Emerging Challenges in Airport Management

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Project Assignment – Air Transport Management (ATM -1)
(Submitted by: Mohd. Khalid Khan)

Title: “ Emerging Challenges in Airport Management – Way Forward “

Introduction: The last few years has seen an exponential growth in the aviation industry. Aviation infrastructure has expanded to include hundreds of airports and airlines around the world. New airports have mushroomed in places which were hardly known to the world, existing airports have upgraded their facilities, new terminals have come up and multiple airlines have been setup. The volume of people who choose aviation as a transport has considerably grown. The aviation industry is in full bloom and so are the problems associated with it. The problems inherent to the industry have become much more complex while new ones keep coming up.

“All Airports have the same issues – the only difference is the number of passengers impacted” – B.Restall (Saskatoon Airport Authority) With each passing day a set of new challenges emerge in the aviation industry. Airport management needs to be focussed on these new issues and find a way to properly and efficiently manage them.

The following are the identifiable key issues and new thrust areas in Airport Business Management. All the following points are in relevance with the current scenario of the Aviation industry. These points need to be explored and applied in the best possible way. Noticeable Challenges in Airport Management in this new era are : 1) Planning and Development of Airport Capacity.

2) Fundings for Airport Growth and Expansion.
3) Opportunities to cut costs.
4) Managing Airport Congestion.
5) Impact of Low Cost Carriers (LCC`s) to the aviation industry. 6) Impact of Environmental policies and regulations.

1) Planning and development of Airport capacity:
Capacity refers to the ability of an airport to handle a given volume or magnitude of traffic (demand) within a specified time period. Since there is a marked increase in both volume of passengers and aircrafts, this is a major challenge in the management of Airports. Four distinct elements in a capacity analysis are:

a) Airspace
b) Airfield
c) Terminal
d) Ground access
A major goal of air traffic management is to strategically control the flow of traffic so that the demand at an airport meets but does not exceed the operational capacity. Since demand for airport service is not uniform and constant but highly variable from time to time and place to place, the root of airport capacity problem is how to handle fluctuations in demand without unacceptable delay.

A representation of airport capacity that properly reflects an airport's operational limits should be discussed. Estimation of practical airport capacities under various operational conditions to best satisfy the expected traffic demand should be made. 1. A forecast should be made of the conditions that might prevail at the end of the planning period, typically around 20 years from the time of the exercise.

2. An evaluation should be carried out for each of the options, using the forecast loads on the system.
3. The selection of the plan as the option that performs optimally under the conditions forecast.

2) Funds for Airport Growth and Expansion :

The aviation industry experienced massive growth in the 1980s and 1990s. Economic growth and globalisation have seen demand for air travel grow rapidly in the last 20 years, and all the economic and demographic evidence points to this trend accelerating. At the same time, planning and constructing new infrastructure takes an extremely long time and history has shown the construction of new airports and the expansion of existing ones to be highly controversial. In this age of rapid growth almost all airports around the world are...
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