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NEWS Last modified on November 5, 2015

Lots to learn at Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation Conference

Have you booked your place yet for next month's ACI/ICAO organised Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation Conference in Delhi, India?

Just one month remains to register for the conference, which is expected to provide an unprecedented opportunity to discuss economic oversight and regulation with a variety of aviation stakeholders, including ICAO, state regulators, airport operators, airlines and investors.

While ACI and others have addressed these matters as session topics at conferences, this marks the first time a full conference will be dedicated to learning about how changes to airport governance models and airport management practices are encouraging regulators worldwide to take new approaches to airport oversight and regulation.

As a valuable adjunct to the conference programme, airports will have an opportunity to participate in a pre-conference workshop where regulatory frameworks, as well as airport governance and investment structures will be addressed, enabling small group discussions about specific cases, as well as the following days’ plenary sessions where global trends and practices will be comprehensively addressed.

Among the top industry speakers at the event will be ICAO's secretary general, Dr Fang Liu; ACI World's director general, Angela Gittens; Sidharath Kapur, CFO, Airports, GMR Group; andNicolas Notebaert, chairman and CEO, of Vinci Airports.

“ICAO notes that the appropriate form of state oversight depends on ‘the degree of competition, and the legal, institutional and governance frameworks, including the roles, rights and responsibilities of the different parties involved, as well as the costs related to specific forms,’” notes Gittens.

“Over the last three decades, there has been change in each of the variables defining the appropriate form of oversight. For example, competition among airports, both locally (multiple airport organisations in a metropolitan area) as well as internationally (gateway hubs competing for connecting traffic) has increased considerably.

"Legal frameworks, too, have changed, with privatisation and new types of public-private partnerships. Commercialisation of non-profit airports has also changed, requiring new sets of roles and responsibilities with management teams, airlines, other tenants and contractors.

“In the midst of these changes, ICAO and innovative State regulators have understood that their role needs to change as well. Oftentimes this has meant light-handed regulatory structures and facilitated negotiations on issues such as airport charges can replace state-imposed or heavy-handed regulation that exacts excessive costs on an increasingly cost-focused and competitive industry."

What will delegates learn at Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation Conference?

“The event will provide airport organisations, investors and regulators insights on how new forms of regulation and oversight will affect investors’ appetite for airports and what factors will determine the relative attractiveness of individual airports,” explains Gittens.

“This will enable regulators, airports and other stakeholders to determine how they can achieve their goals for their airports and attract greater interest among the investor community, thereby lowering investment costs and ultimately the costs borne by the users.

"At the same time, the growth of airports around the world and the changing models of privatisation offer a rich potential menu of case studies to draw from as we discuss opportunities for further refinement of regulatory and oversight models throughout the aviation industry.”

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