ACI Conference to discuss new approaches to airport oversight and regulation

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NOV 5, 2015: Airports Council International (ACI) in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization conducting Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation Conference in Delhi, India. The conference will provide an unprecedented opportunity to discuss economic oversight and regulation with a variety of aviation stakeholders, including ICAO, state regulators, airport operators, airlines and investors.

While ACI and others have addressed these matters as session topics at conferences, this mark the first time a full conference will be dedicated to learning about how changes to airport governance models and airport management practices are encouraging regulators worldwide to take new approaches to airport oversight and regulation. As a valuable adjunct to the conference programme, airports will have an opportunity to participate in a pre-conference workshop where regulatory frameworks, as well as airport governance and investment structures, will be addressed in a thorough fashion, enabling small group discussions about specific cases, as well as the following days’ plenary sessions where global trends and practices will be comprehensively addressed.

 “ICAO notes that the appropriate form of state oversight depends on ‘the degree of competition, and the legal, institutional and governance frameworks, including the roles, rights and responsibilities of the different parties involved, as well as the costs related to specific forms,’” notes Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World.

 “Over the last three decades, there has been change in each of the variables defining the appropriate form of oversight. For example, competition among airports, both locally—multiple airport organizations in a metropolitan area— as well as internationally—gateway hubs competing for connecting traffic—has increased considerably. Legal frameworks, too, have changed, with privatization and new types of public private partnerships. Commercialization of non-profit airports has also changed, requiring new sets of roles and responsibilities with management teams, airlines, other tenants and contractors.

“In the midst of these changes, ICAO and innovative State regulators have understood that their role needs to change as well,” Gittens continues. “Oftentimes this has meant light-handed regulatory structures and facilitated negotiations on issues such as airport charges can replace state-imposed or heavy-handed regulation that exacts excessive costs on an increasingly cost focused and competitive industry.”

“ACI’s Investing in Airports – Economic Oversight and Regulation Conference will also provide airport organizations, investors and regulators insights on how new forms of regulation and oversight will affect investors’ appetite for airports and what factors will determine the relative attractiveness of individual airports,” explains Gittens. “This will enable regulators, airports and other stakeholders to determine how they can achieve their goals for their airports and attract greater interest among the investor community, thereby lowering investment costs and ultimately the costs borne by the users. At the same time, the growth of airports around the world and the changing models of privatization offer a rich potential menu of case studies to draw from as we discuss opportunities for further refinement of regulatory and oversight models throughout the aviation industry.”

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