Press Releases

Global airport leaders gather in Barcelona with sustainable connectivity, transformative business models and the aviation policy landscape in focus

June 26, 2023

Barcelona, 26 June 2023 – Leaders of the global airport industry are gathering in Barcelona today as Airports Council International’s ACI World and ACI EUROPE join forces to combine their Annual Congress and General Assemblies – and create the most significant event of the industry calendar.

The ACI EUROPE / ACI WORLD “WAGA” event, which runs from 26–28 June, is hosted by Spanish airport operator Aena, one of the world’s leading operators managing 46 airports and 2 heliports in Spain as well as other airports in the UK, Brazil and Mexico.

As C-suite executives, policymakers, regulators, business partners, analysts, and innovators touch down in the Catalonian city tonight, the stage is set for the freshest data and analysis as the industry looks to move beyond its rebuilding and into a fully sustainable and digitised future for global and regional air connectivity, with passengers firmly at the core.

Highlights include:

  • Cutting-edge conference program featuring over 50 speakers
  • Keynote “State of the Industry” addresses launching the latest industry data and projections
  • Political and regulatory analysis
  • The sustainability challenge from operational, financial and societal perspectives
  • Awards and accolades honouring and showcasing industry excellence, including the ACI World-Amadeus Technology Innovation Awards and the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, said: “The reinvention of our airports is no longer the stuff of future imaginings – it’s already underway. Even as we still strive to find economic equilibrium and regulatory parity and see systemic change throughout our operating models, this is the change we are embracing and driving forward. From our ground-breaking climate action work with Airport Carbon Accreditation to partnerships with vertiport operators. From economic analysis and expert input into policymaking, to projects hand-in-glove with digital innovators. We’re shaping the future of sustainable aviation on a daily basis. Our event in Barcelona will push this ambition to new heights.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General of ACI World, said: “As aviation stakeholders meet in Barcelona for the most important global gathering of airport leaders, the industry continues to change as priorities shift and new technologies become available. Airports, however, remain core leaders of industrywide change: from decarbonisation, the transformation into energy hubs, and customer experience excellence, to revolutionising business intelligence solutions. This event presents a worldwide opportunity to collectively identify what airports, governments, and regulators should prioritise for a sustainable aviation ecosystem that consistently serves travellers and communities. With the doubling of passengers in the next 20 years, collaboration across aviation stakeholders is as crucial as ever in achieving our global industry targets. We are as strong as we are united.

Aena Executive Vice President Javier Marín said, “Aviation is an industry that throughout its history has demonstrated great resilience – whether in overcoming adversity, embracing technological developments, or rising to meet an imperative such as environmental sustainability. The future of aviation is bright – and we will continue to be a cornerstone of our connected, sustainable future.

“It’s a privilege and an honour for Aena to welcome the global airport industry, their stakeholders, policymakers and partners to this magnificent city of Barcelona. Aena’s recovery journey from the pandemic has been one of strength, and our commitment to delivering the highest standards of passenger experience, twinned with innovation and digitisation, will be the hallmarks of the future. We are delighted to host our peers as we jointly take these discussions forward.

About ACI EUROPE

ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 55 countries. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe. Air transport supports 13.5 million jobs, generating €886 billion in European economic activity (4.4% of GDP). In response to the Climate Emergency, in June 2019 our members committed to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for operations under their control by 2050, without offsetting.

About ACI World

Airports Council International (ACI) World is the voice of the world’s airports. ACI World fosters cooperation among ACI 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.

ACI World is part of ACI, a federated 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 2023, ACI serves 712 members, operating 1925 airports in 171 countries.

Editor notes

1. Follow the event and be a part of the conversation using the hashtags #EUROWAGA and #WAGA2023.

2. Learn more about the ACI EUROPE / ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition.

MEDIA CONTACTS

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

Virginia Lee
Senior Vice President
Communications, Membership & Marketing
Tel: +32 2 552 09 82
Email: virginia.lee@aci-europe.org