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April’s post: Mobility performance, KPAs

There are many performance targets for the European (air) transport system. It is clear that performance-based frameworks are needed and utilised, especially when decision makers need to act on legislative packages or when operational managers need to make procedural changes or decisions regarding technology. This overarching model of operations proves that any costly decision must ultimately result in an increase in performance.

Different performance frameworks look into different aspects of the European mobility framework, with varying goals that are not necessarily compatible or aligned in the same direction. To illustrate, ‘Flightpath 2050’ envisions an air transport system that improves safety levels but also guarantees time-related performance for the future passengers of Europe; up to four hours maximum door-to-door travel time for 90% of travellers using air as a mode. This number is not arbitrary, as it corresponds to the type of experience high-level experts envision for European passengers. However, punctuality and efficiency metrics are mostly flight-centric. Passengers are rarely considered in performance schemes and therefore very little is known about the actual door-to-door time performance from the passenger perspective. Decisions such as ‘when’ or ‘where’ to act in achieving this goal have proven to be more challenging than initially expected.

The European Commission Single European Sky Unit is working on ‘Reference Period 3’, which delves deeper into the performance scheme for air navigation service and network functions from 2020. This performance framework is very detailed, but unfortunately does not yet include provisions for passenger punctuality. Due to the complexity of different, non-interchangeable metrics, the KPAs and the different performance goals do not necessarily match.

SESAR and CleanSky have detailed, technical performance goals. By looking into specific technology developments or procedures, it is clear that their technologies will surely improve the performance of many concrete operational elements (e.g. runway performance or environmental impact in terminal areas, to mention two of them) – however it is yet unclear how much those programmes will contribute to passenger mobility.

In addition, traditionally, passengers have been categorised as ‘business’ and ‘leisure’ travellers. However, these traditional distinctions have become less distinct over recent years and will continue to do so in the future. This is driven by various developments such as newly emerging markets and cultural backgrounds, an ageing society, and increasing digitalisation within private and business life. Resulting passenger needs and expectations during their journey can thus differ to a great extent. This is reflected in their willingness to pay for extra services and time savings during their stay at the airport, for example. Therefore, the initial passenger group classification is not sufficient any more to properly address and integrate passenger requirements across the different transport modes. (D3.1 on passenger profiling 2.0 to be delivered soon!)

See you in the next blog post!

Mobility, Passenger