"An outstanding conference"
More than 200 speakers selected from the world’s leading aviation authorities, airports, airlines, architectural companies and consultancies spoke at the much praised 16th international Passenger Terminal Conference in March 2010. Presentations covered current industry issues and developments in for airports and airlines, with expert speakers sharing their knowledge and insights with delegates from all over the world.
The main focus of the conference was on enhancing passenger experience and customer service in all airport processes and facilities. However this was just the tip of the ice-burg, as presentations covered a wide-ranging and diverse group of topics relevant to many fields of the aviation industry, seeing speakers leading intense discussions and attendees interacting in debates on many fascinating subjects. The numerous panel discussions throughout the three-day conference enabled up-to-the-minute learning, through questions and subsequently, conclusions.
The design and development sessions saw speakers comment on subjects varying from the terminal design of the 21st century, airport privatisation, and revenue management for non-aeronautical business. The level and quality of presentations was extremely high and there were some particularly excellent presentations by speakers from a number of international airports including Rome, Dallas Fort Worth, Dubai and Dublin.
Paolo Cambula, Head of Planning and Development Infrastructures from Aeroporti di Roma, spoke about Fiumicino Airport’s new terminal wayfinding. He said of the conference: “For me Passenger Terminal 2010 was fantastic because in every session there was very good organisation and quality of speakers, it has been an excellent experience. I found the airport planning and development session very interesting and rich in content. The conference covered all the issues relating to this topic, including integrating, design, and simulations around the world. The three-day event was an excellent networking opportunity and I discovered how other airport professionals are addressing the challenges and opportunities.”
Security and counter terrorism was another important topic of discussion raised in the presentations. Speaking on airport safety perspectives and initiatives was Detective Sergeant Neville Hay, from the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit at Gatwick Airport. He said: “The conference is all about sharing information, knowledge and experience. If somebody can take that away and use it in their own environment, then that’s great. This was my first passenger terminal Expo, I believe I was the only law enforcement officer speaking at the event. I thought it was extremely well organised and planned. It provided me with an opportunity to see the other side of the workings and setting up of an airport, the environment and community of those people involved and chance to network and discuss counter terrorism topics. As a speaker it also provided an excellent opportunity to provide others with an awareness of Project Griffin, as one delegate said to me, "what a simple idea, but so very effective". Gatwick airport is the lead airport in the UK for Project Griffin, and is co-ordinated by the Counter Terrorism Intelligence Unit (Special Branch.) It provides a cost effective airport community engagement project and we welcome any enquiries as a result of Passenger Terminal Expo.”
Eric Youngquist, Manager - Claim Area Management at United Airlines has attended the event previously and this year spoke on baggage processing, Youngquist said:: “It was one of the best Passenger Terminal conferences yet. The audience engagement was impressive and it was great to meet friends from past conferences and make new ones. The conference pulls together a diverse group of interests into a common venue that really works at get you thinking about the future of the industry and where your company fits into that picture. I am already looking forward to next year.”
Bruce Edwards, ICAO Fire and Rescue Expert, Deputy Project Manager, and Kristina Dores, ICAO Aerodrome Operations and Safety Management Systems Expert, both from Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan, spoke about overcoming the challenges of civil aviation in conflict zones and disaster areas. Edwards said: “The conference was a very rewarding opportunity to get people thinking about civil aviation in very difficult and challenging environments. It was also great to see old friends, make new ones and see all the new equipment and systems on the exhibit floor. Hats off to the all the people that worked so hard to pull off such a top-notch event”
One of the fastest-growing areas in the world for aviation is the Middle East, and topics discussed on this subject included the nature and role of these airports within their countries, delivering capacity at congested airports, and the increase of passenger traffic growth in this region of the world. Hari K Marar, Chief Operations Officer, Bengaluru International Airport, spoke about the strategic framework for operations of a greenfield airport.
He said: “The conference at Brussels was an exceptionally well organised event, with high quality participation both in terms of speakers and attendees. The topics covered were relevant and insightful. The organisation itself was excellent in terms of conference aids, sticking to deadlines, and logistics. Personally, as a speaker, the quality of inputs, guidelines and directions provided were of the highest quality, and not once did I ever have to ask for clarifications. The clarity and thoroughness of all speaker communication deserves much kudos.”
The effects that aviation has on the environment were also brought under the spotlight, with presentations focusing on sustainability, climate change and incorporating these into the design and development of new airports.
Emanuel Fleuti, Head of Environment at Flughafen Zürich, spoke about environmental opportunities in airport development and operation. “I enjoyed the opportunity in the session to exchange our experiences in airport environmental programmes and compare our work. The conference again provided an invaluable platform to identify the latest developments in the industry.”
Alan Craig, Head of International Liaison at the UK Border Agency, speaking about the border control and security session said: “An excellent border control day at Passenger Terminal Expo 2010. A range of informative presentations, keen interaction by the audience and well-managed panel sessions all made for a successful event”.
Other conference sessions covered included crisis communication, PRT and APMs at airports and beyond, and the IATA baggage improvement program.
Janine McEvilly, Conference Director at UKIP Media & Events who organised the speakers and programme commented: “I’m delighted with this year’s conference. The discussions between the speakers and the audience have been excellent and many attendees have sought me out to congratulate me in person. Not only have we had another fantastic turn-out of well-known and qualified speakers, but the attendees themselves have been at the same level, with the desire to move the industry onwards and upwards!”
The Skytrax World Airport Awards were held on the first day of the conference. The popular Singapore Changi Airport was named Airport of the Year, and the Top 10 Airports of 2010 and the winner of the title Airport of the Year were also announced, along with the best airport in each region.
Other categories include the Best Duty Free Shopping, Best International Transport Airport, Best Airport Dining, Best Security Processing and Best Baggage Delivery. The World Airport Awards are the premier recognition of quality for the world airport industry, assessing front-line customer service and general airport customer facilities. The awards are based on the 2009-2010 World Airport Survey, conducted by Skytrax between July 2009 and March 2010. The survey measures more than 38 aspects of passenger satisfaction for airport product and service standards.
Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO, said: “The first Skytrax World Airport Awards hosted at Passenger Terminal EXPO went down very well with people, and we have received a lot of good feedback from those that attended. The global press coverage was excellent too.”
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