Airport World - Terri Morrisey and Dr Richard Plenty

Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey reflect on some of the challenges airports working with private investors may face by embracing a more entrepreneurial culture.

...public-private partnerships – the collaboration between government agencies and private sector companies – are seen not only as a way of providing much needed finance to government agency projects, but as a mechanism for bringing a ‘delivery’ ethos and sharper private sector thinking, attitudes and behaviours into the public sector. They are seen as a means of injecting life into the kind of cultural inertia exemplified by our film’s protagonist.

Airports have been using this approach for some time. According to ACI statistics (2017), airports with private sector participation account for an estimated 14% of airports worldwide, and handle over 40% of global traffic.

The expectation is generally that private sector involvement will help deliver efficiencies, higher performance outcomes and better value for money along with better customer service. But, as organisation leaders have found in many sectors – including energy, health and transportation – managing the transition to a more entrepreneurial culture is not without its challenges.

It can be difficult to keep all stakeholders happy. In a PPP, the government remains a shareholder and providing national, community and social value remains an important part of what is expected. To take just one example, cutting or reducing services to save money is not always a realistic option.

Full Article