Airports Council International (ACI) World has stressed the importance of investing in new airport infrastructure to accommodate future growth and provide enhanced service levels.
Addressing the CityAge: New York leadership conference held at the NYU School of Law near Greenwich Village in New York City, ACI World director general Angela Gittens said that the recent renewal of the city’s airports is a good example of the investment needed in airport infrastructure to meet increasing capacity and evolving passenger expectations.
According to ACI Data, global passenger traffic is expected to exceed 20 billion by 2039 with a long-term compounded annual growth rate (2017-2040) of 4.1% globally, and 2.7% for North America.
“Investing in new and improved infrastructure, as well as making the most of existing infrastructure, is the bedrock on which smooth airport operations and improved passenger experience is built,” said Gittens.
“Catering to the changing needs of passengers will be pivotal to airports’ success in an increasingly globalized and competitive environment, not least in New York and North America.
“Airports’ commitment to continuous service improvement is reflected in the ACI Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program’s growth year over year. ASQ participating airports cover the entire world of air travel.
“North America has 55 participating airports, 37 of which are in the USA. John F Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Newark are all part of the ASQ family.”
The ACI Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program provides research tools and management information to help airports better understand passengers’ views and what they expect from their airport experience.
As such, ACI World has announced a series of changes to the ASQ program including revised categories, a modified rating system and a new logo and visual identity.
“ACI’s ASQ program and the annual awards are dedicated to showing the commitment of airports worldwide to continuously improving the passenger experience,” added Gittens.
“Our industry is growing and evolving, and airports are now sophisticated businesses that increasingly prioritize delivering a high quality of customer experience as a means of boosting their competitiveness.
“To ensure that the ASQ program keeps pace with the changes we see in the airports industry, we have made improvements to the existing ASQ Awards and have launched new awards.”
The ASQ Departures Survey has three major changes being put into effect, a new scoring system, new category definitions of the existing awards, and new awards. In 2019, the winning airports will be based on percentages, whereby airports in the top 20th percentile will be recognized.
This is being done so that high-scoring airports will be recognized; with so many airports achieving very high scores from their customers, the previous system is no longer fit for purpose.
Also, some airports that excel in important segments of customer experience but may not be able to deliver in all areas, especially airports that have outdated or insufficient infrastructure.
ACI has now added awards for airports whose customers tell ACI that they are providing excellent service in a major category.
The award categories in 2019 are:
• Top 20% of Africa per size and region;
• Top 20% Asia-Pacific per size and region;
• Top 20% Europe per size and region;
• Top 20% Latin America and Caribbean per size and region;
• Top 20% Middle East per size and region; and
• Top 20% North America per size and region.
There is no change to the size categories.
ACI World is also introducing three new awards to the Departures Survey. These awards will represent the top 5% across the world:
• Top 5% of airports rated highest in ambience;
• Top 5% of airports rated highest in customer care based on the quality of the customer service received by those surveyed; and
• Top 5% of airports rated highest in customer facilities – this category measures more than customer service and is based on the range of shops, restaurants and other facilities offered to passengers as they travel through the airport.
The fourth and final change is the addition of a new ASQ Arrivals Award, based on the ASQ Arrivals Survey program. For this award, there will only be one airport winner which will be awarded based on the overall satisfaction score.
Interested in quality of service and passenger experience? Check out the ‘Customer Service & Passenger Experience’ and ‘Technology: Passenger Journey‘ streams at the Passenger Terminal Conference, which takes place during Passenger Terminal Expo, on March 26, 27 and 28, 2019, in London.