It gives me great pleasure to report that 2017 was another successful and fruitful year for ACI Asia-Pacific and the region’s airports, and I have no doubt that we can expect more of the same this year.
Traffic soared across the region last year while our airports continued to build on their steadily growing reputations for maintaining safe, secure and sustainable gateways at the same time as providing some of the highest standards of service and operational efficiency in the business.
In terms of statistics, passenger numbers grew by 7.8% in Asia-Pacific and 4.7% in the Middle East in 2017 and cargo volumes increased by 8.5% and 6% respectively.
Looking ahead, considering the aggressive expansion of low-cost carriers in the region, and a number of festive holiday periods in the first quarter of 2018, passenger traffic is expected to remain solid.
While positive factors such as increasing cross-border e-commerce activities and the growing pharmaceuticals sector should provide optimism for air freight as 2018 progresses.
In 2017, our office played a key role at numerous industry events. We also held, and took part in, many committee meetings, organised training workshops, and seized every networking opportunity that we could to ensure that we met the diverse needs of our members.
You can read about all of this in the ACI Asia-Pacific Year in Review 2017, which we published at the beginning of the year. The report highlights our work throughout the year, which is the result of the close collaboration with our members, industry partners and stakeholders.
Change at the top
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank to outgoing ACI Asia-Pacific president, Kerrie Mather, and officially welcome her successor, Changi Airport CEO, Lee Seow Hiang.
In particular, wish to thank Kerrie – who retired earlier this year and stepped down as president of ACI Asia-Pacific – for her guidance, wisdom and strategic vision in leading ACI Asia-Pacific. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours.
Together with the Regional Board, we look forward to working closely with our incoming president, Mr Lee, in developing ACI Asia-Pacific to advance the collective interests of our members.
Election of the Officers of the Regional Board will be held at the upcoming Regional Assembly in Narita, Japan.
ICAO Conference in Beijing
Earlier this year our office joined representatives from 35 States and four industry partners in attending the first ICAO Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Civil Aviation in Beijing.
The conference was hosted by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and featured the theme ‘Sharing, Inclusion, Collaboration and Jointly Shaping the Future Aviation of Asia Pacific’. During the event we made a statement pledging support to ICAO for the implementation of the ‘Beijing Declaration’ and shared ACI’s contribution on human resources development.
No country left behind
ACI strongly backs ICAO’s ‘No country left behind’ campaign, which we support by providing assistance to member airports in the region’s least developed and developing countries.
This year, five Developing Nations Airport Assistance Programme seminars are planned in the region, the first of which took place in Nadi, Fiji, in January.
The workshop was a joint ACI/ICAO Aerodrome Certification course, targeted at airports from the Pacific island states. It proved a huge success and I’d like to use this opportunity to thank the host, and indeed all future hosts, for supporting the DNA seminars.
Our region, through the Small Airports Assistance programme, assists airport members which are small in size and with limited budgets to attend ACI training courses and participate in initiatives that encourage knowledge exchange amongst airports in the region.
And on top of the regular offerings, we have introduced a new initiative: the Airport Mentorship programme, where the mentor airport will provide professional advice and knowledge sharing onsite.
Regional Assembly & Conference
Our team, has been working in close collaboration with Narita Airport on the programme for the Regional Assembly that will provide delegates with a truly memorable event in Narita this year.
The two-day conference will give you the chance to meet, learn from and share views and opinions with a strong panel of speakers made up of airport leaders and industry experts.
Our new Young Executive of the Year (Please see page 18) will also be joining us to share his findings on the topic of how airport commercial offerings maintain can remain competitive in the era of e-commerce.
Another cause for celebration will be a ceremony to honour the airports with outstanding achievements in waste management under the ACI Green Airports Recognition scheme. All have been recognised for outstanding achievements in minimising their waste.
We look forward to welcoming airport colleagues and key industry players to this annual meeting, which has been recognised as one of the most influential events for the aviation community in the Asia-Pacific region.
Finally, I wish everyone a very prosperous year ahead and I look forward to your continued support in 2018 so that together, we can become stronger as the voice of Asia-Pacific’s airports.