Compendium: Finding the Opportunity in Change – Stories from Around the World
The prolonged recovery from the fi nancial and economic crises of the last few years, and the uncertainty overhanging the Euro currency, has prompted new thinking about airport ownership, financing, and operations.
In the advanced economies of North America and Europe, new challenges created by volatile currency and oil price swings, an ageing infrastructure, the availability of capital, and ongoing restructuring in the airline industry suggest that airport ownership and financing models, as well as airport planning of all types, will need to be responsive to a constantly changing environment. While growth in air traffi c activity has to a large extent ground to a halt, the appetite for private sector involvement in airport development remains (as evidenced by BAA’s current sale process for Edinburgh Airport).
The airport sector in the developing world faces its own, and not necessarily similar, set of change agents. Whether it is building facilities in advance of major sporting events (such as Brazil, with the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games), or just the general need to upgrade the creaky or nonexistent aviation infrastructure to accommodate and foster high levels of economic growth (such as India), new airport planning models that place a premium on flexibility and creativity need to be developed and implemented. While developing countries have high aviation activity growth rates and badly need infrastructure, there is a significant level of scepticism regarding the private sector’s ability to deliver the needed upgrades— belied to some extent by recent evidence such as the high level of interest in Brazil’s airport concession auctions.
The series of articles presented on the following pages refl ects our thoughts on the forces of change roiling the aviation market globally, and how airport industry leaders in various locations around the world are responding to them. We hope you will fi nd them interesting and informative.
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