ACI report depicts a global aviation industry on the up – but there are challenges ahead

Recovery from the 2008 crash continues while once-underinvested markets begin to emerge making this a good time to be involved in aviation.


A GOOD YEAR: Aviation is on the up worldwide

A new report from Airports Council International (ACI) World has suggested there is much to feel confident about when it comes to the future of airports.

The Airport Economics Report shows the recovery of manufacturing and global trade, alongside a rise in business confidence, has created investment and growth in airports worldwide. 

According to the publication, aeronautical revenue generated from airport charges per passenger in real terms has remained stable – in the realm of US$10 per passenger. This is a clear demonstration that the calls for tighter and rigid economic regulation for airport charges are unfounded, ACI have said.

The report also found that future growth in air transport demand will come from emerging and developing economies, predominantly from the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2016, airports located in emerging and developing economies occupied 45 per cent of global passenger traffic across the world’s airports. By 2040, this share is expected to increase to 62 per cent. By that time, passenger throughput at airports in emerging and developing economies will have 1.6 times the passenger traffic of airports in advanced economies.

The Airport Economics Report and the Airport Key Performance Indicators for the 2016 fiscal year are derived from comprehensive data from a sample of more than 900 commercial airports. The publication is a concise snapshot of selected drivers of the world’s airport industry. It provides a comprehensive in-depth analysis of the financial and economic performance, on both the aeronautical and non-aeronautical (commercial) sides of the business.

“Airports are essential to the economic development of cities, countries, and regions and the continued recovery in manufacturing and global trade alongside the rise in business confidence has fostered growth in passengers and cargo across the world,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World.

“Since 2010, global passenger traffic has been growing at an average rate of 5.5 per cent annually which is testament to the resilience of the industry.

“While there are predictions of looming challenges on the horizon – including inflationary pressures and a protectionist threat in some major economies – passenger traffic has, remained on an upward trajectory across the globe at airports in response to demand in both advanced and emerging economies.

“To keep pace with this demand, however, airports must be able to invest, improve and grow. Charges and non-aeronautical revenues are major sources of funds for airports to invest in infrastructure and service improvements.

“Disproportionate efforts to restrict or regulate this should be avoided, especially considering airport charges have remained both stable and reasonable in response to the strong competitive pressures that now shape the airport industry.”

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