LAC airports face capacity challenges as passenger traffic growth continues

As passenger traffic in the Latin America-Caribbean region continues to grow, Airports Council International (ACI) World and ACI Latin America-Caribbean have called for a whole-of-industry response to the forecast growth in demand for air services in the region.
This call was made as the ACI Latin America-Caribbean Annual Assembly and Conference got underway this week in Miami. The Conference was hosted by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, operators of the Miami International Airport (MIA) – which is widely regarded as the gateway to the Americas and is celebrating its 90th anniversary in operation this year.

TMI will present a detailed report on key presentations in our next issue.

The main theme of Tuesday’s conference revolved around how airports in the region must develop capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand from the region and worldwide, and how to fund this development.

The Latin America-Caribbean region exper-ienced an economic recovery in 2017 after several years of weak performance. While passenger traffic growth rates showed resilience during this time – with results over 5% every year from 2010 – they moderated in 2016. Since then, there has been a return to strong growth with a year-over-year passenger traffic growth for the region of +4% in 2017.

To keep pace with the continued growth in passenger traffic growth in an increasingly com-mercial and competitive business environment, ACI asserts that airports must be able to collect sufficient revenues to finance investments in infrastructure and operations while also main-taining high levels of service for passengers.

“Aviation is a vital industry in the Latin America-Caribbean region, supporting 7.2 million jobs and providing $156 billion in economic value,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, then touching on the success private investment in airports have had providing new or improved infrastructure, better facilities, and a positive influence on passenger experience, including in the Latin American-Caribbean region.
Martin Eurnekian, CEO of Corporación América Airports, President of Aeropuertos Argen-tina 2000 – and ACI Latin America-Caribbean President – said that airports must prepare to meet the challenges of passenger traffic growth which is making a solid revival in the region following an economic downturn in the larger economies in Latin America.

“With the expected growth of demand in our region, airports are experiencing capacity challenges similar to those faced in Europe and North America,” he said.