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Sunday, 9 February 2014

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Market turmoil hits airports and airlines


Prof. Richard de
Neufville

Many airports across the world had to shut down due to poor planning, design and management, Professor of Engineering Systems, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Prof. Richard de Neufville told a seminar last week on ‘Planning, Design and Management for Airports and the Airline Industry - To deal effectively with the on-going market turmoil’.

It was organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport – Sri Lanka and the University of Moratuwa.

Prof. Neufville said that these airports had to shut down operations due to their close proximity to the city leading to noise pollution, lack of space and management.

It is vital to think of the next 10 to 20 years in planning and designing airports to compete and remain in business.

He said that there has been tremendous changes in the global airport and aviation sector during the past decade which makes it all the more important to have sound planning and management.

Today traditional airlines face stiff competition from low cost carriers which offer value for money services.

“There has been extensive research on the airport industry which underscores the importance of flexibility in designing. Architects should think of the future and not merely focus on individual projects,” Prof. Neufville said. “Mega airports will only remain as marvellous designs if they are not properly managed. Good plans alone may not necessarily work. The airport in Singapore is doing well due to space management. Management is key to the efficiency of design,” he said. Prof. Neufville said that in today's open sky scenario it is vital to focus not only on airports but also airlines. Fast turnaround time with systems to respond to adverse situations speedily, cost minimisation through mergers which help small airlines, environmental impact and flexibility are key factors in the airline and aviation industry.

- LF

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