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AIRPORT DESIGN Last modified on September 25, 2018

Park and fly

Airport World takes a look at a handful of initiatives designed to boost car parking efficiency, revenues and customer service levels at gateways across the globe.

So slick and impressive is Edmonton International Airport’s own parking product, jetSet Parking, that it has expanded beyond the boundaries of the Alberta gateway and now also provides car parking services at Canada’s Saskatoon (YXE) and Vancouver (YVR) airports.

Established in 2010 and deliberately operated as an independent brand to counter consumer belief that airport parking is more expensive than the off-site alternatives, jetSet competes directly against the off-airport parking operators and suppliers and is now the dominant player in the Edmonton market and an important economic generator for EIA.

Indeed, courtesy of a parking reservation system developed by Chauntry for jetSet, EIA became the first North American airport to introduce online parking reservations and one of the first to provide a rewards programme and make customised offers to passengers. Today, 80% of all its parking transactions are made online.

A self-park and valet service are offered to customers at all three Canadian airports and, at EIA, there is the option to check-in for WestJet flights at shuttle bus stations and the main office.

EIA’s parking and management solutions director, Brett Bain, says: “Today, many airports compete with off airport parking operators who generate significant revenues while sharing little, if any, of the revenue stream with the airports they serve. We wanted to change this and therefore set up jetSet as a separate parking brand.

“The goal of jetSet is the creation of a national and international airport brand, which, as airports, we can share the benefits from. By working together, the potential for national and corporate sales opens up sales channels which very few airports enjoy today.”

He adds: “We are a significant generator of non-aeronautical revenue for EIA. The airport now makes an average of C$7.68 per enplaned passenger, which is the highest in Canada, but such is the strength of the jetSet brand that most people don’t associate it with the airport.”

Investing in analytics

Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, has partnered with IDeaS Revenue Solutions to grow revenue at 11 car parks offering more than 20,000 parking spaces at Oslo Airport.

Avinor insists that the new strategy will create a better experience for the growing number of travellers using the airport’s car parks.

Customers are also promised that they will receive more dynamic pricing on Avinor’s pre-book solution, with regulated prices based on actual demand.

“In an increasingly complex ground transportation environment, we recognised that, while we have done a good job to date, investing in analytics to better understand and price the demand for our car park business would enable us to truly optimise our parking inventory,” says Amy-Caroline Løken, category manager for Avinor.

“It would also create a better customer experience for the growing number of travellers looking to pre-book online.

“We’re truly excited to partner with IDeaS. The company will not only give us a system to automate pricing updates to our selling systems, but also will guide us through the journey given their extensive expertise in airport parking revenue management.”

According to the technology company, its Car Park Revenue Management System “empowers airport commercial and parking managers to automate revenue management and price distribution, leveraging best-in-class SAS Analytics and easy-to-use data visualisations and interactive dashboards”.

The web-based, self-learning tool dynamically forecasts parking demand, enabling optimal pricing decisions to be set over a full booking window, so customers are accurately charged according to demand and parking revenues are optimised.

“One of the best ways airports can manage a correct pricing system is through applying automated revenue management to their parking assets,” explains IDeaS’ director of strategic accounts, Guy Barnes.

“Moving from manual or less sophisticated pricing decision-making to a data-driven environment delivers significant revenue growth to an area that typically delivers the greatest EBITDA for airports.

“We’re hugely excited to partner with Avinor and Oslo Airport, and we look forward to working with the team to provide increased control in driving performance.”

Smart parking at SFO

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has awarded the Parking Guidance System contract for its Long-Term Parking garages (LTP1 and LTP2) to Park Assist.

The company’s M4 camera-based smart-sensor powered technology was selected along with a set of features to help SFO reduce costs, generate new revenue opportunities and create an innovation-driven parking system.

It will also be fully integrated with SFO’s Park Access Revenue Control System (PARCS) to add more seamless functionality and further enhance the customer experience.

The M4 camera based smart-sensor system uses License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, as well as digital directional signage, which helps guide drivers to the nearest available space.

Upon entry to the facilities, airport branded signs are utilised to clearly communicate parking space availability and let visitors know where to turn. Park Assist’s signage is configured to display real-time parking availability throughout the entire facility of over 6,682 spaces.

According to SFO, visitors will now enjoy effortless parking, with guidance throughout the entire garage, and even back to their car using Park Assist’s Find Your Car feature via the airport’s mobile app.

Once the system is fully installed, a complete integration with other technology currently in use at the facility will take place to ensure a seamless exchange of data between all parking systems and software.

In addition to sensors and intuitive controls, Park Assist’s Park Surveillance feature will be added to the project scope to serve as a security enhancement. The camera-based system can capture streaming video whenever motion is detected in or around a space, or continuously – if desired.

“We are delighted to work with San Francisco International Airport in delivering an exceptional customer experience in parking while helping to create more operational efficiencies and conveniences,” says Park Assist’s CEO, Gary Neff.

E-commerce on agenda at Seattle-Tacoma

AeroParker have won a 10-year contract with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to supply a robust e-commerce platform for its parking operation.

The AeroParker system will allow airport customers to reserve and purchase parking and ancillary services in advance of their travel.

Sea-Tac is currently ranked as the 9th busiest US airport, serving nearly 46.9 million passengers in 2017 and manages one of the world’s largest single structure parking garages with more than 13,000 spaces available for both short and long-term parking.

Jon Keefe, CEO of AeroParker, says: “This is a prestigious contract that we are extremely proud to have been awarded. We look forward to working closely with the Port of Seattle. This win continues to maintain our current growth rate and firmly establishes AeroParker in the United States.”

Established in 2000, AeroParker processes millions of pre-book parking and ancillary transactions per annum across its airport and port customers throughout Europe. It’s growth in the US has been facilitated by Venture Capital (VC) funding, which was secured in 2014.

Offering airports multiple channels to increase non-aeronautical revenues from parking and ancillaries, AeroParker’s software also enables airports to collect valuable customer data for future commercial gain.

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