Airport Stakeholder Management: how to get everyone on the same line?

By Jean Luc Devisscher
1st Sep, 2022

During one of our recent conversations with a globally respected airport we got a very interesting question. How to assure that every level in the airport understands their role when it introduces a new operational management system and is truly motivated to use a new system?

Not all stakeholders have the same understanding of the issues at an airport and - typically human - they will only look at the part they can manage or change themselves.

Many companies introduce big new IT systems, e.g. the ERP system or a new CRM system is a typical example of this but they often forget that not everyone needs to understand the full system but rather the part they “own” meaning use and manage.

Of course it’s always key to show people the big picture, what happens if everyone uses the airport tooling the right way, what is the positive impact on every individual and what impact if we would not be using one system to manage all operations in a consistent way?.

At an airport things are no different, management needs to be able to understand the full dashboard of what is happening where, what is causing delays, what needs to be revisited and what stakeholders or groups of stakeholders need to be addressed to avoid certain issues from happening again. The person that is handling the luggage has a need to get updates on what plane is next, what gate, how many bags, how many transit passengers and number of transit destinations etc… his/her role is to get the luggage out according to the process defined by the company and within the given timeframe.

If (s)he is late with luggage handling this has an impact on the other services around the plane and needs thus to be reported so all stakeholders understand the issues and eventually the reason for the delay. If (s)he focuses on his/her task and potential impacts by others on that task, then this is the most critical aspect to focus on.

The ease of use of the reporting, the tools, the understanding of the parameters that will be measured (preferably part of the wider stakeholder measurements not solely the measurement of his/her task alone) and how (s)he can contribute positively so turn-around time can be met, are the key parameters. Understanding these performance indicators and the wider impact (s)he has on the on time arrival or departure of the planes (s)he needs to handle are what really matters.

What often fails is to make sure each individual understands the impact of what (s)he as an individual has on the entire chain of events around the turn-around management of an incoming or outgoing plane.

It’s note only critical to use the right tools, it’s even more critical for him or her to understand the chain of events that will lead to on time departure and happy passengers as this impacts the success of the company and of the individual during evaluation discussions.


  1. Make sure to illustrate the bigger picture of what the airport / airline aims to achieve
  2. Make sure to have each individual be heard about what (s)he sees as blocking factors for him or her to do his role smoothly.
  3. Show the role of each party - in this case the turn-around process - and the impact of delays at certain levels including his or her own
  4. Demonstrate the role one individual can play in the entire range of activities and how one element can disturb the entire chain
  5. Make sure that (s)he understands how (s)he will be evaluated and what objective criteria will be used – depending upon the function this is either based on individual or group performance
  6. Errors are human, leave room for errors as we can only learn from them and use them to make others understand how to avoid them
  7. Repeat, repeat, repeat,… nothing works from day 1 so make sure you understand what the users think, what they like, what they hate and adapt. If processes don’t work then make them work by changing them. Nothing is ever engraved in stone.

The end user is your key target for improving airport operations, no airport has ever been successful by Boardroom management alone.

Make sure to involve all key interfaces in improving the overall process so all airport staff are happy working with solutions they understand and that help them and make sure they also see the positive impact of how passengers experience the airport.

At EMMA Systems we don’t believe in implementing systems, we believe in implementing solutions that understand the role of all individuals at the airport and that considers what does (not) work and addresses these elements before implementing any operational management solution at the airport.

Want to find out more as to how we address stakeholder management? Contact us on or visit .