Teaching the Next Generation Resiliency Lessons from 9/11’s Aviation Heroes

By Tom Murphy, Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University

Today’s young employees at airports and students studying aviation will be tomorrow’s leaders. Undoubtedly, they will face challenges.

The Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University, which also offers Edge4Vets, is partnering with Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) to build upon progress made in 2023 with the “Reclaiming the Sky Resiliency Project” to give our industry’s young professionals (age forty and under) an opportunity to learn resiliency lessons from the aviation heroes of September 11. 2001 and develop tools to meet those challenges.

The program, which was also introduced this spring to include aviation students studying in the University’s Aviation Association’s 128 member schools, is being supported by leading aviation organizations, including SSP America and others committed to developing the next generation.

Participants in the program will have a chance to read the stories of airport and airline employees who went to work in New York, Boston and Washington, DC on the morning of 9/11 expecting a normal day, only to find that “just doing my job” was to become the creed of heroes. Their stories are chronicled in Reclaiming the Sky, by Tom Murphy, an aviation consultant and Director of the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham. He saw first-hand how his aviation colleagues responded with courage, selflessness and resiliency to 9/11 to rebuild their lives and reclaim hope.

The young professionals in the 2024 program will have a chance to read Reclaiming the Sky and attend an online workshop on July 19 to discuss what they learned with their peers and aviation executives. Participants will be invited to write an essay to share how they can apply the resiliency lessons as “tools” to meet challenges in their lives and be eligible for cash awards ranging from $250 to $1000. The top award will be called the “Susan M. Baer Award.” In addition to cash prizes, first, second and third place essay winners will  receive a complimentary registration to ACI-NA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Grand Rapids, Michigan in September and will be recognized for their achievement.

Participation in the young professional program is open to employees of ACI-NA member airports/organizations, that are age 40 and under. There will be 25 openings.

Register here.

For full details on the program, visit ReclaimingTheSky.com.

For more information, please contact Tom Murphy at Tom@edge4vets.org.

 

The “Reclaiming the Sky Resiliency Project” gives today’s “Young Professionals” at airports a chance to learn resiliency skills from the example of 9/11’s aviation heroes. The project is offered for airport employees under 40 by the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University and Airports Council International – North America and with support from major aviation companies, such as SSP America and others. Full details at ReclaimingTheSky.com.

 

 

 

Our 10 Year Journey to a More Sustainable Industry

Journeys and airports go hand-in-hand.  As we mark as another Earth Day, today is a good opportunity to reflect on our industry’s own journey of creating and fostering  a more sustainable industry.  Airports are in the business of being good neighbors to the local communities they serve, and our commitment to thinking about the future has never been stronger.

The journey toward our industry’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is only possible through collaboration and awareness.  North America airports joined the global conversation in 2014 when the industry joined as a partner in the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, a certification program that recognizes the steps airports take to manage and reduce their CO2 emissions through independent assessment and verification. This year, we are proud to celebrate our 10-year anniversary of our partnership and participation with airports that are taking proactive steps to reduce and manage their CO2 emissions.

10 years ago, ACI-NA and ACI Europe signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) officially aligning ACI-NA with Airport Carbon Accreditation Program. Since then, the North American program has grown rapidly.  

We started with one airport earning their accreditation in 2014. This past year, in Long Beach, CA, ACI-NA recognized more than 70 airport participants in our annual ceremony. Throughout the ceremony, airports were recognized on six levels of commitment to lowering their CO2 emissions. Those six levels are mapping, reduction, optimization, neutrality, transformation, and transition.  See all of the participating North American airports here.

As an ambitious industry, airports are doing their part to be good partners by promoting sustainability and environmentally responsible practices.  We applaud the North American airports that have joined the Airport Carbon Accreditation program to lower their carbon footprint. We look forward to the growth in the program as these airports set our industry on a path toward continued success in innovation and sustainability.

Airports Soar with New Technology for Safety and Operational Excellence

Michael Bettua
CEO and Co-founder, Volan Technology

One thing I’m hearing a lot about from airport operators is the stress around ensuring compliance with the FAA’s Safety Management System rule that went into effect this year.  The new rule requires airports do a better job detecting incidents, analyzing what happened, capturing data, and reporting it all to stay compliant.

