Collaborative Stakeholder Management: how airports can benefit from CSM?

By Jean Luc Devisscher

10th August 2023

As any management expert will tell you, the success of every company depends on how teams work together not against each other and that is most obvious in the political world where governments work together - in a cross-party mode - to agree on common targets/actions are also the most productive ones.
We spoke to Christophe Coeymans, Head of Operations at BSCA and Mohammad Hourani, VP Products at EMMA Systems and discussed its ambitions and how the collaboration with airport solutions provider EMMA Systems will help achieve these.

Teamplay is a critical success factor and this is very clear in the aviation world which is a small world in itself. Different people - often belonging to several departments or providers - need to make sure to work together on several processes, one of such processes is the check-in or overall passenger handling. To run smoothly, collaboration between all parties at that level is critical for the first impression the passenger gets on his journey.

There are however several activities and processes in the passenger journey where teams need to closely work together, from check-in to the boarding process, one of the most obvious examples is people wanting to know how much time they have to shop, eat and drink and not waste waiting endlessly at the gate.

What travellers don’t know is that the number of people and teams involved behind that process, to prepare for boarding, to get the right information from ATC or airport operations etc... is immense. The fact that in a lot of airports there is no direct communication between these stakeholders - as most belong to different teams – on top of that they have different objectives making any process alignment needlessly complicated. Operations running smooth is mostly a matter of how teams get along and how the airport has set up how the different teams collaborate.

So why is Collaborative Stakeholder Management key for the passenger experience?

To run smooth operations, it’s critical that teams that collaborate on key processes at airports have common objectives, work closely together to not on only fulfill their own objectives but to guarantee a solid end-to-end approach for every process.

But to achieve this, teams don’t only need to agree on how they will collaborate, they also need to have the right process and tools in place to make it happen and to understand at any given time what they need to know (access to information) and how they need to act when certain “events” happen.

This is where Collaborative Stakeholder Management (CSM) is so critical for the success of any process at the airport and for all stakeholders involved.

One example describes very well the full process, like here the process of an arriving plane.

a) Define the full process: (described in the CONOPS), who does what, what process to follow, how to collaborate and what to do in unforeseen events
b) Get access to the latest information: correct gate, exact times of when the on-block will happen, etc...
c) Common tooling used by all the team members involved in the process to inform other teams of any delays or issues they have occurred so all are informed of the time of disembarkation and potential delays incurred by any of the teams involved

Excellent stakeholder management is critical to run smooth airport operations and guarantee an excellent passenger experience.

If teams can collaborate with the right tools, with real time data and according to common agreed processes then all stand to benefit not in the least the passenger.

To find out more about CSM and how EMMA can support any CSM review and set up contact