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July 07 Businessexcellence 33 the leading edge of the IT side of the business. “We run a common use operation for the checkin kiosks,” says McCoomb. “Along with Las Vegas, we are probably the most advanced in this.” In another bold move, under its Airport Customer Assistance Program, Pearson took over wheelchair assistance for the disabled, to ensure a standard level of service. But how much difference does customer service make to passenger choice? If you live in the area, and you want to fl y somewhere, you’re going to use your local airport, aren’t you? And if you’re fl ying in for a conference in or around Toronto, or for a vacation, you’ll do the same. “I’m not sure it has a great positive infl uence,” admits McCoomb, “but I know it can have a negative infl uence. I’ll do anything humanly possible not to fl y through Heathrow.” I’m English, but I take his point. Moving onto environmental stewardship and sustainability, which are listed in the company’s mission statement, I ask McCoomb how an airport can hope to be environmentally friendly given the current publicity about emissions and the popularity of carbon offsetting schemes, not to mention noise. “Every way imaginable,” he says. “First we have to recognize right up front that we have a signifi cant impact on the community around us. Don’t deny it. Airport noise is a huge issue and deserves our undivided attention, and it gets it.” Toronto Pearson has a program that monitors aircraft noise. “The airport has a radar system that tracks the aircraft, and we have standard departure procedures that we insist the aircrew follow. They must obtain a certain elevation before they start to turn, and we have monitoring stations that measure the noise and we track it continuously; Transport Canada has punitive fi nes for cowboys who play fast and loose with our noise rules.” There is also a noise management committee for the community to participate in decision making that impacts their noise. “We’ve secured from that a wonderful Toronto Pearson International Airport “We wanted to have this done at least a year before the Olympic Games. Sadly, Beijing got the Olympics instead of Toronto, but we still achieved the original target of 2007” But manufacturers target waste reduction, and inventory is top of their list. “We have all the same elements,” says McCoomb. “Inventory is not as big a component of our costs as it is for a manufacturer but we have spare parts for all of our equipment and stockpiles of chemicals.” Set up times are another priority for manufacturers, and the airport has an equivalent to that, too. “We have reduced our runway snow clearing time from 90 minutes under government ownership back in the ’80s, down to 11 minutes,” he says. The time saved for the air carriers, at $300,000 an hour, is outstanding. “You have to have the clipboards and stopwatches out. One of the great things about not having to be totally preoccupied with building is being able to focus on how to be more effi cient.” Toronto Pearson has four cornerstones to its business, and we have talked extensively been about one, effi ciency and effectiveness. Customer service is another, along with environmental stewardship, and safety and security. As in any other business, the greatest opportunities for reducing waste are where the most dollars are spent, and there are plenty of places where savings can be made for the benefi t of the customer. “If you look at our cost breakdown, cleaning and airside maintenance are big dollar items,” says McCoomb. “Information service is another big one, and baggage handling is big bucks, too.” With custodial services, he says, you can gain by tying the cleaners to the activity. “You’re not going to have a dirty washroom if there are no planes bringing people in to dirty them up. By planning staffi ng rosters to fi t in with fl ight schedules, you get more for your buck. These are the kinds of things we want to focus on.” Although he goes on to say that there is not too much room for improvement in this particular area. “We were recently ranked No 1 in the world for clean bathrooms in a survey by Airport Council International.” Toronto Pearson has also chosen to be at CNIM at Toronto Pearson International Airport. In partnership, we keep the world moving. CNIM is proud of its accomplishment for the installation of over 70 escalators, 39 walkways and fi ve elevators. Custom technology and expertise makes CNIM a preferred leading supplier to transport authorities throughout the world. CNIM provides quality and fl exibility for a safe, effi cient and reliable product. CNIM DCC provided the perfect solution for replacing Toronto International’s shuttle busses. Impervious to the harshest climates, the environmentally friendly system demonstrates impressive reliability. DCC’s highly scalable, timeproven system features lightweight, custom designed trains with no onboard motors. The silent trains, installed in record times on a modular built guideway, utilize stationary drive machinery for an unparalleled performance record. Intelligently designed for easy, low cost operation & maintenance, DCC’S APM systems build on the simplicity, functionality, and reliability of cable propulsion. DCC