Type to search

APA3 2023 NEWS

Regional update


Manager for communications and brand marketing, Yuman Lau, rounds-up the latest news and developments for ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East.


What an incredible quarter it has been, marked by a significant milestone. We launched our new Middle East office in in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In line with the launch, we have rebranded our association as ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East (ACI APAC & MID).

The launch event was graced by the Minister for Transport for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and key airport members from the Middle East, who together opened the doors to the new ACI APAC & MID Office.

Furthermore, we had the privilege of announcing the findings of the Airport Connectivity Report, followed by a discussion on what Middle East airports can do to address climate change.

The decision to open an office in the Middle East and rebrand as ACI APAC & MID was taken as it was felt that both initiatives were necessary to truly reflect the regions that the association serves and allow us to better cater to the needs of our Middle Eastern and Asian members by customising our programmes. The Middle East office will work closely with ACI APAC & MID’s headquarters in Hong Kong.

Guided by a new vision ‘Putting Asia-Pacific and Middle East Airports at the forefront of global aviation’, ACI APAC & MID will aim to better position itself in the rapidly evolving aviation market and advocate for the region’s interests on the global stage.

The aviation industry in the Middle East has been one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic in the world over the past two decades, driven by factors such as favourable geographic location, government support, and investments in modern infrastructure and technology.

The rebranding aims to recognise the importance of the region and our airports within the integrated structure of the association.

In essence, the new name aims at more accurately representing the diversity of the airports and aviation markets within our membership, which is important for effective advocacy and representation.

It will also help raise awareness and visibility of the organisation among key stakeholders, including government agencies, industry partners, and the general public.

Commenting on the strategic decision to rebrand the association, Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI APAC and MID, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic pushed us to re-invent ourself and create a new framework to meet the changing environment.

“This way we will enhance our service through a balancing act between leveraging the value of an international network and tailoring our services to the local needs.”

He noted that the initatives will allow the association to strengthen its ties with small airports along with successful hubs, adding that ACI APAC and MID is taking a bold step forward to better serve our members in the Middle East.

The DG also revealed the association’s new value proposition, “A journey of thousand miles begins with thousands of airport smiles”, reiterating the fact that everything ACI APAC and MID does and every decision it makes boils down to one fundamental goal – ensuring a happy passenger experience at airports.

H.E Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Ministry of Transport and Logistic Services, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, delivered the key note at the opening of the new office in Riyadh.

The launch was followed by an informative discussion on Climate Change and how Middle East Airports are addressing the challenge.

In one session, moderated by Dr Panagiotis Karamanos, a senior advisor for ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, the speakers shared their knowledge and experience on the measures being adopted to tackle the global issue.

Sheikh Aimen Al Hosni, CEO of Oman Airports; Mohammed Yusif Al-Binfalah, CEO of Bahrain Airport; and Alpros Mohammad Hamzouq, quality, safety and risk management director for Airport International Group (AIG), shared perspectives on some of the key environmental challenges ahead airports across the Middle East and wider world.

ACI APAC & MID also seized the opportunity to announce the launch of its Airport Connectivity Report.

Developed in partnership with PwC, the report measures passengers’ ability to access the global air transport network, capturing both direct and indirect routes, and also factoring in the quality of service of each connection, such as destination choice, service frequency, onward connectivity and price, contributing to the passenger experience.

It covers a sample of 100 airports that account for almost 60% of the combined passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific & Middle East in 2019.

As you would expect after such a milestone event, a few thank yous are in order. We would first like to express our gratitude to all those who joined us in Riyadh for the launch of our Middle East office.

A special thank you is also owed to MATARAT for their exceptional efforts towards the success of the opening ceremony.

And, finally, ACI APAC & MID would like to show our appreciation to Riyadh Airports for supporting us by providing human resources through secondee arrangements.

As we begin this new chapter here in Riyadh, we are filled with excitement at the opportunity to serve our members. Thank you all for being part of this transformative journey!


Director general, Stefano Baronci, had the honour of delivering some opening remarks at the ACI World Customer Experience Summit in Incheon, Republic of Korea, in early September.

In his presentation, he highlighted the pressing need for airports and the aviation industry in general to offer a world-class airport experience as air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, indicating a brighter outlook.

The DG emphasised that success in the aviation industry is not only defined by efficiency, but rather by the smiles and satisfaction of our passengers. Therefore, it is imperative to embed a customer-centric culture into the heart of airport operations.

He also took a moment to applaud Incheon International Airport Corporation for its remarkable feat of achieving ACI Customer Accreditation Level 5 – the top tier of the programme.

