New age air­ports must be ag­ile, smart, and sus­tain­able, as well as rev­enue ef­fi­cient

NBM&CW - - AIRPORT STORY - Swati Sanyal Taraf­dar

In Septem­ber 2014, the Air­ports Author­ity of In­dia (AAI) had an­nounced that it would be build­ing 50 low-cost, no-frills air­ports all over the coun­try. This is in tan­dem with its Pol­icy on Air­ports that clearly lays down that “The qual­ity of air­port in­fra­struc­ture, which is a vi­tal com­po­nent of the over­all trans­porta­tion net­work, con­trib­utes di­rectly to a coun­try’s in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness and the flow of for­eign in­vest­ment.” To em­pha­size the im­por­tance of up­grad­ing the air­port in­fra­struc­ture in the coun­try, it clearly de­picts that “while cargo car­ried by air in In­dia weighs less than 1% of the to­tal cargo ex­ported, it ac­counts for 35% of the to­tal value of ex­ports. Bet­ter cargo han­dling fa­cil­i­ties lead to en­hanced lev­els of im­por­ta­tion, es­pe­cially of cap­i­tal goods and high-value items. Like­wise, 97% of the coun­try’s for­eign tourists ar­rive by air and tourism is the na­tion’s sec­ond largest for­eign ex­change earner.” This is only one as­pect of rev­enue gen­er­a­tion and as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture, de­sign, and ex­e­cu­tion con­sid­er­a­tions around air­ports.

A ma­jor shift in the de­sign pol­icy and con­sid­er­a­tions have been no­ticed in the var­i­ous new, en­ergy ef­fi­cient, and green air­ports that have come up in the var­i­ous tier 2 cities of In­dia. The larger and more im­por­tant ones have un­der­gone ma­jor ren­o­va­tion for im­proved ef­fec­tive­ness – mostly they re­quired to ac­com­mo­date a higher num­ber of pas­sen­gers but they also fo­cused on user per­cep­tions, and worked with in­no­va­tive ma­te­ri­als and de­signs to bring in a feel­ing of abun­dance of space, com­fort, and artistry.

Evo­lu­tion of Smart Air­ports

In a study on Air­port Evo­lu­tion ti­tled Smart Air­ports: Trans­form­ing Pas­sen­ger Ex­pe­ri­ence To Thrive in the New Econ­omy in July 2009, Cisco In­ter­net Busi­ness So­lu­tions Group (IBSG) pro­jected two sig­nif­i­cant char­ac­ter­is­tics of new age, sus­tain­able, air­ports that con­vert pas­sen­ger com­fort to rev­enue gen­er­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, th­ese ag­ile air­ports adapt well to a chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment and fast-paced op­er­a­tional tempo. It says, “Tech­nol­ogy-en­abled col­lab­o­ra­tion is highly evolved through­out th­ese air­ports and is im­ple­mented across busi­ness units and func­tional si­los. Busi­ness en­ti­ties and ecosys­tem part­ners share in­for­ma­tion quickly and seam­lessly, en­abling ag­ile air­ports to re­spond rapidly to en­vi­ron­men­tal and

• Ag­ile Air­ports:

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