Described as the "forum not to be missed", this year's Passenger Terminal Conference (PTX) provided delegates and speakers from across the globe with a unique opportunity to come together and discuss all of the hot topics currently affecting the airport industry.
Held at the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center in Vienna, Austria, on 18-20 April, the event provided attendees with a platform for sharing new ideas and strategies, showcasing leading case studies, strengthening existing relationships and gaining new contacts. With over 1,000 people in attendance, the PTX 2012 conference offered new ways for delegates and speakers to interact through a wide variety of conferences and panel sessions.
Commenting on the great opportunities PTX 2012 had to offer, Zhi Wen Seoh, Manager, Changi Airport Group, who spoke at the Customer Service and Passenger Experience session on Day 2, said, "The conference allowed me to learn more about the latest airport developments and to hear from the industry new concepts and ideas. Most importantly, it provided an excellent platform for airports, airlines, regulators, vendors, suppliers, etc. from different parts of the world to interact and share their knowledge and experience."
Armando Brunini, Managing Director of Italy's Aeroporto Marconi Bologna presented during the Customer Service and Passenger Experience session on Day 1 of PTX. "I really enjoyed the other presentations of my session and found the speakers and the content of high standards – I took notes to bring back home and implement. From the speaker side, the conference was well organised and it was clear that there was a very professional organisation behind the event," he commented.
With a wide range of conference sessions taking place at PTX, the conference provided an "invaluable opportunity to share experiences with your peers, learn from the others, interact with suppliers, having access to solutions you would normally miss out on, and catch up with colleagues all over the world," according to Iberia Airlines' Airport Development Project Manager Alejandro Rivera Gil.
"For me PTX is a forum not to be missed. When the day-to-day requires from you more than you can give or you would like, this event enables you to make the best use of your time in just three days to keep up to date and get a global vision of what's going on at other airports," he added. "These are the main reasons why I would recommend this event. I am looking forward to next year's event."
Delegates to this year's conference had the opportunity to attend sessions on a huge range of topics, from airport design, planning and development to technology and processing, as well as environment and sustainability, commercial development and airport connections. According to attendees, all of the sessions were well attended and the opportunity for speaker/delegate interaction through the medium of Q&A was very beneficial.
And Yves Duguay, Senior Vice President Operations and Customer Experience, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), commented, "I enjoyed the panel interface […] my presentation generated a lot of questions and then follow-up meetings with industry representatives following the presentation, so this was very positive for CATSA; I am looking forward to receiving the feedback from the attendees. I usually attend IATA Avsec conference every year and I saw the Passenger Terminal Conference as a chance to go beyond the security world and hopefully influence those involved in airport design and the marketing of products, leading to a greater passenger experience; this is the potential that I found in your conference."
Duguay's presentation, 'CATSA's commitment to securing a greater passenger experience – one passenger at a time – in collaboration with partners', took place on Day 2 of PTX and outlined CATSA's desire to deliver and create more value for passengers through building programmes, services and alliances focused on collaboration, learning and innovation.
The session on Security and Facilitation brought together a number of big names in the industry and saw discussions on checkpoints of the future, passenger flow management, aviation security threats and security staff awareness, among others.
Tony Smith, Senior Director at the UK Border Agency, discussed 'Managing major events: the UKBA London 2012 Olympic Programme' on Day 2 of PTX, which was a timely and popular presentation. Smith described the event as "impressive", adding, "it was a real pleasure to participate in panel discussions with so many experts from around the world. Well done and thank you!"
Dan Larsson, Security Manager at Swedavia, spoke at the Security and Facilitation session on Day 3 and described the conference as "well organised and a great opportunity to network with people in the same business."
Another topic covered during the three-day event was Environment and Sustainability, with presentations on US initiatives, lighting controls in buildings, how to improve ecological standards in a short space of time, and changing operational culture to deliver environmental efficiency and sustainability.
"The Passenger Terminal Conference is an excellent opportunity to get a broad overview of the most important issues in respect of customer and efficiency subjects in airport terminals,"Michael Eggenschwiler, Chief Executive Officer of Hamburg Airport explained. "The workshops add additional value considering the high competence of the speakers."
Speakers and delegates also conversed on the matter of Commercial Development, which proved to be an important issue during the event. Speakers discussed topics such as airport city planning, driving retail growth, the future of eating and drinking in travel hubs and creating a loyal customer base through social media, as well as many other engaging subjects.
Randy Goodman, General Manager – Concessions, Houston Airport System, said, "The 2012 Passenger Terminal Conference in Vienna offered great opportunities to exchange information and ideas with airports from around the world. The session topics for commercial management were relevant and educational."
Sunil Harman, Director of Aviation at Tallahassee Regional Airport, presented 'Transforming Florida state's capital city airport into an economic powerhouse' at the Commercial Development session on Day 3 and found the whole event to be extremely useful. "The Passenger Terminal Conferece is Europe's preeminent aviation conference, which consistently brings together an extraordinary line-up of airports from around the world to share their expertise and experience. I find the event to be extremely relevant in terms of lessons learned and at the leading edge of airport design, development and operations. Having had the opportunity to participate as speaker and attend, I always look forward to the next event knowing that the newest and best technologies will be displayed at the expo and best practices will be presented in the conference streams."
All in all the Passenger Terminal Conference 2012 was a huge success, with delegates and speakers alike confirming they gained a great deal of information about current issues affecting the industry.
Next year's Conference is expected to be even bigger and better, and will take place on 09-11 April 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland at Palexpo.
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