Fall is just around the corner, and preparations are already well underway for the 2017 ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition, taking place this year in Port Louis, Mauritius from 16–18 October 2017 under the theme “Bold leadership in a time of change.”
Airports are a component of a dynamic industry, continually causing and adapting to change, whether from market necessities, technological developments inside of or external to the industry, generational, regional or local demographic shifts, geopolitical trends or shocks or other forces. The theme of this year’s conference recognizes that whatever the set of changes, airports play a crucial role in the economic and social health of communities, countries, regions and the world at large, and they must craft a strategy for their sustainable development to continue providing those benefits.
For instance, despite some Middle Eastern States experiencing geopolitical instability, negative spillover to the air transport industry was contained, leaving air travel demand largely unperturbed throughout key economies in the region. In fact, aviation stakeholders continue to capitalize on the strategic locations of airports within the region. In 2016, the Middle East was the second-fastest-growing region in terms of passenger traffic volume (+9.4%) and air transport in general supported 2.4 million jobs and US$157.2 billion in gross domestic product in the region.
To address such challenges and opportunities, the conference has been developed from the ground up to give delegates the chance to deliberate on issues of particular interest to airports. Session topics will include recognizing leadership; creating a strong security culture; learning from the world’s best airports in customer experience; taxes, connectivity and sustainable tourism; airport digital transformation; and, a view from ACI’s World Business Partners.
ACI will also host the ASQ Awards Ceremony at the Gala Dinner on 17 October 2017 to celebrate those airports whose customers have rated them the best in delivering an excellent experience. United Arab Emirates airports have certainly distinguished themselves and both Abu Dhabi International Airport and Dubai International Airport will be present to receive their accolades.
We expect to welcome both local and international exhibitors—from airports and service providers to a host of other aviation-related businesses—showcasing a range of products, services and technologies aimed at making our business ever more efficient and passenger-friendly. We look forward to welcoming you to Mauritius.