Type to search




Assistant manager for external affairs, Samantha Solomon, reports on the announcement of a new regional director, a successful Trinity Forum and the latest news from ACI Asia-Pacific.

ACI Asia-Pacific Board appoints new director general

Stefano Baronci, the current director of economics at ACI World, has been appointed the new director general of ACI Asia-Pacific and will take up his new position in December.

He replaces Patti Chau, who is stepping down at the end of the year after serving as the regional director of ACI Asia-Pacific for the last eight years.

Baronci, a native of Italy, has almost 20 years of analytical and representational experience at national and international level in the aviation sector, in both airport and airline industries.

He started his career at ACI Europe, in Brussels, as a senior policy manager. He then gained substantial experience at IATA, dealing with the Single European Sky (SES) initiative. He served as director general of the Association of Italian Airport Operators, before joining ACI World in Montréal.

ACI Asia-Pacific president, Seow Hiang Lee, noted: “I congratulate Stefano on his appointment as director general. The Board looks forward to working with him to continue pursuing the interests of our airport members and promoting excellence in the industry.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Patti for her contribution. Under her leadership, ACI Asia-Pacific has developed strong relations and partnerships with international organisations, senior levels of national governments and the various ACI regions. I wish her the very best in her future endeavours.”

Baronci said: “I am honoured to serve our airport members and business partners in the fastest-growing region in the world.

“Building on the results achieved under Patti Chau’s leadership, my aspiration is to contribute to the progress of the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airports for the benefit of our sector and the people they serve.

“I am a strong advocate of close dialogue with institutional stakeholders at local level, and through the organic growth of Airports Council International Asia-Pacific.”

Chau, who announced in April that she was stepping down, said: “It has been my privilege serving as regional director for the last eight years. With growth in this region showing no signs of slowing down, Stefano is in an ideal position to take ACI and its members to new heights.”



Passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East hit a record high for the month of August, with numbers across the regions rising by 1.6% and 1.7% respectively.

The upward trend in Asia-Pacific shows the strength of the overall market as passenger numbers in China were negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions in eastern parts of the country that caused mass flight cancellations at many airports.

In India, passenger traffic grew marginally as capacity in both the domestic and international sectors continued to adjust following the service suspension of Jet Airways. Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, a number of airports in Southeast Asia posted strong growth due to rising holiday season demand. They included Manila–Ninoy Aquino (+7.2%) and Kuala Lumpur (+6.7%).

There were mixed fortunes for three of the Middle East’s biggest gateways with  Doha’s Hamad International Airport recording an 11.7% rise in passengers and Abu Dhabi International Airport a 0.9% upturn, while Dubai International Airport saw a 1.8% dip in throughput.


This year’s The Trinity Forum, the global influential airport commercial revenues conference, was held in Doha, Qatar.

Now in its 16th year, the event brings together airports, concessionaires and brands to help improve the understanding between these three crucial sectors and help the industry confront challenges and seize opportunities in the airport retail business for the benefit of the travelling consumer.

Speaking at event, ACI World director general, Angela Gittens said: “On average, aeronautical revenues do not fully cover capital and operating costs, and airports rely on non-aeronautical revenues for their financial viability,

“Worldwide, retail concessions remain the leading source of non-aeronautical revenue for airports, representing over 30% of the total, growing by 10.1% in 2017.”

During her presentation, Gittens introduced a new approach taken by ACI World to passenger profiling, with research on different passenger personas as part of its ASQ suite of solutions.

To the question whether passenger satisfaction can increase airport non-aeronautical revenue, she responded in the affirmative, based on ACI research that showed that a +1% increase in customer satisfaction resulted in a +1.5% increase in non-aeronautical spending.

ACI World emphasised that airports’ commercial offering must develop and evolve in step with customer expectations to ensure competitiveness and maintain customer experience.



Airport representatives from developing nations in Asia-Pacific, including the Airport Authority of the Cook Islands, Bauerfield International Airport in Vanuatu, Samoa Airport Authority and Tonga Airports Ltd, recently completed a three-day Safety Management System training seminar in Auckland, New Zealand.

