Porfirio González Álvarez is General Manager of the mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte, OMA.
“The results achieved to date demonstrate the company’s ability to turn ideas and needs into integrated solutions”.
Airport engineering and design are evolving towards a model where the passenger experience is given priority. What is your notion of the airport of the future?
The global trend in the airport industry is aimed at designing the creation of urban developments together with airports in order to boost the creation of airport cities through multifunctional infrastructures that allow a set of added-value services to be available, such as shopping areas, accommodation areas, corporate offices, warehouses and leisure areas.
This kind of planning can lead to the setting up of multifunctional centres where they converge to support goods distribution channels. The growth and development of goods haulage and logistics benefit from these infrastructures by providing ground, air and rail transport links depending on the destination, thereby increasing the scope of different regions and diminishing distribution time scales.
This involves planning the airport area’s roadways to industrial areas, the city centre and highways or routes which connect with other nearby population centres.
That is how this trend of unifying urban development plans can be visualised, evolving transport systems which enable efficient, attractive and sustainable poles of economic development to be generated within the same region.
How does OMA organise its airport infrastructure plan?
OMA develops integrated solutions for its operational infrastructure projects and buildings, planning their evolution in an orderly way through master development plans. These master plans are reviewed and updated every five years in conjunction with the aviation authority.
As far as the plan’s definition and development are concerned, OMA thoroughly analyses its airports’ occupation and use levels, as well as their growth forecasts in the short, medium and long-term in order to foresee and anticipate infrastructure needs before saturation levels are reached or a failure to meet quality standards comes about.
More than fifty thousand square metres of new building, expansion and refurbishment works at Acapulco, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí and Reynosa airports are presently in the construction works stage.
What kind of refurbishments are currently being carried out?
The start-up of the building works for the new terminal building at Acapulco Airport stands out among all our investments. It will have a surface area of 18,800 square metres on three floors and a new mezzanine. The terminal will have enough capacity to handle 1.3 million domestic and international passengers. Arrival and departure flows will be separated and it will be equipped with six boarding gates and three telescopic gangways. The design project stands out for its avant-garde architecture and modern technology equipment, which will allow it to become a sustainable building that strikes a balance with the environment.
The Reynosa Airport design project includes the construction of a new terminal building, which will have enough capacity to handle more than 1 million passengers on a surface area of over 8,000 square metres distributed on two floors. In addition, it will have new passenger service areas offering more comfort, including large spaces in the walking, passport control, security control, boarding lounge and baggage reclaim areas.
The terminal building at San Luis Potosí Airport will increase its surface area by 200% to reach 13,000 square metres in an effort to cover increasing traffic demand recorded at this airport. The new capacity will allow over 1.2 million passengers to be handled.
Apart from the terminal building’s refurbishment, Chihuahua Airport will be enlarged by 78% to increase its capacity from 900,000 to 1.7 million passengers per year. The passport control area will also be enlarged to allow for a greater number of passport control counters. The enlargement also includes larger boarding lounge, baggage reclaim, walking and passport control areas.
What are the basic principles of OMA’s sustainability policy?
OMA’s sustainability policy is one of the corporate tools which allow the Group to guarantee and ensure the continuity of the actions it undertakes. The policy seeks to contribute to the well-being and satisfaction of our employees and their families, clients, shareholders and partners by developing airports equipped with top-quality infrastructures and services based on respect for human rights, the mitigation of our operations’ environmental impact, caring for the quality of life at work and striking a balance in the use of economic, social and environmental resources, thereby conserving them for future generations. It likewise involves collaborating in the socioeconomic development of the communities located near our airports.
The current dynamics of environmental challenges has driven OMA to ensure the quality and efficiency of its operations and activities by respecting the environment, stakeholders and the airport’s neighbouring communities.
Through the Company’s Strategic Plan, the OMA Board of Directors approved the creation of an Internal Risk Committee, whose main aim is to identify all the risks affecting the company and to assess their impact.
At each of the meetings held by the Board of Directors and the Audit, Corporate Practices, Financing and Planning Committee, Directors are informed about the risks detected for the company, along with the possible options to mitigate them. The decision on any actions to be carried out is in keeping with the risk level the Company and its Board of Directors are willing to take.
OMA celebrated its tenth anniversary as a publicly-owned company last year. How has it evolved over the last decade?
Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte celebrated its tenth anniversary as publicly-owned company after having been listed on the Mexican and Nasdaq stock exchanges for ten years. During this period, OMA has worked along different lines of action with the aim of growing in an integrated fashion by boosting the connectivity of the destinations where it has a presence, developing top-quality infrastructures and improving the passenger experience, all of which has been done under a sustainable framework that promotes economic, social and environmental balance.
The results achieved to date demonstrate the company’s ability to turn ideas and needs into integrated solutions. The undertakings made to investors and to the quality clients demand to place their trust in our value proposition have borne fruit right from the initial stages and commit us to take up the challenge posed by the excellence which characterises the Group.
OMA will continue to perform actions that generate a positive impact on the destinations where it has a presence by activating trade, industry and tourism through airport services having top-quality infrastructures and facilities, offering the necessary conditions to develop air connectivity and providing services for passenger and goods transport.