Saturday, May 21, 2016

Action Plan for Improving Passenger Process Operation at Toronto Pearson International Airport

Action Plan for Improving Passenger Process 

 Operation at Toronto Pearson International 



Table of Contents

1        Background. 3

1.1         Current Situation. 3

2        Organization Goals. 4
2.1         Strategic Goals Alignment 4
3        Proposal 5
3.1         Performance Analysis. 5
4        Key Objectives. 7
4.1         Improve Passenger Check-in Time. 7
4.2         Improve Security Screening Time. 8
4.3         Improve Aircraft Boarding Time. 8
5        Action Plan. 9
6        Further Operation Improvement Considerations. 12
7        Conclusion and Recommendations. 15
Reference List: 16

1        Background

The operation management team in the airport terminals is faced with the day to day challenges of providing quality, reliable and cost effective services that are better, cheaper and more responsive to the passenger’s needs at Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is sometimes difficult for them to be able to apply strategic concepts into service processes that can provide competitive advantage to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and add value to its customers. As an operation management consultant, the author is tasked to assist the Customer and Terminal Services (CTS) organization to provide a viable action plan to improve a key process in the terminal operations. The author’s intent here is to enhance operation performance in the Customer and Terminal Services organization in order to gain competitive advantage for the GTAA and achieve corporate sustainability in the airport industry. 

1.1      Current Situation

As you are aware, the Customer and Terminal Services (CTS) organization is responsible for airport terminal operation management. CTS role in the GTAA is to provide terminal operation management through various delivery services and processes. CTS oversee the day to day operation of both terminals at the airport, terminal one and three. Their areas of operations include resource management unit, baggage operations, operations systems, facility and slot allocation services, and call center (GTAA Portal, 2015).

Through performance measuring; as depicted in section 3.1 below, CTS has identified some pain points and bottlenecks in their operation’s departure passenger flow process figure A below. Passenger processing will require some serious attention because current performance measurements; as it relates to passenger check-in, passenger security screening and passenger onboarding; in terms of the quality of service, the speedy process of passengers and  reliability on the services, are not in good standings Terminal Operation Director (2015).  From interviews performed and the rating survey conducted, it was clear as to the challenges and issues faced by CTS terminal operation’s passenger flow process.
Figure: A Passenger Flow – Departure Process Flow Diagram

These pain points and bottlenecks identified, includes the following:
  1. There is overcapacity in process spaces when there is an increase in passenger volume, primarily in the check-in lobby.
  2. Passenger wait-time can sometimes be too long in all passenger security screening areas.
  3. Unplanned demand interruptions due to change requirements in capacity by the airlines, due to introduction of new airline services, and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).
  4. Interoperability is a problem working with different groups at the airport. It can sometimes be time consuming and it slows the passenger flow process.
  5. There is inconsistency across the various airport group’s procedures and processes. This can sometimes cause repeat work and slow decision making.

1        Organization Goals

Along with key strategic partners, the airlines namely Air Canada and West Jet, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), United States Customs & Border Protection (USCBP), Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and NAV Canada, the GTAA has a strategic vision for the Toronto Pearson International Airport to be the best Airport in the world making a difference connecting the world Toronto Pearson (2015). The GTAA is mandated to ensure that aviation services at the Toronto Pearson in aligned with the growing population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and one of the organization’s strategic objectives is to enhance passenger experience at the Airport. It is apparent that in order to satisfy the GTAA and its business partner’s customers, providing passenger satisfaction and to address overall service level and operation agility, CTS would need to achieve their operation goals and objectives in order to support the organization strategic goals and objectives.

