Airports have come a long way from being mere infrastructure providers to become businesses in their own right. Today, airports are important engines of economic growth, prosperity and job creation. In Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, air transport supported US$944 billion and US$213 billion economic activity in 2018, according to 2020 Aviation Benefits Beyond Borders. Of the US$178.2 billion revenue generated by the world’s airports in the same year, Asia-Pacific contributed to approximately 32% of the global total income, as the second highest region behind Europe (33%). The Middle East contributed to around 8% of the global total income.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest drop in global passenger traffic ever observed. In the long term, passenger traffic is expected to converge towards previously-projected levels, though those levels won't quite be reached in 2040. As airports and the aviation industry navigate their way to a path of recovery from COVID-19, maintaining a favourable environment for airports to grow and thrive will be crucial to continue delivering cost-effective services, improving efficiency and sustainably growing the business.
Airport economics look at a variety of topics affecting the viability and growth of the sector such as economic regulation, competition, airport charges, financing, infrastructure development, taxation, slot allocation, non-aeronautical revenue and the value of various ownership models.
To maximize the economic benefits of airports on the issues above and more, ACI Asia-Pacific, in coordination with the Regional Economics Committee and the Regional Slot Allocation Task Force, advocates on behalf of its members to national authorities and regulators and develops positioning statements and publications.