Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Empower your Airport Duty Managers

Most often, operational problems are not caused by the airport infrastructure, but lie in the organization. You may find situations where daily operation is focused on airside and on troubleshooting only. Processes are hardly perceived as such and infrastructure and maintenance deficiences are considered to be issues of specialized services. Work is primarily reactive. Airport Duty Managers wait until a problem is reported and then try to resolve it or refer the caller to another department (maintenance & engineering, IT, cleaning, etc.). They do not feel responsible. The obvious reaction of the affected is to call senior airport executives instead to make things happen.

How can we empower our staff, intensify the dialogue with the airport partners and in particular implement a process focus?
  1. Assign responsibility for each core process to an Airport Duty Manager which covers infrastructure and quality of that process.
  2. Make sure that process weaknesses and infrastructure issues are continuously addressed in a structured manner.
  3. Define, implement and monitor service levels with internal and external partners.
  4. Discuss and implement contingency plans together with the partners.
  5. Establish a dialogue with partners on each management level with a discussion about quality and performance.
  6. Make partners aware of the issues and how you address them.
 And we may achieve
  • Better cooperation with partners.
  • Mutual understanding about each other's business and its issues.
  • Partners become more aware of what the airport actually delivers, day by day.
  • Airport users percieve the improvements in quality and performance and the image will improve.
  • More airlines are attracted.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

10 characteristics of Airport CDM culture

In their implementation manual Eurocontrol defines the requirements for an 'Airport CDM culture':
  • Agreed relevant data should be shared between all partners involved
    at the right time.
  • Data shared should be of sufficient quality to facilitate improved traffic
    predictability and planning capabilities for all partners involved.
  • Decisions should be made by the partner best placed to make them.
  • Decisions made should be shared with all other partners.
This sounds good, in theory. But how do we know? Here are 10 characteristics on how you can evaluate whether you have a CDM culture or not:

  1. Complete openness (well, I understand if you want to keep your financial data privately, but airlines: what is the problem with sharing your pax figures?)
  2. Admit your mistakes and errors (airport, please lead by example)
  3. No finger pointing
  4. Common and shared database (e.g. AODB as a central hub for flight information)
  5. Mixed working groups and task forces, so everybody participates in finding a solution
  6. Goodwill of all partners to find solutions
  7. Joint design of measures for improvement
  8. Experimental approach / test runs (do not underestimate the power of trials!)
  9. Free discussion of findings (the goal is always the same: we want to improve)
  10. Unbureaucratic implementation of measures