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See you in Cologne!

Published on  24 February by Etienne van Zuijlen , Senior Manager, Airport Operations
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In a couple of weeks, from 15 to 17 March, air transport industry managers and experts will gather for the annual airport event Passenger Terminal Expo. This year we will meet in Cologne, Germany, a short trip for me coming from Amsterdam.

As every year, besides the exhibition itself - which I always enjoy because you can meet and catch-up with almost everyone who matters in the industry and check out the latest airport technology available - there is the Passenger Terminal Conference. This year’s conference is shaping up to have some great discussions.

A few of us at SITA are involved including my colleague Catherine Mayer who will be co-chairing the Customer Service and Passenger Experience track on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th. On Thursday, Jerry Zeephat, will be speaking about interactive Airport Apps and how SITA’s is driven by beacons, APIs and the coolest airport maps on the market. I’ll be hosting the Management and Operations tracks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Towards Total Airport Management

I must admit I’m quite excited about the Management and Ops panel I’m chairing. I’m lucky to have some great experts on the panel who will share their expertise including Heini Noronen-Juhola (VP Helsinki Airport, Finavia), Karl-Heinz Keller (DLR/German Aerospace Center, AT-One), Velissarios Eleftheriou (A-CDM Implementation Manager, Dubai Airports) and Marcelo Mota (Director of Operations & COO, Aeroportos Brasil Viracopos) who together have decades of experience.

On Tuesday morning Goran Isakovski from SITA will kick off the Management and Operations track with insights on worldwide delays and their massive - partly avoidable - costs. We are then going to look at what airports and their partners can, and should do, to improve flight, passenger and baggage operations. 

Following many years of research, trials, standardization and implementation guidance airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) and more recently, total airport management (TAM) were invented to improve operations. But after almost two decades, only 20 airports, almost all in Europe, have fully implemented the first step, A-CDM. This is despite the fact that it has major proven benefits and a quick pay back ratio. And it is only now that we see the first airports starting to embrace TAM.

Making it real

So why is it so difficult to do this in the real world? The panel at PTE will discuss how both concepts require many different stakeholders and trained and motivated teams with dedicated procedures, all supported by automated systems. Experience shows that this needs to be underpinned by shared infrastructure and processes to efficiently respond to the inevitable delays and various (un)foreseen events that impact airport operations.

This is an opportunity to learn from real practitioners, from various backgrounds and regions. It’s the chance to use their experience with A-CDM, change management and technology to improve and speed up the much-needed implementation of the next acronym that you are going to start hearing more and more: TAM.  We’ll also discuss TAM’s components, shared rolling plans and virtual, or real, integrated control rooms.

These are insights not to be missed so come along on Tuesday March 15th and hear what the experts have to say.

If you can’t wait three weeks to hear how airports can cope better with disruptions and optimize the use of resources, read Integrate, orchestrate, collaborate. This paper takes an in-depth look at the challenges, opportunities and solutions that impact operational efficiency, and is an excellent primer for PTE. See you in Cologne!

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