Press Releases

ACI World and the World Economic Forum launch Airports of Tomorrow to accelerate aviation’s decarbonization

June 27, 2023

Barcelona, 27 June 2023 – Airports Council International (ACI) World and the World Economic Forum today launch the Airports of Tomorrow initiative aimed at accelerating the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

The announcement was made to over 800 aviation delegates at the ACI EUROPE / ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference, and Exhibition – the most important global gathering of airports – in Barcelona, Spain.

Airports of Tomorrow will bring public and private stakeholders together to drive unprecedented collaboration and change in the sector, maximizing the potential for airports to be vehicles for economic growth and environmental stewardship.

The initiative is built on four pillars – Infrastructure, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), Finance, and Innovation – that will each see the exchange of expertise and knowledge sharing, development of tools and guidance, and advancement of advocacy.

Airports as leaders in the decarbonization transformation

Airports have been leaders in the decarbonization transformation, with ACI being the first global aviation organization to commit to a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for airports, made on 8 June 2021. This was followed by the cross-industry commitment in October 2021 and by the ICAO States in October 2022.

Collaboration across aviation stakeholders, including States, regulators, fuel producers, and the financial sector, is crucial to attaining the joint commitment to net zero carbon emission by 2050.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “The ACI World-World Economic Forum Airports of Tomorrow initiative will help airports transform from passenger hubs into energy hubs. It is an exciting time for airports: the energy transformation presents them with an opportunity to further lead and change the future of aviation for the better.

“Decarbonization is a critical global issue that requires a global response. With the support from governments and the collaboration of stakeholders along the aviation ecosystem, including energy producers, policymakers, and the finance community at large, together we can make the net-zero airport transformation a success story, while enhancing a sustainable and resilient future for the Airports of Tomorrow.”

“We see airports as strategically located epicentres of activity, where leaders from across the aviation ecosystem can convene and work together to transform the industry,” said Lauren Uppink, Head, Climate Strategy, World Economic Forum. “If the right planning and investment decisions are made today, airports can play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future for aviation as well as other transport sectors. The Airports of Tomorrow initiative will help airports harness these opportunities, enabling them to fulfil their potential as clean energy hubs and standard-bearers for the net-zero economy.”

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 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. As of January 2023, ACI serves 712 members, operating 1925 airports in 171 countries.

About the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

Editor notes

  1. Learn more about Airports of Tomorrow.
  2. Access information on ACI World’s work in sustainability and environmental protection.
  3. Lean more about the ACI EUROPE / WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference, and Exhibition.

Media contacts     

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

Madeleine Hillyer
Media Relations and Public Affairs
World Economic Forum
Email: public.affairs@weforum.org