More than 250 major US airports are affected, and they’re feeling the burden – especially when it comes to monitoring the outdoor areas like runways, taxiways and ramps. That’s where a lot of the riskier incidents can occur with aircraft, vehicles, equipment and personnel. Traditional methods just aren’t cutting it.

Think about it – at any given time there are thousands of people and vehicles moving on an airfield. Fuel trucks, catering vehicles, luggage teams, maintenance crews with mowers and plows, not to mention all the construction equipment for major projects. One mishap, like a lawn tractor veering into a restricted area, could be a serious safety concern.

Then you’ve got the added challenge of properly escorting and monitoring any third-party employees and contractors that need access to secure areas. Airports have to assign a human escort to supervise outside workers to maintain security protocols. But that’s extremely labor intensive, costly, and prone to errors with escorts getting fatigued or distracted.

What airports really need is a technological solution to achieve the heightened monitoring, incident detection and safety forensics the FAA now mandates. A system providing omnipresent awareness of every vehicle and person’s location, able to instantly identify potential threats and rapidly alert the right personnel.

That’s why innovative airports are deploying affordable micro-location technology across their properties. Unlike traditional GPS, cellular service or Radio Frequency ID which is too broad or costly, these new systems use Internet of Thing (IoT) sensors and small wearable locators to pinpoint the real-time geography of every asset within 1-2 meters.

One major Midwest airport rolled out a turnkey geofencing solution that works like a virtual fence-line you can construct anywhere. Using credit card-sized locators on vehicles and badges, it tracks the precise positions of all assets simultaneously, both airport resources and any contractors needing access to secure areas.

If a vehicle strays into a restricted zone, it instantly triggers an alert identifying the location and equipment involved. For safety incidents, it captures granular forensic data on who was where when the event occurred to streamline investigations and reporting.

But the benefits go way beyond just complying with the FAA’s new requirements. This operational data is a gold mine for optimizing processes, resource allocation and cost savings.

Airport teams can visualize traffic patterns, identify inefficient vehicle routings or instances of excessive idling to reduce emissions and fuel costs. They can analyze utilization of specific equipment types to ensure assets are being maximized. The data enables accurate labor forecasting and workforce planning based on proven demand.

There are a number of other use cases too, like quickly locating any misplaced or stolen asset, ensuring contractors adhere to specified routes and schedules, automating lone worker policies, and more.

The IoT approach is flexible and scalable so airports can start focused but keep expanding capabilities over time. Deploying it is quick and affordable – the locators and gateways are solar-powered requiring no hardwiring or costly infrastructure. Full facility coverage can go live in days versus months for traditional systems.

At the end of the day, airports can’t afford to rely on manual monitoring that fails to provide the rigorous safety oversight required by the FAA. The threat of violations is serious from a cost and negative publicity standpoint. Precise location data and analytics are what’s needed to identify risks, demonstrate compliance and ensure the safe and efficient operations of our nation’s airports.

This kind of innovative thinking will separate the leading airports in the years ahead. Those embracing affordable IoT solutions today will be best positioned to handle the challenges of tomorrow – whatever new operational or regulatory requirements emerge.

Michael Bettua is the CEO & Co-Founder, and Chairman of the Board, for Volan Technology Inc. Volan created the Volan Positioning System to help airport operators increase safety and security, meet new FAA Safety Management standards, lower operating costs, and increase fiscal compliance.   

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

Leveraging digitalization for a top-down approach to improving airport sustainability

By John Kasuda 

Across North America, airports – as gateways to the world – stand at the forefront of decarbonization commitments and strategic initiatives. Today, 75 North American airports have achieved accreditation from the Airport Carbon Accreditation program, which independently assesses and recognizes airports’ efforts to manage and reduce their carbon emissions.

Still, there is more work to be done to achieve net-zero carbon emissions goals by 2050. Embracing digitalization and the emerging technologies it enables promises a path forward to integrate sustainability into every facet of airport operations, from electrifying operations and reducing the carbon footprint to enhancing the passenger experience.

