Keynote CEO panel: As airports rescale following the pandemic, how can they rebuild to a smarter future whilst prioritising innovation and sustainability?
This 45-minute panel was hosted at the World Aviation Festival in October. Moderated by BBC Journalist Ben Thompson, the discussion involved these prominent leaders from the airport industry:
- Sean Donohue, CEO DFW Airport Board
- Julia Simpson, President and CEO WTTC
- Julie Shainock, Global Leader Travel and Transportation Industry, Microsoft
- Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports
- Gert-Jan de Graaff, CEO Brisbane Airport
Ben expertly moderated with the session covering the current state of the industry as well as expectations for the near and distant future.
One of the topics discussed in depth was the issue of passenger confidence and how to increase predictability to enhance passenger experience. Here, the panel had differing opinions on the severity of the problem however they offered the same broad solution. Developing from this topic the panel explored data and how real time data is currently shared with passengers as well as plans for the next few years.
Inevitably, technology was woven into the entirety of the discourse. When explicitly addressing technology, the conversation explored how to “do more with less” to prevent spending on technology from draining companies. The more distant future was also explored alongside a moment of introspection, looking at how tech has changed lives in unexpected ways.
The final predominant theme was sustainability. Here the panel explained how they interpret sustainability and how to grow sustainably. There was discussion on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and Hydrogen.
In the 45-minutes, the panellists also touched upon advice for start-ups to help get noticed, eVTOL aircrafts, security technology, digital twins, the metaverse, smart buildings, and more.