Centerlines - September 2008 - (Page 19)

POLICY CENTER ICAO and the Economics of Airports IN MID -SEPTEMBER, THE International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convened its Conference on the Economics of Airports and Air Navigation Services in Montréal. While it’s a safe bet that most North American airport executives don’t spend much time thinking about ICAO, this meeting of participating nations and several international organizations, including ACI World, should be of interest participation, Lynn Hampton, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and A.J. Muldoon, ACI-NA, acted as airport industry advisors to the U.S. delegation. While ICAO’s policies are not legally binding on governments, they can be used to challenge airports before their governments, courts or international arbitrational tribunals. If you are still aren’t convinced, I would remind you that foreign airlines and their governments cited ICAO policies in opposing U.S. Transportation Department’s proposal to amend the airport rates TAKING a simplistic approach in international oversight will have a detrimental impact on the operational and financial performance of the airport industry throughout the world. to everyone in aviation. The conference considered changes to ICAO’s policies on charges for airports and air navigation services. Some issues discussed included government economic oversight, consultations with users, cost basis and allocation and rates of return. For those of you who read ICAO and are tempted to turn the page, don’t! The ultimate outcome of the conference deliberations could affect U.S. and Canadian regulations, as both governments are increasingly seeking to harmonize individual country mandates with international policies. Fortunately the airport industry was well represented at the recent Montréal meeting. In addition to ACI World’s and charges policy. Further, other segments of the aviation industry, including the airlines, have long understood the importance of ICAO deliberations. Airlines never hesitate to raise the issue of compliance with international policies in disputes with airports on rates and charges. In Montréal, they were working to ensure their interests were protected, both through their international trade association and as advisors to national delegations, including the United States. What did airports want from these negotiations? First and foremost, we wanted governments to keep economic regulatory interventions to a minimum. Competition law should be the baseline and only when there is evidence that the free market is not working should governments intercede in the well established, successful process of airport/airline negotiations on economic charges. Ensuring that fundamental point was well understood, as well as developing responses to ICAO working papers that simplistically lump airports and Air Navigation Systems (ANSs) together, was the focus of discussions at the July ACI World Economics Committee meeting, chaired by Leo Fermin, San Francisco International Airport. I was pleased to participate at this important meeting, joining airport officials and consultants from the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa in preparing the official ACI submission to ICAO. We know that the case made by ACI—that airports and ANSs are quite different and the oversight systems under they operate should also be different—was critical. Airports, airlines and ANSs jointly share the ultimate responsibility for the safe transportation of air travelers. However, the similarities end there, with airports facing dynamic customer requirements, competitive forces and infrastructure requirements that are vastly different. Ignoring this fact and taking a simplistic approach in international oversight will have a detrimental impact on the operational and financial performance of the airport industry throughout the world. ■ DE B B Y MC E L R O Y E X E C U T I V E V I C E P R E S I DE N T, P OL I C Y A N D E X T E R N A L A F FA I R S A C I- N A | CENTERLINES 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - September 2008

Centerlines - September 2008
Welcome to Boston
President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Downes Award
ACI-NA 60th Anniversary
Host Airport Profile
Cover Story: James L. Oberstar
Regulatory Front: Security Standards
Security: Checkpoint Evolution
Environment: Measuring Greenhouse Gases at Sea-Tac
Air Service: Wild, Wild Ride
Passenger Focus: DOT’s Complaint Desk
On Management: “TLC” at John Wayne
Revenue Arena: A Tale of Two Diversified Cities
Media Relations: New Media
Now Underway
Grand Openings
New Members
Conference Sponsors
Conference Exhibitors
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - September 2008