The role of digitalization in decarbonization

The delicate balance between prioritizing investments in decarbonization measures and the need for operational continuity remains one of airports’ more pressing challenges on their path to Net Zero. At the same time, airports have a unique opportunity to capitalize on innovation and transformation.

Digitalization serves as the cornerstone in crafting top-down approach for airport sustainability, and the impact is significant. When airports weave digitalization into the fabric of their daily operations, they can unlock new ways to monitor, manage, and optimize energy consumption, waste management, and resource allocation in real-time – paving the way for a more sustainable, less carbon-dependent future.

For example, internet of things (IoT) devices provide a real-time overview of airport operations, from energy consumption patterns to asset utilization, facilitating more informed decision-making. AI and analytics help predict maintenance needs, optimize resource use, and reduce energy consumption, directly contributing to decarbonization and sustainability goals.

But airport infrastructure is aging fast. Every year, operators depreciate approximately $8 billion worth of airport assets. Supporting the digital transformation means investing in core infrastructure at airports, starting now. Platforms and infrastructure that enable data analytics can not only leapfrog traditional limitations, but also generate value for current assets.

Planning for airports of the future

Global decarbonization targets cannot be achieved without increased contributions from airports. The time to strategize and plan for airports of the future is now:

Benchmark and establish the baseline. Get a handle on current airport operations and levels of optimization and understand these metrics in the context of overarching goals. This step will help lead to a strategy that means future investments are aligned with the bigger picture.

Define future needs and direction. With a baseline assessment, define your airport’s future needs and strategic direction; consider how future growth plans and industry disruption (such as the advent of advanced air mobility) will have an impact on investments both today and tomorrow.

Engage with experts who understand smart airports and decarbonization. The landscape has never been so conducive to enabling digital transformation and decarbonization, and airports have a broad array of options. Engaging with experts who understand not just digital technologies, and not just decarbonization, but also smart airport operations can help deliver the highest level of precision for optimization, productivity, ROI, resilience, and more.

Look for solutions and platforms, rather than products and devices. Previous approaches to tackling decarbonization and energy consumption may have been focused on standalone components. Today, however, digitalization demands a much more holistic, systems-oriented approach to ensure interoperability, monitoring, measurement, verification, and so on.

Today marks a pivotal moment for airports, and by acting now, we can together shape a more sustainable and efficient future. This journey will not be without challenges, but with a strategic focus on digitalization as an enabler for decarbonization, airports will be well on the path toward decarbonization. To learn more about how smart airports can lead the way on sustainability, efficiency, and innovation, visit usa.siemens.com/smart-airports

 

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

SMF’s Recipe for Success: A Fresh Take on Airport Food + Beverage

By: Stephen Clark, C.M., Deputy Director, Airport Commercial Development

When the concessions team at the Sacramento International Airport (SMF) sat down to look at the opportunity to recreate their food and beverage program they agreed that they wanted to approach it in a radically different way.

Food and beverage programs bring revenue to an airport, of course, and travelers certainly need dining options, but the types of food offered can also communicate identity and inclusivity. SMF is primarily an origin and destination airport with only five percent of passengers waiting on

connections. The concessions team at SMF sought to create a program that would highlight Sacramento’s vibrant farm-to-fork culture, offer a sense of place, and give guests a sense of value for money from quick service eateries to premium sit-down experiences.

All these considerations were on the mind of the concessions team at SMF while preparing a Request for Proposal (RFP), which saw nearly every tenant space up for grabs.

Beginning in 2022, SMF began reaching out to hundreds of organizations alerting them to the upcoming RFP opportunity, including partnering with the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Instead of only asking major food and beverage operators to recruit local restaurants, the SMF team heavily advertised the opportunity directly to local business owners. Later that same year, they surveyed guests and utilized a research group to learn that health, affordability, and choice of cuisine were high priorities for travelers.

When it came to setting goals and crafting the RFP, the team wanted it to be accessible to both small businesses and large proprietors. They petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to set an ambitious 15 percent goal of Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) businesses and a small business goal of 30 percent. When the RFP was completed the ACDBE result was 38 percent of the program, and small businesses represented 44 percent of recommended awardees.