Lead trainer, Peter Adams, a member of the ACI World Safety & Technical Standards Committee and certified by the ACI-ICAO Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP), reviewed the elements of a safety management system with the participants, and in interactive group and brainstorming sessions, the participants then discussed and evaluated recent safety incidents and assessed how well the airports in question followed the recommend approach.

ACI World and ACI Asia-Pacific are grateful to World Business Partner, Beca, one of the largest employee-owned engineering and related consultancy services companies in the Asia-Pacific region, for kindly providing the venue.

ACI’s Developing Nations’ Airports (DNA) Assistance Programme continues to attract interest. This year, the ACI World and Asia-Pacific team organised five seminars covering critical topics such as safety management systems, airport non-aeronautical revenues, customer experience management and aerodromes.

The programme aims to support member airports in developing countries and does so by aiding airport initiatives that are sustainable, have an impact, and bring results to those airport members. The final seminar of the year will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 12-13, hosted by Airports of Thailand. 



Members of the ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Aviation Security Committee (RASC) marked their 25th meeting in October by focusing on the theme of emerging aviation security threats such as drones and chemical, biological and radiological attacks against civil aviation.

Following drone-related disruption to aircraft operations all over the world, the Committee spoke in detail about mitigating drone-related threats against civil aviation.

Members noted the immediate need for defining the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders within an airport and were encouraged to continue to report back on any new drone mitigation measures at their respective airports at future RASC meetings.

ACI sees the need to increase the awareness and education of drone operators, having drones operate within defined and known limitations, enforcing legal and/or administrative sanctions for unsafe use and strengthening anti-drone measures to include detection and intervention.

Perth Airport in Australia graciously hosted the meeting and arranged an informative tour and demonstration of new advanced technologies being deployed at security checkpoints. The Committee, which consists of 21 members, extended its sincere thanks to Perth Airport for being an excellent host! 



ACI Asia-Pacific deputy regional director, Ada Tse, delivered a keynote speech at the Taoyuan Airport Forum held in Taipei on October 17-18, 2019.

‘Opportunities & Challenges among Smart Airports’ was the theme of the event, which coincided with Taoyuan Airport’s 40th anniversary and was officially opened by Chi Wen-Jong, Chinese Taipei’s Administrative Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Wang Ming-Teh, chairman of Taoyuan International Airport Corporation.

Airport traffic and capacity

Speaking to an audience of 250 delegates that included representatives from ACI, IATA, the government of Chinese Taipei and senior executives from Hong Kong, Kansai, Narita, Incheon and Munich airports, Tse noted that many airports are at or even exceeding their design capacities, which was causing congestion, affecting service levels and leading to new levels of passenger frustration.

This is particularly pertinent for the region as ACI expects global passenger traffic to double to 20.9 billion per annum by 2040, with Asia-Pacific airports projected to handle more than half of this traffic.

“This scale of growth brings into sharp focus the need for systems and processes that are up to the task of tomorrow’s challenges,” said Tse.

Some airports solve this capacity crunch by increasing capacity through infrastructure developments, such as Taoyuan International Airport’s Terminal 3 project. Many more airports are using technology to manage the growth, like  common use self check-in kiosks and self-bag drop consoles. Some more innovative airports have successfully trialled or implemented new technologies in identity management or are using biometrics to facilitate a secure passenger journey flow and to enable a seamless travel experience.

Digital transformation

Tse highlighted various ACI initiatives to help airports achieve their goals such as NEXTT (New Experience in Travel and Technologies) and ACRIS (Aviation Community Recommended Information Services). She also introduced ACI guidance materials on Cybersecurity to help airports manage the risk as they become more reliant on data and technologies.

She closed out her speech by highlighting the vital role of aviation in the economic and social well-being of communities and local economies, not only providing jobs, but also contributing to GDPs and providing health and humanitarian aid, educational opportunities and improving overall quality of life.

“The challenge for airports, airlines and governments is to manage performance and growth, contain costs, make better use of resources and find efficiencies, all while improving the passenger experience and maintaining safety and security,” added Tse.

The annual event is organised by Taoyuan International Airport.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *