Message from the Director General

Angela Gittens by Angela Gittens | Dec 1, 2018

December 2018

Amazing that this year is coming to a close already. ACI has been so busy that time has just flown by. It`s worth having a brief recapitulation of some of our achievements and to thank our Members, governmental and industry partners as well as the flying public and shippers who make our work possible. ACI World and Regions align our plans and efforts to bring the best service to our Members and move our industry forward, at national, regional and global levels.

We continue with our drive for data-driven decision-making and saw the fruits of our labor with the most significant amendment to Annex 14 in living memory that went into effect last month. Based on years of data, it provides for airports to increase their capacity for accommodation of large aircraft with no diminution of safety. Our colleague experts on the Air Navigation Commission at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended the amendment to the ICAO Council which gave its approval. With the inexorable growth of traffic in every region of the world, finding ways to efficiently and safely increase capacity is a priority for us all.

In the future we will have more data since the ACI World Governing Board tasked the World Safety and Technical Standing Committee with piloting the collection of safety data and ultimately approved a programme for ACI to collect safety data from its Members. No individual airport data will be shared but this will develop into a beneficial tool to create a quality safety culture and will be important for identifying vulnerabilities that we, ICAO and industry partners can address.

Similarly, the Safety and Technical Standing Committee developed a template ground handling license agreement for airports to use in conformance with the ground handling policy adopted by the ACI Assembly. Being proactive and collaboration across all sectors is what has created the impressive safety record of our industry. We are proud to take large steps in that direction.

While safety stays uppermost in our mind, we do not neglect our key customer, the airline passenger. Airports have demonstrated their commitment to delivering excellence in the customer experience as we have seen in the uptake of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme by airports and the improvement in the level of satisfaction with airport facilities and services by passengers. The programme provides valuable insight for each airport and the wealth of data ACI has garnered from the programme has enable us to provide useful information on factors influencing customer perceptions. As well, ACI produced an updated Handbook on the accommodation of persons with disabilities so that airports can make it easier for all passengers to use their facilities with comfort. The growth in passenger numbers will include persons with mobility challenges, whatever the cause, and airports will be ready to serve them.

With the growth in our dynamic industry, ACI has focussed on bringing training solutions to all airports, large and small, in every region. Today`s airports are businesses in their own right and require capability in an enormous range of disciplines. Safety of course is our bedrock and our largest curriculum and student volume but we have increased our offer in security, finance, customer service, management, business, environmental management, air service development and cyber security. And we continue to offer the flexibility of on-line, classroom and in-house delivery, with more offerings in French and Spanish. In line with our policy of “No Airport Left Behind,” many courses are free, particularly as part of the follow-up from an Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety or Security peer review.

The APEX programme, where the community of airports comes to life, added the Security component last year and piloted the Environmental component this year, with Quito, Ecuador and Adisumarmo, Indonesia as the first and second reviews. For all of the APEX disciplines, we encourage airports to include their regulators in an open, candid, but “friendly” opportunity to not only review regulatory compliance but strive for  best practice.

As businesses that must safeguard safety and security, be effective stewards of their environs, deliver a high quality of customer service, attract and retain air service for their community, and generate enough income to maintain and develop the infrastructure to accommodate growth, and be resilient and adaptive to climate change and other disruptions, airports need to leverage technology to solve business problems and create opportunities for improved performance. ACI has developed a series of projects to help in this direction, including ACRIS, the airport beacons registry, the digital transformation Handbook, the upcoming API platform and is engaged in the NEXTT programme. You will hear much more about this in the coming months as we, along with the International Airport Transport Association (IATA), look for innovations for passenger, baggage, cargo and aircraft processing.

To help our Members navigate the vast array of products and services ACI has to offer, I draw your attention to the first edition of the Portfolio of Products and Servicespublication. This edition only refers to ACI World items but future editions will include the many offerings of each ACI Region as well as the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, which is operated by ACI EUROPE but available to airports in all regions.

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.
32 articles
Share This