“We wanted to create genuine opportunity for small and large businesses alike to ensure equitable conditions for consideration,” said Andrew Durkee, Concessions Manager, Sacramento County Department of Airports. “It was important to us that the best concepts and a superior customer experience rise to the top and we crafted the FRP to reflect that.”

Durkee, and his team continued to partner with SBDC to provide coaching and education to businesses interested in proposing. Of the awarded contracts one local business became ACDBE certified, and another took advantage of extensive coaching through the SBDC. This was so successful that SMF formalized a partnership with the SBDC to continue offering seminars and educational opportunities for local businesses to learn more about different avenues available to work with the airport.

In another break with tradition, the team decided to forgo a traditional minimum annual guarantee (MAG) in favor of rent as a pure percent of gross revenue based on category. Durkee explains that ditching MAGs creates a “flexible and equitable approach to concessions, one that aligns with industry recommendations and promotes a healthy, competitive environment for all stakeholders involved. This move is expected to foster a more dynamic and responsive concessions program, benefiting passengers, concessionaires, and the airport alike.”
Overall, the new program represents 18 new concepts which will replace or upgrade existing facilities in phases beginning in 2024. Included in the new concepts is a local Michelin listed taco restaurant Nixtaco) as well as the Airport’s first pan-Asian offering, Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen + Bar. There is also a local brewery, Sacramento’s first distillery, plus a smattering of other well-known local restaurants.

Stephen Clark joined Sacramento County Department of Airports (SCDA) in November 2021 and is responsible for the commercial and tenant activities at SMF, MHR, SAC, and F72. Charged with oversight and leadership of SCDA’s business development, air service development, communications/marketing, agreements with airlines and other tenants, including concessions, rental cars, and transportation network companies, and leasing of airport facilities and land.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

Understanding how AI will impact Passenger Support and the Overall Traveling Experience

By Alfredo Vaamonde, CEO & Founder of WingMates

In an era where efficiency and customer satisfaction are paramount, airports globally are turning to innovative solutions to enhance the passenger experience. Among these innovations, artificial intelligence (AI) stands out as a game-changer, promising to transform how airports support passengers throughout their journey, from booking their trip to landing at their destination. This article delves into the transformative potential of AI travel assistants, showcasing how they can elevate the passenger experience while simultaneously reducing  operational costs.

The Rise of AI in Airport Operations

The integration of AI technologies across various sectors has been nothing short of revolutionary, with the travel and airport operations sphere being no exception. Recent advancements have positioned AI as a key player in enhancing passenger support services, leveraging capabilities like natural language processing, machine learning, and automation to offer unparalleled efficiency and convenience.

Understanding AI Travel Assistants

AI travel assistants, powered by advanced algorithms and capable of understanding passengers’ needs, are at the forefront of this transformation. These systems range from chatbots handling customer service inquiries to automated check-in kiosks and apps providing personalized travel information. Their ability to offer quick, customized assistance around the clock marks a significant leap forward in how airports interact with passengers.

Enhancing Passenger Experience with AI

Personalized Travel Assistance: AI travel assistants can tailor information and support to individual needs, offering a customized travel experience that enhances satisfaction. From booking flights to receiving recommendations on where to eat at the Airport, AI assistants are the ideal travel agents.

Real-time Information and Assistance: With AI, passengers can receive instant updates on flight statuses, gate changes, and security wait times, enabling them to navigate the airport with ease.

Multilingual Support: AI’s ability to interact in multiple languages breaks down language barriers, ensuring all passengers receive the support they need.

Reducing Operational Costs with AI

Automated Customer Service: By handling routine inquiries, AI can reduce the need for human staff, cutting labor costs and allowing human agents to focus on more complex tasks.

Efficiency in Resource Allocation: AI’s predictive capabilities enable airports to optimize staffing and resource allocation based on anticipated passenger flows, enhancing operational efficiency.

Data-Driven Insights for Continuous Improvement: AI systems can analyze passenger feedback and behavior to identify improvement areas, driving continuous enhancements in service and operations.

