The world’s airports now generate more than $100 billion in total annual revenue, according to the latest statistics from ACI World.
The figures, announced as part of the ACI’s Airport Economics Survey 2011, showed that the Middle East region alone recorded $4.6 billion in revenues over the last financial year.
The survey found that aeronautical revenue – $54.5 billion – from passenger and airline user charges accounted for 53.5% of the industry-wide income.
Meanwhile, non-aeronautical revenues made up 46.5% of industry revenue in 2010, however this category includes non-operating income of $6.9 billion.
Elsewhere airports across the globe incurred operating expenses of $56 billion or 55% of revenues during 2010/11.
Airports’ capital expenditure was almost a third lower than predicted for 2010, with $26 billion spent on upgrades or expansions, and ACI World noted that this reduced capital expenditure was “clearly a consequence of the global financial crisis” which led many airports to scrap or cut down on capital programmes.
For 2011, capital expenditure is expected to rise by 14% to $29 billion, it added.
Also in the survey, ACI predicted that the financial performance of the global airport industry for the remainder of 2011 is expected to have continued its growth trend.
It said that passenger traffic growth would remain above 4% for the year with the more profitable international traffic growing by around 6%.
Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, said: “Powered by a strong rebound in the global economy, the first half of 2010 was characterized by a major recovery in the global air cargo sector, more than compensating for the significant declines in the previous year.
“Passenger growth rates were robust and stable at an elevated level only temporarily dented by the ash cloud phenomenon in April 2010. Aircraft movement growth however was moderate pointing to higher aircraft utilization and nimble capacity management and expansion on the part of the airlines.”
Looking to 2012 ACI added that despite a lot of uncertainty in financial markets as to whether governments will be able to contain the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, the consumer seems to be rather unfazed.
Gittens said: “Therefore, the prognosis is that another year of growth lies ahead of the industry.
“Growth rates may be smaller, especially in the first half of the year, but overall airports should be in a good spot to grow revenues further.”
The 16th edition of the ACI Airport Economics Survey generated responses from 604 airports that together handled 3.12 billion passengers or about 62% of worldwide traffic in 2010, providing unique and comprehensive insights into economics and finances of airports around the world.