In this part of our project "Ideas for international airlines during and beyond the crisis". is about the question "Which are the currently still helping, missing ideas (in the sense of immediate measures) - and possible new business areas for airport operators that are lucrative beyond the crisis?".
In principle, airport operators must adapt the generally applicable hygiene and safety standards with regard to the pandemic, as they are already implemented in other areas of society. In doing so, the airports can, as we have done for the airlines (From disseminator to preventer under point 6. Milestones), take a pioneering role and help to shape or even anticipate future standards.
In addition, airport operators do not currently require any further essential immediate measures. The "time freed up" at the airports can be ideally used for major maintenance and repair measures that would otherwise have to be organized at great expense during flight operations or during the tightly scheduled rest periods. It is worthwhile for operators to bring these forward now in order to ensure a trouble-free start to flight operations after the crisis.
In the long term, it may be worthwhile for airport operators to expand their existing experience and shopping offerings for passengers and airport visitors to include those from the education and health sectors.
As we have already discussed in the section Futuristic ambience under point 4. Optimum described above, it is imperative that the idea of futurism is also adapted at the airports and that the underlying environmental concept is clearly visible and, above all, can be experienced by the visitors.
To this end, airport operators can create specific themed and experiential worlds so that airports can offer information value (infotainment) in addition to the previous entertainment value. In corresponding cinemas or interactive media installations, airport visitors can already experience the environmentally oriented future visions of tomorrow's aviation and continuously inform themselves about its progress.
In this context, the creation of unique selling points at a particular airport is important for the long-term success of these attractions and worlds of experience. This can encourage potential passengers to give preference to this airport as a starting point and transfer option for their future travels.
They can get support in planning from the established amusement and adventure parks and benefit from their wealth of experience. Long-term partnerships with existing park operators are also conceivable here.
For the airport operators, this idea is primarily about becoming a pioneer and about depicting and propagating the global change towards an environmentally friendly society. Here, too, partnerships with infotainment partners already active in this area are conceivable.
Medical centres at the hubs
Airports can continue to develop into medical centres, as already exist at some major airports. These centres offer lucrative and high-quality health services for passengers and airport visitors. The passenger can kill two birds with one stone and, for example, combine the upcoming visit to the dentist with the next flight.
The implementation of such medical facilities is facilitated by the fact that similarly high safety and hygiene standards as in hospitals are already in place at airports.
Also conceivable in this scenario is the establishment of special medical focus centres at the major aviation hubs (e.g. for complex operations that require a high degree of technology). Potential patients could thus fly to the nearest suitable major airport for their treatment, in order to receive the best possible care without having to travel further. This idea is particularly interesting for health care in emerging and developing countries where the medical infrastructure is not yet sufficiently developed.
An additional advantage of these centres would be that passengers with urgent and suspected pandemic illnesses could be screened upon arrival at their destination airport without leaving the airport security gates.
Furthermore, airports can offer their passengers appropriate health deals together with the airlines (e.g. discounts on treatments or payment by air miles).
It is also worthwhile for airports to continuously expand their service offerings. In addition to the existing parking and maintenance services for cars, food and shopping services can also be offered.
Passengers can select their desired products online until shortly before landing, which are then made available for collection in the baggage claim area upon arrival. This concept includes all retailers located at the airport who would like to offer their goods additionally via this service and also the gastronomy with corresponding takeaway products. For the local merchants this service means an additional source of income. Passengers benefit from saving valuable free time for these purchases after a long flight or a stressful day at work.
In the next part of our project "Ideas for international airlines during and beyond the crisis". the question "Are there striking differences in the application of the developed ideas in an international comparison??".