An Omnichannel Approach to Passenger Support

AI assistants may be deployed on mobile apps, kiosks, websites, or social media platforms. This omni-channel accessibility ensures that passengers can receive assistance and information wherever they are and however they prefer to communicate. Whether a traveler needs to check their flight status via a quick text message, get directions through an airport app, or inquire about services through a website chatbot, AI assistants are there to provide consistent, reliable support. This ubiquity not only enhances the customer experience by meeting passengers on their chosen platform but also significantly boosts the efficiency of airport operations.

By integrating AI travel assistants across all channels, airports can ensure a cohesive, streamlined experience that caters to the digital habits of modern travelers, thereby reinforcing the airport’s commitment to accessibility and convenience.

Conclusion

AI travel assistants represent a significant step forward in the quest to enhance passenger experience and streamline airport operations. By embracing AI, airport operators can not only meet but exceed the evolving expectations of travelers, setting a new standard for efficiency and  satisfaction in the travel industry. As we look to the future, the role of AI in airport operations is poised for further expansion, promising an era of smarter, more passenger-friendly airports.

For airport operators, the message is clear: the future of airport operations is in leveraging AI technologies. By exploring AI solutions and partnering with technology providers, airports can  embark on a transformative journey toward improved passenger support and operational efficiency. The time to act is now—embrace AI and unlock a new horizon of possibilities for your airport and its passengers.

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

Airport EV Charging: Meeting the Coming Demand

By Tami Timperio, VP Marketing, NovaCHARGE

Whether it’s sustainability efforts or increases in EV adoption, more and more airports, both international and regional, are beginning to consider installing EV charging stations. And not to say you should keep up with the airport “Joneses” but when travelers have airport options, finding an airport with EV charging stations is becoming increasingly important.

For airports, EV charging demands mean big business too. In fact, market research suggests the airport EV charging market is expected to generate $4.1 billion (with a B) dollars by 2031.

The demand is there, but is it being met?

There are nearly 5,200 public airports in the United States with most major airports now offering some version of EV charging. That wasn’t always the case.

Airport EV charging station density is similar to what we see in other areas– making improvements but not quite there yet. EV drivers arriving at airports, hoping to charge while away or while they wait, reserve charging stations, or top up before they head home, may struggle to find available EV charging stations.

Implementing an Airport EV Charging Solution

As with any other EV charging station implementation, airports need to start with a few important decisions. The first? Determining the best locations for charging stations.

Airport EV Charging Locations

For airports, there are the standard considerations for site selection including (but not limited to):

  • Demand
  • Sustainability goals
  • Enough parking in a specific lot
  • Power/Infrastructure access
  • Space for hardware
  • Station placement would not block or impede snow removal or large vehicles
  • Easy in and out access (for heavy traffic)

There are, however, additional location considerations:

  • Which airport parking lots will you use:
    • Rental car lots
    • Cell phone lots
    • Rideshare/taxi lots
    • Employee parking
    • Short term parking
    • Long term parking
    • Shuttle bus lots
    • Ground service equipment lots
  • Proximity to rental car companies with EV rental fleets
  • Will parking structures need charging stations?
  • Is there infrastructure that may prevent network communications?

Beyond location, airport EV charging requires more logistics than other locations.

Other Logistics for Airport EV Charging

As we all know, fast charging puts an extra strain on the power grid and airports already require a significant amount of power. Not only does this mean infrastructure upgrades are likely necessary or forthcoming, but EV charging program oversight is essential.

Before engaging with any EVSE provider, ensuring they have a charging platform management system (CPMS) robust enough to help you analyze usage, manage power loads, create flexible fee structures, and assist with monitoring station performance is vital.

Given the demands, the variety of potential EV drivers who need access and, potentially, their role in airport operations, having full visibility into your charging network can help all stakeholders manage usage, adapt policies or procedures, and determine needs for expansion.

Similarly, EV charging station maintenance will need to be monitored to ensure reliability and performance. You can simplify this by selecting an EVSE provider with a strong warranty and ongoing support, but you’ll still want networked machines that can be regularly monitored.

The final destination is clear, EVs and EV charging will be essential components of airport amenities moving forward and, for rental companies situated at airports, the future is already here. The only question is whether you’re on board.

