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ECONOMICS Last modified on September 27, 2016

The data machine

In a highly sophisticated and competitive market such as the airport sector, data matters, writes ACI World’s director of economics and programme development, Stefano Baronci.

One of the strategic objectives of ACI is to promote knowledge exchange and support ACI’s regions and airport members to engage with regional and national legislators, regulators and other key stakeholders.

The major functions of ACI Economics and Statistics are to gather, analyse and disseminate airport traffic and economic data. 

By maintaining close contact with thousands of airports across the globe we are able to provide our members with various reports on both an annual and monthly basis. This information then provides the foundation for many different evidence-based educational presentations, policy development and various other purposes.  

Our continuously expanding catalogue of statistics is relied upon by the other departments of ACI World, the regional offices and a multitude of ACI members and World Business Partners.  

Whether used to justify ACI’s interests at ICAO or provide comparisons with ASQ data, the deliverables of this department advance the interests of the world’s airports and the communities that they serve. 

The airport traffic statistics that ACI generates are not only used to create insightful industry analyses in the form of reports, but are also available as unrivalled data sets for public purchase. 

In September 2016, the latest version of ACI’s flagship publication, the ACI Annual World Airport Traffic Report, will be released with comprehensive data coverage from over 2,300 airports throughout the world. 

It remains the authoritative source and industry reference for data, analyses of trends, indicators and rankings on airport traffic. 

Indeed, exhaustive coverage of airport data is presented by the main thematic areas of passenger traffic, air cargo volumes and aircraft movements in an internationally comparable format to provide our readership with a global view of air transport demand.

The newest ACI World Airport Traffic Forecast (WATF) is also in the pipeline. Forecasts are a crucial ingredient in airport planning in regards to determining future capacity requirements. 

Since infrastructure projects are costly and involve many resources, a data-driven understanding of future demand, such as the expected number of aircraft movements, passenger traffic throughput and air cargo volumes, give airport planners and investors the necessary lens for effective decision-making. 

The WATF data set presents aggregate airport traffic projections at global, regional and national levels based on internationally comparable airport traffic data. Short, medium and long-term forecasts are included in the dataset for the years 2016 to 2040.

The ACI Airport Economics Report provides an invaluable measure of the airport industry’s financial and economic performance based on an annual data survey of the world’s airports. 

Its companion, the ACI Airport Key Performance Indicators, provides insight into areas ranging from financial and employee performance to fixed-asset productivity and airport operations. The complete package of indicators presents quantifiable barometers of industry activity for airport managers, analysts, investors and other aviation stakeholders.

In the future, different methods of collaboration will lead to a widening use of ACI statistics. By expanding and increasing efficiency – just like the airports we report on do – we are creating new data management tools to better verify, analyse and publish the figures we collect. 

Partnerships with other aviation and data dissemination organisations are also part of our plan to maintain the constantly growing scope and excellence of our data and publications. 

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