Ferrovial Operational Environment


In the world, Ferrovial SA is one of the leading infrastructure operators and, municipal service companies that are committed to developing solutions that are sustainable. The company has a presence in 6 main markets with more than 95,978 employees (Ferrovial, 2018). Further, the company is also included in prestigious sustainability indices like FTSE4Good and it is also a member of Spain`s blue-chip IBEX 35 index. Ferrovial SA`s strategy is usually based on four pillars:

Growth that is profitable mainly through a combination of selective acquisitions and organic growth. Innovation and operational excellence are fundamental levers for the management of operations whose nature is complex and the search for outstanding solutions for clients. Through internationalisation, Ferrovial has been able to consolidate a significant presence that is also stable in the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Canada and the United States. Ferrovial`s financial discipline – by diversifying its sources of management of liquidity and finance, there have been improvements in the company`s credit risk ratings and further strengthened the solvency of the company.


Ferrovial Airports

Ferrovial Airports oversee all the activities of Ferrovial Group that are related to the airport sector. They add value in the construction, design, operation and financing of airport infrastructures through investing in long-term assets, aiming at becoming one of the major investor and operator of airports. The business approach applied at Ferrovial Airports has created a division whose potential for growth is huge. FA continuously works with the aim of improving its assets with a key focus on aspects like improving the experience of passengers, guaranteeing customer service that is excellent, building sustainable and innovative structures and generation of trust among interest groups (Airport Suppliers, 2018). FA`s strategy in the asset portfolio is to maximize on the creation of value, with a specific focus on optimizing investment in airport capacity, profitable growth, diversifying airlines and maintenance of operational excellence, increasing passengers with new routes and improvement of the quality of service.
The operations of Ferrovial airports in the UK have stimulated economic growth. For example, an enormous amount of exports of high value go through Heathrow, which carries more cargo than all other airports in the UK put together. It is also estimated that up to three quarters of long haul flights from Britain depart from Heathrow (Carrington, Perkins and Topham, 2018).
Continuous improvement of operations and quality of service are key areas for Ferrovial Airports. These efforts are evident in the ratings obtained from the Airports Council International (ACI) surveys on the satisfaction of customers. Ferrovial Airports are recognised by the Transport News Magazine as "Best Airport Portfolio Managers in Europe” in their latest edition of the 2017 Air Transport Awards. 82% of the passengers in Heathrow rate their experiences at the four airports as either excellent or very good according to surveys conducted by the ACI. Additionally, the high levels of standards at Heathrow Airport continued to receive recognition for the "Best airport to go shopping" and Best Western European airport" in the Skytrax 2017 awards (Ferrovial, 2018).
Ferrovial Airports also have a firm commitment to its assets sustainable growth and with the local communities. At the start of 2017, the “Heathrow 2.0” sustainability plan was launched at Heathrow Airport aiming at reducing aviation’s environmental impacts and consecutively optimizing opportunities for growth in the UK (Osborn, 2018). The Green Car Scheme was also launched in Heathrow in 2017, a scheme intended to encourage employees to convert

their cars into low emission cars and become members of the EV100, and a global initiative intended to bring together companies with a high commitment towards the transition to electric cars. It is undeniable that technology has been fuelling the revolution in the way things are done, which have forced businesses around the world to reinvent themselves as a way of avoiding being left behind. Parallel to this Information and Communication technologies have become an increasingly powerful tool for driving competitiveness. This revolution has overlapped with the arrival of Generation Z (a group of young people born between 1994 and 2010). In this context, generally, the airport industry and particularly Ferrovial have been putting a lot of efforts to make innovation a key element of the management model of airports. As such, Ferrovial Airports have been developing and further implementing tech-driven initiatives relentlessly whose main aim is to increase the satisfaction of passengers and also improve efficiency by taking into account new traveller’s demands, connected permanently and heavily dependent on the online universe at large and multimedia technologies. However, how can technologies help in the creation of airports that are increasingly intelligent? Well, this can be achieved by combining sophisticated systems for recognition with traditional automation technologies. This has the potential of bringing benefits to the airport experience. For example:

