Airports South Africa

[Market Decisions and Airport Research, ACSA Website]

In 1996, two years after Market Decisions was formed, and after having successfully conducted Shopping Centre Research, the company was approached to conduct research in the aviation field, for the retail arm of the airport.  The decision to award the research to Market Decisions stemmed largely from the fact that the owner of the Company started her research career with Shoprite for supermarket research, Rusfurn for durable goods research and was established in the local and international field of market research.

Airports Company South Africa Limited (ACSA) was formed in 1993 as a public company under the Companies Act of 1973, as amended, and the Airports Company Act of 1993, as amended. Although ACSA is majority owned by the South African Government, through the Department of Transport, the Company is legally and financially autonomous and operates under commercial law. Market Decisions, together with Shopz Retail, conducted research which involved calculating the retail in the new international duty-free shop. To do this, research companies across the globe were sourced to understand the dynamics of duty free retail.

The company completed its most ambitious infrastructure capacity development and improvement programme ever, prepared and brilliantly delivered against the world’s and our country’s expectations for a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup.

ACSA was formed to own and operate the nine principal South African airports, including the three main international gateways of O.R. Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports. As well as providing world class, secure infrastructure for airlines to transport people and goods, ACSA extends its responsibilities to include the promotion of tourism, the facilitation of economic growth and job creation, and protection of the environment.

As recognised by global consulting firm Mott MacDonald, the investment by ACSA in infrastructure development has been appropriate, leading to significant socio-economic benefits. It is estimated that the three major international airports sustains about 300 000 jobs (direct and indirect) and that planned future developments, as a result of passenger and cargo growth, will result in the creation of some 150 000 new jobs over the next 10 years, provided the envisaged infrastructure development plans are realised.

For the past twenty years, service standards have been benchmarked through the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Airport Service Quality Programme. There are now over 300 airports around the world taking part in this programme, ranging from Atlanta (the largest) to Incheon and Kuala Lumpur (the most efficient). To date, ACSA airports have won multiple achievement awards for passenger satisfaction. The research is rigorously monitored for both accuracy and as a reflection of the airport passenger traffic. Market Decisions has consistently managed to achieve a high compliancy regarding the research we conduct.

In addition, ACSA, together with Market Decisions, developed the Airport Service Quality Performance Benchmark, which measures waiting and processing times during peak periods.  ACSA has set defined targets as per those used at similar sized airports.

On a weekly basis each airport requires a Quality Monitoring Assessment, conducted on an iPad.  The results are provided to management within fifteen minutes of synchronisation.

This assessment is focused on the key elements that make the airport function, and ensures greater passenger satisfaction overall, such as the Cleanliness, Maintenance, Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS) and Wayfinding, and Friendliness and Courtesy of the staff who work at the airport.

Other research conducted by the company at the airports include:

  • Retail analysis
  • Queue Management