Airport Security and Facilitation Challenges in the New Normal
It is a fact that the restart of airport activities in the new normal poses a number of constraints for security as well as for facilitation processes, both for the airport operators and the passengers. ACI Africa has been organizing a webinar on the security and facilitation challenges in the new normal in which Torsten Hentschel, Managing Director of TH Airport Consulting, has joined a panel of well-versed speakers including Mr. Ali Tounsi, Secretary General, ACI Africa, Mr. Jason Tshabalala, Group Head of Security, Airports Company South Africa and Mr. Rajeev Lollbeharree, Head Security Services, Airports of Mauritius. You can watch the full video of the webinar and also download our presentation.
Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports
ACI EUROPE has published the "Guidelines for a Healthy Passenger Experience at Airports" which include many recommendations on initiatives to be taken by airports to restore passenger confidence during the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with a team of European Airports and other Organizations we have contributed significant parts to the guidelines and helped to create a comprehensive reference document. These guidelines will help to facilitate a unified approach among airports and to put the passenger back into the heart of the business. The full document can be downloaded here.
How to regain Passenger Confidence during and after the COVID-19 Crisis?
Passengers might stay away from flying when confinements and flight restrictions will be lowered since flying is now considered as a risk to one's own health. Dedicated initiatives and changes are needed to save our industry and to convince passengers that travelling will be safe again. Our latest study suggests a methodology for airports on how to regain passenger confidence when traffic resumes and how to identify the needed initiatives for implementation during and after the Covid-19 crisis. Please download our presentation.
Creating a Green Passenger Journey
To fulfill the commitment to “NET ZERO Carbon Emissions by 2050” and to respond to the "Fridays for Future" movement, airports are urged to implement strategies and initiatives to minimize their ecological footprint. TH Airport Consulting therefore embarked on a research study on “Creating a Green Passenger Journey at Future Airports” in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef (IUBH). The study examines the expectations of the critical traveler as well as the major changes and initiatives needed at airports to become greener and to win back passengers. To gain broad insights into the required changes and how they can be achieved, several case studies as well as a passenger survey will be conducted.
News from our latest projects:
- Bremen International Airport: We have completed the functional design for an optimized terminal arrivals area which includes a modified baggage reclaim with new carrousels as well as centralized immigration with provisions for automated border control (ABC) and kiosks for the new Entry Exit System (EES) required by the EU.
- Bologna International Airport: Together with our partners from Passepartout Training we have assessed the Passenger Experience for elderly travellers throughout the airport and provided recommendations for future improvements. The analysis has been based on the 3P (premises, process and people) methodology from the ACI “Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports“ and the ECAC Doc 30 recommendations on best practices for PRM. Several quick wins have already been implemented and improved wayfinding and information for seniors at Bologna Airport.
Pre-feasibility study of Batumi International Airport
United Airports of Georgia has contracted TH Airport Consulting to conduct a capacity assessment and a pre-feasibility study on the future expansion of Batumi International Airport with a horizon of 10 years. The uniqueness of project lies on the restriction on both air- and landside of the airport due to its special geographical location – high mountains on one side, and the black sea on the other side, which limits the runway capacity. A contract signing ceremony was held on the 18th of June at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia in Tbilisi, Georgia. (More Details)
Impact of the EU Entry Exit System (EES) on Immigration Checkpoints
A small project with results of widespread importance! According to EU regulations, EES should be implemented by 2021 within EU countries for Non-EU nationals to travel in and out of the Schengen area. This includes digital registration of travelers at immigration with biometric information, travel documents, etc. by using specific EES kiosks which have to be placed in front of border control desks.
Our simulation carried out for Hamburg Airport suggests that total process and waiting times for Non-EU nationals as well as space requirements will significantly increase. Since the needed additional space is not always available, a large number of Airports in the EU will face severe bottlenecks at immigration with the introduction of EES! Solutions such as online registration need to be further examined in close coordination with national border authorities and legislators.
Torsten Hentschel is “theme leader for Passenger Experience” within ACI committee
As part of our continuous commitment for the Passenger Experience our MD Torsten Hentschel has been named “Theme Leader Passenger Experience” for the ACI EUROPE Committee for Facilitation and Customer Services. This gives us the chance to work in close cooperation with European airports on recommendations and best practices to bring forward the latest trends on passenger service improvements. We also play an active role in the newly established ACI Task Force on Baggage Handling which works on a vision to develop baggage services over the next 5 years and beyond in order to enhance the passenger experience.
