WE CAN’T FLY ON CLIPPED WINGS airport body warns By 2030 two hundred and fifty million passengers will be unable to fly because of Europe’s lack of airport capacity, says Olivier Jankovec, DG of ACI Europe representing 400 airports. “We need a more supportive policy and regulatory framework that gives us new business opportunities and a licence to grow. By Colin Chinery.
s airtime running out for Europe’s airports? Congestion, expansion gridlocks, political inertia, and the power shift in the global economy are now major threats, says ACI Europe’s Director General Olivier Jankovec. And the man who heads ‘The Voice of Europe’s Airports’ warns that potential consequences reach far beyond the perimeter fence. “People don’t realise we are heading into the wall, not only
in the aviation sector but also by creating obstacles and handicaps to economic development. And it will hurt.” Representing more than 400 airports in 46 European countries, ACI members handle 90 percent of commercial air traffic in Europe, welcoming nearly 1.5 billion passengers and over 17 million tonnes of freight annually in 20 million aircraft movements. With the structure of the global economy changing, Europe
has become more and more dependent on external trade. And since aviation fuels global trade, its significance for Europe becomes increasingly important, says Jankovec. “Emerged countries understand this very well and are banking on aviation - and in particular airport development to position themselves and their economies on the global scene. To give you one example - China is building 78 airports in 20 years!”