On June 7-8 ADB Safegate attended the British Irish Airports Expo in Birmingham, U.K. This was the first time the event has been held, and attracting 1,500 attendees across the two days from many regions. For ADB Safegate, Regardt Willer, General Manager for the U.K. market, the main subject for the event was to reconnect with our customers in this key market, and now as one brand remind them that we are a local organisation with local customers.
“The U.K. market is one of ADB Safegate’s key markets,” reports Regardt, who says that our presence at the event was largely to have the opportunity to focus on local customers and give them some quality time. “ADB Safegate is committed to the U.K. market, which we expect will grow significantly over the next five years. We will continue building on the platforms we have already made with upcoming and ongoing projects.”
The U.K., with London in particular, is a distinctive market. In London you have Gatwick, the busiest single runway airport in the world, and Heathrow, the busiest airport in the world. London has the world’s busiest airspace with 150 million passengers that need to be managed. “The challenges that come with that make the UK unique,” says Regardt. “You can imagine the requirement for efficiency.”
But capacity is also an important issue for the market, he says. “Heathrow is already running at 98% capacity so their margin for error is virtually non-existent. You’ve got a situation where they’re fully occupied – they’ve got a busy airspace and a busy operation down on the ground. They need suppliers that help them reduce their margin of error and make them resilient to error.”
Regardt also points out that UK based airports have a great deal of respect globally, and that they are looked to for guidance and future trends from many other airports across the world because they aim to achieve such high standards in their operations. “It is a market that invests in innovation, they’re early adopters.” The first ever LED runway outside of the United States was Manchester Airport. “If you look at any of our new technologies, 9 out of 10 times the UK were the first to invest in that technology. They are technology hungry.”
With capacity and efficiency as some of the main concerns, particularly with the constraints of the lack of geographical land space available, it means that airports need to look to different solutions when it comes to expanding air traffic. “The constrained airspace is also a factor, it means that operations need to be resilient. You’ve got to be able to prove your products and solutions can help with this,” he says.
The event was the perfect opportunity to interact with customers, says Regardt. “It was a chance to focus on our customers and meet with them as our new ADB Safegate brand. To show our customers that we are still a local company with local focus.”