Dr Yiannis Paraschis, CEO, Athens International Airport (AIA), has been ACI EUROPE President since June 2007, having been re-elected for a second term at this year’s Annual Assembly in Paris. In a wide-ranging interview, he spoke to Ross Falconer about the continuing evolution of AIA and, significantly, how handling the current economic crisis must be reconciled with the need to address the capacity crunch.
Aéroports de Paris has a commitment to invest €2.7 billion between 2006 and 2010 in order to handle projected traffic growth. This investment programme has allowed the construction of new facilities that will provide capacity for an additional 19.4 million passengers by the beginning of 2009. Chairman and CEO Pierre Graff explained to Ross Falconer how Aéroports de Paris plans to capitalise on its “exceptional growth potential”.
EUROCONTROL is in a period of transition, including several management changes, not least the appointment of David McMillan as Director General at the beginning of this year. He spoke with Ross Falconer about his vision for EUROCONTROL going forward and the crucial issues, such as the second Single European Sky package, that are on the agenda in 2008.
Recently released figures show that passenger traffic at Brussels Airport grew 7% in 2007 to 17.8 million, thereby exceeding the European average for the first time since 2001. The airport has come a long way since that tumultuous year when the bankruptcy of home carrier Sabena also coincided with investment in major terminal development. New branding, innovative airline relations and a proactive approach to marketing and route development have all contributed to this success, as Wilfried Van Assche, CEO, The Brussels Airport Company, explained to Ross Falconer.
The importance attached to aviation in Dubai was amply demonstrated recently, with the announcement that a total of US$82 billion (£58bn) will be invested in the emirate’s aviation sector as part of the Dubai Government’s Strategic Plan 2015. Ross Falconer met HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, to discuss how aviation is valued in the emirate and his strategy for continued success.