Future-proof airports are resilient airports

During the Smart Airports Conference in Munich, Airport Practice Leader Anke Matijssen presented Deerns’ vision on future proof airports. Our vision centres on helping airports to adapt to change by taking advantage of technological developments. The ability to adapt to changes determines whether your airport will be future proof or not.

A survey of 30 of the world top airports shows that there are five key challenges airport operators name as their key strategic objectives, and these five challenges drive their resilience to the increasing hostile environment in which they operate. These key challenges are:

  • License to operate: ensuring compliance to international and local regulatory requirements
  • Customer experience: be attractive to airlines and passengers
  • Efficient operations: make optimum use of expensive infrastructure
  • Non-aeronautical revenues: overcome the fundamentally different business models of airlines and airport
  • Environmental stewardship: look after future generations

These challenges apply to all airports, but priorities will differ from airport to airport, depending on development stage, airport typology, geographic location and local rules and regulations / policies and the airport’s strategic objectives.

Technological developments provide opportunities to optimise performance in multiple areas that don’t just improve customer experience, or just improve efficiency of operations, but do both. Airports are in constant flux, facing renovation, needing expansion or in some case dealing with decline in traffic. Knowing which tech-advances can help is essential to become resilient and thus future-proof.