Press Releases

ACI World streamlines its resources for small and emerging airports

May 18, 2023

Viability of small and emerging airports remains crucial to social and economic development

Montreal, 18 May 2023 – Airports Council International (ACI) World today announces the streamlining of its resources for small and emerging airports to foster their continued growth and sustainable development.

The streamlining of resources, which includes certain programs and services at a lower rate, follows the ACI World Resolution “Support and assistance for small, emerging and regional airports,” approved at the 32nd World Annual General Assembly. The resolution recognizes the positive externalities and financial challenges of small and emerging airports. Furthermore, it calls on governments and industry to support their capital and human resource development plans and facilitate their transition to renewable energy.

The importance of small and emerging airports

According to the 2021 ACI Airport Economics Report, it is estimated that as much as 90% of the world’s airports are categorized as small (serving 5 million passengers or less per annum). Additionally, it is estimated that 68% of airports globally operate at a net loss and that 97% of those loss-making airports handle fewer than one million passengers per annum.

Despite these challenges, the viability of small and emerging airports remains crucial to the development of local and global connectivity, cohesion and territorial equality, social and economic development, as well as the potential for growth of their individual regions—in turn, supporting many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, they are intrinsically linked to the growth of the tourism sector. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism contributed 10.3% to global GDP in 2019.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “In many communities, small and emerging airports play a crucial role in the lives of millions of people—as employers, facilitators of tourism and trade, and even as key lifelines that support critical services. They also play an important role in feeding traffic into larger hub airports for onward journeys to other major national and international destinations. And as the largest segment of the ACI membership, ACI World is fully committed to ensuring that their needs and expectations are met, both on the global stage and in the development of tools that promote their excellence and sustainable growth.” The resources also include the long-standing ACI Fund that continues to provide financial support for airports in developing nations for career development and capacity building. In addition to seminars and scholarships, the ACI Fund offers targeted assistance for ACI World safety and security reviews as well as accreditation programs.   

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 and Middle East, ACI EUROPE, ACI Latin America and the 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.

Editor notes

  1. Access the ACI World streamlined resources for small and emerging airports.
  2. Download the ACI World Resolution “Support and assistance for small, emerging and regional airports.”

Media contacts      

Sabrina Guerrieri 
Interim Director, Communications  
ACI World 
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254 
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero 

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