Risks, returns and regulations: creating fertile grounds for investment

Philippe Villard by Philippe Villard | Feb 1, 2018

The world’s airports operators, investors and regulators converge to London for the 10th Airport Economics and Finance Conference in London on 10 and 11 April 2018.

As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the ACI Airport Economics and Finance Conference, the world’s airport executives and experts will gather in London on 10 and 11 April 2018 to address how fertile grounds for investments in airports can be created. While the aviation industry continues to face abundant opportunities for all stakeholders in the air transport value chain, looming economic uncertainty and downside risks remain omnipresent. The ACI 10th Airport Economics and Finance Conference is the industry’s premier event on the economic, financial and regulatory aspects of airports to address such issues and challenges and to meet and learn from an exhaustive roster of industry leaders and global experts.

The first day of the conference will be dedicated to addressing the challenges related to airport financing, competition, and capacity shortage.

The future growth of the airport industry means committing today to significant capital plans with long time-horizons. Investors will look for safe assets and stable income streams, but risk levels are increasing in many regions making financing a challenge. Furthermore, airports around the world face a more competitive business market and have to operate as commercial entities. At the same time, the underlying structure of airports’ business models is changing.

An expert panel will address the changing airport financing landscape and will be followed by subsequent panel discussions and case studies presentation on airport competition dynamics. The day will be concluded by addressing the pressing issue of capacity constraints and slot allocation. As passenger numbers are set to double over the next 20 years, and aircraft movements to increase substantially, it is likely that many airports will continue to be slot constrained. The case for changes in the slot allocation system is clear, and airport and airline leaders will discuss the real value of airport slot at congested airports and how the value that is created with a slot should be allocated.

The second day of the conference will focus on airport management, ownership and regulation.

Today, 69% of countries have some sort of airport networks and nearly half of the world’s airports belong to airport networks. Airport networks have also come to support equal opportunities in terms of accessibility, connectivity and economic development. Executives of airport networks worldwide will discuss how the network approach can safeguard and enhance connectivity for all regions concerned and how future regulation can address concerns and advance this management model. A round table of investors in airports will follow to discuss requirements and expectations in terms of transparency and regulatory frameworks. A live interview of Martin Eurnekian, Chief Executive Officer, Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 will shed light on the views of a prominent airport leader on the state of the industry. Finally, the last session will focus on the European approaches to airport regulation in face of the intense competition that shapes the European airport landscape.

The 10th Airport Economics and Finance Conference will be preceded by the ACI-World Bank Annual Aviation Symposium on 09 April 2018. The symposium creates an interactive forum of discussion for senior representatives from airports, investment banks and financial institutions.

Join over 250 delegates from over 50 different countries around the world and benefit from expert opinions and cutting edge presentations as well as exclusive networking opportunities.

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Philippe Villard

Philippe Villard

Vice President, Economic Policy at ACI-North America
Philippe Villard joined Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) in February 2022. His main responsibilities include developing policies and positions regarding the economic well-being of the airport industry, notably on matters of economics, competition, financial regulation and slot policy. Prior to joining ACI-NA, Philippe held positions with increasing responsibilities in air transport economic policy development; airport charges, funding and financing; and slot policy at ACI World, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). He holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), France, and a PhD in Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
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