Join the new ACI World working group on sustainability in the non-aeronautical business

Ilia Lioutov by Ilia Lioutov | Apr 26, 2022

The airport business: shift towards sustainability

The airport business is currently undergoing a profound rethinking of what airport performance is both today and in the foreseeable future. We are currently witnessing a fundamental corporate transformation wherein sustainability is becoming indispensable to the survival and prosperity of the world and global economy. The airport business is an important enabler of global economy, trade and connectivity, and is fully aware of the current sustainability agenda.

Airports are fully committed to sustainable transformation of the business, encompassing the environmental, social and governance dimensions. The environmental aspect of the airport business, especially the aeronautical component, is especially visible considering the carbon intensity of air transport operations and the commitment to decarbonize these by 2050.

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There are other important aspects of sustainability pertaining to airside operations, including the questions of local air quality and noise, preserving the natural habitats of certain species without jeopardizing safety, and efficient management of waste, to name a few considerations of environmental nature.

Sustainability in non-aeronautical activities

It is equally important to recognize sustainability challenges on the non-aeronautical side of the business. ANARA – the sub-committee on non-aeronautical revenues and activities – has addressed the sustainability issue with respect to ground access activities in the recently released Policy Paper: Sustainability Ground Accessone of the publications developed by the sub-committee, highlighting several initiatives to reduce congestion on roads, decrease carbon emissions, improve the user experience, and financially self-sustain operations.

However, the sustainability aspect of several key non-aeronautical activities, including retail and duty free, food and beverage as well as other passenger-oriented in-terminal businesses, has not been yet addressed by the sub-committee. Both airport operators and World Business Partners (WBP) part of ACI are convinced that meaningful improvements in sustainability can be achieved by retailers, food and beverage operators and other commercial players by pursuing a set of clear steps and measures. Additionally, there are several policy issues concerning the sustainability of non-aeronautical activities that can be addressed by experts in the field.

Calling on experts to join the new working group on sustainability in non-aeronautical activities

ANARA has launched a dedicated working group on sustainability in the non-aeronautical domain. ACI is calling on airport members, as well as WBPs who specialize in the field to join ANARA and its prospective working group on the subject. ANARA intends to cover all three areas of sustainability, namely the environmental, social and governance aspect, and develop guidance material, best practices, and policy positions on the subject matter.

As ANARA embraces diversity, airport members of all sizes and WBPs representing various types of commercial activities and various scales of operation are warmly welcomed to participate. Interested parties are invited to contact the Secretary of ANARA:

  • Carlos Charpenel, Director, Economic Policy, ACI World; Secretary of ANARA at

**Disclaimer: Acceptance of applications will be at the discretion of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Secretary of the sub-committee. Even though there is no constraint on the number of members admitted to ANARA, membership will be limited to ACI member airport operators and World Business Partners. Other non-member organizations may participate and present pertinent activities and findings (e.g., research, software, services, etc.) at meetings, but participation may only be limited to a portion of the meeting. These decisions will be at the discretion of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and the Secretary of the sub-committee.

Ilia Lioutov

Ilia Lioutov

Senior Expert, Airport Economics and ESG at ACI Asia-Pacific
Ilia Lioutov is an air transport economist with in-depth expertise in economic and financial performance of airports and is currently a Senior Expert, Airport Economics and ESG at Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific. His core responsibilities include formulating advocacy strategies at national and international level and representing the airport industry interests within political, economic and regulatory institutions. Lioutov is the secretary for the ACI sub-committee on non-aeronautical revenues and activities (ANARA).
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