Capacity assessment projects
TH Airport Consulting has successfully completed diverse capacity assessment projects for our clients in 2018. One project has been an expert assessment of existing and needed terminal capacity for Tirana International Airport, Albania. Based on simulation, we have analysed existing and future bottlenecks and recommended on needed expansions. Another capacity assessment for Clark International Airport, Philippine has been based on IATA ADRM (Airport Development Reference Manual) sizing calculations for the year 2025. In addition we have been continuously contributing to projects at Hamburg Airport with capacity simulations, e.g. Expansion of Pier South and Border Control Checkpoints.
All these project experiences have undoubtedly strengthened our expertise in airport capacity assessments and proved our service excellence.
Hamburg Airport inaugurated new A380 Gate
On 29.10.2018, Hamburg Airports‘ A380 gate with three boarding bridges has welcomed the first Emirates A380 ( see press release ). We are delighted to witness this milestone at Hamburg Airport and to be part of it. Since the beginning TH Airport Consulting has contributed to the project with consulting services such as functional and detailed layout design, capacity assessment, project coordination, etc.
Digital Identity Management to enhance the Passenger Experience
To follow the vision of a seamless, secure and efficient walking pace journey, TH Airport Consulting sponsors and supervises a research study on Digital Identity Management (DIM). Our master candidate Nils Brüggemann from the Institute of Transport Science, RWTH Aachen University is currently working on a thesis on „Digital Identity Management to enhance the Passenger Experience at Future Airports“. Through expert interviews and terminal simulation of future processes, the thesis will result in recommendations on how DIM should be implemented to enhance the Passenger Experience.
The 2nd Edition of „Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports"
ACI EUROPE has released the 2nd edition of the „Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports“ ! We are delighted to see that Passenger Experience is playing a more and more important roll in the aviation industry.
TH Airport Consulting contributed significant portions to the Guidelines which provide a methodology to enhance the Passenger Experience in a comprehensive and systematic way. Since its first release in 2014 we have been involved in the further development and update of the Guidelines. Torsten Hentschel, our Managing Director, has been the rapporteur (spokesman) of the ACI "Taskforce on the Passenger Experience”.
Through years of research, implementation and improvement, TH Airport Consulting has become a pioneer in Passenger Experience. By applying the “3P approach” and aiming at various target groups we provide tailor-made solutions to enhance your airport.
We have moved
In February TH Airport Consulting has moved to a new office location in a beautiful region of the northern part of Hamburg. The office building is of typical red brick style near City Park. Besides the pleasant neighbourhood, our office is also conveniently accessible by public transport within 10 minutes from Hamburg Airport.
New member in our team
In February we welcomed our new team member Chenye Yu. With a master’s degree in Traffic and Transport from TU Darmstadt and first experience in airport master planning, she brightens our team with her young but creative competence.
Review of the latest projects from 2017:
During the last 3 months we have successfully completed an assessment at King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) and Medina Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Airport (MED) of the airport infrastructure and its operation under specific requirements during the Hajj pilgrimage and started to develop initiatives for future optimization. Through this very high profile project in Saudi Arabia we help to enhance the experience for millions of pilgrims each year.
Since 2017 we’ve been supporting Hamburg International Airport in establishing 14 additional walk-boarding gates in a new satellite building on apron 2 to cover short to medium term capacity shortages. We have determined functional requirements and layouts, defined necessary processes and analysed the needed capacities through simulation. In addition we have continued our services for the expansion and modernization projects of Pier South by coordinating and defining all necessary requirements for the architectural design.
The ACI EUROPE Taskforce on the Passenger Experience completed its work on the 2nd Edition of the landmark "Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports". Torsten Hentschel, the Rapporteur (Spokesman) of the Taskforce, coordinated the process and our whole team contributed valuable parts e.g. on elderly travellers, landside security and strategic concepts to enhance the passenger experience. The guidelines will be released during the ACI World & ACI EUROPE Annual Congress, General Assembly & Exhibition in Brussels in June 2018.
TH Airport Consulting attended the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition in October in Mauritius. Our Managing Director Torsten Hentschel presented on “ Technology vs. Human Touch ” at the Customer Experience Forum and on “ Maintaining the Passenger Experience at Airports under Increased Landside Security Requirements ” at the meeting of the Security and Facilitation Committee.
Fraport AG submits building permit application for Pier G
Fraport AG submitted the building permit application to the City of Frankfurt for the construction of the new Pier G at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). The new pier will provide cost-saving, no-frills ground handling for LCC traffic and will be fully integrated into the airport’s hub function. It will be completed within altogether three phases of which the first is scheduled to be finished by 2020 and capable of processing up to 5 million passengers per year (see Fraport's press release ).
Together with IMPAC, we have actively engaged in the planning processes by among others delivering concept developments and a comprehensive program of requirements for the new pier.
