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Focus: The Role of the Airport Experience in a Changing Global Economy

In recent years, uncertainty and vigilance have been central to airport planning. Although the need for caution remains, continuing changes in the global economy provide an opportunity to step back from daily operational challenges and consider alternative models for air transport management emerging throughout the world. The timing of an economic recovery remains uncertain but the need to adapt to a changing global economy is on the horizon, as discussed in this second focus piece in a series.

An enhanced passenger experience will become an increasingly important differentiator in an airport’s competitive position in the global economy.

The traditionally held view that airports are not subject to competitive forces and are passive service providers to airlines and passengers has permanently been altered. The events of recent years, including a global economic recession, financial credit crisis, and airline systemwide reductions in seat capacity and service offerings, have changed this view.

As a result, increasing competition among airports is triggering the need to treat airport passengers as customers, especially frequent flyers who spend considerable time at airports.

Numerous opportunities exist for airport operators to provide innovative amenities and increase passenger service. This focus piece explores some of those opportunities.


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