For almost a decade, ACI World’s APEX Program has been building capacity on an international scale to address safety and security gaps in airport management.
By bringing the community of experts from its membership to conduct peer-to-peer assessments, the program has now demonstrated its effectiveness in helping airports of all sizes and complexities. It has allowed regions to increase their rate of certified aerodromes as the assessment provides clarity—via a comprehensive gap analysis—on the work needed to accomplish certification.
With the success of the program, supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ACI World members have benefitted from many partnerships with various organizations that have provided funding for assessments to be conducted in all areas of the world.
Over the last six years, no less than $US1.3 million have been contributed from various partnerships and projects, such as with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), ICAO and the African Development Bank, ACI Fund, World Bank and the European Commission. These projects have provided free assessments to airports which have led to increased compliance with national and international standards and at the same time, decreased airport vulnerabilities.
Currently, ACI is working with EASA on extending its collaboration in the Latin-American Region and with the European Civil Aviation Commission (ECAC) in its CASE II Project, which seeks to enhance civil aviation security in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia
In addition to ACI’s collaboration with its partners, airports can also seek their own funding for APEX reviews. An agreement, signed in 2021 between ACI World and Gallagher, a leading aerospace and aviation insurance and consulting brokerage firm, may allow their airport clients to use a bursary set aside by their underwriters for safety enhancement initiatives such as an APEX review. With technical cooperation between ACI and Sirius Aviation, Safety Management and Risk Management support can be provided under this scheme.
Most insurers are now looking at claims on a long-term basis, typically based on rolling ten- or five-year numbers, and so it is important to provide the insurance community with clarity on airport operator Safety Management System effectiveness as well as account for safety innovations and initiatives specific to the operator that reduces risk exposure.
The use of bursary funds is a way for airport operators to support resource management of continuous improvement initiatives that address identified operational risks and demonstrate to the market that the operator is committed to safety/risk enhancement.