Aviation industry leaders are gathering in the UAE capital ahead of the opening of the ACI Airport Exchange 2019, which is being hosted by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) between November 25-27.
Airport operations, security, development, sustainability, and technology are all on the busy three-day conference agenda – and the exhibition’s overarching theme is how airports can create less-impactful, zero-carbon airports. The exhibition will feature 75 local and international companies and more than 1,200 delegates from around the world will hear from 120 experts across the packed conference programme.
Autonomous and electric vehicle technologies and ‘digitalising the entire journey’ will be debated in the Airport Operations conference while highlights in the Security Summit conference include a special focus on biometrics and Abu Dhabi’s Smart Travel initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police. A seminar on ‘Computed Tomography’, meanwhile, will discuss whether new screening technology marks the beginning of the end for separating laptops, gels, and liquids.
The Airport Development & Sustainability and Digital Innovation conferences will include a ‘Deep Dive’ session on the multibillion-dollar Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) being constructed in Abu Dhabi, as well as future airport ideas and stand-out new technologies.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE – who is delivering the State of the Industry Address – said: “Passenger numbers are projected to double in the next 20 years and so it is imperative that all airport operators tackle these big issues head on and safeguard the industry’s future growth in an efficient and sustainable fashion.”
Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports Company, said the exhibition comes at a pivotal time in the UAE’s aviation history with the upcoming opening of the Midfield Terminal Building – which will offer 106 gates and will be capable of handling more than 8,000 passengers an hour.
“We are proud to be hosting this year’s ACI Airport Exchange in Abu Dhabi and to share with our colleagues from around the world the latest updates on the emirate’s ambitious strategy for aviation,” Thompson said. “Abu Dhabi has an important future as a global transit hub, being a gateway to the UAE and the wider region. With the Midfield Terminal Building also on the horizon, we are setting the benchmark for airports for the next 20 years.”
Thompson said the MTB will build on the positive momentum of new routes which has seen services launch between Abu Dhabi to Delhi and Mumbai with IndiGo; Muscat in Oman with Salam Air; Himalaya Flights to Kathmandu in Nepal; and, from Al Ain, with Jazeera Airways to Kuwait. He added: “The new partnership between Etihad Airways and Air Arabia will also open up a huge number of new routes and destinations, and further establish Abu Dhabi International Airport as a next-generation hub.”
The total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s GDP today is AED159.1 billion (US$43.3 billion), around 12.1 per cent of GDP, and it directly supports 317,500 jobs.
Delegates at the ACI Airport Exchange 2019 will also benefit from one-to-one networking sessions, a NEXTT workshop on the future of air transport, and enjoy a string of social events planned during the week.