Airports Council International (ACI) World has called for improved coordination among industry stakeholders to increase capacity in the Asia-Pacific Region, home to some of the fastest-growing economies and aviation markets.
Speaking at the 56th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region, ACI director general Angela Gittens addressed the three main elements of improving capacity: using what we have efficiently; protecting the use of what we have; and developing more when necessary. She also underlined their importance to safeguarding the socio-economic benefits that aviation provides to the region at large.
Addressing the protection of infrastructure, Gittens emphasized that it was crucial that airports both prepare to deal with the effects of climate change on their operations and also actively work to address, reduce and mitigate the impact of airport operations on the environment.
As of August 2019, ACA boasts 282 participating airports, reaching 43.4% of global traffic and 53 carbon neutral airports. Although the program started in Europe, which has the largest number of airports, the Asia-Pacific Region has demonstrated its commitment, with 54 accredited airports, representing 41.2% of passenger traffic, six of which are carbon neutral.
Gittens said, “With the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report, the aviation industry at large is challenged to be a larger part of the solution. Our European airport community has formally committed to become net zero for carbon emissions under its control by 2050. ACI will ask the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop more ambitious CO2 reduction goals to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”
Addressing the third pillar, building new infrastructure, Gittens reminded delegates of the capital gap for constructing new infrastructure and proposed possible solutions to financing such large-scale projects.
Gittens concluded by reminding delegates of the importance of investing in workforce capacity.
“The projected expansion of the aviation sector in the region requires giving attention to the recruitment and training of the necessary talent that will run this engine. ACI continues to invest in workforce capacity through our Global Training program, which offers a host of in-class and on-line courses, many of which are in collaboration with ICAO, IATA and other institutions such as universities. I’m pleased to report that the Asia-Pacific region has the most training centers and provides the highest number of courses.”