Press Releases

Airport CEOs, panelists and keynote speakers explore the future of the world’s airports in Panama on day one of ACI’s WAGA 2015 main conference

To download a PDF of this press release, please click here.

Montreal/Panama City, 2 September 2015– Over 600 delegates took part in day one of the main conference yesterday at this year’s Airports Council International (ACI) Latin America-Caribbean/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition (WAGA), organized under the theme “Airports: Shaping our future” and graciously hosted by Tocumen International Airport. The day began with the official opening of the conference, where attendees heard His Excellency Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez, President of the Republic of Panama; Joseph Fidanque III, General Manager, Tocumen International Airport; Hector Navarrete, Director of Regional Airports, ASUR and President, ACI Latin America-Caribbean; Fredrick Piccolo, President and CEO, Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority and Chair, ACI World; and Jorge Quijano, Chief Executive Officer, Panama Canal Authority speak variously on airports’ significant contributions to their local economies; Panama’s important place in the world as the hub of the Americas; Tocumen International Airports’ impressive new Terminal 2; and the importance of planning now for future challenges and opportunities.

The conference opening was followed by two sessions: “A day in the life of an airport CEO in 2025,” wherein panelists provided insights on the future of airports, including their strategic visions, challenges and opportunities, and “Waves of the future,” which featured presentations focusing on the ways in which airports can cater to an emerging group of air travelers—the generation of passengers that will be traveling for the next three to four decades. ACI also celebrated this year’s graduates of the ACI-ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP); held the ACI World General Assembly and the ACI Latin America-Caribbean Regional Assembly; and congratulated 2015 ACI scholarship recipients.

“We accomplished a lot yesterday,” noted Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, “but I always say my favorite part of WAGA every year is congratulating our AMPAP graduates. In line with the theme of this year’s conference, ACI, along with ICAO, its partner in the AMPAP initiative, is committed to ensuring that the airport industry has a deep talent pool from which to draw in the coming years. This year’s AMPAP graduates are proof positive that our future is in good hands.”

“Yesterday was an excellent start to what is a comprehensive conference programme that will continue on 2 September with three more sessions dedicated to ensuring that airports build a future that is safe, secure and a sustainable,” added Javier Martinez Botacio, Director General, ACI Latin America-Caribbean. “I’m particularly pleased to note that WAGA 2015 has set an attendance record for ACI events in Latin America-Caribbean. The presentations we’ve seen today and during the pre-conference programme make it clear that the region is on the cutting edge where airport development is concerned.

“We’re fortunate to have the opportunity here in beautiful Panama during this event to both learn from other regions’ successes and communicate our own victories,” Martinez Botacio continued. “More than anything, it is through this spirit of collaboration and mutual support that the world’s airports will create a solid foundation for future growth.”

WAGA 2015 continues on 2 September with the second half of the main conference programme. To view photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page, updated daily with new content from WAGA 2015.

Notes for editors

1. For more information about ACI Latin America-Caribbean/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, please click here.

2. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable.

3. Tocumen International Airport is a key point for air connectivity in Latin America. It is the only airport in Central America with two runways at sea level, 34 boarding gates and 6 remote positions, and the ability to move over 12 million passengers per year. Currently, from Tocumen Airport you can be connected with 83 destinations in 34 countries in the Americas and Europe, facilitating business opportunities and offering tourism attractions for a large community at the region. In 2017, the new Terminal 2 (T2), which is the masterpiece of the modernization plan of Tocumen International Airport, is scheduled to become operational. After this expansion, Tocumen will increase its capacity to 18 million passengers per year.

Media contact

Ryan White
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1226