Advising governments worldwide of the economic and business challenges faced by the airport industry

Posted: 19 September 2012 | ACI | No comments yet

The world’s airports unanimously supported a resolution…

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At the 22nd ACI World General Assembly in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the world’s airports unanimously supported a resolution to:

1. Concentrate their efforts on educating regional, national and supra-national governments to support the development of airport infrastructure in order to ensure the sustainable social, economic and environmental development of the regions they serve.

2. Pursue the adoption of government regulation that fosters and incentivizes rational and timely infrastructure investment by the public or private sectors.

3. Work to enlighten governments on the negative economic and social impact of imposing taxes on aviation on a national or multi-national level for the sole purpose of addressing general budgetary deficits.

Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World stated that “Airports are powerful engines of economic and social development that make significant contributions to the GDP of states, as well as by stimulating direct and indirect employment. The latest economic analyses commissioned by ACI-North America and the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), of which ACI is a founding member, demonstrates just what airports mean to the economy. At the global level, ATAG reports that the aviation industry supports 56.6 million jobs worldwide; has 2.2 trillion dollars in global economic output and if we were our own country, we would rank 19th in size by GDP. Airports directly employ some 500,000 people around the world and drive tourism and commerce in our local regions. Despite this, many airports around the world are treated like cash cows by their governments who choose to levy heavier taxes, year after year, on airports as a means of boosting government revenues. Meanwhile, other airports face curtailed expansion projects, either through government opposition or by virtue of systemic roadblocks to funding for airport expansion projects.”


  • Airports play a vital role in the social and economic development of cities, regions and nations worldwide;
  • Access to safe and secure air transport is a fundamental condition for the competitiveness of regions and countries in a global economy;
  • Governments around the world are recognizing the important role of tourism in driving economic growth and that aviation is the backbone of the tourism industry;
  • Multi-billion dollar infrastructure investments and service level enhancements in airports are necessary to accommodate current and future traffic demand as well as developments in technology and operating processes;
  • Airport infrastructure development contributes significantly to the creation of jobs and the economy of regions and countries;
  • Unlike other transport modes, the air transport industry pays for a vast majority of its own infrastructure costs, rather than being financed through taxation and public investment or subsidy;
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council’s resolution that Contracting States shall reduce to the fullest practicable extent and make plans to eliminate all forms of taxation on the sale or use of international air transport;
  • There is an increasing reliance by governments worldwide on the private sector to secure much needed airport infrastructure investments;
  • The majority of airports worldwide continue to seek economic sustainability;
  • There is increasing political resistance to the development of airport infrastructure, particularly at some of the world’s major aviation hubs, as well as restrictions on night-time operations, thus adding pressure on the need for additional infrastructure capacity.
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