Message from the Director General

Angela Gittens by Angela Gittens | Apr 1, 2018

April 2018

We have had a very productive first quarter of 2018, including a major milestone at  the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the approval of Annex 14 amendment that will enhance airfield capacity and generate millions in infrastructure savings. An article in this month’s edition fully explains the changes which will go into effect later this year.   This achievement is a true example of the virtue of working collaboratively with regulators and industry partners and promotion of “data-driven policy-making.” It also demonstrates the value of patience and perseverance. We thank our members for lending us their subject-matter experts that worked with ACI staff to collect and analyze data and participate in the appropriate working groups and task forces. This is the kind of unglamorous, painstaking activity that needs to take place to fulfill our mission to represent the interests of the world’s airports.

This quarter also saw us undertake important participation on the ICAO Aviation Security (AVSEC) Panel where ACI staff and members advocated for consideration of the needs of smaller airports with regard to instituting new measures and technologies. As well, the ACI/IATA Smart Security programmes was recognised as was ACI’s capacity-building achievements, viz., best practice material, training courses and diplomas and the Airport Excellence (APEX) in Security program.

As we remain committed to helping airports improve their terminal flows and processes, the Security and Facilitation team attended the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Passenger Experience Management Group, and provided expertise to the workstream on One ID, a digital identity management initiative. In addition, ACI presented the future of travel technologies, including airport digital transformation, the NEXTT initiative and ACRIS at Passenger Terminal Expo Conference in Stockholm Sweden.

During the first quarter ACI continued to value Information Technology as the main way for airports to constantly meet passengers and stakeholders’ needs. For this purpose, we have launched the Airport Beacons registry and advanced collaboration on an Application Programming Interface Platform for the aviation industry.

On the economics side, we have continued to collaborate with our Expert Group on Slots and have attended a meeting with airport members on the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG) Strategic Review Task Force to contribute to the strategic discussion on the WSG revision.

As we approach mid-year, it is a good time to take a moment and prepare ourselves for our ultimate event of the year. As always, our World General Assembly will provide the global platform for pursuing a constructive and cooperative relationship with airports, airlines, governments and regulators. On critical industry issues, including liberalisation, ownership, capacity planning, regulatory restrictions, and environmental action, ACI is committed to advancing airports views and strengthening their ability to shape the future of our industry.

In June, the 28th ACI EUROPE/World General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition will be hosted by Brussels Airport from 18-20 June 2018 at the Square Brussels, in Belgium. It will bring together more than 800 airport chief executives and industry leaders from all over the world to address global challenges, share information and create networking opportunities. 

With airports competing more and more for freight and passengers, the theme of this year’s conference will focus on how our industry can position airport brands as businesses.

The event will feature plenary, workshops, panel discussions, a gala, and special activities, including a visit to Brussels Airport. The conference program will showcase outstanding speakers from around the world, featuring the most innovative service companies such as Amazon, latest projects, programmes and initiatives. The first and second working sessions will be airport leaders’ symposiums and the third will be about private investments and the societal benefits that airports bring. During the second day, you will have the opportunity to attend a fourth session on sustainability and CSR values, and a last one that will focus on digital transformation and the airport brand proposition.

As with every assembly, the event will address the most important issues facing the senior leadership of the airport industry, bringing you enriching and engaging educational sessions on branding, and opportunities to network with peers from around the globe. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from airport leaders and senior speakers, discussing the critical political and market issues in the aviation industry as well as panel discussions and case studies covering key airport issues.

We must make sustained efforts in raising airports’ brands in this new era of air travel which is characterized by digital transformation and more confident, informed, and empowered customers. The opportunities for leadership are there for the taking.  We can show our resolve and make the commitment to confront the challenges that we face to build and maintain a sustainable future for airport business.

I look forward to seeing you in Brussels.

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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