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18 March 2005

Why airports are more than just transit hubs.

The US Federal Aviation Authority (www.faa.gov/news) this week announced that it expected more than a billion people to be travelling through US airports within 10 years. What it didn't say was that people were likely to be waiting for longer periods, as airport owners and authorities struggle to provide the necessary infrastructure that will be required to meet the anticipated demands.
We think that airports need to start considering that they are on the brink of a radical change in their status as transit hubs; needing to provide more services as consumers become 'transumers'. Service infrastructure will need to replace the current shopping mall mentality as people begin to demand a more compelling airport experience, or at least service experiences similar to those they can find at home. Those hubs that are unable or unwilling to meet this need, will find usage flagging.

1 comment:

stephen byrne said...

The recent experience of San Franciso Airport's new advertising campaign confirms many of our views.

According to a New York Times' report when M-Line was named the airport's agency, the agency did a lot of research "and it became very apparent that people don't buy
airports, they buy plane tickets," said M-Lineprincipal and creative director Jef Loyola.

Still, people consider the airport they choose to be responsible for
their experience from "when they leave the front door to when they
get on the plane," he adds, so "we saw an opportunity" - particularly with "the time people are spending at airports these days with the security situation."

From DIFFUSION's perspective its interesting that the SFO has appointed an agency at all and our view that airports are destinations in themselves which provide and govern distinct experiences is also confirmed.