1.1      Strategic Goals Alignment

Customer Terminal Services (CTS) strategic goal is to improve passenger flow by improving passenger processing in key areas of the airport operation. Although there are many issues identified the focus will be on wait time for passengers. The intent here is to eliminate passenger traffic bottlenecks and eliminate or reduce passenger wait time. CTS’s strategic goal as seen in the relationship matrix Table: 1 below shows alignment to the GTAA’s strategic objective of enhancing passenger experience. The author believes that it is important to link operation improvement to strategic objective as the purpose of strategic objective is to better the operation performance and in turn better the operating market (Cooper & Edgett, 2010), in this case better the operating market by enhancing passenger experience. 
The author would agree with Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnson (2014) that without a clear strategic directive, operation management cannot properly target key performance indicators.
Table: 1 Relationship Matrix - Goal Alignment


1        Proposal

The author is proposing to enhance passenger experience at the Toronto Pearson Airport by improving passenger flow, specifically passenger processing in the areas of passenger check-in, passenger security screening and passenger aircraft boarding. The plan is to eliminate bottle neck in the process by reducing passenger wait time. The author’s proposal is based on a just-in-time (JIT) lean principle that is common in the service industry and has surfaced in the aviation industry. JIT is a pull strategy for controlling the logical flows of material or resources in manufacturing or service planning and control environments (Cochran & Kaylani, 2008) and (Abuhilal, Rabadi & Sousa-Poza, 2006). JIT or lean is an effective way of efficiently executing demand planning Cochran & Kaylani (2008) as it relates to how fast passengers get processed at the airport. In the author’s opinion, valuing passenger time can contribute to the result of achieving airport operation efficiency.  For instance, if Toronto Pearson were to   implement JIT or lean principles, which can provide an efficient logical and smooth passenger flow process, this can result in a hassle free consumption for the Toronto Pearson passengers improving the quality of service through efficient management of passenger time.
Reasons for proposing this approach can be deduced from the performance analysis section below.

1.1      Performance Analysis

As an operation management consultant, understanding the current operation performance is necessary to determine how to approach the improvement efforts, such as the urgency, direction and priorities for improving the process (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014). CTS operation management should keep in mind that operation performance objectives such as quality, speed, dependability, flexibility and cost, contributes to achieving excellent customer satisfaction in the service offered. Quality and speed is highly influenced by visibility as it relates to customer satisfaction. For instance, when visibility is high, customer satisfaction is perceived through quality of a service (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014). What this means is that quality of service could be determined by the speed of the service that is provided as in the case of an airport environment.
A performance analysis was completed as a prerequisite to understand the good, bad or indifferent in the operation’s process. As seen in Figure B and Table 2 below, performance measurements indicated there are issues with regards to quality of services as it relates to the performance of the operation’s passenger flow process.  Although passenger processing performance appears adequate on the rating scale in Table 2, it did not meet the importance factor on the scale. Delivery speed and delivery reliability of the process were both rated poorly in their performance. Although delivery reliability has an importance factor of 7 on the importance rating, delivery speed of the process is even higher with an importance factor of 9 the highest on the scale.
Table: 2 - Rating Scale
Rating Scale Key:
x= Importance Rating
+= Performance Rating
                                                                                                      Importance/Performance Scale

Quality of service derived from the process



Delivery speed of the  process/service


Delivery Reliability of the process/service



Delivery Flexibility of the process/service


Operating Cost of the process/Service



If you examine the data in Figure B current operation performance had a focus on process quality and flexibility, and very little emphasis was placed on process speed, operating cost or the dependability of the process. You will also see that future performance targets have now been adjusted to align with Customer Terminal Service (CTS) operation objective of improving passenger processing.
Figure: B Polar Diagram on Operation Performance    
Current Performance Measured                      Future Performance Target                                    
The data shows that there is a great need to improve on process speed, which will improve the quality of service for the passengers, supporting the author’s early point about the perception of quality through speedy service. For CTS to meet their future operation performance targets of quality and speed as seen in Figure B, thus improving the passenger flow process, the author recommends that CTS focus should be on agility which is derived from speedy delivery of process or services Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014).