We’re ready to help, so reach out to our team today and let’s take the next steps to an EV charging future at your airport.

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

Learnings from Attending ACI-NA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition

By Tyler Subasic, US Airport Lead, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Prior to working at AWS, Tyler led airport affairs for Amazon Air, where he increased network destinations by 500% and led selection criteria and negotiation for four nine-figure projects.

 

 

 

For the past few years, I’ve been fortunate to attend Airports Council International-North America’s (ACI-NA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. These conferences attract airport leaders and solution providers from across the globe, initiating transformational changes and presenting cutting edge technologies.

While much progress is being made, it’s clear from my time at the 2023 Annual Conference that the collective participants want to move faster. Conference participants – which include airport CIOs, CTOs, and other leaders – frequently face headwinds from three topics: procurement, staffing, and risk tolerance. These common challenges are sometimes accepted as the nature of doing business.

The following three sections focus on ideas to improve common organizational roadblocks that can enable faster technology adoption and organizational advancements.

Reducing the Administrative Burden on Staff

Staffing shortages are common challenges, especially in government. Cloud-based technology can alleviate some staffing challenges by offloading repetitive and often mundane tasks. This creates more time for staff to tackle differentiated problems.

The Amazon retail platform uses cloud technology and automation extensively to improve efficiency and operate at scale. Amazon has been using artificial intelligence (AI) for over 25 years for items like product placement, package sortation, and delivery routing. Amazon’s technology infrastructure scales to meet the volume of customer demand, enabling staff to focus on business differentiators like invention and customer obsession.

AWS Managed Services (AMS) can provide similar benefits to organizations migrating to the cloud. AMS offers complete services to provision, run, and support your infrastructure. Common tasks like change requests, monitoring, patch management, and cost optimization are automated. This reduces the training and staffing worries that many organizations have about migrating to the cloud. Because AWS is pay as you go, organizations can use AMS for a few months while training staff or longer.

In addition to AMS, there are other managed service providers like eCloud Managed Solutions, a woman owned small business. eCloud Managed Solutions provides cloud and data center managed services and has shown success at Punta Gorda Airport.

Airports are common users of managed services, whether it be parking, janitorial, or legacy on-premise IT management. Similarly, airports should look at automated cloud management for improved efficiency and security. Most importantly, managed cloud services can free up IT staff, increasing focus on strategic airport initiatives.

Simplifying Procurement

E-commerce has changed the way we buy. Consumers can now shop from the comfort of their own homes, and have items delivered to their door. This convenience has transformed customer expectations and drastically changed the retail landscape.

Meanwhile, most procurement rules and regulations stem from a time when contracts were based on time and materials. As software solutions have proliferated, the procurement process has mostly stayed the same.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace is an e-commerce like experience for software solutions. AWS Marketplace is a digital store that offers thousands of software listings from independent software vendors (ISVs). These listings make it easy to find, try, and buy software solutions. Organizations can compare solutions, read reviews, and quickly deploy software with just a few clicks. Cooperative purchasing contracts, such as Omnia Partners, are also available via AWS Marketplace.

Six U.S. airports, including large hub airports, have used AWS Marketplace today. This convenience saves airports time and money, and make it easier to find, trial, and purchase the software they need.

Risk Tolerance

Quick decision making is crucial to ensure effective resource allocation and prompt response to changing needs. By fostering a culture and toolset that enable prompt decision-making, organizations can streamline their operations and enhance their ability to meet public expectations.

Amazon’s decision-making philosophy can be summarized as one-way and two-way door decisions. This philosophy is derived from an analogy originally coined by Jeff Bezos. The one-way door refers to a decision where, once made, there is no going back. It is a decision that will have long-term implications and requires careful thinking.  The two-way door decision, on the other hand, refers to a decision that can easily be reversed or changed at a later date. Two-way door decisions should be made quickly to prioritize an organization’s valuable resources.

AWS enables two-way door decisions for organizations to experiment and innovate with IT infrastructure. Cloud services allow organizations to quickly build, test, and securely deploy new applications and services, without having to invest in expensive infrastructure. Similarly, AWS Marketplace allows organizations to trial a software solution the same day. Organizations can quickly try a new idea and see which ones add value, without having to commit to long-term contracts or spend a lot of money upfront.

