ACI World calls for infrastructure and customer experience investments
Angela Gittens, ACI World Director General, has emphasised the need for investments to ensure the continued beneficial operation of airports worldwide.
Airports Council International (ACI) World’s Director General, Angela Gittens, has drawn attention to the need for investments into the development of airport infrastructure and the customer experience in the U.S.
Emphasising the need for infrastructure financing, revenue generation and passenger experience excellence in order to sustain a vibrant airport industry, Gittens outlined the infrastructure and financing challenges that airports in the US face, as well as their possible solutions.
Gittens said: “Although nearly all U.S. airports are owned by state or local governments, airports are required by the federal government to be as self-sustaining as possible, and thus receive little or no direct taxpayer support. This means that airports must operate like businesses – funding their operations from their revenue, and responsibly planning funding for major improvement projects – which can often be very expensive.”
She added: “Modernising the Passenger Facility Charge – which is capped at $4.50 – and maintaining a robust Airport Improvement Program would allow airports to do what they do best: serve their passengers with safe, secure, and sustainable facilities, as well as effectively plan for the future.”
When considering that passenger demand in the U.S. is expected to reach three billion passengers by 2040, the capacity challenge faced by airports across the country must be addressed urgently.
Continuing by discussing the importance of value creation and the passenger experience, Gittens said: “A key consideration is whether value is created for passengers and airlines relative to overall airport costs. With growth in traffic, increasing globalisation and heightened competition for tomorrow’s travellers, catering to the needs of our passengers will be pivotal to airports’ success.”
Summarising the impact of airports on local and wider communities, Gittens highlighted the need for investments to ensure the continued beneficial operation of airports worldwide: “The bottom line is that aviation plays a vital role in the economic and social well-being of communities, providing jobs, contributing to GDPs and providing health and humanitarian aid, educational opportunities and improving overall quality of life. It is the responsibility of industry and government to help secure and extend such benefits by exploring and utilising appropriate options for financing, revenue generation and improving the customer experience.”