International Airport Management System


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The purpose of this report is to cover operational issues from which an international airport is suffering. In this, the study will be on London Heathrow Airport, which is UK-based and an international one serving England also. It is the third busiest airport in this world in its total traffic of passengers. It is handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe (Hanlon, 2007).

The main focus of this report will be on operational issues as mentioned in a case study. According to the case, Heathrow has a proposal of a new runway for short and narrow distances in order to reduce unnecessary taxiing. If it operates in a remote area, it results in an inefficient operation and therefore, leads to longer distances for taxiing, longer time for all the flights as well as more pollution. A major focus of this report will be on the different measures Heathrow is taking at its airport (Maxon, 2014).

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Layout and Provision of Facilities

  • Heathrow International Airport provides various facilities for airlines and passengers. Some of them are:
  • It has having family lounge for families as well as play areas for children ages 3-9 and a game zone for ages 10-15 (Hanlon, 2007).
  • For adults, it gives coffee and soft drinks along with comfortable seating arrangements.
  • Heathrow has family restaurants too at their airports to have quality food there (Windsor, 2014).
  • It also has the facility of baby change areas in each terminal.
  • In terms of airline benefits, there is a facility of self-service check-in as well as online check-in which is simple and safe to use. 

Evaluation of Layout and Provisional Facilities

In Heathrow, terminal 1 had a lot of advantages and was successful for a long period of time. As it covers distance routes passengers of Heathrow airport got the benefit of not using taxies in those areas. By terminal 2, the airport is getting the advantage of various facilities, which are like spacious parking for cars and it has having cooling station too. It gives benefits to the passengers in choosing their preferred bar and restaurant among various alternatives. Because of some operational issues there, it was demolished in 2010 and combined with other buildings for redevelopment (Calder, 2000). According to Terminal 3, Heathrow has the benefit of a reduction in traffic and a high improvement in security. In terms of passengers, they are getting good experience there. When Terminal 2 was again redeveloped, it had better facilities and that is why, terminal 3 went into a decline phase. A well-developed check-in area as well as a new baggage system were the main advantages of terminal 4. In this, both the airlines and passengers were satisfied. In Heathrow's fifth terminal, the transport network area of the airport has been increased in order to cope with a large number of passengers (Hatch, 2003).

There are a lot of advantages of Heathrow's facilities which it provides to its airlines as well as to people using their business (Creation, 2007). The facility of family restaurants is able to earn high revenues for the business and make passengers satisfied. People who take hard drinks have various options with them and it creates more profits for Heathrow International Airport. Self and online check-in are those facilities which are helpful in providing security to people and organizations. It creates a high brand image in the market and gains the trust of customers (Warn, 2005).

Range of Management Issues

There are various issues which are involved in the operation of airport and airline services of Heathrow International which are increasing costs in an organization. These are:
As every airport is governed by the Airport Act 1986, Heathrow is also one of them. Under the terms of this act, any airport which is having its annual turnover of more than Rs 1 million, is subject to price control which is being imposed by the CAA. For Heathrow, the CAA made it mandatory to accomplish particular targets by delivering high service quality to the users (Graham, 2003).

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Other factors Affecting the Operating Costs of Airline

  • Ownership and control - In privatization, the ownership and control of airports by different people can have implications on provisions as well as on operations of these airport services.
  • Cost basis for charges - Everything which is charged by passengers at Heathrow is according to the costs of its operations and maintenance. Its cost of capital and depreciation cost of the assets also specifies its rate of return. So what should be charged to people is a major issue in this firm (Loverrove, 2000).
  • Non-discrimination aspects - Heathrow is providing some incentives and developing different charges for particular airlines in order to attract and retain customers.
  • Cost of plane - The highest cost of an airline is the plane itself. So the company should make plans in order to recover this cost (Czerny, 2008).
  • Number of empty seats - In case, when all tickets are not selling, the airline cannot generate profits to their fullest. That can be a reason which reduces loss and increases the operating cost of business (Shaw, 2007).
  • Time of buying fuel - When Heathrow buys fuel that the airline uses to fly at a time when it is expensive, it will increase operating costs. To reduce that cost it should purchase it when its rate is cheap, it can save millions of dollars for the firm (Dogans, 2005).
  • Different kinds of planes - If Heathrow uses different kinds of planes, it will require training, maintenance and repair on them while if it uses only one kind of plane, the cost of these things can be saved.
  • Selling through websites - To reduce operating costs, Heathrow can sell its tickets through its websites, instead of travel agents. It will save that cost which has to be given to the organization that provides plane tickets and rooms of hotels who want to stay and travel (Creation, 2007).
  • Maintenance of airport - The cost incurred in the maintenance of the airport including its facilities is also a reason for an increase in the operating cost of this airline. In order to reduce them and earn high profits, it should maintain it accordingly.

Few more samples on Airline Management-


Heathrow is one of the leading airlines among several of them globally. It is having some issues regarding its operating cost, for which it is taking corrective measures also. It is running its business by fulfilling all regulations and taking security measures in order to save an organization from any unethical activity. It takes anti-terrorism measures to tighten the security and protect itself as well as passengers. By getting the trust and confidence of the people, Heathrow has having high brand image in the market (Graham, 2008). As it provides the best quality with the best technology, this feature makes it able to gain an advantage over the competition.


  • Calder, S., 2000. Nofrlills the truth behind the low-cost revolution in the skies. Virgin.
  • Creation, S., 2007. Ryanair: how a small Irish airline conquered Europe. Aurum Press Ltd.
  • Czerny, A., 2008. Airport slots: international experiences and options for reform. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
  • Doganis, R., 2002. Flying of course the economics of international airlines. Psychology Press.
  • Dogans, R., 2005. The airline business. Routledge.
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