1       Key Objectives

The key objectives that supports CTS strategic goal of improving passenger flow and improving passenger processing are as follows:

1.1      Improve Passenger Check-in Time

From the author’s research on industry best practices and his analysis, he recommends that CTS invest and focus on initiatives and activities that relate to the proper flow sequencing at each passenger processing points and also on the design and layout aspects of the service-scape (Rosenbaum & Massiah, 2011) and (Rondinellie, et al., 2010). CTS operation management should consider rearranging the check-in lobby by decreasing the amount of check in agent counters and replace and increase with process technology namely check-in Kiosks. From a JIT or lean perspective Pheng, Arain & Fang (2011), stated that waste of space is root cause for poor process flow at an airport and added that this is a result of poor design of spatial layout. Further, airport operation management should redesign the space to be fully utilized.
 In addition, by doing this, the author believes it will improve the functionality providing a smoother operation with flexibility to address unexpected changes like capacity growth. Directly this will impact the speed in operation performance in a positive way, whereas an increase in the process technology provides more automation and removing check-in counter offers more space to address capacity growth. The overall intent here is to improve passenger check-in speed by 50% by reducing wait time by 15 minutes. 

1.2      Improve Security Screening Time

According to Terminal Operation Director (2015), security screening can take up to 20 minutes from entry point to exit point during high volume in passenger traffic.  Whenever and wherever possible in the terminals, the author suggests that CTS operation management should consider investing in additional process technologies to provide more automation in the passenger security screening process. CTS’s operation management should consider the use of more innovative technologies which is a common trend across the aviation industry.  Kamarudin (2015) believes that the adaptation rate of innovative technologies in airport is increasing, as the need to automate and provide more efficient method to service passenger, like self-service is growing. Automation and passenger self-service is a good recipe for increasing speed of service and will in the long run provide better customer experience at the airport.  Automation in the case of advance technologies for the process could improve security screening by 75 % reducing wait time by 15 minutes. This however, may have some constraints due to industry regulatory compliances with regards to the type of security screen equipment that can be used (IATA, 2014a).

1.3      Improve Aircraft Boarding Time

To address aircraft boarding time the author recommends that CTS operation management work closely with the airlines to improve their passenger boarding process, which could improve aircraft boarding time depending on the aircraft boarding model uses.
In a case study illustrated by Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014) about operation planning and control activities which include scheduling, loading, sequencing and monitoring and control, proper loading and sequencing technique can speed up the process and save time based on an efficient method of boarding.  This supports (Rondinellie, et al., 2010) point in section 4.1 on proper flow sequencing required at each passenger processing point. Of the three aircraft boarding or loading models below, block method; which is group boarding from back to front, Wilma method; which is one by one boarding from back to front and Steffen method; which is random boarding, Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014) case study concluded that through proper sequencing, the Wilma method reduce the boarding time from 7 minutes to 3.36 minutes, a process improvement of about 50%.
Figure: C Aircraft Boarding Models

Continuous improvement of business process such as the aircraft boarding process, contributes towards operation management achieving reliability, speed and efficiency. Also, continuous process improvement provides the ability to adapt to change efficiently and in less time and with less cost (Singh, 2012) & (Felkel & Klann, 2012). In addition, the author would also suggest that CTS operation management use innovative technology as mentioned by Kamarudin (2015) such as automated passenger boarding (self-serve) system to support the aircraft boarding process. Self-serve systems help speed up the process, whereas passenger would be able to board at their leisure. The objective here is to improve aircraft boarding by 50% thereby reducing aircraft departure by 20 minutes.

1        Action Plan

The table below outlines Customer Terminal Services’ detail action plan geared to meet their objective and achieving their goal.
Table: 3 Detailed Action Plan

Resource Assigned
Start Date
End Date
Estimated Budget
Improve Passenger Check-In Time By 50%

Implement Tool to measure wait Time
Not Started
Jacky Operation Manager and Myron IT Manager
Ability to provide quality and dependable planning and allocation of airport resources
Implement Tool Capturing Space Usage Activities
Not Started
Tom Manager Design & Planning, Jacky and Myron
Achieve airport operation optimization of terminal providing efficiency and effective use of space
Check-In Process refinement Initiative
Not Started
Tom Manager Design & Planning and Jacky Operation Manager
 $ -  
Achieve process reliable, speed and efficiency. Ability to quickly and efficiently adapt to changing conditions with less time and cost
Check-in Counter Rearrange Initiative
Not Started
Jacky Operation Manager & Tom Manager Design
 $ 750,000.00
Achieve airport operation optimization of terminal providing efficiency and effective use of space
Kiosk Repositioning and Enhancement Initiative
Not Started
Jacky Operation Manager and Myron IT Manager
 $ 1,000,000.00
Achieve airport operation optimization of terminal providing efficiency and effective use of space
Mobile Application for check-in
Not Started
Jacky Operation Manager and Myron IT Manager
 $ 450,000.00
Ability to provide fast, reliable and dependable service to passengers
Total Cost:

