The appointment of Associate Professor Alexander Dreiling as the Airport Chair of Innovation in April allowed the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) to address the use of emerging technologies for improved airport operations. On any given day the Brisbane Airport interacts with many groups of stakeholders such as passengers, visitors, business partners, contractors, employees, media, government and communities. The innovation in utilizing emerging technologies such as social media is suggested to be a great tool for the Brisbane Airport to adopt, in order to meet it’s social objectives. The BAC has listed building stakeholder engagement and partnerships as one of their social objectives, with the aim to improve the communication between different businesses within the airport. A suggested approach to achieve this objective is to adopt a personal wiki for airport concessionaires to communicate on.
Let’s look at wikis at a stand-alone point. A wiki is a website which allows it’s users to add, modify, or delete it’s content via a web browser. The contents of the wiki is created collaboratively and may be implemented within an enterprise for many reasons, such as a communication tool for different departments. If we apply this purpose of a wiki implementation into the Brisbane Airport, concessionaires would be able to use the wiki and a communication tool for discussions, knowledge and notices. This would enable concessionaires to know what is going on within the airport on a daily basis, as it could also allow airport administration or management to share information virally regarding safety drills, alerts and even promotion of leases available within the airport. This would eliminate the use of email and newsletters, as information and feedback would be added to the wiki regularly by stakeholders within the airport.
In order to implement this strategy, it is highly recommended for the Brisbane Airport to undertake a paradigm shift in regards to it’s views on concessionaires sharing ideas and information. It is important for enterprises to implement incentive structures for information sharing across the enterprise, as employee’s will be less-inclined to share information if not encouraged to. The airport would have to encourage it’s concessionaires to contribute and collaborate through the wiki in order for the wiki’s purpose to work. This may require airport management to get the ball rolling with suggestions of wiki policy and guidelines to be collaborated through the wiki to start off with – then possibly the first communication post. Concessionaires will start to follow suite, until eventually the wiki will become the main source of communication throughout the airport. It should also be noted that it would be extremely important for the airport to control who can access the content for security reasons – even possibly set up dynamic controls for concessionaires to share information amongst certain audiences. Dynamic access control addresses the need for staff to control over the audience they share information with. For example, a concessionaire may have information to share with only airport management which they do not wish to make public amongst other concessionaires immediately. This caters for the sensitivity of information and the quality of shared information. As briefly mentioned, clear guidelines and polices would need to be stated for concessionaires to know what kind of information is to be shared on the wiki. This helps keep the wiki tidy and reduces the confusion of communication. Lastly, the wiki would need to be easy to use and easy to understand to increase the usage amongst concessionaires. A wiki that is messy and too difficult to use will not be welcomed within a business in the airport and may result in exclusion.
Through personal research there has been no sources of information about airports that have implemented a wiki tool within their airport for their concessionaires. This is exciting, Brisbane could set the precedent as the first Airport in the world to implement a wiki amongst it’s concessionaires to virally distribute information. The implementation of a Wiki within the airport does seem to present some additional challenges regarding security; however if the strategy is implemented correctly the benefits of the wiki would outweigh any risks presented initially.