The San Antonio Airport System, under the leadership of Aviation Director Tom Jones, consists of the city-owned and operated San Antonio International (SAT) and Stinson Municipal (SSF) Airports, the latter currently celebrating a century of continuous operation. The Airport System generates more than $5 billion in economic impact to the region and supports over 97,500 jobs with nearly $1.6 billion in annual earnings.
The city of San Antonio Aviation Department has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Richard Goodman Award in the Government Non-National Category by the Association of Strategic Planning (ASP). Awarded to organizations at the “leading edge of exemplar strategic practice,” the honor recognizes the Airport System’s creative and realistic approach to strategic planning. The ASP awards committee praised the San Antonio Airport System in several areas, including the “effective and creative” use of the airport’s FAA Master Plan, as well as its created and use of the Safety Management System (SMS) program. SMS is a “holistic view …both outside in and inside out” of the airport’s own planning process, and innovation in using and understanding airport metrics notably in relation to airport’s customer experience. Although all airports have a master plan to grow infrastructure, overarching strategic planning to direct a course to grow airport business is not common in the US airport industry.
Strategic planning is central to addressing the Airport System’s priority issues including security checkpoint wait times, attracting tenants, implementing safety and security programs, as well as general customer experience enhancements. Indeed, through its strategic planning process, the San Antonio Airport System has made customer experience an organizational priority that has resulted in three consecutive industry customer service awards from Airport Council International (ACI).
The Aviation Department’s focus on strategic planning can best be highlighted with ongoing and planned customer enhancing services ranging from:
- Working with community business leaders to recruit new non-stop routes and the introduction of a newly revamped incentive program.
- Installing state-of-the-art technologies that assist parking patrons to enter and exit the facilities and immediately locate available parking spaces, along with an integrated real-time web-based parking availability that can be used before arriving at the airport.
- TSA Checkpoint Queuing Software using a video-based system to measure and provide passengers with real-time wait times that are accessible on the airport’s website and mobile website.
- Introduction of a Frequent Parking Program for airport customers that want guaranteed parking availability.
- Implementing major construction projects that add convenience, safety and new passenger service facilities such as a new consolidated short-term parking and rental car facility under one roof and located directly across from the terminals.
- Other services include gate seating with electrical outlets and USB ports, baggage scales in the lobby areas, Lactation Stations, pet-relief areas, free Wi-Fi, and multiple local and national concession branded eating and shopping venues.
The vision and mission of the San Antonio Airport System encompasses innovation in management of a multifaceted operation that keeps the customer experience in “first place” while supporting economic development of the community it serves.http://www.sanantonio.gov/sat