Model for measuring airport innovation

Model for measuring airport innovation

Introduction

Innovation is widely recognized as one of the keys to businesses’ survival and profitability in environments of constant technological change and competition. In the case of airports, technological change is an integral part of the business, and it encompasses everything from check-in, handling of luggage and cargo, security procedures, passenger comfort, boarding, and so on. As for competition, even though some airports may constitute natural monopolies under certain conditions, many local and regional airports face growing competition from alternative modes of transportation such as long-haul buses and high-speed trains. Finally, international hubs provide the first glance of a nation to foreign visitors, thus sidelining other local features in attracting businesses and tourists.

Further elaborating on the need for innovation at airports, several authors identified specific aspects. Airport innovation planning and management must consider both the market needs and consumer satisfaction, as discussed by Chen, Batchuluun, and Batnasan (2015), or meet travelers’ needs by personal aero mobility (COHEN, 2010), to ensure safety regulations procedures (KOH, 2007) and obtain incentives for transport innovation funds (WIESENTHAL; CONDEÇO-MELHORADO; LEDUC, 2015). Additionally, Nicolau and Santa-María (2012), along with Franke (2007) and Pereira and Caetano (2015) pointed out the need to match the pace of innovation of airlines in the operations and their evolving business models. Furthermore, Heracleous and Wirtz (2009) highlighted that airlines have innovation strategies of their own that must be matched, while Grahamn, Hall, and Morales (2014) and Slayton and Spinardi (2016) noted that the changing characteristics of aircraft often require adjustments at airports. In general, societal trends toward environmental issues, inclusiveness, open skies agreements, heightened flows of passengers and cargo, and so on. All pose challenges for airport managers, requiring tools and decisions for innovation planning and management.

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