The Network Challenge (Chapter 22): The Weakest Link: Managing Risk Through Interdependent Strategies

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To assess which study would be the most appropriate for a particular benchmarking analysis, complete Worksheet 6. A brief description of benchmarking studies conducted by government agencies, industry associations such as ACI and AAAE , and other organizations that the planning team should review when assessing the operational procedures and characteristics of peer airports and com- petitors is provided below. The report provides data on passengers, cargo, and aircraft movements for the reporting month and for the year-to-date period.

Based on a review of this report, the planning team can seek airports of comparable size and with similar aircraft operations and enplanement levels. This appendix is useful for identify- ing airports of comparable size and similar geographic region. Passenger boarding and all-cargo data are collected for a full cal- endar year and are used to determine entitlements for the next full fiscal year i. This database is useful in iden- tifying airports that have similar passenger and cargo traffic. The report is updated every four fiscal years and highlights runway safety initiatives intended to reduce the severity, number, and rate of runway incursions.

The ASIAS system enables users to perform integrated queries across multiple databases, search an extensive warehouse of safety data, and display pertinent elements in an array of useful formats. The data include nonstop scheduled-service flights between points within the United States, including territories. Data are available from January forward. Scanning the Environment and Predicting Developments 77 50 Available online at www. Airport operators have found the survey results to be invaluable in comparing their facilities and charges with those at other airports.

The database is ideal for general fact finding and informal airport benchmarking and is an important resource for airport planning, assessments, research, and background information for papers and articles.


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Review of this study can assist the planning team in identifying best practices with regard to parking facilities and associated rates and charges. Released every summer, the report provides over 30 performance measures identifying effects of the oper- ating environments of airports, business diversification efforts, outsourcing, and service quality. Peer airports are benchmarked within geographical boundaries, which currently span three regions: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and Oceania.

Power, Global Airport Satisfaction Index Study This study measures airport satisfaction in three segments: large 30 million or more passengers per year , medium 10 million pas- sengers to fewer than 30 million passengers per year , and small less than 10 million passen- gers per year. The survey considers the following as key measures of airport satisfaction: airport accessibility, the check-in process, security processing, terminal facilities, baggage claim, and overall airport satisfaction.

The ASQM includes more than measurements to cover all service areas experienced by pas- sengers. Performance metrics included in the ASQM database include the average passen- ger wait time at the ticket counter, the average time for the first bag to arrive on baggage claim devices, the distance to the furthest gate, the frequency of trains between airports and city centers, and the information presented on flight information display screens. The ASQ Programme identifies and disseminates best prac- tices from top-performing airports around the world.

The ASQ rankings are based on the results of questionnaires completed by passengers. A study focused on retail concessions is the Airport Revenue News ARN Fact Book The edition of the ARN Fact Book contains comprehensive data on food and beverage, specialty retail, news and gift, duty free, advertising, parking, and rental car concessions at 95 major airports.

Clearly defined statistics are used as the base, and subcomponents that vary significantly across airports because of institutional and manage- ment practice differences are added or subtracted to derive net macro-benchmarks that more accurately reflect relative performance. Additionally, ACI-NA is developing an ongoing airport per- formance measurement group to chronicle the differences among the participating airports, identify possible peer airports, define a common measurement methodology, and agree on compilation practices to ensure data comparability. The survey contains data from over airports ranging from large air carrier airports to small general aviation airports.

Scanning the Environment and Predicting Developments 79 66 Available online at www. Benchmarking Partners. The information to be collected for the benchmarking analysis is not always proprietary and airport organizations may agree to mutually exchange information beneficial to all parties in a benchmarking group and share the results within the group.

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This program, which was initiated in , allowed a small group of airports to submit data for comparative purposes. Opportunities are outside factors that the organization can take advantage of to better ful- fill its mission, meet its mandates, achieve its strategic initiatives vision , or provide public value.

Opportuni- ties and threats are the external components of the SWOT analysis. The planning team can choose to review external opportunities and threats before they examine internal strengths and weaknesses. Use of Kepner-Tregoe73 situational analysis techniques allows the potential impact of par- ticular opportunities or threats to be assessed according to three criteria: 1 seriousness, 2 urgency, and 3 growth potential. If the opportunity is critical to the future success of the organization, it is highly serious.


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If the opportunity must be acted upon immediately for it to be effectively taken advantage of, it is highly urgent. If the seriousness is expected to increase dramatically over time, the opportunity has high growth potential. Similarly, if a threat is expected to have a significant negative impact on the future success of the organization, it is highly serious. If the threat must be resolved immediately for the resolution to be effective, it is highly urgent. If the seriousness of the threat is expected to increase dramatically over time, the threat has high growth potential.

According to the online survey data, the identification of uncertainties as part of the strategic planning process was extremely important to 68 percent of the respondents and somewhat important for 26 percent of respondents. Only 6 percent of respondents indicated that the iden- tification of uncertainties is not important. They develop contingencies for identified potential vulnerabilities and implement projects that reduce the level of risk over time through the use of sensitivity analysis or through specific operational, budgetary, and capital improvement plans.

