Editor’s picks – Top 10 presentations to see at Passenger Terminal Conference 2023

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A visit to Passenger Terminal Expo 2023 would not be complete without attending some of the huge variety of conference sessions available. With topics from advanced air mobility and vertiports to aviation security, border control and facilitation, and environment and sustainability, we’ve got the industry covered. Here is a selection of must-attend sessions:

What: Threats of digitalization in the aviation sector – embedding business continuity
When: Tuesday, March 14, 11:20am
Who: Javier Caldes-Casas, aviation security consultant, Caldes & Foners
The aviation sector has been increasing its digitalization, and thus, heavily relying on IT. This has been accelerated due to the global pandemic with the aim of providing improved efficiency, safety, security and customer experience. The exponential growth in digitalization makes airports and airlines ‘juicy targets’ for bad actors. Having a robust understanding of the value of embedding business continuity in each operation is instrumental in helping to build organizational resilience. This presentation will provide the audience with a better understanding of the potential threats and risks of digitalization in airports and airlines and its impacts; methods to raise awareness, ‘buy-in’ and the practice of business continuity in the aviation industry; and embedding strategies to make business continuity an integral part of your operations.

What: Methods and tools for decarbonization of airports and wooden airports
When: Wednesday, March 15, 10:05am
Who: Yoshiko Zeynep Kanai, business development director, Azusa Sekkei
While COP27 calls for carbon neutrality at the international level, Japanese engineers are intensively working on strategies and tools to ensure the decarbonization of Japanese airports in alignment with governmental policies, based on accumulated data acquired from airports and other facilities. In addition to switching to renewable energy solutions and making use of structural wood, smart technologies greatly contribute to the efficient monitoring and reduction of embodied and lifecycle carbon emissions of airports. This presentation will review the decarbonization strategies for airports from the perspective of Japanese airport planners, best practices, future trends, and the utilization of wood and carbon emission monitoring tools. The audience will learn about the components of lifecycle and embodied carbon-emission monitoring systems and the benefits of these systems from the sustainability point of view.

What: Innovation for modern airport teams
When: Thursday, March 16, 10:35am
Who: Mike Byrom, vice president, airports and crew services, Spirit Airlines, and Gary McDonald, president Materna IPS North America
The presentation will focus on ways to optimize the overall airport experience strategy. In this context, emphasis will be placed on the use of new technologies to offset labor shortages and support emerging talent. This includes taking advantage of virtual coaches and other innovations designed to support airport staff and simplify the passenger journey. The main goal is to enhance the passenger experience and offer maximum comfort despite current challenges. The audience will learn how to optimize the overall airport experience strategy; how technologies can help deal with current challenges such as labor shortages; and how to enhance the travel experience despite those challenges.

What: Lessons learned while planning for advanced air mobility
When: Wednesday, March 15, 2:00pm
Who: Paul Wheeler, director, aerial innovation, WSP
As technology improves, there is an opportunity to innovate transportation solutions to improve access to goods and services without adding pavement and lane miles. The State of Utah has conducted a study to understand the infrastructure assets, regulatory modifications and needs for statewide implementation of advanced air mobility (AAM). This presentation will discuss past and current research being conducted and how the findings can assist others in incorporating AAM into their transportation systems. Furthermore, it will examine the associated infrastructure assets and regulatory changes for the safe and efficient implementation of alternative transportation options for a sustainable future.

What: Panel discussion: A growth mindset for flexible terminal development
When: Tuesday, March 14, 9:35am
Who: Api Appulingam, deputy director of aviation, capital development, Philadelphia International Airport; Casey Ries, engineering and planning director, Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority; Chad Willis, director of planning, Allegheny County Airport Authority; Sean Loughran, planning and development director, Port of Portland; and Scott Tumolo, aviation facilities and terminal planning – Americas, C&S Companies
Four US airports share how they have approached work to adapt their assets with an understanding of how passenger needs are evolving, how the workforce is changing, and their global impact. The process is always evolving and thrives in organizations with a growth mindset like these airports. The audience will learn about managing expectations; how the planning process is continuous through all phases of implementation; how to plan/design to meet infrastructure needs now and in the future; and how to adapt design and construction to account for major disruptions.

