The purpose of this report is to evaluate airports and their importance to tourists and how they generate their income. It will also identify the key components of the tourism industry, and recognise the upcoming trends and technology advancements that have recently influenced the airline industry by using industry examples. Future strategies and recommendations will be made to try and improve on any areas that are possibly lacking in airports.
1.1 Importance to tourists
The travel and tourism industry has key components that make up a tourists holiday which are travel agents, tour operators, accommodation and transport. There are many organisations functioning within these specific areas that benefit the industry significantly, however without these components the tourist would not have a complete Holiday and airports have a massive role to play within the industry. Without airports tourists would be unable to reach their destination in such speed, less destinations would be available worldwide and it would make commuting between countries very difficult. Airports are incredibly important to tourists as they offer many services to suit the tourist needs and without these they would be unable to reach their destination easily and effectively.
2.0 Airport operations
Airports in general are usually owned by a company or joint companies and are separated in to two areas, land side and air side. Landside is where the check in process begins, a number of tour operators employ staff to work within the airport on the check in desks to assist customers with airport check in. Technology has advanced so much within the airline industry making it easier for customers to go through the airport process by checking in online and using ticketless airlines such as Ryan air. Franchises are also set up on the land side of the airport such as star bucks, WHSmith and numerous fast food chains, these franchises rent the space off the airport for the chance to operate within. The Gate operations and baggage sorting are very important in the whole system that is landside, as without the attention to detail baggage may be lost or turn up in a different country altogether and aircrafts or passengers may go to the wrong gate without these systems in place.
The airside area of the airport is significantly more elaborate with many security measures in place to prevent terrorism, such as checking all carry on baggage for dangerous items. There are also air bridges which enable passengers to safely embark and disembark on to the aircrafts, which the airlines are responsible for. It is also the airlines responsibility to move the baggage to and from the aircraft either by employing people or using third parties. There are many responsibilities of the airlines and operating an airport is very difficult. Cargo is a big part of the airlines responsibility and “over a million metric tonnes of Cargo runs through the BAA’s airports each year” (BAA 2010). Another highly important factor that helps to operate the airside of the airport is Air Traffic control, without the control tower aircrafts will not be able to leave the airport as they need designated air slots and specific times to take off and land. If these allocations were not in place there may be a collision in the skies and on the run way, air traffic control also tracks the aircrafts progress and altitude whilst up in the air and can assist in most problems the aircraft may have. According to national air traffic services (2010) “NATS provides air traffic control services to aircrafts flying in UK airspace, and over the eastern part of the North Atlantic. Last year, NATS handled some 2.2 million flights carrying around 200 million...