 $ 3,050,000.00

Improve Security Screen Time by 75 %

Security Screening Continuous Process Improvement
Not Started
Tom , Jacky & Phil Airport Business Liaison
 $ -  
Achieve process reliable, speed and efficiency. Ability to quickly and efficiently adapt to changing conditions with less time and cost
Implement New Body Scanner System
Not Started
Jacky , Phil and Myron IT Manager
Ability to provide fast, reliable and dependable service to passengers
Total Cost:

 $ 2,500,000.00

Improve Aircraft Boarding Time by 50 %

Aircraft Boarding Process Refinement Initiative
Not Started
Jacky & Phil Airport Business Liaison
 $  -  
Achieve process reliable, speed and efficiency. Ability to quickly and efficiently adapt to changing conditions with less time and cost
Implement passenger boarding self-serve system
Not Started
Jacky, Phil and Myron IT Manager
 $ 1,200,000.00
Ability to provide fast, reliable and dependable service to passengers
Total Cost:


Grand Total:


With the implementation of the above-mentioned action plan seen, Customer Terminal Service (CTS) operation management will see improvements in the passenger flow process as they relate to the three key objectives identified. The activities describe in the action plan above would result in CTS operation management abilities to reduce wait time by being efficient in key operation areas passenger check-in, passenger security screening and passenger boarding. Implementing tools to measure wait time and space usage would contribute to the optimization of the passenger check-in, security screening and aircraft boarding process. As you know, Toronto Pearson serves approximately 110,000 passengers daily on average. During seasonal peaks or demand fluctuation at certain time of the day, passenger processing can increase or decrease in demand. According to Karlaftis (2008) if demand becomes high in services due to seasonal trends, operations managers should be in a position to respond through effective long term and short term planning. Proper planning can anticipate service increase derived from trendy daily or seasonal peak times. To control these demand fluctuations operation managers should have inventory or stocks already available. In the case of airport passenger processing, additional staff such as, seasonal workers and extract resource or equipment should be on standby. This is why it is important to have tools in the environment that can measure passenger activity patterns. CTS operation management would now be able to plan better and become flexible in addressing capacity growth and the allocation of airport resources.
CTS operation management will achieve process reliability, speed and quality through the re-design and layout of space and continuous improvement of check-in and aircraft boarding process refinement initiatives. An airport should design a service layout with a combination of fixed and functional layout type. Airports process types are categorized as mass service, and on a volume-variety scale, this would indicate high volume activities (Kamarudin, 2015). Passenger flow would then be optimized through how the operation process positions passengers for transition throughout the airport from check-in to boarding. Therefore, the repositioning of check-in counters and Kiosks play a vital role of managing high volume activities in the fastest time possible. As quoted by Manager of Planning and terminal design, ‘the most efficient airport is when a passenger from curb drop off to boarding on the aircraft, travels the shortest possible distance in the shortest possible time ’  Manager of Planning & Terminal Design (2015)
In addition the implementation of process technologies like mobile self-check-in, state of the art body scanner security screening systems and passenger boarding self-serve systems enhances the passenger experience through fast reliable and dependable service. In order to deliver an effective and efficient passenger flow process, the author believes that it requires a combination of information processing technologies that supports the process. Operation managers should ensure that these process technologies fit the design structure of the operation and that they are able to meet the needs of the process activities Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014). According to Marsillac & Roh (2014), service designs are always changing, and with these changes comes process modification, which is accomplished by either developing people skills or introducing more flexible and advanced process technology. In the initial stages of the operation design, proper evaluation of process technologies can ensure that technologies such as a check-in Kiosks at the airport can be easily upgraded and relocated or has the ability to scale and increase its processing capacity (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014). This is reason enough for Customer Terminal Service to start investing in process technologies that are capable of supporting the passenger flow process and start looking ahead to new technologies such as, biometric system, near field communication (NFC) and even smartphones, which are destined to change airport operations design in passenger processing (Kalakou, Psaraki-Kalouptsidi & Moura, 2015). Similar to (Kalakou, Psaraki-Kalouptsidi & Moura, 2015) belief, the author believes that these new and emerging technologies mentioned will become a contributing factor for increasing the overall speed in airport passenger processing and in enhancing the operation performance and the passenger experience.

