Matthew Abbott may be new to Woods Bagot but he has already hit the ground running after coming on-board as the Regional Aviation Sector Leader for Australia and New Zealand.
Armed with an extensive aviation pedigree, Abbott has worked on significant global aviation projects in the Middle East, Russia, United States, Italy and Ireland for over ten years.
Abbott’s focus will be on the Australian and New Zealand region, with a strong emphasis on Perth Airport and Sydney Airport. He said he looks forward to opening up new regions and opportunities for Woods Bagot that have not been seen before in aviation.
“Woods Bagot is leading the way in aviation design and I am excited to be a part of it. I believe there is a really good synergy between what I can bring and what Woods Bagot does,” Abbott said.
Abbott said working alongside the likes of Frank Alvarez, a world leader in retail environments, along with sectors like Lifestyle will help to redefine the future of aviation design. He said he believes his mantra for design correlates to Woods Bagot’s principles as a design practice.
“Airport design and retail really go hand-in-hand and there are some really interesting collaboration that can be had; if you combine this with the skills and expertise from sectors like Lifestyle, then the sky is really the limit in terms of what can be done,” he said. "Woods Bagot is about people and the customer experience and that is exactly what I try to create in the design process. An airport is no longer just a cathedral that celebrates air travel, it’s about providing a personalised and relevant experience that the customer or passenger can enjoy."
While Abbott said Australia is definitely leading the way in terms of innovations fast travel and border protection, there was still a lot Australia could learn when it came to redefining the customer experience.
“It’s about putting the passenger first, thinking about their interests and what they genuinely want and need,” he said.
Woods Bagot’s access to innovation and exemplar tools like the sector intelligence framework, TIES (capturing trends, innovations and exemplar projects), and SUPERSPACE will undoubtedly play an important part in Abbott’s role. Key trends and innovations around airport intelligence, digital tools, mobile technology and ubiquitous connectivity in airports is not only changing how passengers interact with space but highlights a critical shift towards an innovative, new and authentic user experience of place in the next generation airport experience.
“There are huge opportunities in Asia which up until now have been untapped by Woods Bagot. I also think working on London’s Gatwick Airport will open the door to more aviation opportunities in Europe,” he said.
Global Aviation and Transport Sector Director James Berry said it was fantastic to have Abbott join the team.
“Abbott brings to the Woods Bagot Aviation team a wealth of experience from his work at the most significant airports in the UK, Middle East, Russia and more recently Australia. We’re all delighted to welcome Abbott and look forward to his successful contribution to the 40% growth in the Transport sector planned for the coming year,” said Berry.