Ziegenfuss, Jr. Kepner and Benjamin B. This category includes the macro-level economic fac- tors that are likely to affect airport growth. The three-airport system served more than 50 million passengers in , including more than 7. The aim of the Destination program is to ensure the airports maintain optimal efficiency while determining how to best handle 80 million passengers by The main participants in the Destination program are a strategic leadership team SLT composed of the aviation director and five deputy directors, an implementation team IT composed of 10 upper middle man- agers, and various deployment teams DT composed of individuals from various areas of the organization.

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With the potential for more airline bankruptcies and mergers, it is a challenge to determine what particular capital projects should be implemented now. This is made particularly difficult by the fact that both Intercontinental and Hobby airports have one air carrier with a dominant market share Continental and Southwest, respectively.

Future activities and capital projects at competing airports e. The relative economic strength and rapid population growth of the Houston area, when combined with the network effects from the dominant hub carriers at each airport, present an opportunity for growth in the num- ber of nonstop destinations served from Houston.

Choosing Strategies for Change

To fully leverage this opportunity, the SLT is focused on cost e. The IT also plays an important role in identifying opportunities and threats, particularly those that are immedi- ate. Since these managers have day-to-day responsibility for functional areas, they are particularly good at identifying opportunities and threats on a real-time basis and proposing activities or programs to address them to the SLT. Examples of technological developments that have affected the airport industry in the past include introduction of the A aircraft new large aircraft , introduction of e-tickets, and the emergence of self-service check-in kiosks.

Regulatory factors that have influenced or will influence the airport industry include the runway safety area RSA compliance deadline set by the FAA for and the required screening of passengers and carry-on and checked baggage. The current state of the airline industry should be assessed and potential trends should be identified.

When conducting a review of the environment in which they operate, airport operators should identify any anticipated public support for or opposition to the airport. Catastrophic events include human-made accidents or attacks and natural events. Scanning the Environment and Predicting Developments 83 Worksheet 6. Using the out- comes of the internal assessment, competitor and peer group analysis, and external opportuni- ties and threats assessment, the planning team should develop a SWOT matrix.

Ultimately, the SWOT matrix will help the organization build strategies determine the best ways to achieve a competitive advantage , for- mulate objectives identify specific improvements that should be made , and build in account- ability identify key performance indicators to be used to measure improvements. Landing fee rates are the lowest in the region, the airfield facilities are rated in excellent to good condition, additional air cargo warehouse space is available to accommodate future demand, and the airport is cen- trally located in the region with easy access to interstate highways and seaports.

Total debt service coverage and revenue 74 James T. Source: Triant G. Flouris and Sharon L. SWOT analysis. Nonairline revenues account for approximately 50 percent of all airport revenues. The number and variety of conces- sions, terminal cleanliness, and staff courtesy are at issue. These issues need to be resolved for our airport to be able to thrive against its competitors. We could begin marketing our services to VLJ operators. Our terminal modernization program may need to be fast-tracked to meet the needs of the volume of travelers that will be visiting then. Numbers of enplaned passengers are likely to increase, and opportunities may exist to increase non-aeronautical revenues.

Aeronautical rev- enues are likely to decrease in the coming years. There is a need to develop a financial plan that includes aiming to get off the tax rolls by using revenues to invest in income-producing capital improvements. These tools are generally used to complement the other components internal assessment, competi- tor and peer group analysis, and external threats and opportunities assessment of the external environment scan.

Each scenario tells a different story of how the future might unfold and how critical elements might interact. The main objective in developing scenarios is to reduce the risks related to strategic direction through the evaluation of potential developments that may adversely affect strategy implementation. Scanning the Environment and Predicting Developments 85 To conduct the scenario planning analysis, the planning team should organize one or more workshops with department leaders and senior management.

At times, external or internal stakeholders may also participate in the workshop s. The intent is to bring together a wide range of perspectives to consider scenarios other than the widely accepted forecasts. Depart- ment leaders should participate because later they will formulate and implement strategies based on the scenarios. Scenario planning is also used to inform and facilitate the dialogue among stakeholders regarding the long-term vision for the organization.

Make future uncertainties explicit and transparent and try to account for unpredictable events. The executive management team concluded that the Airport would not be significantly affected by any of the three consolidation scenarios. Therefore, the direct impact of the scenario analysis on the strategies and objectives contained in the plan was minimal. If the scenarios have been carefully developed, then the scenarios will be able to translate movements of few key indicators into an orderly set of [organization]-specific implications.

Available at www. This technique can be used in tandem with identifying scenarios or with elements of a SWOT analysis. The Delphi Technique consists of brainstorming sessions conducted in a series of rounds. The basic idea of a Delphi survey is to interview experts on a set of alternatives or strate- gies.

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A set of questions is associated with alternatives or strategies, such as the estimated degree of importance, the expected time of realization, and the type of constraints. The opinions of all participants are then sum- marized and presented to these same participants. The participants are then asked to develop new thoughts and judgments on the topic and provide a second ranking, still working independently.

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This second round provides the participants with an opportunity to change their original opin-. Scanning the Environment and Predicting Developments 87 ions or stay with them and explain why. This process may continue for several rounds to revamp ideas and summarize thoughts.

In the end, the group comes to a consensus on the topic.