Aviation

UAE airport leaders committed to meeting customer needs

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

What’s next for aviation‭? ‬ The future starts now

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Focus on Aviation Security

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Emerging economies to drive global growth

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Airports must develop non-aeronautical activities

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Meeting future challenges of air navigation

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

World Airport Traffic Forecasts 2017–2040

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Networks and the sustainability of small airports

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Welcoming industry colleagues to Mauritius

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Bold leadership in a time of change

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Enhancing passenger experience

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

ACI releases the 2017 Airport Economics Report, confirming the financial health of the airport industry

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Optimising capacity

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...

Cautious optimism

Alexandre de Juniac,  Director-General and CEO, IATA

Alexandre de Juniac, Director-General and CEO, IATA

This World Cargo Symposium is meeting at a time of cautious optimism, which is far too rare in the air cargo industry. After several years of virtually no growth, we are starting to see demand pick up. Freight volumes began to grow in the second half of 2016. And the momentum is carrying over into this year with January demand rising nearly 7 per cent over the previous year. 

There are some positive forces supporting growth. Export orders are strong. That’s a welcome development after world trade has essentially flat-lined for the last several years. 

E-commerce, which depends heavily on air cargo, is growing at a double digit rate. The world continues to transform into a global cyber-store. Customers in the internet age are demanding almost immediate fulfilment of their orders. 

High-value specialised cargo is also showing great potential. The total global pharma market is expected to reach $1.12 trillion by 2022, creating significant opportunity for air cargo. A substantial part of this market is the transport of temperature-sensitive healthcare goods such as cold chain drugs and biopharma products - typically shipped by air. Currently $12 billion is spent worldwide on cold chain biopharma logistics. By 2020, it is estimated that this will rise to $16.7 billion. 

Of course, we all know that growth and profitable growth are very different concepts. And even though the year has started with some positive signs, we are still in a very tough business. Yields are under lots of pressure. Airlines are taking delivery of long-haul aircraft to meet growing passenger demand capacity. And each long-haul aircraft comes with a belly hungry for cargo. 

More broadly, we must all be concerned about the protectionist rhetoric that is spreading. Aviation is the business of freedom. The industry is premised on borders that are open to people and trade. That is at the heart of the important role that we play in globalisation. 

We must also pay attention to what our customers are telling us. Two of the fastest growing and most profitable parts of the business are focused on meeting specific customer needs—e-commerce as well as time- and temperature-sensitive cargo. That’s proof that we are successful when we are able to understand customer needs and create products to satisfy them.  

Excerpted from a speech at the World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi.

Integrated processes, technology to ensure safety

Nina Brooks, ACI World’s Head of Security.

Nina Brooks, ACI World’s Head of Security.

Growing passenger numbers and resources needs call for a paradigm shift towards a collaborative effort between all stakeholders. Greater emphasis should be placed on automating and adoption of technology.

It goes without saying that maintaining the safety and security of the travelling public is the top priority for airports and it involves multiple layers of integrated processes and technologies to detect threats and/or mitigate risks. 

The changing variables of threat, growing passenger numbers and limitations on resources calls for a paradigm shift towards a genuinely risk managed approach and a collaborative effort between all stakeholders. The key activities being undertaken by ACI all contribute to addressing these challenges, said Nina Brooks, ACI World’s Head of Security. 

The joint International Aviation Transport Association (IATA)/ACI Smart Security programme provides an example of how a more sustainable, efficient and effective passenger screening process can be implemented to strengthen security, increase operational efficiency and improve the passenger experience. 

One of the next key items on the agenda is to conduct further research into how different methods of risk-based differentiation can be best applied. Other technologies are also being tested such as automated systems to further enhance the screener’s threat detection capability. 

The need to protect landside areas has once again been brought sharply into focus. More screening is not the answer; moving queues to other areas of the terminal simply shifts the vulnerability. However, removing queues and crowds makes the target far less attractive. 

ACI plans to work with IATA on the smarter design of processes that reduce passenger touchpoints and eliminate queues throughout the passenger journey. 

“Alongside this project, we will also continue to work collaboratively with the ACI regions to develop guidance material in support of landside security, including behaviour detection, surveillance and security culture, as well as advocating for better intelligence and information sharing. 

“Our capacity building activities help to ensure that all of the layers of security are applied globally and consistently. A solid risk management approach, good training and a robust security culture is needed everywhere,” she said. 

By raising the bar on security in all airports, the overall system becomes more secure and efficient as additional measures such as gate screening for specific flights and the rescreening of transfer passengers can start to be eliminated. Aimed specifically at airports, ACI World has recently completed the first pilot of its Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security initiative and hopes to be able to launch the programme in full early next year. 

The intention of the programme is to enable airports in need of assistance to benefit from the experience of others. 

Through actively working with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its key working groups of the Aviation Security Panel, ACI will be able to represent airport interests and advocate for regulation that takes into account airports’ needs and limitations. 

“This is a key area of work and we will continue to contribute actively to ICAO standards, recommended practices and guidance material.