What: Love your airport – designing with an authentic identity, place and community
When: Wednesday, March 15, 11:25am
Who: Darron Freegard, terminal planning and strategy manager, Perth Airport Pty Ltd, and James Berry, director – global aviation, Woods Bagot
For airports to rebuild their reputation, they need to be loved by their local community, travelers and employees alike. This presentation will look at the rare examples around the world where airports are loved by their local communities and why. With specific new and future project examples in North America, London and the Middle East, the talk will explain in detail how design and diligent stakeholder engagement can be used to provide an authentic sense of identity, place and community. The audience will learn what makes people love their airport; how inclusive design thinking can build local community support; how stakeholder engagement can give a voice to important minority groups – with specific reference to the Australian indigenous communities; and how airports can become much-loved civic assets.

What: Improving the travel retail experience
When: Tuesday, March 14, 11:25am
Who: John McDonnell, managing director, international, Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Travel retail plays a significant role for global consumer brands, especially in the beverage alcohol category. But in many ways, the duty-free customer experience hasn’t evolved at the same rate as other retail channels, and that leaves potential dollars on the table not just for suppliers and retailers but for airport authorities as well. People today want – and expect – more selection and convenience when shopping, especially in terms of online and e-commerce options. McDonnell will explore and discuss opportunities to grow and evolve the travel retail channel, including how brands and retail channels have evolved to meet today’s consumer needs and expectations; the growing role that digital convenience and e-commerce play; the vital need for improved e-commerce in travel retail; and the role that corporate social responsibility and sustainability also play in building consumer loyalty.

What: Sustainable facility management – think ecologically and economically, act socially
When: Thursday, March 16, 10:05am
Who: Ralph Struck, senior vice president facility management, Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH
The operation of airport and terminal facilities has a significant impact on an airport’s carbon footprint, operational stability and passenger satisfaction. Nevertheless, the technical and infrastructural operation is given little attention in today’s airport discussion and the influence of airport facility management on sustainability from an ecological, economic and social point of view is completely underestimated. Providing a look behind the scenes of the new Capital Airport Berlin Brandenburg International BER and using practical examples, Struck will convey impressions of sustainable building management, an intelligent circular economy and modern cleaning and catering services for international guests.

What: How do new data platforms lead organizations to be data driven?
When: Wednesday, March 15, 4:00pm
Who: Zina Imegaline, data management officer, Groupe ADP, and Romain Rollet, data platform manager, Hub One
Data-driven organizations have greater confidence in their chosen strategies. They can make more accurate predictions about the future and are able to spot new industry trends and business opportunities. But how can technology contribute to this transformation? New data platforms are powerful tools allowing airport stakeholders to become data-driven organizations by gaining insight from big data and user behavior, accessing relevant business information, and leveraging distributed and fragmented data to address complex operational and strategic issues through the use of powerful content analytics. During this presentation, the audience will learn how to be a data-driven organization, the value of big data in airport digital transformation and the pitfalls encountered in data processing.

What: Why digital twins fail and how to achieve tangible benefits
When: Thursday, March 16, 12:25pm
Who: Michael Jahn, senior airport consultant, M2P Consulting
Digital twins have become one of the most discussed applications in the airport IT landscape. There is a broad consensus on their potential for airport operations, but airports all over the world are failing at creating the digital twin. At the same time, the term is used for very different systems, with some covering only a fraction of the twin’s vision. During this presentation, Jahn will share the most common mistakes and hurdles observed by airports today, present a digital twin considering the various perspectives and demonstrate how it can bring tangible benefits based on two practical insights. The audience will learn about the range and most common mistakes of different airport digital twins; understand the digital twin use cases that benefit airport operations; understand why a fully evolved digital twin is the key to connecting airport facility management and operations; discover what airports can learn from advanced digital twins in other industries; and explore the digital twins of two international airports and the measurable benefits they gained.

For more information on Passenger Terminal Expo 2023 and to register for the event, click here.

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About Author

, editor

With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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