Airline Moves / Airport transformation
Following the opening of a major new piece of infrastructure at a large international hub airport Mike Forster led the creation of a development plan to optimise the use of existing infrastructure which had, until this date, been signiﬁcantly over capacity. This meant the airport was limiting passenger experience and the capability for growth for its airline customers. Additionally several new trends were emerging in the aviation sector which the airport was unable to adapt to, the most notable being the growing strength of the alliances.
The challenge therefore, following the move of the base carrier into the new terminal infrastructure, was to develop a plan which:
- allowed the alliances to co-locate
- maximised intra terminal transfer,
- gave all airlines equal opportunity for growth,
- allowed refurbishment of the existing facilities to deliver an equivalent passenger experience for all passengers.
The ﬁrst task was to develop a clear view of the long-term development strategy, to meet capacity demands over the following twenty years followed by a terminal occupancy strategy to govern the allocation of airlines to specific terminals. This was achieved by first positioning the two biggest alliances at the airport, ’oneworld’ and Star Alliance and this in turn dictated a logical location for the third alliance, Skyteam. Having allocated space to the largest blocks ofairlines the non-aligned airlines could be positioned according to available capacity. In the event 54 out of 90 airlines needed to move terminal and many remaining airlines needed to move around within the same terminal.
Having agreed the end position the next, and potentially more difficult task, was to agree the phased implementation plan. This involved refurbishing space vacated by airlines before moving in the next ones whilst keeping the service levels for all as equivalent as possible throughout the process. For some terminals it allowed some very radical refurbishment whilst others were more subject to incremental improvement.
The most significant part of this plan was to empty the oldest terminal, which was no longer adaptable to modern terminal standards, to allow it to be demolished and replaced by a phased new terminal. This new terminal will be the same standard as the first major terminal infrastructure when delivered in 2014.
This implementation plan needed to be agreed at every stage with the airlines and then built into a substantial capital plan which in turn had to be signed off by both the airport governance structures and the external regulatory bodies. Stakeholder management became the signiﬁcant area of resource to ensure it was properly managed.