1        Further Operation Improvement Considerations

Below are some operation improvements for Customer Terminals Services (CTS) and the GTAA to consider.
Improvement Cycles - In the interest of achieving continuous improvement in Customer Terminal Services operation management, the author suggest the application of certain operation improvement techniques. Improvement cycles as an example, is a method that use a never-ending process of repeat questioning about how a process or activity is working (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014). One in particular called the Why-why analysis, which states a problem and repeatedly ask why to every reasons identified during the questioning until the questions cannot be answered anymore. It is recommended that this be performed during the improvement cycles and that CTS should consider using either the PDCA or DMAIC cycle model as they are the most common in the industry. PDCA model involves a Planning stage – a Do stage – a Check stage and an Act stage. Figure D below illustrates.
Figure: D PDCA model

Another model that can be used in improvement cycles is DMAIC as seen in Figure E below.
Figure: E DMAIC model

DMAIC addresses operation problems by defining the problem to gain understanding around what needs to be done; measuring or validating the problem; analyzing the problem to understand the root cause; improving the problem developing ideas to address root cause, and finally controlling to ensure that the problem is sustained and then the cycle begins again (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014).

Customer Centric Focus - The fact that the GTAA strategic objective is to enhance passenger experience and the passengers although indirectly, are our customer, CTS should become more customer centric focused. According to Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014), being a customer centric organization means ensuring that everyone understands the importance of meeting the requirements of the customer within reason. Customer Terminal Services (CTS) has already taken on this mind set; hence the name of the organization Customer Terminal Services.
Total Quality Management - Total Quality Management (TQM) is another area of focus to improve the operation management excellence of CTS.  The author believes that having good quality management in an airport operation is vital as it addresses concerns or complaints from passengers about the services, so that operation management can focus on improving those services, and satisfy the passenger needs and expectations. The author suggest that CTS should support quality assurance practices, as it promotes the collective involvement of everyone, customer and business working together to improve service quality. TQM is important as its primary goal is to put quality at the center of an operation. It stresses on meeting the needs and expectations of customers and focuses its improvements on the entire organization on getting things right the first time (Bayo-Moriones, Bello-Pintado & Merino-Diaz-de-Cerio, 2011). Further, implementing good quality management practices like TQM reduces waste and contributes to the optimization and efficiency of an operation Jabbour et al. (2014). Therefore, proper quality management practices like Total Quality Management (TQM) and Airport Service Quality (ASQ) are vital component for the success of the business.
Just-in-Time/Lean - The author would like to reiterate and recommend using JIT or Lean as an approach to improve CTS operation performance. Just-in-time (JIT) or Lean is an excellent strategy used for process control and execution (Golhar & Stamm, 1991), and is relevant in the airport industry. JIT focuses on continuous improvement; on overall operation processes, uninterrupted flow; a strategic focus for the Customer Terminal Services (CTS) as it relates to passenger flow, quality control; standardizing practices and eliminating waste; which can save organization in expenditures (Pheng, Arain & Fang, 2011).

