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ACI World’s communications manager, Sabrina Guerrieri, reports on strengthening partnerships on slots, aircraft noise management and celebrating the customer experience.

The aviation industry is up against many challenges and under a lot of pressure to accommodate future growth while being safe, secure and sustainable, both environmentally and economically, and while delivering a satisfying customer experience.

The onus is on all aviation stakeholders to come together on key issues that most affect us and to overcome them through partnerships.

On this note, we are pleased to report that ACI World, IATA and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) have announced the agreement of a new governance structure for the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG) that puts the interests of the travelling public at the centre of the process.

As a result, airport operators, airlines, and slot co-ordinators will now play an equal role in determining the global guidelines for the allocation of airport slots.

More than 200 airports require slot co-ordination because they have insufficient capacity to meet demand at all times of the day. Co-ordination based on global standards helps to maximise utilisation of existing capacity, avoid delays and improve the passenger experience.

The new industry-wide governance was signed in Seoul, South Korea, on June 3, 2019, by ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, and WWACG chairman, Eric Herbane.

All parties agreed that new governance and increased collaboration provides an opportunity to further modernise slot allocation mechanisms to the benefit of the travelling public and the aviation community at large.

Another key priority in the face of future growth in air services is limiting or reducing the nuisance of significant aircraft noise, which must remain a key priority for all aviation stakeholders. Aircraft noise is the most significant cause of adverse community reaction related to airports’ license to operate and grow, a necessary component to meeting future growth.

Speaking at the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) Summit in Montréal in May, ACI World’s director general highlighted the importance of managing aircraft noise as the industry meets new challenges.

She noted: “The industry has done a good job at managing aircraft noise, but new challenges are arising including the development of supersonic aircraft for business jets and commercial airplanes. While ACI supports the development of new technology, noise and emissions standards for supersonics must be stringent enough that they do not compromise the work that airports and the industry have been doing for decades.”

ACI supports the ICAO Annex 16 Volume 1, dedicated to aircraft noise, and the current work at the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) to develop Standards and Recommended Practices for new supersonic aircraft.

Gittens also spoke on the importance of non-acoustic factors that make up a portion of variables responsible for community annoyance including the level of trust residents have in airport or authorities in general, as well as their attitude towards aviation. Further research on non-acoustic factors is needed to properly address aircraft noise annoyance.

On a different note, ACI World has announced this year’s inductees into the Director General’s Roll of Excellence. This year’s inductees are: Changchun Longjia International Airport (Changchun, China), and Hohhot Baita International Airport (Hohhot, China). The Director General’s Roll of Excellence recognises those airports that have consistently delivered excellence in customer service by winning multiple Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards over a five-year period.

ACI’s ASQ programme is the only worldwide service quality measurement and benchmarking service that captures passengers’ impressions and opinions while still at the airport.

The 2019 Director General’s Airport Service Quality Roll of Excellence induction ceremony will take place at the ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit in Bali, Indonesia, which is now open for registration.

“In an increasingly competitive industry, airports acutely recognise the importance of delivering exceptional customer experience and have taken pains to learn what matters most to the passengers they serve,” said Gittens.

“I congratulate Changchun Longjia International Airport and Hohhot Baita International Airport on their outstanding achievement. I hope they will continue to raise the bar for airport service quality excellence and work with ACI to share best practices within the industry.”


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