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Intense Competition between Airports Ahead

Travel News Asia Monday, 24 July 2006

Privatisation, liberalisation and new aircraft technologies are putting airports on an inevitable path to increased competition and only the best-performing airports will attract levels of investment required to sustain growth, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

Based on projected airline traffic growth rates, there is a global airport capacity crisis looming and governments will need to turn increasingly to the private sector to help fund urgent infrastructure development, said Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

But the competition for funding is hotting up. The rapid expansion of airports in emerging markets like China, India, Eastern Europe and the Middle East is suddenly adding enormous additional demand for investment. And, as those countries' airports grow, only the best-performing airports can be assured of funding support into the future. Furthermore, hub competition will only intensify and more competitors will rise as airline strategy evolves, to take advantage of long-range aircraft and emerging growth markets stimulated by expanding economies and relaxed market restrictions. Airport benchmarking will therefore become increasingly crucial for the airport sector, as airports seek to compete effectively in the market, in terms of facilities, charges and service quality and to ensure they are attractive to investors and lenders.

Benchmarking really is a fundamental in all airport development - how do we compare with the competition? Laying out the industry standards gives airports something to aim for. Investors demand it, but it is a grey area and approaches to benchmarking differ by region. A global standard is coming spurred on by increasing private investment that will seek to identify the winning airports, said Mr Harbison.

The warning comes as global airport leaders prepare to gather in Singapore for the inaugural Airport Development 2006 conference in Singapore on 29 August 1 September 2006.

The conference includes a cutting-edge Airport Benchmarking Executive Workshop, facilitated by Airports Council International (ACI), which is leading the charge to develop a set of global airport benchmarking standards.

Delegates attending this workshop can expect to gain a clear ABC of current industry best-practice approaches to benchmarking. Airports can and do want to compete this workshop will show them the basis for how to do it effectively, added Harbison.

Lyn Hampton, CFO & Vice President, Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and Chairperson of the ACI World Economics Committee will lead this workshop.

The distinguished speaker list already includes many of the leading participants in the global airport sector, including:

- Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport, Ministry of Transport, Singapore
- Robert J Aaronson, Director General, Airports Council International (ACI)
- Harry Bush, Group Economic Regulator, Civil Aviation Authority, UK
- Lynn Hampton, CFO & Vice President, Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and Chairperson ACI World Economics Committee
- Paul Hooper, Air Transport, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
- Neil Byron, Commissioner, Productivity Commission, Australia 
- Ashley Smout, Chairman & CEO, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) & Airways New Zealand
- Jeff Poole, Director Industry Charges & Taxation, International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- Andrew Herdman, Director General, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) 
- Alexander ter Kuile, Secretary General, Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO)
- Lionnel Wonneberger, Director & President, Thales & Air Traffic Alliance (Europe) 
- Frank Thiessen, Head Airport Management Global Investments, Fraport
- Melanie Gee, Joint Global Head of Transport, UBS Financial Services
- Colin Campbell, Director, Global Transportation and Infrastructure Investment Banking, Citigroup
- Stephen Vineburg, Head of Infrastructure Investment, Colonial First State
- Mary Clare Mervenne, Senior Investment Officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
- Eric Wijs, Director, Lazard
- Tim Chapman, Business Stream Leader, Aviation, GHD
- Michael McGhee, Managing Director, Global Head of Transportation & Logistics Group, Credit Suisse
- Christopher Frost, Executive Director & Head of Airports Advisory, Macquarie Bank Limited
- Dimitrios Gatsonis, Director Aviation, HOCHTIEF AirPort GmbH
- Waleed Youssef, Airport Development Manager and Transition Team Leader, Abu Dhabi Airport
- George Bellew, CEO, Oman Airports Management Company
- Dato' Seri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad
- Rafael Echevarne, Director Marketing & Business Development, CR Aeropuerto SL, Spain
- Kerrie Mather, CEO, Macquarie Airports
- Jacques Follain, Managing Director, Aroports de Paris Management
- VK Kalra, Executive Director Key Infrastructure Development, Airports Authority of India
- James Cherry, President & CEO, Aroport de Montral
- Jiri Pos, Director for Marketing, Commerce and Airport Operations, Prague Airport
- Tony Davis, CEO, Tiger Airways
- Houxiang Ren, Director of Restructuring Office, CAAC
- Fengchen Zhao, General Finance Supervisor, Shenyang Airport
- Weiming Liu, Professor, Civil Aviation Management Institute of China
- Inderjit Singh, Executive Director, Airports Authority of India
- Foo Sek Min, Director (Airport Management), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore 
- Glen McDougall, President, MBS Ottawa inc, Canada & Senior Fellow, George Mason University, USA
- Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation

ee other recent news regarding: Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Singapore, Travel News Asia

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