So has Airports Council International done research to find out what passengers are concerned about?
ACI does an airport service quality survey. And then we all get to see what makes up the passenger’s perception; what’s important to the passenger. Cleanliness is the most important thing; it has like a 96 percent correlation with the overall score. And my theory on this is, it all has to do with the sense of feeling safe. Someone’s in charge, someone’s taking care of things, and I feel safe. And if they’re taking care of this, they’re taking care of everything.
What is ACI’s primary role in the industry?
It’s like a federated organization.You have ACI World that deals with issues and organizations at the worldwide level, ICAO in particular. And then there are five regions and they deal with the issues and organizations at that regional level.
ACI is playing a big role in developing the passenger experience of the future. Is the airport of tomorrow something we can look forward to seeing anytime soon?
A lot of it has started, particularly in the US. It’s been in the last year that it’s just catapulted suddenly. Maybe it is due to President Obama setting this goal of 100 million visitors by a certain date. So you start thinking, OK, what is it going to take to reduce those obstacles? And, voilá – what people can do when they’re given a target!
But is last century’s aviation system really ready to handle that growth?You have so many more channels of communication today.
And you have more players. Because now you have the passenger who’s a player, who didn’t used to be. I mean they just would show up at certain points. Now the passenger is at the very beginning making all kinds of choices, and will be able to make more choices going forward. Technology is enabling this, and very quickly. The slow part is we humans.
It seems commercial aviation is on the crest of a wave, leading the way in creating a truly global community.
I tell you, if aviation ran the world, there would be peace. We’re here to connect those dots. BT