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 travellers 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.

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.”
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