Airports often act as a country’s front door, serving as they do as the first point of contact for many visitors. For fans, teams, media and referees, whose journeys at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will begin at an airport, their experience there may provide a crucial first impression.
The FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 begins in a year, while the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ kicks off two years from now, and Russia’s preparations are in full swing to welcome foreign visitors for these tournaments. Those preparations continued recently when Saint Petersburg, the main host city for the Confederations Cup, joined with the Federal Agency for Air Transportation (Rosaviation) to host a workshop on servicing client groups at airports during the Confederations Cup and World Cup.
“Our goal was to explain to everyone involved in the process that each client group must be handled using an individual approach,” said Nikolay Nikitenko, Director of the Transportation Department of the Russia 2018 LOC. “All services and departments must work together so the whole process runs like clockwork,” he added.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the operators in charge of all 13 host city airports for the World Cup, members of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC), representatives of services and departments responsible for transportation support for client groups, as well as representatives of the Saint Petersburg city administration. The aim of the workshop was to introduce specific requirements for servicing client groups at airports. LOC representatives informed participants of how client groups, from travelling supporters to VVIPs, must be handled at airports.
Workshop events took place in the Park Inn Pulkovo hotel and the Pulkovo airport, whose new terminal is ready to receive visitors for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cup. The event included a business simulation to facilitate cooperation between various services. The simulation involved several game day situations that impacted the airport. The participants were split into four teams and placed in unfamiliar conditions in order to emphasise the importance of complementary services and communication between them. Participants responded well to the challenge, finding appropriate solutions to the simulated situations.
The workshop produced client group movement charts for the airport that take into account the required levels of service, prepared by the Pulkovo airport in conjunction with the LOC. Similar charts will be drawn up for all 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia airports.
“We are convinced that the Confederations Cup and World Cup will be organised and run smoothly,” commented Oleg Klim, Deputy Director of Rosaviation. “Airports and other services will do their part to make sure that visitors are made to feel welcome and receive an excellent level of service.”