Volume 17 (2022-2023)

Each volume of Journal of Airport Management consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 17 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page. 

The Articles published in Volume 17 include:

Volume 17 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Future mobility: How sustainability and operational efficiency are mutually dependent
    Mario Herger, Technology trend researcher and author and Lars Mosdorf, Düsseldorf Airport, Managing and Labour Director, Düsseldorf Airport

    Mobility demand is increasing across all transport modes. To preserve an individual's mobility freedom and avoid mobility sacrifice and pure price increase, stronger intermodal cooperation are key success factors. In this paper, a technology trend researcher and an airport's general manager strive to lift the view towards the future of mobility. They evaluate the question of how the technical equipment will change, how, among other things, a population's mobility habits lead to increasing demand and how this can be served. The two authors believe that seamless processes in between traffic providers and emission free as well as efficient operations are key contributions to the solution. To think mobility beyond each mobility sector is, therefore, a prerequisite. This includes mutually enriching other mobility sectors' ideas, optimised processes and technologies.
    Keywords: future mobility; sustainability; efficiency; digital transformation; operational efficiency; mobility providers; seamless mobility; clean mobility; smart mobility

  • 5G mobile networks for airports: Supporting the digital transformation
    Nikolaos Papagiannopoulos, Senior Project Manager, IT&T Data Services, Information Technology & Telecommunications, Athens International Airport, Julie Bradford, Real Wireless and Simon Fletcher, Real Wireless

    Major international airports are highly complex ecosystems with multiple stakeholders performing a large number of processes, many of them in the crucial path of aircraft, passenger, baggage and cargo handling, in the airside. The role of the airport operators is to orchestrate, synchronise, optimise and facilitate the efficient and effective execution of these processes. In this context, this paper explores and demystifies how the new advancements in 5G mobile networks can help airports succeed and understand the benefits that such technology might bring to the industry and what steps and investments need to be made to realise the full potential. The paper captures lessons learned from a 5G testbed deployed at Athens International Airport as part of the European Commission Horizon 2020 project, 5G-TOURS. It includes a description of new services and applications for airports that advanced wireless connectivity can provide. A quantitative analysis is provided of the potential benefits that an airport like Athens can expect to see from these new services. These are presented in terms of direct operational benefits and wider socio-economic benefits. Furthermore, the various strategies that an airport operator might adopt for the management, delivery and installation of wireless infrastructure in their specific setting are described and indicative costings in the example setting of Athens are provided. Overall, using Athens International Airport as a case study, the aim is to illustrate the pros and cons of various wireless strategies and considerations that airport operators need to make when selecting the best way forward for their business.
    Keywords: 5G; wireless; airports; mobile network; network sharing; neutral host; business

  • Canada geese flight patterns in the vicinity of an aerodrome: Insights and management Implications
    Marta Giordano, Ornithologist, French Civil Aviation Technical Centre (STAC) and Frederic Jiguet, Professor, French Museum of Natural History

    Wildlife on and in the surroundings of an aerodrome pose a potential hazard for flight safety. Canada geese (Branta canadensis) represent a substantial risk for aircraft, due to their size and flocking behaviour. A group of 51 Canada geese were caught and neck-collared at two moult sites in the vicinity of Paris-Le Bourget airport. Six individuals were also GPS tagged. Bird movements were monitored between July 2019 and June 2021. The flight patterns and phenology, as well as the dispersion pattern of these birds, were investigated. Flights represented only about 1 per cent of geese daily activity. Geese spent most of their time on the ground in a 10km radius area around the capture sites. More than half of the flights outside the capture sites took place at the end of the day, between 6pm and 8pm. These flights were performed on average at less than 50m above the ground, and only less than 1 per cent of them crossed Paris-Le Bourget airport airspace. The finding of this study can be of interest to airport operators and regulators for the development of a management plan to help to reduce birdstrike risk to aircraft.
    Keywords: Canada geese; birdstrike; risk mitigation; spatial data; GPS tag; airport

