefore, airports and airlines will be backed by the airport assistance roles such as:

 Ground and luggage handling

 Luggage claim, recovery, sorting and transfer

 Delivery and placement in plane

 Cargo and luggage loading and unloading

    Luggage transfer

    Runway support

    Passenger check-in

    Reception, embarking and disembarking passengers

    Management of passenger transfers

    Flight preparation and management

    Ticketing, excess luggage management

    Luggage claim, management of irregularities

Beside improvement the flow of departure and arrival at the airport, passengers consider cleanliness to be a valid circumstance. As cleanliness can impact customers’ first impression of the service and experience, the sanitary condition of a place such as an airport is a fundamental factor. Hence, airports require regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain their image.

An experienced and knowledgeable facility manager for airport assistant and cleaning tasks often result in better quality output which technical and maintenance tasks can be completed faster and more proficiently. Thus, outsourcing airport assistance and cleaning service are the best solutions to meet the passengers’ expectation of the airport facilities at any time.

Operational Efficiency

Any major airport has lots of customers which most of them are passengers and airlines crew. The passengers demanded useful facilities to use when check-in, waiting and boarding. Airlines required space for aeroplanes, facilities for routine maintenance, places for passengers and flight crews while on the ground. Air-freight companies needed space for cargo aeroplanes. Pilots and the cabin crew needed runways, facilities for aircraft storage and maintenance, and places to relax while on the ground.

The growing capacity of the airport required good planning and operational efficiency. On-time performance is a major parameter for evaluating operational efficiency of airlines; is directly associated with customer satisfaction, and is positively correlated with profitability. Top operational efficiency occurs when the right combination of people, processes, and technology come together to optimize business performance.

The clean and safe workplace will increase airport staff productivity. Automating daily operations and administrative tasks are crucial to support the airport staff in providing good services consistently. According to a report commissioned by Amadeus Airport, airports can improve operational efficiency through the digital transformation of processes, well-executed data analytics and insight sharing. While delivering excellent passenger experience and improve its operational efficiency, airports also need to increase non-aeronautical (retail) revenue.

For airports, ensuring passengers enjoy a smooth transit through the airport is vital: Spend increases by 2.5% for every minute a customer is in a retail area and not stuck in a queue (Boston Consulting Group, 2018). According to research done by J.D. Power and Associates (2010), it shows that the happier the passengers were at the airport, the more money they spent in the terminal.

Outsourcing facility management will help you attract and retain happy customer and staff. Through highly visible airport improvements and smooth-running terminal operations, outsourced facility management can deliver long-term cost savings by addressing deferred maintenance energy consumption and sustainability. Airports also get strategic direction and help to oversee day-to-day management works in operations, maintenance, technical and systems integration, infrastructure, retail business and space management from the outsourced facility management experts.

Safety and Security

Unfortunately, airports are targets for terrorist activity. For that reason, it’s vitally crucial that airports take extremely strict security measures. The facility manager guarantees the airport stays safe and secure by monitoring, checking and improving the security systems, video surveillance system and other airport equipment constantly. Failure to do so may lead to undesirable conditions leading to poor operation, loss, injury, prosecution, and insurance claims to the airports.

The security screening procedure is deemed necessary when travel by air. However, it can be a painful experience for the passengers. According to a survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airport security is one of the unpopular aspects of travel. As a result, some airports are making efforts to make the experience of being touched, scanned and having your suitcase rummaged through as painless as possible while maintaining sensitivity and courtesy towards the passenger.

Airports are also introducing effective procedures to optimize the workflow during the security screening in the light of the snail-pace queues. By outsourcing technical maintenance and security service, you are granted access to innovative ideas and leading practices from them that will enhance the quality of your facilities and the airport experience overall. They offer new innovation and effective solution that improves the passenger experience, saves costs, creates efficiencies and adds value.

Innovation and Technology

To ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of facility management in coordinating demand and supply of airport facilities and services, continuous innovation and new technology development is useful and necessary to achieve high-quality service offering. According to Skytrax’s research, being a global travel leader means constantly striving to improve, innovate and impress. A poll conducted by SITA finds airline passengers are happier when technology eases their way through the airports (SITA Passenger IT Insights, 2019).

According to ACI World Director General, Angela Gittens in the Connected Aviation Today said that investing in new and improved infrastructure, as well as making the most of existing infrastructure, is the bedrock on which smooth airport operations and improved passenger experiences are built (Seawright, S, 2019). New technology in surveillance monitoring system enabling digital surveillance streams to travel over the internet so that operators in various airport departments such as police, customs, fire and medic, baggage, and airport operations, can all monitor the video feeds from separate PC workstations. Airports and airlines can take note that technology solutions can boost passenger satisfaction, every step of the way including the cleanliness of their washrooms.

Culled from Atalian Global Services website

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