Type to search





In the spotlight: Sustainability
Airport report: San Antonio
Special report: AMPAP review
Plus: ACI news, People matters & WBP innovation

Year of living dangerously

Editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the significant economic, operational and environmental challenges facing airports in this ‘sustainability’ themed issue of Airport World.

Aviation leaders speaking at the recent Global Sustainable Aviation Forum pulled absolutely no punches whatsoever in spelling out the threat to aviation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest figures released in the annual Oxford Economics compiled Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders report, predicts that 46 million jobs worldwide could be lost by the end of 2020 as a result of the downturn in aviation, including 4.8 million in the industry itself, where airports account for 60% of the 11 million people directly employed in the sector.

Speaking during the virtual event hosted by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), Airport World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, noted: “We face an unprecedented crisis. Airports represent around 6% of the jobs in the locations that they serve, and we expect to lose some five billion passengers and $104 billion in revenue this year.

“At this point it is worth remembering that pre-COVID, 70% of the world’s airports did not make any money.”

Sobering stuff indeed. ACI World’s economics director, Patrick Lucas, discusses the potential economic ramifications for airports in the ‘sustainability’ themed section of this issue.

The themed section also includes an article from ACI World’s senior director for sustainability, environmental protection and legal affairs, Juliana Scavuzzi, who reminds us why sustainability and environmental protection must remain a priority despite today’s challenges.

You can also read about how technology will help make ‘travel bubbles’ work and

spearhead aviation’s recovery from COVID-19; catch-up with some of the latest pioneering ‘green’ initiatives; and find out how some of the world’s leading airport architects believe the pandemic will change the way we travel and shape the future design of terminal buildings.

Elsewhere in the issue, we turn the spotlight on San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and talk to airport director, Jesus Saenz, who explains why he believes that it is only a matter of time before growth is back on the agenda at the Texas gateway.

While AMPAP administrator, Pierre Coutu, reflects on the unmitigated success of ACI-ICAO’s Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP).

We also, of course, hear more from Luis Felipe de Oliveira in his View from the Top column; and discover more about the association’s latest initiatives on the ACI news pages.

There is no denying that these are dark days for aviation, not helped by the ever increasing number of phone calls, texts and social media messages we are all getting from industry friends and colleagues telling us that they have been made redundant.

It is tough going at the moment, but we must try and remain positive, draw heart from aviation’s almost legendary powers of recovery and take onboard another key message to come out of the ATAG Forum – that aviation can come back better than before if we take this opportunity to enhance its operational efficiency and step up the commitment to protecting the environment.

“The recovery of the aviation industry will be a key driver of the global economic recovery. To ensure that aviation can continue to provide the economic and social benefits, it is crucial that we pursue a green recovery and lay the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable industry for the long-term,” says de Oliveira.

“Airports are central to the interconnected and interdependent aviation ecosystem. Airports and their partners in the aviation industry need the support of appropriate regulation and government policies to facilitate a green recovery and push for real change.”

Leave a Comment

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