How Sangster Airport produces a quality passenger experience in a smaller-sized location
Shane Munroe, Chief Executive Officer at MBJ Airports Limited (MBJ), discusses the importance of making the airport as much a part of the vacation experience as the destination, and how redeveloping ageing infrastructure and improving retail offerings can benefit the experience.
At Sangster International Airport (SIA), we believe that the quality of the passenger experience at all points of interaction in the service delivery process is integral to the success of our airport. Our commitment to quality passenger service has been recognised and awarded by the industry, having been named World Travel Awards’ ‘The Caribbean’s Leading Airport’ for 12 consecutive years.
Competing as a small airport
Geographically, SIA operates in a small regional location and experiences peak hour traffic demand challenges relative to the size of the terminal infrastructure. With just under five million passengers annually, acting as the main gateway for over 70 per cent of passengers to Jamaica, the airport operates in a global industry competing for market share against much larger airports, destinations with access to greater revenue capacity and markets to drive infrastructure development and fund technological capabilities.
MBJ Airports Limited (MBJ) understands that size is not a limitation to quality service and, therefore, the quality of the customer experience must be prioritised as a fundamental element of competitive advantage, market differentiation and destination brand identity. In this regard, the mobilisation and equipping of the airport’s human resources, use of technology to improve efficiency, infrastructure enhancement and keeping abreast of international practices are the key elements to creating a quality passenger experience at SIA.
Strong stakeholder relationships and engagement in supporting and promoting the values of quality passenger service around a ‘Team Sangster’ initiative that offers professional, fast, attentive and friendly service is the foundation of our human resource strategy. We are moving towards aligning the entire airport community with this mantra, where all employees at SIA must participate in customer service training that is administered by the airport operator as part of the hiring process, and the values of quality customer service are espoused as part of the programme. Staff are also required to participate in ongoing and remedial training where service level deficiencies are identified. This initiative will ensure that service superstars are publicly recognised and rewarded through our recognition programme.