27th Oct, 2022
The past summer season has for many airports – notwithstanding the turmoil many have faced because of understaffing at both airports and airlines – been a life savior. Airports that have addressed the upcoming challenges re workforce in a timely manner can even speak of an excellent season that has seen them surpassing even their 2019 figures. But more can be done to keep the momentum and even address staff shortages. We spoke to the EMMA Systems founders to understand what airports can do to keep or gain momentum.
Let’s first ask how your summer has been?
Wisam Costandi, CEO,: “We have been very busy in helping one of our key references prepare for going live with their A-CDM platform and have of course been having a long series of meetings and discussions with airports interested in moving to the world of collaborative decision making. We have been helping them to define potential approaches and calculating the clear benefits of adopting A-CDM. We see that many airports have been surprised by the fast uptake of passengers wanting to travel and go to sunny locations, after two years of being stuck home thanks to COVID so they are looking for new and old ways to be able to better face the recent challenges.”
Airports want to keep momentum with traffic coming back to pre-COVID levels?
Mohammed Hourani, COO,: ”That is correct but it’s not only about creating momentum, it’s also about preparing for what the future brings. Doing more with less and understanding how stakeholders can work better together is key to create a prosperous future. Whatever the future brings, there is also a lot of uncertainty, from kerosene prices to a decrease in disposable income and even a potential slowdown in cargo traffic. What remains is people’s willingness to travel, there is less willingness to drop travel from the family budget than there is a will to drop other things. People need distraction and this is what travel can bring them. But budgets will not be the same which means that even if travel remains a key part of the family budget, there will be overall less money to spend impacting airlines and airports bottom line. The only way to tackle this is through efficiency, efficiency and efficiency.
So airports need to revisit the way they run their business?
Wisam Costandi, CEO,: “There are a lot of missed opportunities as we often continue doing things because we always did them the way we do, we often lack the full picture and don’t have the means to fully understand how we can do things differently, more efficiently without extensive investments or expansions. If airports have access to all key airport data, they would be able to take faster and better decisions that can save money and create more efficient operations. I believe it’s often easier to invest into an expensive airport expansion than it is to bring all stakeholders together and figure out what is blocking any efficiency gains or a better concerted approach in light of an improved passenger experience
Mohammed Hourani, COO, “Is simple. (1) Bring the right people together to discuss the current processes for example around turn-around management and see how operations can run more efficient according to those that are on the fence line every day. (2) Agree on the ideal way of collaborating between all key stakeholders with efficiency in mind for both the stakeholders and the passengers (3) Describe the new agreed processes in the ConOps, create clear ownerships and (4) Capture processes and results in an efficient tool that can easily be adapted to fit the users needs (not everyone needs to see everything) and the daily tools he or she uses. Finally (5) Revisit what you have achieved on a regular basis and discuss with all contributors. Collaborative Decision Making is about just that, making stakeholders work closely together, agree on common targets and KPI’s and measure them permanently. The impact will be immediate, sizeable and lasting, the costs neglectable, the motivation to follow this new path very high. A-CDM is about making big gains in a relative short time frame but more importantly it’s being felt on both sides, by airport staff and passengers and of course airport management reaping the financial benefits from airport operations that are more closely knit together than ever before.