If you’re interested in learning more about AWS Marketplace, AWS Managed Services, AWS Artificial Intelligence, please contact awsairports@amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

A Layover Outside the Comfort Zone: My First Airport Conference

By Ted Sullivan

Nothing grows or takes off in a comfort zone. After 29 years of working with global destinations, I got comfy. When it comes to destinations, I am deeply familiar with the needs, challenges, and pain points. But with the launch of ZDOS™ Airports, it was time to enter an altogether different landscape.

I knew I couldn’t sit comfortably and expect success to come to me. I had to embrace a relationship with an industry I was extremely passionate about and familiar with — but one where I hadn’t before worked to serve those needs.

So I went straight out of my comfort zone and presented on stage at the Airports Council International-North America annual convention in Long Beach, California, just a few weeks ago. Surrounded by knowledgeable professionals outside of my usual network, I learned just how much data airports have. But more importantly, I learned what they didn’t know they needed.

Airports use some of the most complex technology systems in the world, and the information they have about travelers going through security and their travel needs within the building is insane. They can detect materials in your luggage by material composition, parking spot usage by minute, and time in the airport by passenger prior to boarding.

But they don’t know what brings passengers to their doors or where fliers go after they walk away from baggage claim. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Three things I learned at the airport conference:

  1. One of the biggest revenue generators for airports is parking. A single parking spot could generate over $14,000 in revenue annually.
  2. Airport leaders don’t have access to information about how travelers spend within airport shops and restaurants.
  3. Airports do not always know the origin of the traveler within their airport or whether travelers to their destination sometimes use a competing airport.

Three things I realized airports don’t know they need:

  1. The home city or county of their inbound and outbound passengers. This information allows them to market and sell their offerings to a more targeted audience.
  2. Who is using their parking facilities, who’s getting dropped off by friends or Uber, and who’s using a competitor’s off-site parking facilities.
  3. Traveler leakage to other airports. This gives them the ability to make a better case for route development by actually seeing which airports their lost travelers are using and then where they’re going.

Sitting at my LAX gate before my return flight home to Logan, it hit me. Our data and their passenger insight voids could be quite comfortable together. But our organization needs to tell a better story about ‘why’ this improves the experience for passengers and increases revenue for the airport.

It’s time for us to step out of our comfort zones together, learn from one another, and collaboratively create the next evolution of airport data heroes.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

5 Major Changes Outlined in the USDOT’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – How Your Airport Can Be Better Prepared

By: Erin Westerman, Marketing Manager, B2Gnow

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will help improve and modernize Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs. However, the steps involved for affected organizations will be complex. With change on the horizon, many airports wonder how their programs will internally support these pending requirements. Will they have the staff, resources, and tools needed to manage the proposed changes?

As your organization begins strategizing about future compliance, we’ve identified five of the most challenging requirements airports may face and suggestions on actions to take now to prepare.

  1. Prompt payment and Retainage – How well equipped is your staff to monitor and track the proposed prompt payment and retainage compliance revisions? Time to get your ducks in a row.
    As stated in the NPRM, your DBE program must take affirmative steps to monitor and enforce prompt payment and retainage requirements. To stress the importance, they propose including an additional paragraph stating that the conditions within this rule are intended to flow down to all lower-tier subcontractors. Reliance on complaints or notifications from subcontractors about a prime’s failure to comply with prompt payment and retainage requirements will no longer cut it. Does your airport have a plan to take affirmative steps to monitor prompt payment, as stated in § 26.29? Organizations using B2Gnow’s Contract Compliance Module have no worries! The system is already tracking goal compliance based on payment amounts to primes and subs and payment dates. Payments are reported and electronically confirmed for amount, date received, and promptness. It also enables contractors to easily report retainage as outstanding or paid. B2gnow’s tracking and reporting power puts all this information at your fingertips to ensure your subcontractor community is paid in full and on time.