Academic research studies in collaboration with TH Airport Consulting finalized
TH Airport Consulting sponsored and supervised research studies on the passenger experience in cooperation with Kühne Logistics University (KLU), Hamburg, as well as Hochschule Harz, Wernigerode, over the course of 2017.
The first study “Low-Cost Carrier Passengers at Airports – Knowing Their Needs and Expectations to Enhance the Passenger Experience” , by Gesa Klingenberg, challenges the assumption that LCC passengers are generally not considered a sustainable source of income for airports. Driven by a tendency towards hybrid business models and increasingly diverse passenger segments, low-cost carriers bring more demanding passengers to airports. A generations-based segmentation, a comprehensive literature review, as well as on-site computer assisted passenger interviews, support the conclusion that LCC passengers are not explicitly cost-conscious and in fact do require certain services and offerings at airports.
The second research study “Maintaining the Passenger Experience at Airports Under Increased Landside Security Requirements” , by Martin Neuser, provides recommendations for airports that find themselves in the dilemma of balancing the must to increase the security level at their landside areas and to give satisfaction to their passengers at the same time. Shocked by horrific terrorist attacks in the course of 2016, airports require best practices with regard to the implementation of landside measures without compromising the passenger experience. Results, stemming from interviews with internationally acknowledged airport experts, as well as a comprehensive online passenger survey, provide best practices for the implementation of measures without compromising the experience of passengers at airports. Psychological security perceptions, the consideration of the passenger’s subjective acceptance, as well as the provision of visible police patrols and high-definition surveillance cameras are key components here.
Academic research studies in collaboration with TH Airport Consulting
TH Airport Consulting currently sponsors and supervises research studies on the passenger experience in cooperation with Kühne Logistics University (KLU), Hamburg, as well as Hochschule Harz, Wernigerode. The case studies both rest upon the ACI EUROPE Guidelines for Passenger Services and examine key issues regarding ways to enhance the passenger experience. While the first study examines the particular needs and expectations of low-cost carrier passengers in association with means to boost their experience accordingly, the second one aims at providing recommendations & initiatives on how to maintain the passenger experience under increased landside security requirements at airports. To gain a profound elaboration of the topics, the authors Martin Neuser, who is now also working as an airport consultant in our team, as well as Gesa Klingenberg, conduct several expert interviews as well as passenger surveys.
News from our latest projects:
- Frankfurt International Airport : In collaboration with our network partners from IMPaC we have actively been involved in the concept design for Terminal 2 considering various options for its future integration into the Star Alliance hub operations.
- Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport : We have completed our design work for the expansion of the security checkpoint. In close cooperation with the airport management and the responsible authorities we have developed an optimized layout for higher throughput and enhanced space utilization.
- Hamburg International Airport : Based on forecasted flight schedules we have determined future terminal capacity requirements for the time period until the year 2035. For this purpose, we have developed a highly efficient simulation tool which could easily be applied for other projects.
Next Generation of Boarding Counters have been launched at Hamburg Airport
Passengers at Hamburg Airport enjoy the next generation of boarding counters. The new counters are designed and built taking into account not only current and future operational needs, but also to ensure a welcoming atmosphere for passengers. We provided services from the first concepts until start-up of the new counters. Additionally, TH Airport Consulting supports several ongoing modification projects of the concourse areas.
ACI EUROPE Taskforce on the Passenger Experience
... commences work on a 2nd Edition of the landmark "Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports". Torsten Hentschel, Managing Director of TH Airport Consulting, has been elected Rapporteur (Spokesman) of the Taskforce which comprises senior staff of 14 European Airports and Industry Partners.
We successfully exhibited at the ACI Airport Exchange in Istanbul on 8-10 December 2015 and shared our ideas on how to enhance airports. Thank you for visiting us there!
Torsten Hentschel at the same time akted as chairman of the Airport Facilitation & Customer Services Leaders Symposium taking place at the conference. Six presentations have been delivered by leading industry experts on "What technologies should airports, large, medium and small, put their money and time into?" followed by a 30 minutes panel discussion.
The ACI EUROPE World Business Partner Award went to Torsten Hentschel
ACI EUROPE awarded Torsten Hentschel, Managing Director of TH Airport Consulting with the “World Business Partner Award – 2015” for his outstanding contribution to the ACI EUROPE Facilitation & Customer Services Committee as well as the “Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports”. The awards were announced on 26th of June during the Gala Dinner of the 25th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Prague Airport. Torsten Hentschel (picture left) received the award from Arnaud Feist, ACI EUROPE President and CEO of the Brussels Airport Company.
"This impressively confirms that we have contracted the best!" , Manfred Schernus, CFO of Hamburg Airport.
For further information on the 2015 ACI EUROPE Awards please refer to the Press Release .
