Frank van der Sant, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of APCOA knows that operators of airport parking facilities face a series of very unique challenges. A future-oriented approach to car park management means that they can master these challenges.
Why do airports, in particular, need active parking facility management?
Professional traffic and parking management always plays a crucial role at heavily frequented locations – including airports. This is especially true when we consider the parking experience from our customers’ perspective. Passengers flying with budget airlines often have to pay more for their parking than they do for their flights. It is therefore clear that the parking experience we provide needs to offer our customers the highest standards of convenience and speed. Parking management has to benefit passengers as much as it does the airport’s operator.
What do airport operators want?
Parking is one of an airport’s major sources of non-aviation revenue and generates a reliable income stream. It is crucial that we are able to offer convenient parking, together with major environmental benefits. After all, an airport’s on-site parking facilities have to compete with unregulated parking outside the airport’s grounds. In addition, the environmental targets set by politicians mean that more and more air passengers are encouraged to travel to airports on public transport.
How can airport operators counter this political pressure?
They can show that they are taking environmental issues seriously and proactively develop solutions to reduce CO2 emissions. For instance, we have introduced an RFID-based registration system at Arlanda-Airport in Stockholm, which monitors real-time CO2 emissions from every vehicle in the taxi lane. Taxis that emit less CO2 are given priority in the taxi queue. This approach means that CO2 emissions determine how quickly a taxi is ready to accept new passengers. This is a powerful incentive and encourages taxi operators to switch to lower-emission vehicles. The proportion of environmentally-friendly taxis at Arlanda-Airport rose from 16 percent in 2009 to 84 percent in 2014.
Are there any other major issues at airports?
Yes, many airports were designed and built at a time when current and future mobility trends, such as eMobility and self-driving vehicles, were not even pipe dreams. As a result, the infrastructure we will need to manage traffic and parking in future is often lacking. We will need drop-off zones for self-driving cars, where passengers can take their time to enter and exit vehicles with their luggage without blocking roads for other traffic. This is not possible in existing airport access roads. However, there are often limits to what can be achieved by adapting existing infrastructure – especially as airports don’t want any disruption to their regular service.
Do you have a ready-made solution?
The advent and adoption of self-driving vehicles creates a number of challenges for parking facility operators, but it also presents a host of exciting opportunities. We have developed considerable expertise in converting ground floor areas of parking facilities into drop-off zones and manage traffic flow in these areas.
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is the leading full-service parking management company in Europe. The company has over 45 years of experience and expertise in 13 European countries and an extensive portfolio of clients. Amongst them, more than 30 European airports have entrusted APCOA with the management of their parking facilities.
The Group manages about 1.4 million individual parking spaces. In doing so, APCOA uses its international experience to deliver future-oriented and innovative mobility services to customers and property owners at over 9,000 locations. The company's 4,600 employees contribute their know-how and local expertise to deliver excellent services to customers and business clients. The Group's headquarters and German office are located in Stuttgart, Germany. www.apcoa.com.