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Aviation stakeholders meet in India to ensure that airports are well positioned for sustainable growth

December 8, 2016 Airport No Comments Email Email
Aviation stakeholders meet in Goa, India this week for the Airports Council International’s (ACI) Investing in Airports conference – Creating the conditions to meet future demand.

Organized in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the event kicked off with pre-conference seminars on policy frameworks for sustained capital investments.

Delegates enjoyed remarks by Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World; Arun Mishra, Regional Director of the Asia Pacific region of ICAO; and, Stephen Perkins, Head of Research and Policy Analysis of ITF, with technical presentations on the importance of sustainably accommodating growth in the demand for air service.

“The recently-released ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts (2016-2040) indicates that passenger traffic will grow on average by 4.9% a year up to 2040,” explained Gittens in her opening remarks. While growth is expected to remain solid in mature markets over the medium term—most notably in North America and Europe—most of the growth is forecast to come from emerging economies. For the aviation community to overcome this challenge, investment in airport infrastructure and ground access will be necessary.”

“The underlying question is who will bear the cost?” continued Gittens. “Despite good intentions on the part of national regulators, there are regulatory frameworks that create disincentives for private investment and the sustainable development of airport infrastructure.”

“This event is very special” concluded Gittens. “It is one that looks towards the future so that we can make the right choices in the present. By bringing together airports from advanced and emerging nations, with different ownership structures and competitive positions, as well as a variety of legal, institutional and governance frameworks, we have an unprecedented opportunity to discuss lessons learned, best practices and what the future roles and responsibilities should be for policymakers, regulators, airports and airport stakeholders.”

“States are strongly encouraged to assess their airport and air traffic management infrastructure needs as part of their overall national development planning,” said Dr. Fang Liu, Secretary General of ICAO. “Under the ICAO No Country Left Behind initiative, we are also ensuring States have access to the assistance and capacity building needed to effectively implement ICAO’s more than 12,000 Standards and policies, because ICAO compliance, above all, helps to assure they will realize aviation’s benefits.”

“Airports play a central role in making cities around the world more accessible by air, both in terms of expanding the network to regions that so far have poor air links and also through improving airport-city connections that are an important element of access by air,” said José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum. “The ITF is proud to partner with ACI and ICAO for this important event that addresses some of the burning questions facing the expanding aviation sector.”

Topics to be discussed over the remaining day and a half of the conference include: lessons to be learned from privatization in India; the Asian regulatory environment vs. capacity development; key questions for investors in airports; new trends in airport regulatory frameworks; and transparency and consultation.

ACI has developed a Policy Brief on airport ownership, economic regulation and financial performance, which will be available in early 2017.

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