Press Releases

Airports Council International supports United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals

30 September 2015 – Airports Council International (ACI) today announced its strong support of the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, conceived as part of the UN’s larger “Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” initiative.

The Sustainable Development Goals are designed to stimulate action over the next fifteen years in the following areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. This comprehensive, far-reaching and people-centred set of universal and transformative goals and targets aim to achieve sustainable development in its three most fundamental dimensions—economic, social and environmental—in a balanced and integrated manner.

“ACI is pleased and proud to share many of the United Nations’ objectives for the world’s sustainable growth,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “From protection of the environment, promoting sustainable economic growth, ensuring inclusive education and promoting lifelong learning to building resilient infrastructure, fostering innovation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development, there are undeniable synergies in the organizations’ respective visions for the future of the planet.”

Protection of the environment

Aviation has set ambitious goals for carbon-neutral growth from 2020, and airports around the world are playing their part with innovation initiatives that have environmental stewardship as their core objective.

For its part, ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, developed by ACI EUROPE in 2009 for airports to achieve self-determination in setting and meeting rigorous environmental standards, went fully global last year with 128 airports participating in the programme to date. For more information on Airport Carbon Accreditation, please click here.

Moreover, ACI’s do-it-yourself airport carbon inventory tool, ACERT, is now available in version 3.0 and can be used across all accreditation levels with a focus on helping smaller airports join the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. For more information on ACERT, please click here.

Promoting sustainable economic growth

Airports are drivers of local and regional economies and engines of progress for innumerable communities all over the world. Statistics from the Air Transport Action Group indicate that aviation directly generated an estimated 8.7 million jobs worldwide in 2012. Airports generated 5% of these jobs, which serves to highlight the vital role they play in the industry at large.

From conferences and workshops to best-practice guidance aimed at helping airports maintain operations that are economically sustainable, ACI has become an industry-leading source for disseminating and interpreting statistics on the economics of airports. To learn more about ACI’s latest publications, please click here.

Ensuring inclusive education and promoting lifelong learning

ACI’s Global Training programme provides airports with affordable means of better serving the traveling public across essentially every aspect of an airport’s operation. 2014 saw the launch of four new classroom courses in security, airport law, European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aerodrome regulations, and capacity enhancement and aerodrome planning, along with three new online courses in airside safety, runway safety management and wildlife hazard management to meet a range of training needs for airports large and small. Further in keeping with ACI’s “No airport left behind” philosophy, we have increased our language capabilities, including the translation of the Airport Operations Diploma Programme into Spanish, and we now offer courses in four languages. To learn more about ACI Global Training, please click here.

And further to the “No airport left behind” credo, ACI’s Developing Nations Airport (DNA) Assistance programme continues to make a measurable difference in the lives of participants, delivering free courses, providing scholarships for online courses, subsidizing in-house courses,  arranging hands-on mentoring opportunities and supporting Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety missions for airports in least developed countries. For more on the DNA programme, please click here.

Building resilient infrastructure

Given airports’ need to adequately prepare for future capacity increases, they have become master planners, often building infrastructure that can be used for decades in order to achieve an optimum return on investment. As a means of ensuring that airports make informed decisions when planning new infrastructure, the 2014 ACI Airport Economics Report contains sections that analyze the latest capital expenditures on airport expansion and revitalization, and discuss the latest developments in airport financing and investments. For more information on the 2014 ACI Airport Economics Report, please click here.

Revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development

“ACI sees partnership as the foundation upon which our industry’s future is built,” noted Angela Gittens. “From our upcoming conference,Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation,” organized in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Association, to last week’s launch of a publication on aircraft noise  jointly developed by ACI and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation or our close cooperation with the International Air Transport Association on airport security, ACI shares the United Nations’ belief that more can be accomplished when everyone is involved.

“ACI will continue to work on behalf of the world’s airports and the communities they serve,” she added. “And we stand at the ready to aid the United Nations in accomplishing its ‘Transforming our world’ objectives in any way we can. A shared challenge is a challenge more easily overcome.”

Notes to editors

1. Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 591 member airport authorities, which operate 1,850 airports in 173 countries. ACI’s mission is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations, and this mandate is carried out through the organization’s multiple training opportunities, as well as the customer service benchmarking programme, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.

2. To download a pdf version of this media release, please click here.

Media contact

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