    2. Uniform Report – This report is already known to be time-consuming and comprehensive, and given the new proposed requirements, will your airport be equipped to collect and track this new required data?
    The Uniform report, consisting of DBE utilization data, is submitted annually to the OA(s) that provide funding to them.  The NPRM seeks to revise the Uniform Report to include additional data that would assist the OAs and the Department with evaluating whether the DBE Program is progressing toward meeting its stated objectives. This expanded data collection could include additional fields for contract numbers, NAICS codes, and DBEs decertified during the reporting period, just to name a few. While there is no standard software to handle the Uniform Report’s requirements, more than 400 organizations, including more than half of all DOTs, and hundreds of transportation and aviation authorities/organizations use B2Gnow to automate, manage and report on all required information. The proposed changes will have little effect on their current data collection and reporting processes. The proposed data is native to the B2Gnow database, which means these fields are already available for reporting, allowing them to easily produce all required information with little to no impact on staff.

    3. Bidders List – Does your airport have the staff or tools to efficiently obtain and enter bidders list data into a centralized database?
    In the NPRM, The Department proposes revising § 26.11(c) to require recipients to obtain and enter bidders list data into a centralized database the Department would specify. B2Gnow helps organizations to maintain, track and report on procurement information that may be required through this proposed change.  The B2Gnow system offers a variety of tools that help DBE programs to easily build and maintain bidders lists, including modules that manage proposals, utilization plans, outreach, contract compliance, and bid management. The more robust the system, the more data can be collected and reported on to be prepared for any change!

    4. ACDBE Small Business Program – Will your airport have the capacity to manage and report on this entirely new program?
    This proposed revision to the rule, as stated in the NPRM, will replicate the DBE program’s small business element requirements for the ACDBE program. Notably, this means it would require airports to take steps to eliminate obstacles for participation by smaller ACDBEs and submit annual reports on their small business elements. While this may seem burdensome, B2Gnow already supports hundreds of organizations to seamlessly manage and automate diversity certification processes and electronically compile complex reports with the click of a button. Additionally, the B2Gnow staff have years of combined experience with the B2Gnow system and working in the industry. Many have helped implement such programs and deeply understand the complexities involved.

    5. Timely Processing of Certification Applications – Is your airport prepared to handle the complex certification process with more stringent deadlines?
    The NPRM proposes limiting a certifier’s ability to extend the 90-day timeframe during which a certifier must issue a final eligibility decision for instate certification applications. Current § 26.83(k) states that a certifier may extend the 90-day period by an additional 60 days. Their proposal would reduce the extension period from 60 days to 30 days. B2Gnow can help eliminate the need for extensions by reducing the time it takes to process an application. The Online Application Module allows vendors to submit certification applications electronically online. It eliminates paper submissions and creates efficiency, reducing the review time and ensuring that only complete applications are received. It also reduces firms’ time, effort, and expense to apply for certification and allows for the secure submission of sensitive information and documents. In addition, the B2Gnow Certification Management module provides immediate visibility into the status of all pending applications, enables the tracking of processing times, including granular “review-step” levels, and provides a complete detailed audit trail of all actions completed by staff during the review process.

While the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will help modernize and improve the Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs, affected organizations will be required to make some complex changes to their current processes.  There has never been a better time for airports to take their business diversity programs digital. B2Gnow Supplier Diversity Software has your airport covered for all current, proposed, and future DBE and ACDBE regulation updates. B2Gnow is trusted by over 400 state, local and educational organizations – including more than 30 US airports. Contact us to speak with an expert and learn more about B2Gnow Supplier Diversity Software. 

Erin Westerman has worked in the cloud-based software industry for more than 14 years, gaining experience in both sales and marketing of enterprise solutions. Erin is currently Marketing Manager at B2Gnow, the nation’s leading supplier diversity management (AC/DBE), grant and procurement software for more than 400 state, local, and educational organizations.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER

This article was provided by a third party and, as such, the views expressed therein and/or presented are their own and may not represent or reflect the views of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), its management, Board, or members. Readers should not act on the basis of any information contained in the blog without referring to applicable laws and regulations and/or without appropriate professional advice.

 

ACI-NA submitted extensive comments to DOT regarding the proposals in the NPRM. Please click here to read ACI-NA’s comments.