Guide to Part 139 Compliance for Airport Operators

Best Practice Guide

Navigating headwinds in the global airport sector

Airports around the world are preparing for surging passenger volumes in the medium term. Analysts estimate that total passenger journeys per year will double from 4.3 billion in 2018 to 8.2 billion by 2037. Major new investments are already planned to meet this demand. Existing airports are on track to spend an estimated USD 137 billion on construction projects in 2019, with almost half of that figure allocated to capital improvements in terminals and on runways.

These heady growth prospects help illustrate the operational challenge for airports. In fact, the fast changing business environment, extremely high security standards, and equally rigorous compliance requirements have all contributed to make profitability elusive for the majority of airports. Approximately two-thirds now operate at a net loss.

So, as airports pencil out the capital-intensive investments necessary to stay competitive, they are acknowledging the need to double down on cost-efficiency and operational excellence. Safety, security, and regulatory compliance are increasingly becoming key pillars of a successful strategy for delivering financial growth and sustainability.

To that end, this document will explore the principal efficiency and compliance drivers airports face today, with a focus on international regulations outlined by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) in “Part 139”. Ultimately, the guide outlines the key capabilities that technology solutions should provide airport operators so as to ensure a proactive, rigorous, and resilient approach to compliance, safety, and security management.

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