“The development of airport best practices and provision of training enables us to support capacity building efforts. This will be a priority in coming years, enabling ACI to broaden its outreach and help airports to implement the most appropriate measures for their environment,” said David Gamper, ACI World’s Director of Safety. 

ACI’s strategy in security, focusing on the delivery of best practices, capacity building and collaboration between airport, airline and government stakeholders, aims to create a more sustainable and well-rounded security system that meets the needs of our airports for the future. 

Drivers for change

A number of key areas have been identified as drivers for change and in many cases these are dependent on each other, such as process improvement for identity management, which needs a combination of regulatory change, the use of automation and the better use of data. 

There are already many initiatives that identify self-service solutions throughout the passenger journey, including check-in, bag drop, self-tagging, re-booking and boarding processes. 

Automation and technology

Greater use of automation for processes such as the collection of biometrics, automated document verification and payment of departure taxes would enable processes to be implemented at remote locations, off-airport or using mobile technologies. 

Arguably greater emphasis should also be placed on either automating and eliminating processes or moving them away from the airport completely. Remote/mobile check-in and printing baggage tags at home already provide examples of this and perhaps one day there will be no need to use any on-site check-in technology. 

Another area where technology is starting to play a key role is in the provision of timely information for passengers. Knowing security wait times in advance of travel courtesy of mobile applications, for example, can actually change the way people behave at airports. 

And this type of technology offers further opportunities to streamline passenger journeys and subsequently the habits of airport visitors. Knowing the approximate time it will take passengers to get from their arrivals gate to kerbside, for instance, could enable those picking them up to arrive at the airport/terminal at a more appropriate time. 

Apex programme

In the context of airport safety, ACI has conceived and implemented a programme called ACI Airport Excellence (Apex) designed to provide assistance for ACI members to improve their level of safety and compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices. 

“Since the programme’s launch, we have had close to 60 reviews performed worldwide and have built a pool of over 130 safety assessors from over 60 different airports and international organisations,” said Danny Boutin, ACI World’s Senior Manager, APEX Programmes. 

It offers host airports an on-site safety review performed by the ACI Safety Review Team, consisting of active airport professionals. The team identifies safety gaps and develops an action/ implementation plan to address these gaps, helping the host airport achieve certification if need be. 

ACI also assists throughout the implementation phase by providing support, training and access to a global network of expertise. 

“Apex will be placing more emphasis on data collection. While remaining confidential, collected data from our missions will help identify safety gaps and areas of improvement in each of the regions, enabling ACI to better target the needs for assistance and create the most appropriate training. 

“It will also provide valuable information for the ACI Safety and Technical Standing Committee to evaluate the need for handbooks and other tools such as best practices for the benefit of the industry at large,” he said.

The challenge of mega airports

With tremendous growth forecast in aviation, governments and airport authorities are investing significantly in airport facilities and infrastructure. Airlines are pursuing expansion plans and to maximise connectivity. 

By Jeffery Oboy, Soeren Bilet and Simon Kahle

Cities across Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific are experiencing tremendous growth in air traffic. Growth is especially being witnessed in those cities optimally located for connecting regions and continents such as Mexico City for those west of the Atlantic and Dubai for those east of the Atlantic. 

Welcoming this tremendous growth in aviation, governments and their airport authorities are investing significantly in airport facilities and infrastructure. 

Even as new terminals, concourses, parking positions and runways are built, many airports still lack the capacity to meet demand. 

Development in Traffic

The world’s top airlines as well as those aspiring to be on the top are pursuing aggressive growth plans. The top 15 transfer-driven airlines (ranked by revenue passenger kilometres) are achieving year-on-year growth levels such as 10.1 per cent, 12.7 per cent and even 20 per cent. 

Large transfer-driven airlines are looking to grow the size of their arrival and departure peaks. Larger peaks mean more passengers will arrive and depart during the busiest times, which is a major challenge for most airports’ current airfield and terminal capacity limitations. Already 47 of 55 aviation mega-cities (more than 10,000 daily long-haul passengers) are schedule-constrained, according to Airbus Global Market Forecast 2016-2035. 

Growing Service Expectations

Transfer-driven airlines are also pursuing higher service standards both on board and at their airport hubs. When it comes to growing capacity, and improving service levels, airports generally have five options: Expanding Facilities; Reconfiguring the Airport’s Setup; Increasing Equipment and Staff Levels; Increasing Resource Throughput; and Optimizing the Peaks. 

Expanding Facilities: Airport authorities have continued to expand facilities at their airports through new terminals, concourses, aircraft parking positions and, in some cases, runways. Reconfiguring the Airport’s Setup: Another strategy airports pursue to increase airport capacity, especially for their main airline tenants, is reassigning terminal and terminal adjacent areas amongst current airlines. Some airports also work with airlines (especially freighters and general aviation) to shift their operations to nearby airports. 

Increasing Equipment and Staff Levels: Equipment and staff levels can most often be increased for strengthening terminal capacity and subsequently service levels. 