Let’s continue to work together to ensure that the airport experience is seamless and memorable for all.


ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East plays an important and active role in representing and promoting airports’ interests through ICAO in the area of aviation security.

Most recently we presented a working paper to emphasise the growing importance of leveraging innovation and technology to ensure the long-term sustainability of airport security operations.


As part of the proactive aviation decarbonisation efforts, Ken Lau, our senior manager for the environment and airport information technology, virtually participated in the EU-SEA CCCA CORSIA Workshop in Jarkata, Indonesia, on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) development and Green Airport.

Speaking about the ‘Provision of SAF at Airport’, Lau reiterated the efforts of airports in decarbonisation, the importance of SAF at airports and how SAF could be implemented at airports. The aim is to create awareness to industry stakeholders on enhancing the awareness of SAF uptake and infrastructure so as to facilitate SAF.


We are excited to introduce Airport Day, a two-day event, designed exclusively for Pacific Island Airports. Join us for engaging discussions and workshops focused on key areas that are paramount to the success of your airport. The new initiative is tailored to the needs of Pacific Island Airports.

Hosted by the Airport Authority of the Cook Islands in Rarotonga on November 2-3, the Airport Day aims to assist Pacific Island Airport members enhance their capacity on various topics of interest to them. We believe it will serve as a valuable tool for airports seeking to expand their knowledge on airport-related matters, foster better communication with national and local governments, and engage with the communities in their respective areas of influence.

Visit https://aci-asiapac.glueup.com/event/airport-day-for-pacific-island-airports-85415/ for more details.


SL Wong, our director for technical and administrative affairs, spoke on behalf of ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East at The 8th China Airports Service Conferences in Beijing, and shared insights about some of the best practices being adopted by the region’s airports as they bid to meet the evolving expectations of travellers in the post-pandemic era.

With traffic bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, the need for airports to up their game and enhance the customer experience across their facilities grows even more pressing.

In this regards, ACI’s Customer Experience Accreditation programme continues to provide benchmarking and exchange of best practices.

China’s aviation market is expected to contribute 21% to the additional growth in global passenger traffic over the next two decades. This underlines the importance of sharing best practices in the aviation industry.


We’ve entered into a joint MoU with Riyadh Airports and ACI World for the 2024 ACI World Annual General Assembly.

Stefano Baronci, DG of ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, DG of ACI World, and Musad Aldaood, CEO of Riyadh Airports, signed the MoU in Riyadh. This is a significant step that lays the groundwork for the ACI WAGA, an important global gathering of airport leaders.

Hosted by Riyadh Airports, WAGA 2024 will take place from May 21-24, 2024, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We look forward to welcoming aviation leaders from all over the world to what will be a memorable experience for all.


Brought to you by ACI Asia-Pacific  & Middle East, ACI EUROPE and  ACI World, Airports Innovate will take place in Muscat, Oman on November 20-22, 2023. The event is hosted by Oman Airports.

Key Panels:

• eVTOL – a new way to fly
• Airport Innovation Hub
• Artificial intelligence
• Aviation in metaverse
• Brand Strategy and Innovation
• Innovation on digital transformation

Meet the tech giants from:

• Amazon Web Services
• Google

Speaker line-up:

• Design of Future Airports from Massimiliano Fuksas, founder of Studio Fuksas
• Symbiosis of Human and Nature in an Airport Space from Charu Kokate, senior partner at Safdie Architects

This is just a glimpse of the thought-provoking discussions you can expect at Airports Innovate 2023.

Don’t miss out on this exceptional opportunity to gain insights from prominent leaders in airport business, design, technology, and innovation. Register now at https://bit.ly/3OwoMrc


ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira; Incheon Airport CEO, Hag-jae Lee; and ACI World chair and CEO of Oman Airports, Sheikh Aimen Al Hosni, at September’s ACI Customer Experience
Global Summit.

The theme of the event was ‘Empowering the airport community for a customer-centric culture, which comprised two days of lively debate and discussion and the always spectacular Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards ceremony.

This year 144 ASQ Awards were won by 75 airports, many of which are located in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.


We are delighted to announce that the ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East Young Executive Award 2024 is now open for application.

The topic for the 2024 award programme is ‘The Collaboration of Airport Stakeholders on Promoting Cyber-Security Culture’.

The Young Executive Award is an opportunity to transform your knowledge into actionable solutions for addressing challenges faced by the aviation sector in our region. If you are passionate to share your thoughts on collaboration of airport stakeholders on promoting cyber security culture, we invite you to submit your papers before the December 22, 2023, deadline for submissions.

Leave a Comment

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