Risk Management – Risk management involves identifying potential failures in an operation, and understanding how to prevent these failures from occurring. The author suggests that CTS operation management should have a plan or strategy to mitigate, manage and recover from the effects of risk in the operation (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014), and failures that could affect the airport operation such as; systems and technology and building failure. As you are aware, Information Technology systems supports key services used by airlines for checking in passengers namely passenger processing. If these systems were to fail, or the building compromised it would impact on the organization's ability to provide these services for the airlines. Another risk to mitigate is environmental disruptions. Weather related and or natural disasters events and political or terrorist activities can have a severe impact on operation Carlisle (2015). The author recommend that CTS be proactive and interactive when managing risk Khorsandi & Aven (2014), and invest in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) which is a framework for managing risk in airport environments (ACRP Report 74, 2012).
Although the focus is on Customer Terminal Service (CTS) operation management improvement, it is important to note that in an airport environment such as Toronto Pearson, it is a coordinated effort that leads to success. 
Enterprise Resource Planning - As part of an overall supply chain within Customer Terminal Services (CTS) organization other business units such as the resource management unit, baggage operations, slot allocation services, operation systems and call center. They would likely contribute and are key success factors in providing excellent operation management. CTS coordinate the efforts of all these business units in term of resource allocation, baggage processing, operation systems deployment and maintenance and problem and incident management through their call center. Operation management should consider using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to integrate all the different business processes and provide up-to-date and real-time information (Hendricks, Signhal& Stratman, 2007). ERP as explained by Hahn, Bragg & Shin (1988), is a system capable of providing a method to meet passenger demands through identifying and addressing capacity constraints and bottleneck problems typically seen at the airport terminals.  The goal here is to enhance the coordination efforts of CTS’s business units and provide a better platform for delimitating information and making decisions. 
In addition, an ERP system can also act as a central point for the entire airport supply network in coordinating the planning and control efforts of the airlines, United States Customs & Border Protection (USCBP), Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and NAV Canada and other airport business partners. According to Papatheodorou (2005) planning and control in airport operations can be improved using innovative process  technologies like Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) for collective planning, replenishing resources, and enhancing the decision-making capabilities of the supply network. This is seconded by Duff et al. (2013). It is with this reason the author recommends to extend the consideration of an ERP system to include the entire airport supply network.
Supply Network – Another improvement proposed is the relationship management of the supply network within Toronto Pearson Airport. Toronto Pearson interacts with and  collaborates with a supply network made up of the  airlines such as Air Canada and West Jet, CBSA, USCBP, CATSA and NAV Canada, Toronto Pearson (2015),  and managing these relationship can be challenging, therefore the author recommends having a focus on supply chain management to better understand the supply network relationships. Supply chain management is about how businesses connect and coordinate efforts to provide and deliver a service to meet customer demand. It is a strategic alliance among business Roh, Hong & Min (2014), which involves the managing of business to business (B2B) relationships (Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston, 2014).  The author suggests the use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to help the responsiveness and decision making of the supply chain network.  This is a way to ensure optimum performance and reliance in the supply chain (Duff et al., 2013).

