Press Releases

Most important global gathering of airport leaders begins in Marrakech

October 24, 2022

Public Health & Safety Readiness Accreditation program launched

Marrakech, 24 October 2022 – The 2022 ACI Africa / World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition (WAGA), under the theme “Sky’s the limit: Discovering opportunities within change,” has officially started in Marrakech, Morocco.

The event is the most important global gathering of airport leaders bringing together more than 500 airport CEOs, senior executives, government representatives, and industry partners from all over the world. This year’s edition is hosted by Morrocco’s Office National Des Aéroports (ONDA).

During the opening ceremony, delegates were welcomed by the Minister of Transport and Logistics of Morocco Mohammed Abdeljalil; Director General of ONDA Habiba Laklalech; ACI Africa President Emanuel Chaves; ACI Africa Secretary General Ali Tounsi; CEO of Oman Airports Management Company and ACI World Chair Sheikh Aimen Al Hosni; and ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

“It is a pleasure to be able to reconnect here in beautiful Marrakech and in Africa, a region that holds great potential for air travel growth, with 18% of the global population but with only 2.5% of global passenger traffic,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “I’d like to thank our host, ONDA, for graciously hosting the global airport community. Being here in person with a range of stakeholders provides the sense of community to build a more sustainable and resilient future together as one aviation ecosystem.”

“WAGA 2022 in Marrakech is an ideal opportunity for African airports to discuss current challenges, identify a common vision and move forward together with confidence and pragmatism,” said ACI Africa Secretary General Ali Tounsi. “As ACI Africa embarks on its fourth decade, it remains determined to support the strategy and roadmap of all African airports towards enhanced safety, security, best industry practices, decarbonization, digital transformation and sustainability.”

“We are particularly delighted to welcome this edition of WAGA, the most important gathering of airports in the world,” said the Director General of ONDA Habiba Laklalech. “Given the calibre of experts who are speaking and participating, this edition will undoubtedly be rich in debates and exchanges covering the most important topics for the future of our sector. The event will reinforce our confidence for a strong, lasting and irreversible recovery.”

Readiness accreditation for future public health events

To support the global airport community in their long-term sustainable planning, allowing them to be well-equipped in the face of uncertainty, ACI World has today announced the launch of the Public Health & Safety Readiness Accreditation program for airports.

The program is a continuation of the popular Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) program that supported nearly 500 participating airports during the pandemic. The new accreditation provides airports with an assessment that evaluates how aligned their public health and safety measures are with ACI guidance, industry best practices, and recommendations from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council’s Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART).

iGA Istanbul Airport collaborated with ACI World for this initiative and has been announced as the first airport in the world to be accredited under the new program.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Following the great success of the Airport Health Accreditation (AHA) program in helping airports align their health and safety measures on a global scale during the pandemic, ACI is pleased to welcome the next evolution of the program. We’re thrilled to partner with iGA Istanbul Airport, a leading world airport, for the first accreditation. We aim to welcome many airports to this program so airports can continue to prioritize the wellbeing of travellers and staff in case of future public health events.”

CEO of iGA Istanbul Airport Kadri Samsunlu said: “iGA Istanbul Airport is committed to continue providing their best for customer and community wellbeing. A peer review by ACI on our public health and safety measures, and our compliance and achievements with regards to international standards was greatly appreciated. iGA Istanbul Airport has worked closely with ACI by being an active member in ACI committees and working groups and hosted two APEX Reviews in 2022, one on safety and one on security. I particularly value the initiatives, collaboration, and knowledge exchange that ACI creates amongst its members.”

About ACI

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, is a federated organization comprising ACI World, ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI EUROPE, ACI Latin America-Caribbean and ACI North America. 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 2022, ACI serves 717 members, operating 1950 airports in 185 countries.

About WAGA

The 2022 ACI Africa / World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition (WAGA) is the most important global gathering of airport leaders. It brings together senior executives and partners of the airport industry from all over the world, and features discussion topics that shape the way in which the aviation industry is quickly evolving.

Notes for editors

  1. Read more information about the 2022 ACI Africa / World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition (WAGA).
  2. Learn more about ACI World’s Public Health & Safety Readiness Accreditation program for airports.

Media contacts

Adam Zampini
Director, Communications and Marketing, ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications and Publications, ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero

Ali Tounsi
Secretary General, ACI Africa
E-mail: aci-africa@aci-africa.aero