Introduction

A municipal airport is always involved with various stakeholders. When a municipal airport is considering to expand its operation, to serve larger planes, the airport would face abundant questions, not only about the technicality of the project, but also how it would impact its stakeholders. It may bring benefit for some, but it may also bring hassle and disadvantages for other stakeholders that can escalates into conflicts. The airport should carefully consider the interest of its various stakeholders to manage potential conflicts that can affect the project outcome. A thorough analysis on the internal and external stakeholders for municipal airport expansion will be necessary.

Project Management Institute (1996) provided a formal definition of a stakeholder as organizations or individuals who are actively involved in a project, or whose interest may be affected as a result of the project. The term is now used loosely to describe any party that have an interest in a project and can mobilize resources to affect the project outcome in some way.

This is the reason that on an organization level, stakeholder analysis is usually considered as the first step in strategic planning activities (Smith, 2000). This article will analyze the internal and external stakeholders for municipal airport expansion project. It will extract insights and provide recommendation based on the analysis.

Internal and External Stakeholders for Municipal Airport Expansion

Stakeholders for an airport may include airlines, employees, tenants, passengers, government, local communities, suppliers, media and unions, as well as tourism companies (Long, 2017). These stakeholders can be categorized into internal and external stakeholders. Fernando (2022) defined internal stakeholders as the people whose interest in a company comes through a direct relationship, such as employment, ownership, or investment, while external stakeholders as people who do not directly work for the company but are affected by the actions and outcomes of the business.

For a municipal airport, internal stakeholders may include airport staff and the union, shareholders, service providers, and  airlines. These stakeholders’ interest comes through direct relationship with the airport. The external shareholders may include passengers, government, local communities, suppliers, media, as well as local businesses. These stakeholders do not directly work for the airport but will be affected by the actions and outcomes of the airport expansion project.

Partners for the Airport Expansion Project

The airport expansion project team should consider incorporating some of the internal and external shareholders as partners for the project to ensure that the project would conform to the interest of all stakeholders. In internal stakeholders, the airport should partner with the airlines that will be the main user of the expansion, service providers (such as fuel and oil providers, catering, baggage handling, maintenance, etc.) that will primarily support the expansion, and shareholders that have financial interest in the project.

In external stakeholders, the airport should partner with local businesses (tourism, sport, education, etc.) that will get the benefit, local communities party that may get significant disadvantage from the expansion due to the noise and pollution, as well as government officials and media that may act as information spreader and feedback gatherer.

Establishing Two Committees

To integrate external stakeholders into the strategic management process, the airport may establish two committees to address the opportunities and costs of the project. Stakeholders that would get disadvantages, such as local communities, should be put first in the first committee, along with the shareholders and airlines that have financial interest. This first committee would focus on creating a healthy profitable airport operation without sacrificing local communities’ interest. Media should be incorporated into this committee to ensure that all communities are well informed.

The second committee should focus on the technicality of the expansion. Internal stakeholders such as airlines, aircraft carriers, service providers, should be put inside this committee, along with external stakeholders such as local businesses and governments. This second committee should report to the first committee about every progression of the expansion project as an important input.

Conclusion on the Internal and External Stakeholders for Municipal Airport Expansion

A common issue that often arises for firms with various stakeholders is that the stakeholders’ interests may not align, or it may be in direct conflict (Fernando, 2022). To successfully execute the expansion project, the municipal airport should consider its various internal and external stakeholders, and integrate them into two committees. The optimal solution provided in this paper is to establish the first committee focusing on the conflicting interest issues, and the second committee focusing on the technicality issues. 

References

Fernando, J. (2022). Stakeholder. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stakeholder.asp

Long, J. (2017). Importance of Airport Stakeholder Outreach. Aviation Pros. https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/blog/12388063/importance-of-airport-stakeholder-outreach

Project Management Institute. (1996). A guide to the project management body of knowledge. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Smith, L. W. (2000). Stakeholder analysis: a pivotal practice of successful projects. Paper presented at Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium, Houston, TX. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

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