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ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the topics of training and recruitment.

According to the latest ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts, global passenger traffic is expected to double to 16.97 billion by 2034, based on a projected growth rate of 4.3% per annum, and to 20.9 billion passengers by 2040, based on a 4.1% compounded annual growth rate.

We often speak of capacity constraints in terms of infrastructure and airspace but meeting future growth also requires investing in a skilled, committed and diverse talent pool. ACI is fully committed to both the capacity of the infrastructure and the capacity of the workforce.

I’m proud to report that ACI Global Training is the world’s leading provider of airport management and operations education. We offer executive leadership, professional accreditation, subject-matter competency and personalised in-house training courses, with delivery in the classroom as well as a wide range of web-based coursework.

In 2018 alone, Global Training delivered 190 classroom courses and 21,270 online course hours. We were honoured with the recognition of ICAO as a Corporate Partner in its Trainair Plus programme.

Indeed, our partnership with ICAO in regard to training began over a decade ago through the ICAO-ACI Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme or AMPAP.

Airport management, as a profession, has faced pressure to establish ways and means of promoting its credibility and ensuring an appropriate degree of standardisation of related expertise globally. AMPAP was, and continues to be, a response to this demand, created to provide accessible, affordable and universally relevant specialised management training to the global airport community.

To date, we have 858 graduates globally who are known as International Airport Professionals or (IAPs). In January 2019, we launched the IAP Plus Reaccreditation Programme to encourage AMPAP graduates to pursue a path of continuous improvement and excellence.

The Airport Executive Leadership Programme (AELP), in partnership with Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, also focuses on developing leadership and management skills pertinent to the airport industry.

It provides participants with strategies to effectively handle leadership responsibilities and provides global, regional and cultural perspectives on airport management. The course can be taken as an AMPAP elective.

And in 2018 ACI launched the Executive Leadership Exchange Programme. The first exchange took place in 2018 between Cincinnati and Munich airports and we will hold two more in 2019.

We know from our Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Programme that airports around the world are committed to continuous improvement in service quality, and at the request of our members, ACI developed and recently launched the new ACI Customer Experience Designation Programme.

Completion of the programme accredits participants as Airport Customer Experience Specialists (ACES), which includes a re-accreditation requirement to ensure specialists keep up to date on changes and innovations in the field of customer experience.

The programme is designed for airports subscribing to the new ASQ Customer Experience Accreditation Programme but it can also be completed as a stand-alone programme and any airport can also designate additional employees to take the course.

ACI continues to promote women in the aviation field. ACI is an active participant in International Aviation Women’s Association initiatives, including our recent partnership with ICAO and IATA for International Women’s Day.

ACI also joined with seven other aviation and aerospace industry parties in launching a global study, ‘Soaring Through the Glass Ceiling’, to identify and promote means by which the aviation and aerospace industry can more effectively recruit and advance women into leadership roles. The study is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2019.

As ACI continues to invest in tomorrow’s talent pool, we are cognisant that the industry must also keep track of larger trends in the labour market that have the potential to influence future skills.

Trends include technological change, globalisation, demographic change, environmental sustainability, urbanisation, increasing inequality, and political uncertainty among others. This will be challenging, but necessary, if we are to sustainably meet future growth in air service demand


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