  • Lessons learned from 11th September, 2001 (9/11): A comparison of aviation security and health crisis response
    Nathalie Herbelles, Senior Director, Airports Council International (ACI) World, and Alicia Lawrence, Senior Consultant, Arup

    The terrorist attacks of 11th September, 2001 (9/11) triggered significant changes in the way aviation security is implemented all over the world. Despite many lessons learned in the industry, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the same as those prompted by 9/11 — the imposition of prescribed, disproportionate to risk, one-size-fits-all measures with adverse impacts on operations. Taking the learning from a major world crisis such as 9/11 has shown how an intelligence-driven, risk-based, outcome-focused regulatory model enables the industry to determine how a known threat informed by intelligence might manifest in terms of likelihood and consequence that is unique to every airport. Together,   ACI and Arup have identified the top ten lessons learnt from the security experience that can be directly applied to manage health risks in aviation. The paper explores the lessons learned for airports (recommendations 1–5) before identifying those learned for regulators (recommendations 6–10).
    Keywords:  security; health; airports; regulators; risk-based

  • Preventive wildlife strike strategy implemented at the airports operated by Fraport Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Dionysios Ntampakis, Wildlife Hazard Manager, Dimitrios Monogios, Training Manager, Marianna Moira, Wildlife Hazard Management Officer and Athanasios Tsiratzidis, Wildlife Control Supervisor, Fraport Greece

    Any collision between wildlife (including birds) with an aircraft is known as a wildlife strike. Most of the time such a strike has no operational impact but occasionally it could result in delays because of a technical check or even cause damage to aircraft. The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected Europe's transport sector. Air connectivity collapsed worldwide and the demand on the airports operated by Fraport Greece (FG) decreased significantly during the pandemic years (2020–21). With less air traffic and more stay-home orders, a variety of bird species were attracted to the green, quieter areas of the airports. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued warnings concerning the increased presence of wildlife hazards in European airports. This case study aims to communicate to the aviation industry the wildlife strike prevention strategy implemented at the airports operated by FG during the pandemic years. The fundamentals of wildlife management, airport ecology, flight safety and sustainability are presented in a structured way to provide the reader with many relevant messages. The management implications, together with the best practices of this preventive wildlife strike strategy, are discussed for their possible wider use in the aviation industry.
    Keywords: COVID-19; aviation; airport; wildlife strike; flight safety; sustainability

  • Leveraging sentiment analysis as a predictor of risk in community engagement
    Tony Diana, Division Manager, Outreach (ANG-A6), Office of NextGen Stakeholder Collaboration and Messaging, Federal Aviation Administration

    This study proposes a methodology based on sentiment analysis to compute an ‘engagement risk priority number’ or ERPN. The ERPN is a calculation designed to help airport management rank risks in community engagement and identify outreach strategies to airport stakeholders. The ERPN is based on three components of sentiment analysis (polarity, surprise, and subjectivity of residents' sentiments and opinions) that may predict potential risks to programme implementation and airport development. The methodology leverages the latest developments in natural language processing, specifically transformers, and compares the outcomes of these newer models with those of more traditional lexicon-based algorithms.
    Keywords: airport community engagement; natural language processing; sentiment analysis; risk assessment

  • Flight departure delay forecasting
    Juan Gerardo Muros Anguita, International Graduate School, Universidad de Granada and Oscar Díaz Olariaga, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universidad Santo Tomás