International Arrivals Process Transformation Project at King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh:
We successfully delivered the final results to the Airport Management together with our project partner Munich Airport. Within the previous 6 months we have
- Conducted an As-Is Assessment of all Business and Operation Processes
- Developed an Airport Strategy and Initiatives to enhance the Passenger Experience
- Detailed a new Operating Model based on Organizational Improvements and Quality Control
- Suggested a Transformation Roadmap
Recognizing the increasing share of senior passengers in Europe we supported a research study on "Enhancing the Passenger Experience at Airports for a Growing Number of Elderly Travellers" and presented the findings to the ACI EUROPE Committee for Facilitation and Customer Services. Our summary presentation can be downloaded here .
In 2014 TH Airport Consulting provided services at four different airports:
- King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh: Development of a Strategy, Initiatives and a new Operating Model to enhance the Passenger Experience for international passengers (project together with Munich Airport)
- Mumbai International Airport: Conceptual Design of three Airport Metro Stations in various options
- Hamburg International Airport: Functional Design of Walk-Boarding Gates and an Immigration Checkpoint with Automated Border Control
- Bremen City Airport: Preparation of Tender Documents and Requirements Specification for the Architectural Design of the "Smart Departure" project
ACI-Europe has released the "Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports" which look at how airports can enhance their Passenger Experience by applying a systematic and innovative approach. The Guidelines are the result of extensive research carried out by a dedicated ACI EUROPE Taskforce on the Passenger Experience. As one of the taskforce core members TH Airport Consulting is the natural choice to assist Airports in implementing the principles of the Guidelines to enhance their Passenger Experience.
As an invited speaker at the 2nd Airport Africa Expansion Summit in Cape Town, Torsten Hentschel has presented on "Terminals of the Future - Effects of Current and Future Trends on Airport Development in Africa". A copy of the presentation can be downloaded here.
The ACI EUROPE Taskforce on Passenger Experience completed its work on the "Guidelines for Passenger Services at European Airports" which will be published after adoption of the ACI EUROPE Board in 2014. As a core member of the taskforce Torsten Hentschel, the managing director of TH Airport Consulting, has substantially contributed to the guidelines during numerous meetings in 2012/13.
In 2013 we have continued our work at the airports of Hamburg where we generated layout options for the various development phases of the concourse area and Bremen where we refined the decided option and specified the requirements for further design phases of the "smart departure" project. The exciting work at both airports will continue in 2014.
For the construction of 6 additional boarding bridges with new aircraft stands Hamburg Airport has submitted the application for approval. The related functional planning for the expansion of the concourse was created by TH Airport Consulting, thus allowing for more comfortable handling and increased quality of service for passengers. We wish the airport every success for this project with an estimated budget of 50 to 60 million euros.
Terminal of the Future: Hamburg Airport has started together with TH Airport Consulting an investigation for the future development of its passenger infrastructure. As a first step, the planning parameters and future capacity requirements will be determined. Layouts will be developed for the entire terminal, which include the latest technology such as automated border control, automated baggage drop-off and automated boarding pass control. Further measures to increase the quality of service will be examined.
After selection of the preferred option for the development of the airside terminal infrastructure at Hamburg International Airport we continue our services with the concept refinement of the various project stages. For the coming 4 years we will support the aviation department with capacity analyses, layout design, the development of requirements specifications and operational concepts as well as coordination during implementation and start-up.
Bremen Airport contracts TH Airport Consulting for the optimization of the departure area of their main terminal building. Within the coming months we are going to determine the needed capacity for the year 2020 and develop layout options for the departure concourse and a centralized security checkpoint. The result will be an optimized configuration which will enable Bremen Airport to enhance their service quality and operational efficiency in the near future.
ACI-Europe welcomes TH Airport Consulting as a new World Business Partner. As a WBP we are going to participate actively in the ACI EUROPE Committee for Facilitation and Customer Services. This membership will not only enhance our standing in the airport industry but will also be to the benefit of our clients.
TH Airport Consulting has been contracted for the conception of future layouts for the airside terminal infrastructure at Hamburg International Airport. In a first step the planning parameters will be coordinated and issued in a requirements specification. Layout options for the airside concourses will be prepared and evaluated. This also includes the development of interim measures to fulfil the requirements in the coming years. We are looking forward to a successful cooperation with Hamburg Airport.
To ensure safe operation of the new B747-8 at Hanover Airport an analysis for airside compatibility will be provided. The analysis will form the basis for the further approval process by the German authorities. We are pleased to join forces with Logplan in this project.
TH Airport Consulting has been founded by Torsten Hentschel in Hamburg, Germany. The company provides consulting services for airports with a focus on Terminal Planning, Airport Processes and the management of complex airport projects. Future clients will be airport operators, airport services providers, airlines, authorities as well as global architecture and planning offices.