Airport economics and finance at the crossroads

Angela Gittens by Angela Gittens | Jan 15, 2020

As a new decade begins, we and our member airports from all regions are excited about the future of aviation – one that has the potential for growth, the realization of a wealth of socio-economic benefits, and a more connected and familiar world.

The turn of 2020 marks an important point in time for airports and our stakeholders. It is a transitional moment made critical by a concurrence of circumstances; the world’s airports face pressing issues such as infrastructure development amidst major capacity constraints, adaptation, and mitigation of the effects of climate change, and the changing nature of the airport business, airport financing models, and evolving regulatory regimes.

While air travel continues to show resilience to the current geopolitical environment, trade wars, a slowing global economic outlook, and increasing social unrest around the world have created a challenging backdrop for our industry.

Despite this, growth is expected to start recovering in 2020 and we can remain optimistic that the new year will bring an easing of tensions in international relations between major economies.

The 12th Annual ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference & Exhibition

It is under the theme “Airports at the crossroads,” that delegates will reconvene for the 12th Annual ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference & Exhibition from 24-26 March 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is the pre-eminent global event on airport economics and finance, designed by and dedicated to aviation financial professionals.

Delegates will be able to take part in discussions on important topics that highlight an industry that is constantly evolving and improving. Session topics include financial models that incentivize infrastructure development; Islamic finance; green financing opportunities for airports; efficient management of existing infrastructure; and new business strategies in the age of changing regulation and digital disruption.

Along with the 6th ACI-World Bank Annual Aviation Symposium

We will continue our successful pre-conference collaboration with the World Bank, which will open with the 6th Annual ACI-World Bank Aviation Symposium on 24 March. The interactive forum acts as a useful primer for the conference. Experts will analyze the demographic and social trends in air transport and will look at the key conditions that underpin airport infrastructure finance though the business cycle. ACI World Business Partners will also provide concurrent sessions that offer an array of insights to airport stakeholders and other participants.

The overall programme we have prepared will allow decision makers to reflect upon and share their lessons learned, renew collaboration, and jointly create investment and growth strategies. We have varied the format to keep up the energy and ensure the ideas continue to flow, so the programme includes sessions, presentations, live interviews, and panel discussions with investment experts, industry leaders, and top-level decision makers and influencers from a range of fields.

In addition, we will release the new ACI Economics Report and the ACI Airport Key Performance Indicators. Both publications are eagerly awaited by industry leaders, investors, decision-makers, and airport professionals.

Returning to the Asia-Pacific region after 7 years

The event is hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and marks the first time that the event will be held outside of London since 2013 when it was held in Singapore.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world’s most dynamic cities, fastest-growing economies, financial centers, and airports so it is fitting that we bring the event back here for the first time in seven years.

This is a must-attend conference that never fails to deliver on its promise. We look forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur, 24-26 March 2020.

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Angela Gittens

Angela Gittens

Director General, ACI World
Angela Gittens began her tenure as Director General of ACI World in 2008. She was formerly airport CEO for Miami and Atlanta and Deputy at San Francisco International Airport. In other roles, Gittens led HNTB Corporation’s airport business and strategic planning practice and, at TBI Airport Management, she oversaw the transition to private ownership of London Luton Airport and managed operations contracts at several airports in the US and Canada. She is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and has served on numerous aviation industry boards and committees.
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