What are the biggest opportunities airport operators can seize in the next five to 10 years?
There is a broad range of opportunities for airport operators to take advantage of.
At one end of the spectrum, airport operators can focus on extracting maximum return by maintaining costly existing assets, including runways and terminals. In an increasingly cost-conscious environment, there will be significant opportunities for airport operators to bleed the lifecycle of assets through cost-effective maintenance.
At the other end of the spectrum, Asia’s expanding economy -- specifically China’s growing middle class -- bring a wealth of new opportunities for airport operators and developers in the region. If both can identify and understand the demands of this new demographic, they will have significant opportunities to design and deliver airport hubs that deliver significant revenue far beyond the runway.
Ultimately, airport operators need to have a good understanding where their revenue comes from in order to design terminals that maximise revenue opportunities. In my article titled, “Airport terminals: designing for profit” I talk more about understanding the behaviour of passengers and translating that understanding into revenue.
What makes aviation projects unique?
Aviation projects are multi-faceted, challenging and most importantly, all about balance. What makes aviation projects unique is the broad range of challenges inherent to each individual project.
Each project requires you to think holistically about how each area of an airport’s core functions and operations interact with one another.
As airport operators respond to the changing demands of aircraft movement and passenger activities, it’s imperative to find the right balance between maintaining optimal aviation operations and responding to airline and passenger demands by building additional capacity.
Coming from a background in buildings, designing airport terminals can also be a uniquely challenging process. Like all large public buildings, you need to think about the basics such as the safety of occupants during a fire or other emergency situations. However, there is a range not-so-basic factors that need to be incorporated into the design process such as stringent security and operational requirements core to an airports daily functions.
Why do you enjoy working in the aviation sector?
Airports are a definitely a challenge –- a very enjoyable one, to say the least!
Designing a solution that delivers to an airport’s complex overlay operational requirements whilst striving to achieve great architecture, engineering and, of course, great spaces for consumers to utilise can be immensely challenging but always rewarding when a successful outcome has been achieved for the client.
At the risk of sounding a little cliché, the ‘romance of travel’ has always appealed to me and made my job enjoyable. There is something interesting and exciting about the movement of people and culture through travel.
Working on aviation projects enables me to not only observe the experience of travel, culture and communication, but also to think and design solutions that enhance these experiences for current and future travelers.
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