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Angela Gittens addresses aviation leaders at (CIIASA) Conferencias Magistrales sobre Seguridad de la Aviación Civil ACI World calls for the Slot allocation system to be reformed by the aviation community on an equal basis

Mexico City, 16 March 2018 – Angela Gittens, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI) World, has today addressed aviation leaders at the CIIASA conference in Mexico City.

Gittens spoke on the challenges facing the world’s airports including  aviation security, airport infrastructure financing, ownership structures, and the environment. Gittens called for continued collaboration on these issues which will help facilitate aviation to continue generating meaningful value as a major contributor to global economic prosperity. 

Growth in Mexico has been even stronger than worldwide growth in traffic, with almost 11% in 2016, compared to global growth of 6.8%. Mexico City (MEX) became the busiest passenger airport in the Latin America-Caribbean region in terms of passenger throughput and aircraft movement in 2016. It is no coincidence, Gittens said, that Mexico is also forecast to become one of the top ten economies of the world by 2050, ahead of Japan, Germany and the UK.

To accommodate this growth Mexico City (MEX) is currently building a new airport, and ACI has welcomed the recent revision of the legislation on slot allocation to ambitiously address the capacity challenges.

With the current global industry focus on airport capacity, Gittens spoke of the increasing level of congestion of airports and called for a wider discussion on alternative methods of allocating slots and urging that airports, airlines and airport coordinators play an equal role in the efficient allocation of slots. In fact, as airport operators are best-placed to define airport capacity in the interest of the passengers and the communities they serve.



  • ACI World continues to advocate for effective and efficient aviation security policies and practices that among other things, promote a common-sense approach to security though close cooperation with State, regulators and at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
  • Through its Security Committee, initiatives such as APEX in Security, events, publications and handbooks, ACI World continues to provide comprehensive assistance to airports. 
  • Airports, airlines, authorities and service providers all have a role to play in making the screening process more effective, efficient and comfortable for the passenger.

Infrastructure financing, ownership model and capacity management

  • As regards ownership structures, Mexico has led the way in this Region with a model for private sector involvement and a network approach to ensuring that the entire country can achieve the benefits that aviation brings. A wise mix of public and private ownership airport has been a success story for the Government, the public, the investors and the air carriers.
  • Airports need to be able to secure sufficient funding to cover their aeronautical costs and finance their development in the long run.
  • In particular, the challenge of meeting the increasing demand for air transport services also implies optimizing the use of existing infrastructure.
  • ACI World works to promote a paradigm of change of the current slot allocation system where by airport operators, airlines and airport coordinators must play an equal role. In fact, the airport operators are best placed to define airport capacity in the interest of the passengers and the communities they serve. When that infrastructure is not used to its optimal capacity, the resultant allocation of resources will be inefficient generating delays, weakening connectivity and poorer quality of service for aviation stakeholders.


  • The Mexican approach to its airport system has also paid dividends in terms of environmental stewardship. ACI World encourages you to continue to work together to deliver a robust climate change response from the aviation sector.
  • ACI World encourages its members to measure the efforts they make to improve local air quality and to reduce noise impacts.
  • In the arena of combatting climate change, ACI World can help measure the efforts of Mexican airports in reducing their emissions through the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme.
  • In the arena of combatting climate change, ACI World can help measure the efforts of Mexican airports in reducing their emissions through the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme.

Read the full speech.

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, customer-focussed and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2018, ACI serves 641 members operating 1953 airports in 176 countries.

2. For more insight,  download the ACI World Policy Brief: Airport ownership, economic regulation and financial performance.

3. Download the PDF version of this media release.

Media contacts:

Hicham Ayoun
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1223

Anita Berthier 
Manager, External Relations and Special Events   
ACI World   
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254