The management of an airport requires the definition of service level agreements (SLAs) in order to determine the level of quality of services provided by a company, agent or concessionaire at the airport. Where appropriate, a level of service agreement between interested parties should be formalised in order to ensure that the expected level of service is achieved throughout the journey per passenger, while ensuring that appropriate development triggers are provided to take into account the growth in demand or systemic changes affecting the overall performance of the airport system. Another point of view is: “My service is so good that my customers don`t need SLAs”. The Airports Council International (ACI) has found, through its member airport operators and business partners, that the concept of Level of Service (LoS) and its application to the planning, design, modernisation and monitoring of airport systems needs to be reviewed and updated where appropriate. The audience for these policies is the airport community, including airport owners, operators, regulators and/or third parties who are directly involved in day-to-day operations at airports. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) was introduced about 12 years ago as a model for supporting airlines and ground service providers as part of the IATA Airport Management Manual. Some believe that an SLA introduces an excessive sense of control and performance monitoring, so SSAs are not always perceived positively. Nervousness can be a natural reaction if you work under constant supervision and are measured in depth in performing tasks against clearly defined goals. The introduction of key performance indicators (KPIs) that are part of contractual obligations – the characteristic that defines an SLA – can lead to a mini-crisis in business relationships between two parties, especially when they are linked to bonus/malus systems. Although the usefulness of ASAs is recognized, there is general skepticism about the introduction, negotiation and acceptance of these SLAs.
There are legitimate questions that need to be asked when a party attempts to implement an SLA. If these issues are not perceived negatively, but are resolved with the aim of improving cooperation and finding a fair solution for both sides, it can help the situation. With the development of the sector, the increase in air traffic and the introduction of new technologies, the SGHA will be modernized to take into account the changes that have occurred in the business environment. The updated agreement is presented every five years to IGHC members who vote in favour of adopting the amendments. This brings great added value to the effectiveness of the agreement. There are frequent debates among users of the agreement about the need (or effort) for a new version of it. But in the end, most people agree that it`s important to do business with the latest and most accurate tools available. It`s like smartphone users and upgrading to the latest version of their operating system. Yes, the user can still use the old version and “live with”, but with the new version, he can do much more. For example, it is not possible today to use the contract text of the 2004 version to outsource automated check-in assistance and management at the airport, as the service is not described in the text (computerized check-in was not a common option at the time of the revision).
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