Through beginning, the passenger journey with self-bag-drop counters and self-check-in, or even counters that are mobile that can be accessed immediately a passenger parks their car, the process of check-in could be substantially improved. Avoiding queues that are long by use of boarding pass readers when boarding the aeroplane and when accessing airside could help streamline the journey of a passenger. In line with this, Glasgow and Heathrow are in the process of implementing processes for biometric identification whose main aim is to speed up

access to boarding gates and further cut on the waiting times at the controls while also maintaining the initial standards of safety. Some of the key innovations by Ferrovial Airports include; Robird: A pilot project pioneered in the United Kingdom in which a drone that flies like a bird (and also has the shape of a bird) scares birds flying over runaways. This reduces the risk of contact in the take-off and landing and generally the airport's operations. Autonomous vehicle: pilot tests were carried out in Heathrow airport with autonomous vehicles for transporting employees and passengers around the terminal. Airport centre of excellence: in 2017, a collaboration agreement was signed by Ferrovial Airports as the sole private operator of the first Airport Centre of Excellence, which was launched by Lion and Gazelle. This centre was established with the aim of identifying trends in operations and technology applicable to airports and develop solutions that are innovative and practices that are good too in the processes (Ferrovial, 2018).

There, however, exists some uncertainty in the transition to autonomous airports and this is because, traditionally, the airport sector has been very conservative when it comes to technology and this is because of the tight regulations and high-security standards in airports (Burns, 2015). As such, in order to accelerate changes, there is a need for airports to collaboratively work and share their successes and roadblocks. It also needs to be taken into account that it is not all passengers who will be delighted with going through the airport journey without at one point or another interacting with staff members. As such, segmentation is key in the provision of users with (Velasco, 2018). The changes that are affecting the aviation sector currently are likely to have an effect on the way airport operators structure their service and management models and the way their

organisations are structured. By 2035, it is expected that more than 12 billion people will have travelled by air. New demands from airlines and also passengers, coupled with the heightened awareness of the role operator's play in the preservation of the environment will lead to changes that will affect passenger experiences, management models and sustainability (Campante and Yanagizawa, 2017). The focus of the new airport model will be on three big issues of the future: a sustainable model improved passenger experiences and efficient management. This will be based on new construction approaches, technology and new models of management. As such, the three key issues for airports future are:

Management – there is a need for management to increase its effectiveness and efficiency moving towards passenger mobility and self-service. The main concerns for passengers at airports are usually flight delays, handling of baggage and security. Systems with the capabilities of sharing information, automating functions and proactively communicating information with passengers will be essential in the addressing of these challenges.
The increasing importance of the environmental impact and sustainability will favour the use of energy saving systems (power floors, biomass, improved HVAC) and the use of clean energies. The terminal inaugurated in Heathrow in 2014 is a perfect example of this trends in action. It was the first green terminal to be constructed in Europe (Gill, 2013).
In future, those airports that are capable of managing and further coordinating specific needs and demands from customers will lead. The increasing focus on the experience of passengers has been driving segmentation in services that are adapted to each type of traveller: low-cost, business, transit and pleasure.

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Airport infrastructure has over time also increasingly become reliant on technology as a way of coping with the needs of its users. As a matter of fact, in a world where new technologies and information are very dynamic, users of airports have been demanding levels of service that are high and which can be accessed at the utmost speed (Perez Fardon, 2013). Essentially, in this century, waiting in long queues is no longer considered a necessary hassle. To deal with this problem, Ferrovial Airports must look beyond their customers' basic needs and also provide more up-to-date services and infrastructure.


  • Campante, F. and Yanagizawa-Drott, D., 2017. Long-range growth: economic development in the global network of air links. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 133(3), pp.1395-1458.
  • Carrington, D., Perkins, A. and Topham, G. (2018). Heathrow approval puts business above political and environment issues. [Online] The Guardian. Available at:
  • Ferrovial. (2018). About Us. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  • Ferrovial. (2018). Integrated annual report 2017. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018].
  • Gill, J. (2013). Three keys to the future of Airports. [Blog] Ferrovial blog. Available at:
  • Perez Fardon, S. (2013). Internationalisation and engineering: challenges and opportunities. [Online] Ferrovial blog. Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2018]. Velasco, G. (2018). Autonomous Airports are here to stay. [Online] Ferrovial blog. Available at:

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