Added: 01.06.2011 11:37
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How hard it is to get a modern airport work as it supposed to?

Stop printing press!! Something is happening at the airport.. The news level is always exceeded if something goes wrong at the airport. In recent years at least Helsinki-Vantaa has been dominating the news with strikes and walkouts. Than again it has been selected as the best airport in Nothern Europe.

I'll talk now only about Helsinki-Vantaa and referring it as "HEL". Airports are landmarks, gateways, workplaces, exiting places, the most hellish places on earth or you name it. Within the airport cluster, hundreds of peoples work in there an try to make it more functional. In HEL there are at least five different ground handling companies, two major catering companies, four cleaning companies and at least three different fueling companies. In addition to this let's do not forget the security service companies and different airline personnel from tens of different airlines. And all of this should be in one administrators hands: Finavia.

Lately the travelling people's tensions have been tight because of different strikes and walkouts. Finnair's Northport outsourced it's ground handling to Barona, SAS Ground were outsourced to ISS Aviation and Finnair Cargo was outsourced to Transvall. Outsourcing seems to be in fashion at HEL. This has been causing strikes within the unions. It feels that everyone has been in strike at least one time at HEL. Even the security officers went on strike but the volcanic ash cloud from Eyafjallajökull prevented everybody from flying so nobody cared about their strike anyway.

The thing is that the atmosphere in aviation business is changing at the traditional laws don't work anymore. Airports need to find solutions to get different clusters work as one to benefit the airport. When everybody works as one, the airport works. This should be identified at Finavia. Should they give incentives for different clusters while the unions are fighting with major operators like Finnair? The answer is I don't know, but something needs to be done. I know from experience that in HEL there are people working in the same company for the same profit unit and they haven't even heard from each other. Lack of communication there, ay? Yes there are signs of inequality: Finnair cannot afford to keep it's working people happy, but they can afford to few million euro "brand update" and new head office. But it's not the key issue in HEL airports problems.

Helsinki is the design capital of the world in 2012 so can we please find a solution to get the design of the airport to work? To get the people flow to and from the airplanes function. It would also be major plus if they could have their luggage too.

Research question: What can be done to improve airports functionality?

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