Airports Council International (ACI) World has stressed the need for infrastructure financing, revenue generation and customer experience excellence in sustaining a vibrant airport industry.
Speaking at the 2020 Airport Experience Conference in Denver, Colorado, ACI World director general Angela Gittens highlighted the infrastructure and financing challenges that airports in the USA face, as well as possible solutions.
Gittens said, “Although nearly all US airports are owned by state or local governments, they are required by the federal government to be as self-sustaining as possible, and thus receive little or no direct taxpayer support. This means that airports must operate like businesses – funding their operations from their revenue, and planning funding for major improvement projects – which can often be very expensive.”
The director general suggested that reviewing the passenger facility charge – which is capped at US$4.50 – and maintaining a robust airport improvement program would enable airports to provide their passengers with safe, secure and sustainable facilities, as well as effectively plan for the future.
Gittens went on to discuss the importance of value creation and the passenger experience.
“A key consideration is whether value is created for passengers and airlines relative to overall airport costs,” she said. “With growth in traffic, increasing globalization and heightened competition for tomorrow’s travelers, catering to the needs of our passengers will be pivotal to airports’ success.”
“The bottom line is that aviation plays a vital role in the economic and social well-being of communities, providing jobs, contributing to GDPs and providing health and humanitarian aid, educational opportunities and improving overall quality of life,” Gittens concluded.