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Airport profile: Barcelona
In Focus: Edmonton’s airport city
Special report: Logistics hubs
Plus: The evolution of the airport workforce

Building momentum

Airport World editor, Joe Bates, reflects on the continued recovery of the aviation industry and the ‘planning and design’ theme of this issue.

I am not sure if it is the same in the rest of the world, but in the last few months in the UK, the gradual increase in adverts for overseas holiday packages is a sure sign that international travel is well and truly back on the agenda.

It may be June, but it seems you cannot put the TV on without seeing adverts for Jet2holidays, Viking Riverboat cruises or expensive, glossy films promoting Turkey, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and countless other countries.

The other way of looking at it, of course, is that it is practically summer now and there would have been no need for any of these adverts at this time of the year in pre-pandemic days as, traditionally, most people in Europe would have booked their summer holidays in January or February to ensure that they got the best deals and had something to look forward to later in the year.

So, perhaps another way of looking at things is to see the glut of adverts for summer holidays now as more of a sign that we are getting there as an industry, but still have a little way to go before we can truly say that aviation has finally recovered from the pandemic, particularly when it comes to long-haul travel.

Having said that, the positivity of seeing holiday adverts again, and ACI World’s monthly traffic analysis which shows that global passenger numbers are on an upward trajectory, is good news, and once again demonstrates the strength of the aviation industry and its ability to bounce back from adversity.

Indeed, this resilience and future growth potential is what continues to attract investors to the industry and convince airports and their business partners to plan ahead and invest in facilities that will raise their operational capacities and provide new opportunities to boost their commercial revenue.

You can read about some of these initiatives in this ‘planning & design’ themed edition of Airport World. They include the construction of a new megahub in Poland; commercial development at Edmonton International Airport; and a feature from Dr John Kasarda about the creation of world-class air logistic hubs.

In addition, the themed section contains features about the sustainable development of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and how the transition to electric and autonomous vehicles could impact on existing drop off and car parking infrastructure at airports.

Also in this issue, we turn the spotlight on ‘human resources’, with articles from ACI World’s vice president for safety, security and operations, Thomas Romig, about the evolution of the airport workforce; and hear from a handful of airports about the staffing challenges they face today as a direct result of job losses incurred during the global pandemic.

Our main airport feature is on Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, where director, Sonia Corrochano, explains why the gateway is a flagship hub for both Catalonia and Spain.

Spanish airport operator, Aena, and Barcelona are, of course, the hosts of this year’s joint ACI EUROPE/ACI WORLD Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition, which takes place on June 26th-28th.

Elsewhere in the issue, we hear from ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira; consider some changing work dynamics in our regular ‘people matters’ column; and report on the latest news from ACI’s World Business Partners (WBP).

I hope you like the issue and look forward to seeing you at WAGA in Barcelona, which will actually be my first international trip this year!


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