Airports Council International annual results

AIRPORTS Council International director general, Angela Gittens, announced annual airport economics results.
 “The financial data for 2008 reflect the year’s business environment: early year positive results, and then the financial turmoil that rocked global markets and provoked a stark economic recession. Airports revised expansion plans in many cases and continued to devise efficiencies to enable their long-term capacity needs. The cyclical nature of our aviation business has taught us that we must look beyond the current situation, no matter how tough, and prepare for fundamental demand trends. Our communities need that stability and count on us to continue operations in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly manner.”
 The Airport Economics Survey 2009 drew a strong response this year with participation from 709 airports whose business represents approximately 3.4 billion passengers – 70 per cent of worldwide traffic in 2008. The report provides analytical commentary based on actual performance data provided and is an established and unique resource for the industry, focusing on airport revenue streams, costs, capital expenditure and employment.
Operating expenses
 Airports reported total operating expenses apportioned by line items (personnel, security, maintenance, energy/water, sales/marketing, insurance and a catch-all ‘other’ category), which ACI compiled at a global level. Airports worldwide in 2008 incurred operating expenses in the amount of US$55 billion, or 57 per cent of revenues.
 Capital Expenditure
In light of the global economic recession, a number of projects at airports around the world have been delayed, staggered or put on hold, but the large majority of projects already underway continue as planned. Capital expenditure at airports worldwide remained stable in 2008 compared to 2007 at $39.5 billion slightly less than the $40.1 billion spent in 2007. For 2009, capital expenditure commitment is expected to rise by six per cent to $42 billion. These figures do not include new (greenfield) airports, neither do they include capital investment in the Middle East and China. In light of the significant airport expansions and modernisation announced in these countries, ACI estimates that the total figure is likely to be $44 billion in 2008 and to reach 46 billion in 2009, down from last year’s surveys estimates made prior to the steep traffic declines in the first part of 2009.
Aviation remains a growth industry, despite the lingering economic downturn. Barring a major setback in 2010, traffic is expected to rebound and may well exceed moderate predictions of +2 per cent per annum next year. It is for this reason that ‘old’ issues of capacity and congestion will surface sooner rather than later and airport financial decisions reflect the lead time needed to plan for, develop and implement airport expansion projects. With passengers driving airport revenues, facilities must satisfy their expectations for efficient service in the future.

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