ACI World Reveals Capital Expenditure Needs For Recovery And Long Term Growth

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Airports Council International (ACI) has revealed that its new World forecasts for the global airport sector shows that approximately $2.4 trillion in airport total capital investments will be needed to address the long-term trend in passenger demand to 2040.


According to ACI, the Global Outlook of Airport Capital Expenditure – Meeting Sustainable Development Goals and Future Air Travel Demand, published today shows that significant investment in new greenfield airports, as well as significant investment to expand and maintain existing airport infrastructure, is required. The study was supported by Hamad International Airport and developed in collaboration with Oxford Economics.


The estimated decline in capital expenditure between the pre-COVID-19 baseline year of 2019 and the depth of the global COVID-19 lockdown (2020) is 33% or about $28 billion.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, DG, ACI World

While capital investment partial recovery to about 14% (approximately $12 billion) below 2019 baseline is expected in 2021, ACI World believes that as air transport demand recovers to pre-pandemic levels, passenger demand will put increased pressure on airports’ infrastructure and failure to invest to address capacity needs will have real socio-economic consequences.


If longer term capacity constraints are not addressed through capital investment, ACI World estimates that a reduction of up to 5.1 billion passengers globally by 2040. For every million passengers airports cannot accommodate due to airport capacity constraints in 2040, 10,500 fewer jobs and $346 million less in Gross Domestic Product would be the result.


Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General, said: “Airport infrastructure is key to the continued development of air transport which supports millions of jobs and provides social and economic development for the global communities we serve.”


“Beyond the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus is to provide sustainable long term growth for the industry which will need increased airport capital investment in new and optimized existing infrastructure, reasonable policies for the use of slots, and developments improving the economic, social, and environmental footprint of airports.,” de Oliveira added.


“ACI World’s CAPEX study shows the airport industry’s current financial shortfall poses significant challenges to the modernizing of infrastructure to improve sustainability and resilience which will be required if passenger demand into the future is to be met,” de Oliveira noted.

Airports need adequate investment to meet the emerging demand of airport users

“In normal times, addressing the growth of passenger demand in the face of global airport capacity constraints already poses a significant challenge, but the pandemic has dramatically reduced airport revenues, adding even greater challenges to meeting long-term capacity needs,” de Oliveira concluded.

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