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ACI NEWS Last modified on December 20, 2011

Angela Gittens, view from the top. Issue 6, 2011


Director general, Angela Gittens, looks back at an eventful and highly successful year for ACI World.


On behalf of all our ACI World staff, season's greetings to all our airport members and World Business Partners. 

As we wind down 2011 and welcome 2012, I am reminded of the major milestones that we achieved for our industry. 

First, was the culmination of a Board strategic decision to move our headquarters to Montréal. The relocation was significant as it allows us to further align our priorities with ICAO and provides for daily engagement by our staff with the organisation.

It is at this international regulatory level where we work to strengthen the application of global standards and policies that enable our airport members to achieve the highest standards of performance. 

A critical component of high performing airports is their commitment to safety, and this key priority has been at the top of our list in 2011. ACI's Airport Excellence (APEX) in Safety is our signature programme where members will assist one another in reaching the highest levels of airport safety. The programme synergises precisely with the ICAO initiative on Runway Safety and entails co-operation and collaboration with aviation stakeholders worldwide.

The APEX Peer Review Safety Team had their pilot site visit in Lomé, Togo, in September and we recruited a new staff member in October, Adrian Cioranu, to complete the pilot phase and move on to fully implement the programme. 

He comes to us after serving with the Romanian delegation to the ICAO Council, specialising in safety matters. I encourage you to contact Adrian at whether you are interested in being a Host airport for receiving a Safety Review or want to be a Safety Partner to participate in a Safety Review.

Also significant this year was the tremendous success our global training staff achieved under the direction of Victor de Barrena. ACI is the single source for both online and in person training that is designed by airports for airports. Our team enrolled over 1,400 students in 2011 in 98 courses around the globe. 

This represents over 5,800 days of training and meets our key objective of enhancing professionalism at airports around the globe. Our training programmes are targeted at all levels in the organisation and customised to meet the needs of staff members joining an airport for the first time, all the way up to senior executive training designed for the highest level of management. 

We also saw a new level of engagement with the senior leadership of IATA in 2011. Indeed, IATA director general, Tony Tyler, attended our World Annual General Assembly and Conference in Marrakech and we held a joint press conference with him following his presentation to our members. 

While there are a few issues that divide us, there is much more that unites us, and a stronger working relationship with IATA certainly benefits the entire aviation sector.

Our voice is magnified when we speak as one on issues like the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme due to go into effect next year. We agreed with IATA that issues of international environmental concern are best dealt with at the ICAO level.

In Marrakech our members also unanimously passed a resolution calling all parties to support ICAO as the lead United Nations agency in matters involving civil aviation and expedite efforts to develop a global framework to reduce aviation's impact on the environment. This global effort is precisely what is required on this issue and one we will be monitoring closely in 2012.

Just as we have seen our engagement with IATA expand this year, our working relationship with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) has been enhanced as well.

In 2010 we welcomed over five billion passengers, and with 10 billion passengers expected at the world's airports as soon as 2029, it is clear that our capacity needs will not be met by capital projects alone.

Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) is one tool we can use now to improve efficiency and minimise delays. Working with CANSO at the international level, we can maximise the system efficiency.

At our General Assembly, our members reiterated their support for the work we do with CANSO and called on us to support a joint project with them to promote the worldwide introduction of A-CDM systems that can interact with in-flight CDM using standard interfaces.

ACI-Europe members are already participating in a similar programme applied by EUROCONTROL and CANSO, so using this existing model will provide us with a head start on this important project next year.

This collaboration with our international partners will continue in 2012 as will our active engagement with ICAO.

Our new team in Montréal is committed to providing the highest quality member services designed to enhance your airport's success. We will support you with training, educational events, technical publications, data and statistics, benchmarking and economic analyses, and will continue to advance the voice of airports worldwide.

I look forward to the challenges ahead and encourage you to call upon us at any time. Indeed, if you are ever in Montréal, please stop by and visit our offices. We maintain an open office for member use at all times and would welcome the opportunity to see you.

From all of us at ACI, we wish you a healthy and happy 2012.

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