Press Releases

ACI releases Policy Brief on airport networks and the sustainability of small airports – Oct 17, 2017

Port Louis, 17 October 2017 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has released a Policy Brief on airport networks and the sustainability of small airports, marking the first day of the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual Assembly, Conference and Exhibition taking place in Port Louis, Mauritius, from 16–18 October 2017, generously hosted by Mauritius Airport.  The theme aptly expresses the challenge and opportunity for the modern airport executive: “Bold leadership in a time of change.” 

The ACI Policy Brief focuses on one specific management model: the airport network and the sustainability of airports with low traffic volume. It provides an overview of the state of airport networks worldwide, based on a robust dataset and inventory of the world’s networks. It also puts forth practical policy recommendations to ensure that airport operation and development is sustainable and beneficial to airlines, passengers, communities and national economies

The ACI Policy Brief proves that the sustainable operation and development of the world’s smaller airports remains a challenge. While the airport industry as a whole is profitable, financial statements show that as many as 66% of the world’s airports—most of which are small—operate at a net loss. The airport network model is one of the options to overcome this challenge. In order to do so, however, airport networks must continue to be able to cross-subsidize smaller airports in accordance with the ICAO framework.

“Airport operators should be permitted to operate under a wide range of management models to serve their specific missions, their business needs and local circumstances,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “When a network approach is pursued, cross-subsidies from profitable larger airports are often key to the sustainability of smaller airports, which in turn provide essential benefits in terms of safety, social and economic development, and positive externalities to airlines users of the network.”

Notes for editors
1.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 Organization. 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. As of January 2017, ACI serves 623 members operating 1,940 airports in 176 countries.

2. Learn more on, and/or order the Policy Brief on airport networks and the sustainability of small airports.

3. View the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual Assembly, Conference, and Exhibition’s full programme.

4. View the photos of the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual Assembly, Conference and Exhibition.

5. Download the PDF version of this media release

Media contact
Sabrina Guerrieri 
Manager, Communications 
ACI World 
Telephone: +1 514 373 1223 
Anita Berthier 
Manager, External Relations and Special Events   
ACI World   
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254   
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