Quick Question Airport Edition: Covid Recovery, Hot Topics and Recent Developments

Airport parking experts took to the In the Spotlight stage to share their insight into current industry challenges and hit topics

In less than a week our Airport Parking Network Event returns for its 13th edition. From 27th – 29th November, airport parking managers and solution providers will join together in Madrid to share their experiences and generate solutions to current parking challenges.

Ahead of the event, three airport parking experts share their insights into how things stand with the industry. Read on to hear more from:

  • Martin Draper, Consultant Advisor Parking & Ground Transportation Services at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  • Michael Pruschak, Marketing, Parking Management, and Landside Traffic Operation at Vienna International Airport (VIE)
  • Manel Moreno, Head of Mobility and Commercial Passenger Services at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)

How Have Things Been At Your Airport Lately?

All three airports painted a positive picture of recovery and Martin noted that there has been an acceleration in innovation. At Budapest Airport passenger numbers are increasing, the airport is flourishing and they are looking ahead to big expansion projects. Meanwhile, at Vienna International Airport the summer season far exceeded predictions.

Michael cautioned that there is some uncertainty ahead in the upcoming months. Will there be any further lockdowns? Will business travel be enough to boost passenger numbers or will they plummet once the summer season is over? What effect will the war in Ukraine have?

Despite these unanswered questions, the overall feeling was one of optimism that things will continue to improve.

What Challenges Did You Encounter During the Covid-19 Pandemic?

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic was a global crisis for the aviation industry. It resulted in the biggest-ever drop in passengers and had a devastating effect on the airport parking industry.

Ahead of the pandemic, many airports had made investment decisions based on projections made in 2019 which predicted a massive trajectory of growth. As the impact of Covid-19 became clear many airports froze their capital spending, closing parking facilities, cutting back on additional services, and reducing maintenance. At Vienna International Airport, their off-airport parking was closed, the shuttle service was canceled and lighting was reduced to a minimum.

Whilst Vienna canceled marketing campaigns and promotions, airports such as Budapest sought ways to incentivize the few remaining passengers to utilize airport parking, rather than third-party off-airport parking facilities. But during the height of the lockdown, there was little that marketing activity could do to overcome restrictions.

Martin Draper noted that airports are beginning to review investment decisions and resume spending again although competition is now tighter than ever between airport departments. However, as parking is such a big revenue stream for airports he is hopeful that investment decisions will be made in favor of parking.   

What Topics and Trends Are of Interest Currently?

Hot topics and trends for their year’s event will likely include: ancillaries and cross-selling; revenue management software and dynamic pricing; investment decisions in light of Covid-19; EV charging; ANPR accuracy; contactless payments; collaborating with off-airport parking and solutions for staff parking.

What Is Your Experience of the Airport Parking Network Event?

When it comes to the advantages of the Airport Parking Network Event, Manel Moreno from Budapest Airport highlighted two key benefits. Firstly, industry newcomers have the opportunity to see what is available in the market, and secondly, returning attendees are able to meet with their peers, discuss common challenges informally, share solutions and grow in the same direction together.

Similarly, Michael Pruschak from Vienna International Airport commented that he has looked forward to attending the previous four editions of the event as it gives him the opportunity to discuss strategies, future challenges, and current topics with other airports. He also noted that the event always presents a diverse range of solutions providers, helping airport attendees to update and improve their hardware, software, and services.

Martin Draper, from Pittsburgh International Airport, also looks forward to connecting with suppliers and operators to see what they have been doing differently and what new solutions have entered the market. 

Don’t miss your opportunity to join the discussion. Get your last-minute registration in now, and meet your airport parking peers in Madrid this Sunday!