Airports Council International (ACI) World concludes its work at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 41st Triennial Assembly with positive outcomes that will facilitate the full recovery and long-term sustainability of airports and the entire aviation ecosystem.
ACI World’s Working Papers, many co-authored with industry partners, focused on key priority areas for airports and passengers including meeting the industry’s net zero carbon goal by 2050; modernizing global policy frameworks on airport charges to ensure infrastructure development; building aviation’s workforce; improving the accessibility of air travel; and reinforcing action to stop wildlife trafficking.
“We are pleased to report that ACI World’s advocacy on behalf of airports was overwhelmingly successful,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “While all eyes are on the landmark agreement by governments to a long-term aspirational goal of net zero carbon emissions for international aviation by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement and the industry’s own climate goal, airports have also made great strides in other areas critical to the health of the aviation ecosystem – including for passengers and communities worldwide. Wins include the need to review existing policies on airport charges, strengthen aviation’s workforce, and the adoption of the first ICAO Resolution on accessibility of air transport.”
Key successes at the Assembly
Acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on the airport business, the Economic Commission recognized the need to keep investing in long-term infrastructure and to support the review of existing policies on airport charges. ACI will continue to provide in-depth evidence to support the need for a shift in global policy frameworks on airport charges towards ones that incentivize sustainability, efficiency, investment in infrastructure, and that generate a multiplier of socio-economic benefits and connectivity.
Regarding building aviation’s workforce, the Assembly’s Executive Commission stated the need to develop a diverse and skilled workforce to support the sector of the future, attracting more young people into aviation, promoting diversity and decarbonization goals. The Commission highlighted the need for dedicated partnerships with training providers, international organizations, and academic institutions while also noting that regulators and industry play a role in addressing these challenges.
Another milestone included the Assembly’s adoption of the first ICAO Resolution on accessibility of air transport to persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility, spearheaded by ACI and developed in cooperation with several States and industry partners. The Resolution recognizes that dignity and non-discrimination are universal rights that apply to all persons and requests the development of an effective ICAO strategy and work program on accessibility.
Furthermore, following discussions from the ACI-International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Working Paper on Wildlife Trafficking, the Assembly approved to amend Resolution A40-16 to include provisions to address trafficking in wildlife.
ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira continued: “While we come out of the 41st ICAO Assembly with encouraging results, we are cognizant that success raises the bar and brings more work. For our part, ACI World pledges that it will draw on the practical experience from experts around the world to help develop pragmatic regulatory frameworks. We offer our support and engagement at every step of the way, so that these frameworks really do reflect the needs of the industry as a whole and allow us to move forward together as one aviation ecosystem—for the passengers and communities we serve.”