    The most accurate methods to predict delays have become essential to mitigate their generation and proliferation (and prevent their spread to other airports in the network). Given that both the delay time dependence function and the input variables on which it depends are not fully known, the objective of this research is to predict the delays in the departure of scheduled commercial flights through a methodology that uses predictive tools based on machine learning/deep learning (ML/DL), with supervised training in regression, based on the available flight datasets. The novel contribution of this work is, first, to make a comparison of the predictions in terms of means and statistical variance of the different ML/DL models implemented (ten in total) and, secondly, to determine the coefficients of the importance of the features or flight attributes. Using ML methods known as permutation importance, it is possible to rank the importance of flight attributes by their influence in determining the delay time and reduce the problem of selecting the most important flight attributes. The data for the analysis was obtained from the Colombian airport system for the year 2018. From the results obtained, it is worth mentioning that the model that presents the best performance is the Ensemble, or combination method of Random Forest Regressor models, configured with 2,000 trees within the forest, with an acceptable prediction range measured with the root-mean-square-error (RMSE) metric of 16 to 33 minutes (prediction of time of the flight departure delay) depending on the scenario analysed.
    Keywords: flight delay prediction; air traffic; airport; air transport; aviation

  • ACI update

Volume 17 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • eVTOLS and vertiports: Operations and infrastructure for a new and sustainable way to fly
    Kevin E. Cox, Chief Executive Officer, Ferrovial Vertiports

    The world is on the cusp of a zero-carbon revolution in urban mobility. Within a few years, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) and vertiports will be operational across the globe. This is new, uncharted territory which needs some guidelines to help airport operators understand the commercial impetus behind vertiport development, and what eVTOL operators believe this new market needs. In particular, airports will want to know how they can connect to, and benefit from, urban air mobility. This paper describes the three main business models that eVTOL operators are working towards. It explains why vertiport designers must accommodate all those approaches and more. It then goes into some detail describing the factors that influence the selection and development of a vertiport location, together with the operational and regulatory requirements. This paper emphasises the importance of working with local communities because a vertiport network can only be effective if it is embedded in the community. Throughout the paper, there is a particular emphasis on the role that airport operators can play in helping to build this new industry. It shows how they can tap into this market to improve their own connectivity, ease local congestion and potentially open up routes to new groups of passengers.
    Keywords: eVTOL, vertiport, connectivity, urban air mobility (UAM) sustainability, aviation

  • Getting more out of less: Capacity management for existing airport terminals
    Tim Hudson, Principal, Global Practice Area Leader — Aviation, Gensler

    In the arena of airport terminal design, operators and architects are faced with how to capitalise on opportunities to create additional operational space where none exists. The assumption that capacity challenges are solved by expansion or building new exterior areas can be costly and disrupt passenger efficiencies. By identifying underutilised or functional areas that can be repurposed, existing terminal capacity can be expanded within the current footprint, thus delivering a higher level of passenger experience, and extending the life of existing facilities. This paper examines current capacity issues airports are encountering, provides examples of what they are doing to solve the problem and offers practical solutions to increase passenger levels within existing terminals, so they can properly prepare for the future.
    Keywords: capacity management, repurposing terminal facilities, technology solutions, managing passenger traffic, preparing for the future

  • Narita Airport’s journey for establishing an end-to-end biometric passenger experience
    Hideharu Miyamoto, Executive Director, Executive Divisional Director, Corporate Planning Division, Narita International Airport Corporation (NAA)

    The paper shares the experience, challenges and efforts to introduce expedited pre-boarding passenger at Narita Airport through digital technology under the impact of COVID-19. The digitalised ‘Fast Travel’ processing enables more stringent ID checks with consistency, improved efficiency and customer experience using biometric and automation technology to achieve the following improvements in customer experience triggered by a survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The paper also covers pending issues, such as the lack of stress testing and identification of issues that require improvement to serve a larger mass traffic volume as cross-border travel restarts around the world. It is hoped that the contents of the paper may contribute to inspire airports and stakeholders around the world to jointly establish a digitalised pre-boarding procedure that is globally interoperable with a standardised processing and synchronisation of datasets that is protected by a holistic security framework.
    Keywords: automation, boarding, biometric, customer experience, digital, passenger process

