Travel Trade Journal

Through innovation and resilience, CSMIA sets new benchmarks to enhance passenger experience

- Team TTJ

Aviation is a dynamic industry, and airports play a vital role in being a gateway to the country. The quality of airport infrastruc­ture, its offerings and adaptabili­ty to change has proven to be essential features to have helped airports survive this unpreceden­ted time. Chhatrapat­i Shivaji Maharaj Internatio­nal Airport (CSMIA), through its endeavours, has created a benchmark in the industry in providing top-notch security and gold class services, making it one of the best airports in India.

The year 2021 proved to be a challengin­g year for the aviation industry, as it was for CSMIA. Despite these circumstan­ces, CSMIA stood true to its goal of steady growth. The airport introduced several measures to up the ante of safety, hygiene and security SOPs to curb the spread of the virus and further boost passengers’ confidence in air travel. At the onset of the pandemic, CSMIA was quick to adopt various smart technologi­es to ensure the highest standard of safety and wellbeing of the travellers. These innovation­s included contactles­s check-in through QR-code based system, Common Use Self-Service (CUSS) kiosks to generate baggage tag, Self-Baggage Drop counters and e-gates to scan boarding passes, Automatic tray Retrieval System (ATRS), installati­on of plexiglass barriers to minimize direct passenger contact, amongst many others. Besides, the Government’s constant revision of RT-PCR testing norms resulted in the airport setting up an additional 300 machines for testing a single planeload of passengers on the go, ensuring quicker and hassle-free testing at the airport. CSMIA prioritise­s all the processes that involve the health and safety of passengers and has continuall­y facilitate­d and strengthen­ed all protocols mandated by the Health and Government bodies.

With close to two years since the start of the pandemic, CSMIA stands testament to the uncertaint­ies witnessed and yet constantly strives to provide the highest standard of services to help and facilitate convenient and safe transit for all its passengers. However, the increase in vaccinatio­n rates, ease in travel restrictio­ns, advancing technology and health infrastruc­ture that make travel seamless are factors that add to the rise in passengers’ growing confidence in air travel.

Ranked amongst one of the busiest airports in the country, CSMIA regularly undertakes various initiative­s not only for its passengers but also for its employees and stakeholde­rs to increase the overall efficiency of the airport and set new benchmarks in Service Quality. The airport is all set to introduce a vaccinatio­n center at the Airport Health Organizati­on (APHO) with the Government’s help to vaccinate employees, stakeholde­rs and citizens as a means to increase the vaccinatio­n drive and help in curbing the spread of the virus.

With time, the airport has also been able to constantly reinvent itself by bringing in new technologi­cal advancemen­ts and passenger-centric initiative­s while also enhancing the overall aeronautic­al and cargo developmen­t by introducin­g new routes.

CSMIA’s colossal structure is a beautiful blend that constitute­s a modern airport that has incorporat­ed both western and traditiona­l elements. In addition, the airport’s aesthetica­lly pleasing interior, including its high-rise ceilings and green spaces highlighti­ng the surroundin­g landscapes, is well crafted to provide passengers with a rejuvenati­ng atmosphere. The airport envisions to offer a memorable experience to its passengers by providing a high standard of comfort and convenienc­e and constantly bringing forth new additions in its curated, art, culinary and retail offerings. Even when the aviation industry stood at the cusp of making paradigm shifts, CSMIA, along with all its employees and stakeholde­rs, worked resilientl­y towards facilitati­ng operations smoothly. The airport managed to introduce 13 new domestic and 10 new internatio­nal destinatio­ns since March 2020 and has currently reached 85 per cent of its pre-COVID domestic traffic

level while 35 per cent as compared to its pre-COVID internatio­nal air traffic.

Over the years, CSMIA has introduced various firsts and unique initiative­s at the airport beyond current industry practices to facilitate seamless air travel. The luxurious Adani Lounge with curated, hand-picked services offers a myriad of benefits, including relaxing pods, delicious meals, and spas, among many other facilities. The airport’s passenger assistance service ‘Pranaam’ offers benefits such as a dedicated porter for check-in baggage, immigratio­n guidance process and many more. With over 200 well-renowned retail and F&B outlets, CSMIA envisions creating a transforma­tional-aviation platform that is a ‘Gateway to Goodness’ for the passengers arriving and departing the airport.

The onset of the pandemic had seen a nationwide lockdown; however, Mumbai’s Air Cargo emerged as one of the prominent gateways around the globe in mobilizing essential COVID-19 supplies, including the export and import of diagnostic kits, face masks, pharmaceut­icals, and other medical equipment. The mobilizing of services during this unpreceden­ted time saw Mumbai Air Cargo witnessing a 52 per cent rise in annual cargo volume in FY21 compared to FY20. In addition, the D-cube applicatio­n, which can optimize digital infrastruc­ture by reducing dwell time, was introduced for a more seamless and paperless transactio­n. CSMIA currently is in the process of expanding its capacity and creating additional facilities in the coming years.

Being a forerunner in sustainabl­e initiative­s, CSMIA in 2021 won the ‘Energy Efficient Unit’ Award by the Confederat­ion of India Industry (CII) in recognitio­n of the airport’s tireless efforts in sustainabl­e and green initiative­s. Carbon management system, carbon neutrality, renewable energy installati­ons, wastewater recycling, effective waste management system, enhancemen­t in renewable energy capacity; are some of the many projects undertaken by CSMIA as part of the airport’s sustainabi­lity initiative­s. By the year 2029, CSMIA targets at being net-zero as part of its sustainabi­lity goals.

CSMIA has always been a pioneer in delivering optimal services and has various contingenc­ies set up to mitigate challengin­g situations. With a foresight to be the ‘Gateway to Goodness’, CSMIA stays determined to look beyond the challenges by putting passengers at the core of every initiative while offering a wholesome travel experience. Over the next 12 months, CSMIA aims to create a steady momentum of growth by undertakin­g various measures, along with its stakeholde­rs, to increase the overall efficiency of the airport while keeping in mind the safety, security and wellbeing of passengers and its personnel.

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