As Maguin points out, the key for airports in the future is to have the flexibility to be able to handle a B-737 and A-380 at the same gate, and have an efficient turnaround time for both.
A DIFFERENT WORLD
While the industry readies itself for the A-380 and other new aircraft, many are still coming to terms with an overriding feeling that we live in a different world today.
"The time issues that we face post-September 11 are going to be driven by security technology more so than GSE," explains Southwest's Jim Malone. "It is now about how fast baggage can be screened using the correct equipment. Are we going to use large cumbersome units that can only process 10 bags per hour, or can airlines successfully lobby for a combination of explosive trace detectors, high definition x-rays, and smaller/faster ETD units [not currently available] that are capable of detecting sophisticated explosives?"
As Malone points out, there is little use in having the fastest ground process in the world, when T-Point is only receiving a handful of bags every hour. He believes that, certainly in the U.S., it will be at least one year before domestic aviation settles down enough to know where to look for time savings.
"Most assuredly," he says, "the focus needs to shift from where it was prior to September 11, 2001."