  • From vision to reality: Dallas Fort Worth Airport’s Integrated Operations Center
    Steve Roque, Assistant Vice President, Integrated Operations Center and Lance Bodine, Vice President, Integrated Operations Center, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Irene Clark

    In 2017, after several high-profile incidents at domestic airports, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration Administrator, emphasised the need for integrated facilities, staffed by teams from both internal and external stakeholders, to work collaboratively on day-to-day operations, incidents and events. Consideration for the complexity of the air travel landscape and the opportunities presented with technological advances, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) executive leadership developed a strategic initiative to create such a capability. In April of 2021, DFW’s Integrated Operations Center (IOC) opened its doors. What it took to get from concept to reality is the focus of this paper. Lessons were learned along the way related to several factors, such as managing an operational and cultural change, balancing the human element with the technological and pivoting from an operational model based on reacting to events and situations to a model that is more predictive in nature.
    Keywords: safe and secure, airports, integrated, DFW Airport

  • Keeping the heart and soul of America’s best airport
    Vince Granato, Chief Projects Officer, Port of Portland and Sharron Van Der Meulen, Managing Partner, ZGF

    How do you improve an airport so beloved that passengers write poems and songs about it? Consistently hailed as ‘America’s Best Airport’, Portland International Airport is increasing capacity by 65 per cent to accommodate 35m passengers over the next two decades. A series of transformative projects will consolidate 80 years of expansion and renovation into one floorplate while doubling the main terminal’s footprint to deliver more fun, more food and more flow. Amid this future growth and a current pandemic, learn how PDX is maintaining its uniquely curated local character cherished by both passengers and employees. This paper describes how to establish a distinct regional identity via passenger journey mapping, the integration of local, sustainable materials to create a sense of place while also reducing carbon footprint, how to use daylight, biophilia and sightlines as well as local amenities to reduce traveller stress, planning and design choices that establish an equitable passenger journey for all and engineering and construction considerations to minimise passenger disruption while keeping the airport fully operational.
    Keywords: change management, construction, airport growth, aviation design, best practices

  • Airports and the rise of eVTOL
    Beth Bernitt, Senior Vice President and Co-Leader, Global eVTOL Initiative, AECOM, et al.

    A new form of aircraft — electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) — holds the potential to upend the transportation industry. Some eVTOLs are crosses between a helicopter and a traditional aeroplane, combining the vertical take-off of helicopters with the horizontal flight of aeroplanes. Others take on a more drone-like appearance. They are the next wave in aviation innovation and are expected to be flying as soon as 2025. As with any new and evolving industry, there are a myriad of questions to be answered. Here we discuss the advent of the eVTOL industry, why airports should be paying attention, and the impacts this new form of transportation may have on airports and their functions, including eVTOL-specific energy, aviation, regulation, emergency and infrastructure needs.
    Keywords: eVTOL, energy, infrastructure, regulation, commercial, aviation, emergency

  • Enhancing operational efficiencies by minimising the taxiing time of arriving aircraft at IGIA, New Delhi
    Rajib Das, Research Scholar and Shibnath Banerjee, Professor, Department of Management, Brainware University and Pijus Kanti Bhuin, Secretary, Vyasadeva Educational and Charitable Trust

    Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) has been experiencing a ground delay programme for decades, resulting in huge cost to all the concerned stakeholders. Examining the present operating time of arriving aircraft, it was found that, in contrast to other international airports, DEL suffers from additional fuel costs, environmental degradation, and loss of passengers’ precious time. The tabulated data collected between September 2020 and June 2022 reveals that an average of more than 75 per cent of arriving aircraft takes longer than the 4 to 5 minutes achieved at other international airports. The data analysis reveals that, despite capacity enhancement initiatives, taxiing time for arriving commercial flights at DEL is significantly higher than the internationally set benchmark. This paper investigates the root cause of the problem and recommends short-term as well as long-term solutions.
    Keywords: airports, ground delay programme, DEL, taxiing delay, optimisation of taxiing time

  • ACI update