1        Conclusion and Recommendations

Customer and Terminal Services (CTS) operation management understands the need to provide quality, speedy, flexible, reliable and cost effective services to passengers at the Toronto Pearson Airport and plan to eliminate bottle necks in their process by reducing passenger wait time. This action plan identified problems in CTS operation management and has outlined clear objectives to enhance passenger experience by improving passenger flow, in the areas of passenger check-in, security screening and aircraft boarding, and has provided the means to achieve these objectives. In addition, the author has presented an opportunity for CTS, and has proposed operation management best practices to further improve the terminal operations as well as the overall airport community or supply network.  
The performance analysis in section 3.1 revealed that there were problems in the operation’s process as it relates to the quality of service in the passenger flow process. The service delivery speed resulting from the process was poor hence the need to improve the process speed in the focus areas. The author believes that improving the process speed will improve the quality of service for passengers who perceive fast service as a quality and of great value to their needs. The author thinks that CTS operation management can meet this operation performance target of providing quality through speedy service, as it makes sense to be agile, due to the visibility of the service; to cite Slack, Brandon-Jones & Johnston (2014), by passengers at the airport.
The author recommends CTS operations management to implement proper flow sequencing at every passenger processing point to ensure proper process flow transition and should also re-design the service-scape by re-arranging the check-in lobby reducing check in agent counters and replace check-in Kiosks section 4.1. This makes sense to the author as he believes it is going to improve the functional space and provide flexibility to address capacity growth when needed.
The author believe this can be determined by implementing tools to measure and optimize wait time and space in passenger check-in, security screening and aircraft boarding process and contributes to the planning and forecasting activities. This would allow operation management to respond in an efficient and effective way of handling demand fluctuation.
In addition, the author agrees and supports the notion of investing more in process technologies especially in the area of passenger security screening. Technology is always improving and has become a growing trend across the aviation industry and could be a factor for improving process speed. The author agrees with Kalakou, Psaraki-Kalouptsidi & Moura (2015), that emerging technologies will have significant influence on operation performance. Another recommendation by the author is that CTS operation management and the airlines should work together to improve passenger boarding process. As seen in section 4.3 the author agrees that an efficient aircraft boarding model could improve aircraft boarding time by 50%.
As an opportunity to continue to improve the operation performance and the airport overall operation management the author thinks that Customer Terminal Services (CTS) operation management should apply certain operation improvement techniques using improvement cycle model like PDCA or DMAIC to identify and  perform root cause analysis of problems in order to improvement them. The author believes that a systematic approach to problem solving makes sense when it comes to continuous improvement as explained throughout the sections of this action plan.
With the GTAA strategic objective to enhance passenger experience, CTS should become more customer centric focused and foster this approach in the entire organization; having a general understanding that everyone in the organization should have a focus of meeting the needs of the customer within reason. This absolutely makes perfect sense and compliments my earlier point about service visibility to passenger. A passenger can see how you treat another passenger and will either see this as quality or poor service. 
The author; sees the concept of just-in-time (JIT) or Lean relevant to the airport operation and suggest not only CTS, but the entire GTAA to explore further. The author agrees with Golhar & Stamm (1991) that it is an excellent strategy to be used for process control and execution. This makes sense as JIT focuses on continuous improvement, uninterrupted, quality control and eliminating waste. A saving realized.
Risk management is another area to further consider in operation improvement to be proactive in addressing potential risks in the environment. CTS should look into using an Enterprise Risk Management framework.
It makes sense to the author that an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be beneficial and add value to the airport operation management. In the author’s experience and he is in agreement with Hendricks, Signhal& Stratman (2007) and Hahn, Bragg & Shin (1988) that an ERP system is essential to coordinating real-time information within the organization and supply network to make decisions and address operation problems.
Finally, the author proposes the use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool as a way to improve operation performance. CRM can be used to manage the airport community or supply network relationships. A supply network such as the airport is complicated and poses a challenge for operation management. In the author’s experience and Duff et al., (2013) agrees, CRM is one way of ensuring optimum performance and reliance in a supply network.

Reference List:

Abuhilal, L, Rabadi, G, & Sousa-Poza, A (2006), 'Supply chain inventory control: A comparison among JIT, MRP, and MRP with information sharing using simulation', EMJ - Engineering Management Journal, 18, 2, p. 51-57, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 4 July 2015].

ACRP Report 74 (2012), 'Application of Enterprise Risk Management at Airports' Airport Cooperative Research Program [Online] Available at: [Accessed 12 July 2015]

Bayo-Moriones, A., Bello-Pintado, A. & Merino-Diaz-de-Cerio, J. (2011), 'Quality assurance practices in the global supply chain: the effect of supplier localization', International Journal Of Production Research, 49, 1, pp. 255-268, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 June 2015].

Carlisle, A. (2015), 'Airport business resilience: Plan for uncertainty and prepare for change', Journal Of Airport Management, 9, 2, pp. 118-132, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 10 July 2015].

Cochran, J. & Kaylani, H. (2008), 'Optimal design of a hybrid push/pull serial manufacturing system with multiple part types', International Journal Of Production Research, 46, 4, pp. 949-965, [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 5 July 2015].

Cooper, R.G. & Edgett, S.J. (2010) ‘Developing a product innovation and technology strategy for your business’, Research Technology Management, 53 (3), pp. 33-40.[Online] Available from: [Accessed 23 April 2015]

Duffy, R., Fearne, A., Hornibrook, S., Hutchinson, K. & Reid, A. (2013), 'Engaging suppliers in CRM: The role of justice in buyer–supplier relationships', International Journal Of Information Management, 33, 1, pp. 20-27, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 June 2015].

