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 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