I am absolutely certain that airport management is one of the most (if not the most) complex and challenging jobs in the business world.
The huge numbers of people passing through make it very unpredictable. There are always problems to solve: anything from a late passenger to a security breach to extreme weather conditions. All issues must be dealt with quickly and efficiently, because people will start talking if they’re not – both to customers in their proximity and on social media.
But don’t give up and run away to a tropical island just yet. You can streamline planning and co-ordination between different airport divisions. It is entirely possible to keep disruptions to an absolute minimum and deal with them quickly when they do occur. Naturally, all of this means you’ll save on costs – both in terms of money and in terms of time, stress and worry.
1. Flexibility is key
Adopting flexible working patterns is the key to success. When your planning system allows for different working patterns over weeks and months, it’s much simpler to keep things running smoothly. You can easily identify, for example, who can take on another a shift, or what parts of the airport will require extra cleaning or more security personnel. You’ll know who to call in if there’s a sudden change in plans.
You’ll also know when you’ll need less staff on the ground, which means you won’t have to pay people when there’s no work for them to do.
2. Plan ahead
Plan far ahead. Plan for different scenarios. What if your region is expecting vast quantities of snow? What if several customs officials can’t make it to work? What if there’s a security breach? What if there are several?
Adding a planning optimizer that’s adapted to your specific needs is incredibly empowering. You’ll have the knowledge to thoroughly manage the airport. You’ll know you can balance the needs of your staff, airlines, passengers and service providers. And then you can be secure in the knowledge that you can deal with disruptions (and that they’re likely to be minor).
While disruptions are a part of airport life, managing them effectively is essential. It keeps costs low. It makes a monumental task easier. And it brings peace of mind to airport operators, staff and passengers, because they know that no matter what happens, there’s a plan in place to take care of it.
There’s more to effectively managing airport disruptions than flexibility and advanced planning. Discover more tips when you download our management briefing.