Felkel, R. & Klann, D. (2012), 'Practice papers: Comprehensive passenger flow management at Frankfurt Airport', Airport Management, 6, 2, pp.107-124, [Online] Available at [Accessed 14 June 2015]

Golhar, D, & Stamm, C (1991), 'The just-in-time philosophy: A literature review', International Journal Of Production Research, 29, 4, p. 657, [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 4 July 2015].
GTAA Portal (2015) ‘About Customer & Terminal Services’ GTAA Internal Portal

Hahn, C., Bragg, D. & Shin, D. (1988), 'Impact of the Setup Variable on Capacity and Inventory Decisions', Academy Of Management Review, 13, 1, pp. 91-103, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 27 June 2015].

Hendricks, K., Signhal, V. & Stratman, J. (2007) 'The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance: A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementation', Journal of Operations Management, 25 (1), pp. 65-82.[Online] Available at: [Accessed 02 July 2015]

IATA (2014a), 'Checkpoint of the future'[Online] Available at: [Accessed 6 June 2015

Jabbour, A., Jabbour, C., Latan, H., Teixeira, A. & de Oliveira, J. (2014), 'Quality management, environmental management maturity, green supply chain practices and green performance of Brazilian companies with ISO 14001 certification: Direct and indirect effects', Transportation Research Part E, 67, pp. 39-51, [Online]  Available at: [Accessed 28 June 2015].

Karlaftis, M. (2008)'Demand Forecasting in Regional Airports: Dynamic Tobit Models with Garch Errors', pp.100-111 [Online] Available from: [Accessed 19 June 2015]

Kamarudin, R. (2015), 'Managing Customer Expectation for Passenger Service at Airport', [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 June 2015]

Kalakou, S, Psaraki-Kalouptsidi, V, & Moura, F 2015, 'Future airport terminals: New technologies promise capacity gains', Journal Of Air Transport Management, 42, pp. 203-212, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 June 2015]

Khorsandi, J. & Aven, T. (2014), 'A risk perspective supporting organizational efforts for achieving high reliability', Journal Of Risk Research, 17, 7, pp. 871-884, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 10 July 2015].

Manager of Planning & Terminal Design (2015) unstructured Interview [in person] Terminal Planning & Design Considerations, Interview by Leon Foster, 24th June 2015 EST 9:50.

Marsillac, E. & Roh, J. (2014), 'Connecting product design, process and supply chain decisions to strengthen global supply chain capabilities', International Journal Of Production Economics, 147, Part B, pp. 317-329, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 June 2015].

Papatheodorou, Y. (2005), 'The Price of Leanness', Industrial Management, 47, 1, pp. 8-13, [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 26 June 2015].

Pheng, L., Arain, F. & Fang, J. (2011), 'Applying just-in-time principles in the delivery and management of airport terminal buildings', Built Environment Project & Asset Management, 1, 1, p. 104, [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 July 2015].

Quality Manager Inteplast Group (2015) Unstructured Interview [Phone] How Inteplast adjust capacity, Interview by Leon Foster, 26th June 2015 EST 14:30.

Roh, J., Hong, P. & Min, H. (2014), 'Implementation of a responsive supply chain strategy in global complexity: The case of manufacturing firms', International Journal Of Production Economics, 147, Part B, pp. 198-210, [Online] Available at:  [Accessed 23 June 2015]

Rosenbaum, M. & Massiah, C. (2011) 'An expanded servicescape perspective', Journal of Service Management, 22 (4), pp. 471-490. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 10th June 2015]

Rondinellie, S., et al. (2010) 'Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design' ACRP Report 25, 1, pp.1-299, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 14 June 2015]
Singh, P. (2012), 'Management of Business Processes Can Help an Organization Achieve Competitive Advantage', International Management Review, 8, 2, pp. 19-26, [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 June 2015].

Slack, N., Brandon-Jones, A. & Johnston, R. (2014) Operations management. 7th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Terminal Operation Director (2015) structured Interview [in person] Terminal Operation Current Situation,  

Interview by Leon Foster, 29th June 2015 EST 11:30.

Toronto Pearson (2015), 'Toronto Pearson Strategic Plan: How we're realizing our vision for Toronto Pearson 

International Airport', [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 June 2015]

1 comment:

Today's Top Picks for Our Readers:
Recommended by Recommended by NetLine

Featured Post

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Business Case Study

Business Case:   Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare    Operations Management Report   Table of Content...