Listening to our stakeholders

Listening to our stakeholders

VINCI Airports understands the importance of maintaining an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders. This dialogue is essential for the smooth-running and effective operation of a delegated public service, ensuring that all parties are fully engaged in the process and free to express their views.

“We see it as our duty to design, build and operate airport infrastructure that meets the long-term needs and expectations of our customers. We interact with many points of contact, and their needs and expectations go beyond service quality and the purely technical aspects of airport management. The multiplicity of partners involved in airport operations means that managers like ourselves have a coordinating role to play that is not dissimilar to that of an orchestral conductor.” Claude Robin, Head of Human Resources and Sustainable Development.

Who are our interactive points of contact?

In the world of airport operations, the points of contact are many and varied:

  • Central government and public authorities: EU institutions, local authorities, the French Civil Aviation Safety Directorate (DSAC), regional environment, development and housing authorities, etc.

  • Civil society: local residents, public-sector authorities, social organisations, NGOs, trade unions, political parties, the airport community and people living in destinations served by airport routes

  • Employees: the staff and employee representatives of VINCI Airports and all other companies based at the airport

  • Business partners: our sub-contractors and suppliers, as well as land transport providers and ground-handling companies

  • Financial partners: central government, banks and institutional investors

  • Customers: not only the concession owner, but also our partner airlines, airport terminal retailers, tour operators and - of course - our passengers

“The airport management company is the hub of an entire ecosystem, where the ‘eco’ is short for ‘economic’. It must therefore listen carefully to the needs of all its partners”, explains Thierry Ligonnière, formerly President of Rennes and Dinard airports, now Chief Operating Officer of ANA Portugal. “But it is also very important to maintain regular, ongoing dialogue with social organisations and local authorities to explain the challenges and constraints of the airport economy.”

Ongoing dialogue for sustainable growth through consultation

“Embarking on new projects usually sparks a lot of reaction. Local residents, social organisations, local politicians and the general public each have points of view. We must be there on hand to respond and explain solutions in terms of the environment, and for consultation,” explains Nicolas Notebeart, Chief Executive Officer of VINCI Concessions & Chairman of VINCI Airports.

VINCI Airports is committed to using dialogue and consultation to protect the added value its projects deliver for regional employment, society and the environment. Its constant goal is to address every issue of airport management, and to arrive at sustainable solutions through mutual agreement with all the parties involved.

Dialogue must encompass not only the short-term needs of customers and users (environmental issues, sound pollution, quality of service, etc.), but also the long-term challenges of partners (regional, social and economic development). 

“Trust, transparency and mutual understanding between the airport management company and all stakeholders are absolutely essential,” adds Thierry Ligonnière. “It is the only effective way of anticipating possible problems, providing a continuous flow of information about the airport, and working together to identify solutions. In Brittany, for example, this climate of mutual trust enables us to take some innovative approaches to the environmental issues that pose such a major challenge for this region.”

What is the best organisational structure for effective consultation?

There are several different types of consultation body.

  • Legal consultation procedures:
    ​The consultative committees formed by the Prefect (the regional representative of central government in France) bring together all those concerned with the environmental implications of the airport in the context of the topics discussed at individual meetings: these are the Economic Consultative Committee (Commission Consultatives pour l’Economie or CoCoEco) and its counterpart for the Environment (CocoEnvi). In Nantes, the consultation process within the Environment Consultative Committee has resulted in a ‘Responsible Development Charter’ signed by all airport stakeholders.

  • Other consultative processes:
    “Dialogue also extends further than these committees. We have a responsibility to maintain close links with our stakeholders by holding information meetings on a more regular basis”, explains Thierry Ligonnière.
    In Rennes, VINCI Airports hosts a monthly meeting with the concession-owning authority to assess the latest position on airport requirements.
    ​At other VINCI airports, consultation takes the form of participation in public community meetings, the introduction of complaint management and monitoring systems, hosting events to build relationships with local business communities, and many other forms of direct contact.


Environment Consultation Committees

In France, Environment Consultation Committees meet at least once every year. Members represent local authorities, aircraft industry professionals (staff, users and operators), environmental protection organisations and local residents. Working together as a committee, they are required to provide an informed opinion on important issues relating to airport operation and development.