Airports Council International (ACI) World director general Angela Gittens has spoken of the need for high quality, timely airport infrastructure that keeps pace with the level of projected growth and interest of the traveling public
Speaking at International Air Transport Association’s annual Aviation Day, September 10, in Panama, Gittens discussed aviation’s largest opportunities and key challenges.
“Many airports are near, at, or even exceeding capacity, which is causing congestion, affecting levels of service, and frustrating demand,” she said. “Latest ACI World data shows that, in 2018, Panama experienced 4% growth and welcomed more than 16 million passengers. Air service demand in Panama is forecasted to reach close to 40 million passengers by 2032, based on a compound annual growth rate of 6.5%.
“To meet this demand, governments have a responsibility to incentivize continuous investments in the airport sector. While ACI has a neutral position on airport ownership models, in situations where government spending cannot be relied upon, private investment has become an important vehicle for the development of infrastructure to accommodate air service demand.
Gittens also stressed the economic and social benefits that aviation contributes to community and national economic vitality. “The bottom line is that aviation plays a vital role in the economic and social well-being of communities and local economies, providing jobs, contributing to GDPs, and providing health and humanitarian aid, educational opportunities and improving overall quality of life. It is the responsibility of industry and government to help secure and extend such benefits by exploring and utilizing appropriate options for infrastructure,” she concluded.