Pete Goldin Reports:
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is officially upgrading to the latest SKIDATA parking system for the airport's 40,000 parking spaces. The upgrade will replace Schiphol's previous SKIDATA and Scheidt & Bachmann installations, making SKIDATA the exclusive supplier of car park solutions to Schiphol.
The ten-year contract covers all parking facilities at Schiphol, including the P1 and P2 short-stay car parks, the P3 long-stay area, and staff parking.
The SKIDATA technology will enable Schiphol to introduce dedicated sections for valet parking, "Smart Parking" that can be booked over the Internet at low early-booking rates, and "Excellence Parking" with VIP-style premium services. Excellence Parking – scheduled to open in May 2010 and targeted for the high-yield business traveler – is directly connected to the Departures hall and close to the VIP Center. The upgrade will also help Schiphol integrate parking systems with other back-end systems such as CRM.
Roel Huinink, Senior Manager Parking & Mobility Services at Schiphol says the airport decided to go with SKIDATA as the sole parking equipment vendor "to reduce operational and technical complexity and enable faster product development such as Internet sales, to bring passenger parking throughout the entire airport up to the next level. We wanted to set new standards in airport parking convenience."
"In the European tender, SKIDATA came out the best of five," Huinink adds.
I completely understand the change, however about 10 years ago the then parking leaders at Schipol told me they had two vendors for a typical "Dutch" reason. They felt that if there were two companies constantly striving to take over the entire airport, both would excel and they would have great service and equipment from each. In other words, they placed each in a competitive position and were looking for perfection from both.
This approach worked for a decade or more. But as I suspected at the time, as the operation became more complex and new features were required, it became more difficult to maintain both systems side by side.