Airports are important transport infrastructure at an international level. The governance of airports has changed rapidly in the last three decades with an increase in institutionalization, commercialization, and privatization of governance structures. The institutional frameworks established to manage this evolution have continuously impacted on airport planning processes and stakeholder engagement strategies directly or indirectly. Usually, airports are classified according to their capacity and purpose but majorly categorized into international and domestic (municipal) airports. The Asaba municipal airport is used for the purpose of this study.
The airport tends to expand its operations to allow larger planes land at its facilities. If this project is successful it will bring added tourism but also more noise and pollution will be felt in the area.
The Asaba Municipal Airport is a domestic airport in the Delta state of Nigeria and is located at Southern Nigeria. The current population of Nigeria is 200,801,334 as of Monday, June 24, 2019, based on the real-time United Nations estimates, within this estimated population Delta state has 4.
1 million people (The United Nations, 2019). Nigeria population is equivalent to 2.6% of the total world population. Executing a project of this size is complex, demanding and will involve several stakeholders. This paper focuses on applied, and empirical understanding of the roles of internal and external stakeholders in the airport expansion project in Asaba city as well as the municipal airport planning and stakeholder engagement to achieve best outcomes.
Internal and External Stakeholders
The possible internal and external stakeholders who could be partners for the airport project on larger landing planes will include;
Internal Stakeholders: The Government authorities, airport management, employees, airline operators, Air force, and shareholders.
Internal Stakeholders: Government authorities, tenants, passengers, local communities, suppliers/contractors, regulators (local/international), media, unions, and the general public.
Important Committees for the Airport Project
The following committees will be part of the Airport landing strategic management process, to address the opportunities and costs of the project. They include;
Landing Project Committee they will be responsible for the total process of the airport landing project from start to finish by applying project management PMOK guides such as managing scope, quality, integration, schedule, time, stakeholders, and cost. Managing the project is about resource planning, cost estimating, budgeting, noise control, etc. This committee may include representatives of the government, airport management, airline operators, contractors, suppliers, finance unit, regulators, noise consultants, urban planners, etc.
Liaison Committee this committee is responsible for managing stakeholders. Every project impacts people and organizations. Managing stakeholders is about identifying stakeholders, their interest level, and their potential to influence the project, managing and controlling the relationships and communications between stakeholders and the project. Identifying these stakeholders on time, and as they arise and change throughout the project is very important to the project success. The Liaison committee members may include representatives of the airport authority, passengers, contractors, local communities, government, regulators (noise management agency, environment agency, health, tourism, etc.), security agencies, media, and the general public.
Integration of Stakeholders
The external stakeholders can be integrated into the strategic management process by;
Identifying and determining the historical context of airports and how this impacts airport planning and stakeholder engagement is important. The airport is not only subject to local and state government regulation, but international regulations too. So, this help to ascertain if the airport has sufficient capacity for the landing of heavy aircraft.
Determining the governance and regulatory frameworks defining airport planning and stakeholder engagement processes such as the Airports Act 1996, Civil Aviation Act 1988, Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996, Airports (Environment Protection) Regulation 1997, to ascertain all the requirements involved for larger planes to land at the airport.
Evaluating the cultural and contextual impacts on airport planning and stakeholder engagement so as to address the noise challenges to local communities.
Drawing up a mandate for a committee to integrate the stakeholders. The management will identify the local communities, passengers and other stakeholders whom it can invite to sit on the committee. The members of the committee will be chosen on the basis of uniform representation with all social strata being represented.
Organizing meetings to discuss the progress and resolve all necessary concerns as may be affected or arising from any stakeholder, thus creating a forum conducive to constructive discussions.
How to inform Stakeholders
Stakeholders will be consistently informed of the progress of the project through effective communication. Stakeholder information will be;
In a manner that is understandable to our stakeholders is important in the process of stakeholder engagement.
More constructive and time such that all activities, from consultation and informed participation to negotiation and resolution of grievances, will be effective
Executed using feedback from the local workforce; this a more reliable way to identify developing issues and concerns of local communities.
informed through the media because the media represent an effective way to inform the public about airports management programs and plans.
Based on your analysis, propose an optimal solution?
Airports operate within a city planning framework and are impacted by the government, the pressures of community sectors, and political or economic interest groups. Thats why stakeholders participation is very important for the Asaba airport large plane landing project. For this airport project, challenges will be resolved by engaging stakeholders on conflicts arising from noise pollution, opposition to commercial development at airports, air quality, traffic congestion, the scale and nature of commercial development at airports, land use conflict and public safety (Freestone, 2009; Suau-Sanchez, Pallares-Barbera, & Pa?l, 2011). The optimal way to solve all issues associated with the airport expansion project with stakeholders is by;
Providing guidelines to improve transparency and trust between the communities, regulators and the airport management. A lack of trust and voice for resident representation are identified as major challenges (Freestone, 2009).
Organizing meetings with all stakeholders. The objectives of the Committee are to seek ways to minimize the noise disturbance for those living around the airport environs.
Implementing stakeholder committee meeting resolutions such as applying non-acoustic noise management strategies like using quieter large flying planes, use twofold coating windows and other sound sealing frameworks to diminish the commotion level, planting of trees, relocation of locals to new locations, buying of neighborhoods or building additional runways. All the various types of engagement strategies and improved awareness of the noise source will help to mitigate stakeholders concern or grievances (Suau-Sanchez, Pallares-Barbera, & Pa?l, 2011).