Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The need for airport performance indicators

All businesses, whether in the public or private sector, need to measure and monitor their performance. The use of performance measures in the airport industry is particularly important because of the specific characteristics of airports. In a perfectly competitive environment, market forces will ensure that optimal performance can be equated with profitability. However, the conditions under which airports operate, are far from competitive. Regulatory, geographical, economic, social, and political constraints all hinder direct competition between airports. At the same time, the extent to which airports can attract other airports' traffic with different price levels or service levels is also very limited. Most airports therefore enjoy a quasi-monopolistic position and may abuse such a position by extracting high revenues from their customers. Profit may not equate with efficiency and productivity. Moreover, overall profitability is totally inadequate as a measure of the economic performance of discrete activity areas within an airport.

However, many airports still assess their performance by solely measuring profit or traffic growth. This in spite of a growing awareness by airport management of the financial and commercial implications of operating an airport.

Example: Sydney Airport Performance

Only a few airports have developed a systematic approach towards measuring performance. In general, there is no accepted industry practice for measuring airport performance. Additional indicators measuring the inputs and outputs in both physical and financial terms are essential.

In the coming weeks, we will explore more about how to measure an airport operation's efficiency and productivity. We will discuss performance indicators which serve as a management tool for the airports themselves. They are used to analyze and monitor past and present performance. Most importantly, they should make sure that management understands the financial mechanism of airport operation.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    In PMI we are starting to measure some airports processes. Like you said measure is the beginning, for example if you don't measure you will never know how you are managing your resources in front of your demand giving the best passenger experience. Like other airports we are monitoring security filters (productivity, queues, etc) that information gave us one of the best tools to adapt capacity to demand.