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ACI APAC & MID Pushes for Improved Air Connectivity and AAM Integration in Middle East

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ACI APAC & MID urged the Middle East to improve air connectivity, integrate Advanced Air Mobility, and adopt sustainable practices.

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Airports Council International Asia-Pacific & Middle East (ACI APAC & MID), an association representing 624 airports, delivered two important papers at the ICAO Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for Middle East region in Riyadh, highlighting the critical need for enhancing air connectivity and seamlessly integrating Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) into the current air transportation framework.

Air connectivity, a linchpin for global development, trade, and cultural exchange, demands strategic focus. The paper on connectivity emphasised the importance of restoring and developing air connectivity, urging States to further liberalise market access policies in terms of traffic rights on a bilateral and multilateral basis. Additionally, ACI APAC & MID urged States to streamline and simplify the visa application process for inbound international travelers where applicable.

With the commercialisation of AAM expected in the coming years, ACI APAC & MID stressed the need for harmonised standards, certifications, and policy frameworks to regulate this sector. Such measures are crucial to ensure the highest levels of safety and security, fair market access, and robust competition. States are encouraged to consider AAM in airport master planning and engage in continuous and inclusive dialogue with stakeholders. The conference appreciated ACI APAC & MID’s support for AAM development and urged states to create harmonised standards, certifications, and policies, and to include AAM in airport master plans for safe and sustainable mobility.

Mr. Stefano Baronci, Director General of ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East, said, “Recognising the key role of air transport in driving economic growth and facilitating global trade, ACI APAC & MID underscored the need for cohesive strategies that bridge geographical divides and promote accessibility. We urge Governments to put in place regulations that are tailored to the needs of the aviation industry and passengers, as well as ensuring that aviation stakeholders are provided with the necessary resources and support. We are confident that these initiatives will help to ensure that the aviation industry is well-positioned for the challenges of the future.”

Furthermore ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East continued to advocate for One-Stop Security to enhance airport security operations and enable seamless airport transfer; adoption of innovative technologies to address the operational challenges at security checkpoints; and urged the conference to take advantage of the ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East guidance documents (Tendering Guideline for Climate Resilience Planning, and Airport Solar Photovoltaic Implementation Guidance) to help airports mitigate climate change.

ICAO Middle East Endorses the MID-Air Transport Strategic Plan 2025-2040

ACI APAC & MID has been proactively advocating for greater connectivity and liberalisation of air transport to make the industry more competitive. As the co-rapporteur, appointed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for the working group tasked with drafting the MID-Air Transport Strategic Plan 2025-2040, recommended a comprehensive plan aimed at boosting regional connectivity through necessary policy adjustment and infrastructure development, while ensuring transparency and consultation with stakeholders in taxation, highest standards of safety, security, air navigation efficiency, and environmental protection. The MID Region Air Transport Strategic Plan 2025-2040 was endorsed by ICAO Middle East, with support from member states. States and stakeholders are encouraged to consider and implement the materials and recommendations from the MID Region Air Transport Strategic Plan 2025-2040 in their national plans.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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