Centerlines - January 2008 - (Page 36)

MEASURING SUCCESS DFW uses ACI-NA benchmarking survey to drive down costs B Y J O DI R I C HA R DS ON MANAGEMENT B enchmarking allows airports to track how they are doing internally as well as how they compare operationally and financially to airports that are similar in size and activity. At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Poinsatte is in the early stages of putting the tool to work for the airport through Airports Council International-North America’s newly revamped airport performance benchmarking survey. Poinsatte, who joined the DFW team four years ago, said benchmarking is something he “has always tried, from a philosophical standpoint, to integrate wherever I could.” Developing the Survey As chair of the ACI-NA Finance Committee, Poinsatte explained that ACI-NA had multiple benchmark survey tools. When he became chair of the committee, the group “set out to look at all the different benchmark tools that are being used in the industry and to consolidate them into one.” “The problem was the definitions weren’t consistent,” he said. And when definitions aren’t consistent, it is difficult to ensure that all measurements are on an even playing field. According to Poinsatte, the committee came up with one comprehensive survey introduced in March 2007 that he said Christopher Poinsatte, Dallas-Fort Worth serves the purposes for consolidating International Airport’s executive vice various benchmarking surveys conducted president and chief financial officer by ACI and other industry stakeholders. He added that this year a record number of airports—almost 80—participated in the survey. This data collection then made it easier for all airports to access and utilize the information. The results of the survey were shared earlier in the year among the participating airports. The committee is also working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change the mandatory airport financial reporting Form 127, which is required annually, so that it matches up with the ACI-NA survey, “so that all information,” said Poinsatte, “whether it’s going to the FAA or internally, is consistent.” Poinsatte said the committee feels confident that it now has a very comprehensive survey mechanism that gets to the higher financial levels as well as the key operational or business measures, like parking or concessions. The survey also gets down to the process level, such as how many firefighters or policemen an airport has and how much is spent on the services. “THAT’S really what benchmarking is about— you identify the three or four airports that are like you, or however many it is, and then you have to make phone calls, you have to dig into the information, get your analysts with their analysts and really try to drive through.” — 36 CENTERLINES | JANUARY 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - January 2008

President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
Regulatory Front
On the Hill and On the Stump
One on One: Dave Barger
Revenue: The Concessions Awards
Environment: O’Hare Expansion
Passenger Focus: Houston Friendly
Safety and Security: After Comair, What Next?
Air Service Recruiting: Charleston’s Acquisition of AirTran
On Management: Performance Benchmarking at DFW
Now Underway
Grand Opening
Conference Previews and Reviews
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - January 2008