Dynamic Airport Business Transformation
Declan Collier, CEO London City Airport and then President, ACI EUROPE, shared his views on the issues facing Europe’s airports, in particular highlighting EUROCONTROL’s ‘Challenges of Growth 2013’ report. “The airport capacity crunch is set to cost airlines and airports in excess of €40 billion of lost revenues per year by 2035. In addition, you need to add close to €5 billion in congestion costs. But ultimately, this is not going to be just about aviation – but about Europe’s global relevance and economic performance. Insufficient airport capacity will cost €230 billion in lost GDP to Europe – that is a lot of economic activity and a lot of jobs that we cannot afford to lose.”
2013 was a special year for the ACI EUROPE Annual Congress & Exhibition, held jointly with ACI WORLD for the first time in over a decade. Hosted by TAV Airports, Istanbul could not have been a more appropriate location to discuss the central theme of Dynamic Airport Business Transformation. Its aviation sector is booming and, at current growth rates, Turkey will become Europe’s fourth largest aviation market in 2015. TAV Airports’ Istanbul-Atatürk continues to grow impressively – the latest figures showing +4.9% growth in July. Indeed, the dynamism of the Turkish aviation market was demonstrated in the lead-up to the world’s airport community gathering in Istanbul, with the announcement that Turkey plans to build the largest airport in the world. The US$10 billion (€7.5bn) airport will have six runways and an annual capacity of 150 million, with the first stage operational as early as 2017.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE, explained that 2012 saw a +1.8% increase in Europe’s overall passenger traffic, signalling a slowdown in the recovery that followed the global economic crisis. ACI EUROPE forecasts passenger growth of just +0.5% for 2013. “Europe is not just about a two-speed aviation market between EU and non-EU countries. There is also a big divide between the larger hubs and the smaller regional airports. The hubs are showing a lot of resilience due to their reliance on intercontinental traffic. Meanwhile, small regional airports are almost exclusively dependent on intra-European demand and they have been the hardest hit by airlines’ capacity and route cutting. Overall, 48% of Europe’s airports are losing traffic.”
The annual gathering was attended by more than 800 key industry stakeholders, from airports, airlines, ANSPs, national governments and EU institutions. It took place against the backdrop of the protests in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, which served as a timely reminder that airports are accustomed to dealing with disruption responsibly, efficiently and effectively, whether that disruption is caused by political events, ash clouds, or security threats.
Dr. Sani Sener, President and CEO, TAV Airports Holding, expanded on TAV’s progression from a construction company to a leading airport operator. “We provided service to 10 million passengers during our first year of operation at Atatürk Airport. Last year we welcomed 45 million passengers and the total number of passengers we provide service to across all airports we operate reached 72 million. The coalition of TAV Airports and Aéroports de Paris created one of the world’s largest platforms in the airport operation sector. In this sector, knowing the behaviour and demands of the passengers is very important; together with AdP, we have data for 200 million passengers and I am confident that we will move both our industry and company forward.”
The theme of business transformation permeated throughout the conference, with sessions dedicated to dynamic leadership, the airport-airline relationship, airport investment, the passenger experience, and the environment. The airport industry has changed significantly over the past decade, with a stronger business mindset, an increasing focus on non-aviation revenues, and a passenger-focused attitude involving greater engagement with travellers through smartphone apps and social media.
In her Welcome Address, ACI WORLD Director General Angela Gittens explained that in 2012 global traffic growth was +3.9%. Meanwhile, there was a +2.4% increase in airport income.
Attendees heard from an impressive array of high-profile speakers, who passionately conveyed how the industry is being transformed on a European and world level, including keynote addresses from Dr. Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines; David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council; and Tony Tyler, Director General, IATA.
The ACI EUROPE General Assembly also saw the election of Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, as ACI EUROPE President. Meanwhile, the 9th Annual ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards took place during the event’s opening reception.
Dr. Temel Kotil, President and CEO, Turkish Airlines, highlighted the strategic importance of Istanbul’s geographical location between Europe and the Middle East and Asia – “regions with high traffic volumes and growth rates”. He also described Istanbul as the “natural hub of the world”, adding that international to international transfer passengers account for 39% of Turkish Airlines’ passengers.
Alongside the event, ACI EUROPE signed a cooperation agreement with the Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which through the exchange of knowledge and best practice will assist the Turkish authorities in enhancing their safety, security and environmental capabilities.
David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council, commented that global figures show +3% growth in travel and tourism in 2012. The outlook for 2013 continues to be positive, he said, and the contribution of travel and tourism to global GDP is forecast to grow +3%. He stated that strategic priorities must be freedom to travel and policies for growth. “Financial models show the negative impact of taxing travellers. Tourists are a revenue generator. The abolition of APD would generate $6 billion (€4.5bn) towards UK GDP.”
The 24th ACI EUROPE Annual General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Fraport, will take place in Frankfurt, 16-18 June 2014.
Participating in the Airport Leaders Symposium were Laurensius Manurung, Director of Finance, PT Angkasa Pura II; George Uriesi, Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority Nigeria; Paul Kehoe, CEO Birmingham Airport; Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, CEO Athens International Airport and Chair, ACI WORLD Governing Board; Mark Reis, Managing Director, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and First Vice-Chair, ACI-NA; Jos Nijhuis, President and CEO, Schiphol Group; and Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI WORLD.
The exhibition was officially opened by Orhan Birdal, Chairman of the Board & Director General, DHMI, Turkey. He was joined by Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI WORLD; Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, CEO Athens International Airport and Chair, ACI WORLD Governing Board; Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE; and Declan Collier, CEO London City Airport and then President, ACI EUROPE.
ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award winners 2013
The 9th Annual ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards were held during the opening reception at the Joint ACI EUROPE/WORLD Annual Congress & Exhibition. This year’s judging panel featured esteemed independent experts from Malaysia Airports Holdings, European Passengers’ Federation, EUROCONTROL, and the Disabled People’s Association (Denmark).
1-5 million passengers category
London City Airport
5-10 million passengers category
10-25 million passengers category
Over 25 million passengers category
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol & London-Heathrow Airport
Eco-Innovation Award (awarded by the independent Advisory Board of Airport Carbon Accreditation)
Athens International Airport
WBP Recognition Award
Business Relations & External Affairs Director, World Duty Free Group and President of the European Travel Retail Confederation.
The 2013 ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award winners and presenters.
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