Increasing Resource Throughput: Capacity can be increased by strengthening the productivity of resources both in the terminal and on the airfield. This is achieved in several ways, such as increasing reliability, processing speeds and resource management effectiveness by using new methods and technology.

Optimizing the Peaks: Some transfer-driven airlines schedule their flights to arrive and depart within short periods of time, which is known as “banking.” For them to maximize their revenue and connectivity, they must drive greater growth in and closer proximity between their arrival and departure peaks. 

Airport authorities must look closely at the main drivers and constraints of its seasonal capacity. 

Future Bottlenecks: Determine where air services will be constrained and the underlying reason(s) such as processing times, reliability or desired level of service. 

Operational Benchmarks: Determine the current, industry best and potential performance levels of critical operational bottlenecks. 

Concept of Operations: Determine which bottlenecks can be relieved and how (i.e. future ways of working on the frontline and behind-the-scenes) 

Future Capacity & Service Levels: Determine future levels of airport capacity and service that can be expected with changes made and the remaining spillover of air services if any. 

Development Strategy: Determine individual project plans, program setup and action plan for making the changes happen. 

Shaping the Future

When the time comes to shape the future ‘Concept of Operations’, one does not have to look far to find out what the latest technologies are for simplifying the aircraft, passenger, baggage and cargo journeys. Be it separation advancements for aircraft, self-service for passengers, RFID for baggage or going paperless for cargo, the opportunities seem endless. 

To optimise resource management, airports must leverage smart planning services supported by IT. 

Airports are supporting their resource planning, scheduling, and controlling teams with: 

Greater process automation: Increase planner and controller speed and productivity by eliminating manual data transfers and workflows; 

Scenario-based planning capabilities: Increase planner effectiveness by reporting changes to assumptions (e.g. schedule, capacity development plan) and their impact on the resource forecast; 

Scenario-based controlling capabilities: Increase controller speed and effectiveness by preparing for potential changes to the plan (e.g. schedule, resource availability) and their impact on the operation; 

Continuous improvement: Share post-operation statistics on deviations between forecasted and actual resource count to create a learning environment; 

Operations as a service: Outsource IT intensive and/or non-continuous functions; 

Schedule stability: Reduce the number of schedule changes to allow the most optimal resource schedule to be generated; and 

Decision support: Increase planner and controller effectiveness by leveraging state-of-the-art optimizers and playgrounds. 

Maximise productivity

While further facilities will come eventually, airlines and airport authorities must do more now to maximize the productivity of their current assets both in the terminal and across the airfield. 

This can be achieved by deploying resource management practices that embrace efficient and effective collaboration with airport authorities, airlines, ground handlers, air traffic control and government authorities.  

Excerpted from a report “The Threat of Our Mega and Wannabe Mega Airports” by authors Jeffery Oboy, Soeren Bilet and Simon Kahle, of M2P (Mostert. Ploog & Partners)

DCAA to host World Aviation Safety Summit in Dubai

Local and international aviation experts to analyse essential safety measures

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) will be hosting the fifth edition of World Aviation Safety Summit (WASS 2017) on April 11 and 12, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

WASS 2017 will highlight key strategies for the safety culture of the future by engaging with local and international stakeholders from regulatory authorities, airline operators, airport operators, aircraft manufacturers, pilot associations, safety organisations and air traffic control service providers. 

The Summit will address how the aviation industry implements essential safety measures in order to efficiently manage the processes, threats and risks facing aviation safety professionals worldwide. The Summit will also closely examine best practices in crisis communications, reputation management, safety performance and wildlife management. 

H.E. Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of DCAA, said: “We are committed to the development of safety in the aviation sector locally, regionally and internationally. We are dedicated to backing the Summit and look forward to supporting the learning and innovations that come out of the global gathering. 

We believe that bringing global safety experts together will make a genuine difference to the industry, enhance performance levels and highlight Dubai’s commitment to ensuring a safe and secure future for air travel.” 

Some of the sessions at WASS include enhancing safe and secure operations; overflight and handling a complex geopolitical environment; safety performance, monitoring, measurement and benchmarking; business continuity and air safety; cyber security for safety; and risk management and predictive safety. 

Nick Webb, Managing Partner at Streamline Marketing Group, the event organisers, said: “Returning for its 5th edition, WASS has established itself as an ideal platform for thought leaders of the global aviation safety sector to come together and discuss essential safety measures. Air traffic is booming, and with such rapid growth it is critical that industry and safety experts discuss solutions to the challenges and ever-growing demands of the industry. We look forward to welcoming the world’s global aviation safety experts in Dubai for the fifth edition of the Summit.” 

As WASS’s Association Partner, experts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will provide attendees with updates on the latest industry safety trends and best practices. 

Smart Security

It is with pleasure that I contribute my first monthly column to Via Dubai. Airports Council International (ACI) and Dubai Civil Aviation Authority share the common vision of ensuring the industry’s sustainable growth. One of ACI’s prominent areas of focus is the safety and security of the traveling public, a fundamental pillar of this vision...