It forms the basis for the business activities of passenger aircraft manufacturers, airlines and airports.
The forecast increase in demand for air transport services requires market players to innovate, develop their offer of connections, provide an adequate and safe infrastructure for carriers and passengers, and also to take on a comprehensive approach to management. Management that will accurately predict changes and recognise the challenges of the modern world and those future generations will be facing. Sustainable development goals can be a beacon in responsible thinking about the future. They help us realise that what seems to be more cost-effective in the short term may eventually bring loss to everyone in the long term.
Responsible airport management requires openness to new challenges. The challenge faced by Kraków Airport due to the growing demand for aviation services is to carry out the investment projects outlined in the master plan for Kraków-Balice Airport. Kraków Airport is a key element of Małopolska’s transport system. Its growth has a direct impact on the economic development of the region, including new jobs, new technologies and the growth of social capital. Failure to develop Kraków Airport would be irresponsible to its stakeholders.
In the perspective of the next 20 years, Kraków Airport is going to invest approximately one billion zlotys in infrastructure development. The construction of a new runway is the key element of the changes, but the plan also includes expansion of the passenger terminal, extension of the apron and moving the cargo terminal to a new location. The planned investments take into account the airport’s route development strategy and the analysis of the needs of carriers, airport users and the immediate vicinity of the airport. As we prepared to carry out these investments, we implemented a new Kraków Airport brand which takes its origin in shared values, looking at things from different angles, cooperation with various partners, transparency and dialogue.
New route of communication
Dialogue with stakeholders is the essence of responsible management, whatever the type of organisation. You cannot operate in an environment or prepare a strategy if you fail to listen carefully to the needs of your customers, employees, business partners or the local community. Even the most advanced ideas may prove ineffective, and sincere intentions misunderstood, if you do not confront them with the expectations of the environment in which you operate. And even though dialogue can sometimes be difficult, it allows you to understand the perspective of the other side and adjust your activities to real-world problems and challenges.
In 2017, independently of our 10-year participation in the international passenger satisfaction survey Airport Service Quality (ASQ) run by Airport Council International, we launched our own customer satisfaction programme called Happy or Not. It covers seven areas of passenger terminal operation: security check, the quality of Wi-Fi, passport control, baggage reclaim waiting time, the quality of catering services, and the cleanliness of the terminal and toilets.
The survey lasted 278 days during which 87,425 votes were cast. 63% of the ratings were very positive, 16% positive, 7% negative and 14% very negative. The average customer satisfaction with Kraków Airport in the Happy or Not survey was 76%.
Because of a change in the way the airport is managed and its planned development, Kraków Airport has also opened a new route of communication with the local community. As it became apparent from a series of briefings and consultations with the inhabitants of villages situated near the airport in 2017, the specificity of airport operation raises a lot of interest, but also concerns. As we talked to our neighbours, we managed to explain the complexity of airport operation to them and present our investment plans for the coming years, including the plan of new runway construction. We could also get to know the opinions and expectations of inhabitants, local governments, businesses and NGOs regarding the impact of the airport on their daily life. A total of over 500 people attended the 20 meetings we held. Thanks to the consultations, we developed a new programme called Near the Airport, the pilot edition of which was run just three months after the end of the series of meetings. As a result of the dialogue, in 2017 the airport adopted a Policy for the Reduction of the Acoustic Impact of the Kraków-Balice Airport (EPKK) on the Environment. It is a cross-sectoral cooperation initiative for the improvement of the acoustic climate of properties situated near the airport.
After the series of meetings had been concluded, a FAQ tab was opened on our investment website, where answers to questions frequently asked by inhabitants are published. After the meetings in villages, also individual meetings were held with those wishing to obtain more detailed information. At the same time, we started publishing a (paper) newsletter distributed to all inhabitants of the eight villages situated nearest the airport. The newsletter includes essential information about the operation of the airport, offers of cooperation, development plans and their impact on the immediate environment. We also encourage readers of the newsletter to provide feedback.
From the airport’s perspective, open dialogue with stakeholders has become a source of inspiration and an opportunity for responsible growth. It helps us to better understand the expectations and needs of groups that are important to us and more effectively respond to environmental challenges and social problems. We are aware of the responsibility, which is why we also engage in national-scale partnerships for the achievement of sustainable development goals.
These are just some examples of communication with Kraków Airport’s stakeholders. For more on this topic, see Kraków Airport’s Sustainability Report for 2017, on www.krakowairport.pl/raport2017