Welcome to ACI’s 9th Annual Airport Economics & Finance Conference & Exhibition, returning to London for the fourth time in as many years and organized in cooperation with the World Bank for the third year running. We reconvene at a time when global economic fundamentals remain in a fragile state; as advanced economies slowly get back on course, the slowdown in key emerging markets has resulted in overall moderate growth levels in global output.
Yet, in the face of the uncertainties in many economies, we continue to see persistence and resilience in passenger traffic demand and particularly in international tourism. Overall global passenger traffic continues to grow at an annual rate of 5%.
We maintain a degree of cautious optimism as we navigate through 2017. There are several impediments that could curtail the continued rise in demand, which could potentially encumber growth prospects over the short- and medium-terms. Irrespective of the challenges that lay ahead, by and large, the evidence of history supports the long run resiliency of the industry where connecting people, places, cultures and commerce is paramount in the shared mission of the aviation community.
Our forecast provides a picture of air transport as a primary means of globalization with the continued movement of people and goods by air. Global traffic surpassed the 7 billion passenger mark in 2015 and this figure is expected to double by 2029. The majority of future passenger growth will come from international traffic. Progress in liberalization of trans-border air transport, enhanced aircraft efficiencies in medium and long-haul operations and the persistent rise in per-capita income will fuel the propensity to travel, particularly in the highly populous emerging markets.
Accordingly, this year’s conference will cover such pertinent topics as common policy solutions; challenges to air traffic liberalization; delivering growth and ensuring route development; Brexit; the value of airports, and much, much more. And ahead of the conference at the Airports Council International (ACI)-World Bank Annual Aviation Symposium, you will have a chance to hear industry experts speak on risk and opportunities of airport Public Private Partnerships from all fronts.
We wish you all two very productive days of learning, sharing and networking. The ideas we discuss here and the partnerships we forge will help shape the future of an economically sustainable industry. Thank you for attending this year’s ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference & Exhibition.
Welcome to London!