The Gateway International Airport that operates in South Africa faces such issues as operational, demand, and security. The former include the congestion of customers at the airport during some hours, which is brought about by the problem of the lack of enough personnel. Improper workshop management has also resulted into this challenge. The security issues include cases of theft at the airport. Demand management is also a great problem facing the organization. During peak seasons, there is an issue of overbooking, when the capacity exceeds the demand. However, in other periods, there are not so many customers, and planes take off with few filled seats. The main recommendations to solve these issues include increasing the number of personnel during peak seasons, proper work scheduling, improving security guard and increasing the number of flights to maximize revenues.
The Gateway International Airport, which now is known as the Polokwane International Airport, is located in the city of Polokwane in South Africa. It was opened in 1996. The organization is located five kilometers north of the Polokwane city in the Limpopo province. The Gateway International Airport, just like other airports, faces important management. Although it has experienced considerable growth in general aviation operations over the last several years, it has not managed to maximize its profits. The airport has not been able to attract low-cost airliners. However, it does not mean that the organization does not receive a large number of travelers, especially during peak seasons. Therefore, airport management becomes a major challenge facing it.
The Major Operation Issues Affecting the Airport
The airport has experienced a considerable increase in the number of flights over the last years (Bechtold and Showalter 100). It shows that the airline has continued to gain popularity among many travelers. The demand for its services has increased, and the high number of customers causes congestion at the airport. The demand for operations is different every day. If it is high, it causes problems during some hours. In the evening, the number of customers increases, but there is not enough personnel to attend them. Due to they cannot handle so many customers, it will result into congestion and long queues. It may result into delays of flights, cause inconvenience to customers, and make them prefer other airlines.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), increased operations associted with the large number of takeoffs and landings will require an increase in the air traffic control (ATC) staff (Pfeifer 157). The airport has faced traffic congestion due to the lack of enough personnel to provide services to the increased number of travelers. The employees that handle operations during off-peak seasons remain the same during peak periods. The hiring of additional ATC personnel should be used to deal with the expected demand.
Poor Workforce Management
Workforce management and days-off scheduling are among the main problems at the airport. Considering that, the number of customers varies at different time, and days off should match the variation of the demand (Baker and Magazine167). The workforce is not well-organized to deal with the issues. The number of employees working during low-demand hours is the same that the one of those providing services during peak hours.
The Major Security Issues
The major security issue is small crimes like theft experienced at the airport. The security of one’s luggage is important to every traveler. The airport management should adopt strategies to ensure that customers do not experience crimes. Sometimes, the number of security guards is not enough to reduce theft cases at the airport. As a result, the issue of insecurity may cause customers to prefer other airports that are safer. Therefore, the Gateway International Airport should increase the number of workers responsible for ensuring security.
Demand-Managing Issues Affecting the Airport
Recently, the airport has been facing some major problems. These are quite big, due to the organization is about to close down. The poor management of demand brings about the major issues. The airport does not apply proper strategies to attend all customers (Baker and Magazine 164). The demand for services may change with the consumer behavior at different hours, days and seasons. However, it may also mean that people will prefer other airport. Therefore, understanding how the demand varies is important in demand management.
The Lack of Demand during Off-Peak Seasons
During off-peak seasons, the airline faces low demand on the part of customers. There are also days and time, when the demand is below average. On Sunday, the number of passengers is 20% less than on other days. It brings about the issue, when some seats are without passengers. Due to this, the company will continue to incur high fixed operational costs, and the revenue will be very little (Belobaba 187). When a pllane takes off with some seats without passengers, this reduces the revenue earned, which can result into losses during some seasons.
Poor Demand Management during Peak Seasons
During peak seasons, the demand is more than the airport can handle. The management does not have strategies at hand to deal with the high number of travelers. Such issues as overbooking affect the operation of the airport greatly. The number of people wanting to use a certain plane may exceed the number of seats (Belobaba, 190). It mostly happens during the peak season. The airport should maximize its revenue at this time to reduce cases of overbooking.
The airport management should come up with strategies to deal with the issues that arise. Some of them may include:
- Increasing the number of personnel during peak seasons can help to reduce congestion at the airport.
- Using proper work scheduling will help to manage the number of travelers at different times. Employees should not be given days off during peak days.
- The number of security guards can be increased to improve security at the airport. They will keep an eye on anybody, who may steal anything from passengers, and ensure the safety of customers and their luggage.
- The number of flights can be increased during the peak season to maximize revenues, and reduced during off-peak seasons to decrease operational costs.
- The airport can increase revenues by increasing fare charges during the peak season. It is a way of maximizing profits when the demand is high.
- Reservations should be computerized to ensure that cases of overbooking will not occur. It will reduce confusion and congestion at the airport.
- Advertising and marketing will help to increase customers, especially during off-peak seasons (Shemwell and Cronin 45).
The Gateway International Airport faces such issues as insecurity, overbooking, losses during low seasons, poor working schedules, and the lack of enough personnel. However, these problems can be tackled using some security, operation, and demand management strategies. The number of flights can be increased during the peak season and reduced during the off-peak one. The number of security guards can be increased to improve security and reduce congestion. Thus, the airport should use proper work schedules that match the demand, computerized booking to ensure that overbooking does not cause confusion to travelers, and advertising and marketing, especially during the off-peak season.