ACI World DG Luis Felipe de Oliveira and CAAC Administratior Song Zhiyong discuss collaboration.
© ACI World
Airports Council International (ACI World), ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East (ACI APAC & MID), and the China Civil Airports Association (CCAA) are strengthening their ties following a recent visit to the country by ACI World's Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
De Oliveira has just returned from a five-day tour from 9-15 January having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the CCAA. The document sets out cooperation with Chinese airports across several initiatives including:
Airport customer experience through the ACI Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program
ACI global training and assessments, including its APEX in Excellence peer assessment
Decarbonization through a new ACI APAC & MID Net Zero Roadmap.
During the visit— which included meetings with the CCAA, Beijing Capital, Daxing International, and Guangzhou Baiyun airports, as well as Chinese government representatives—another MoU was signed with Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) to formalize its role as the host of the 2025 ACI World Customer Experience (CX) Summit & Exhibition.
Commenting on the MoUs, ACI’s de Oliveira said: “The reopening of China in 2022, the second largest aviation market after the United States, remains critical to global activity and to passenger traffic, both domestically—within the Chinese aviation market—and for international travel.”
He added: “We look forward to fortifying our partnership in a multitude of ways, including enhancing the customer experience, honing professional skills and accreditations, championing decarbonization, and organizing airport events around the world, with Chinese airports at the forefront.”
According to the director general, 2023 data for the Asia-Pacific region is expected to show a strong rebound, reaching 85.3% of 2019 levels. A full revival of numbers could happen before next year.
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Terminal 2.
© Jacky Cheung /
At the CCAA, Chairman Mam Wang Ruiping said: “This MoU highlights China Civil Airports Association’s commitment to working with international organizations such as ACI. It formalizes a comprehensive and in-depth cooperation wherein Chinese airports are fully internationalized and integral to the development of global civil aviation.”
ACI APAC & MID’s Director General Stefano Baronci underlined the PRC’s position in the market.“China will continue to be one of the most vibrant aviation markets, and is expected to contribute 21% to the additional growth in the global traffic by 2041,” he said.
But he added that for China to achieve this growth its airports need to make substantial preparations for efficient operations, address evolving passenger needs, and implement sustainable measures for environmental protection. “We hope this MoU will further strengthen the already strong ties with CCAA and will serve as a platform to promote ACI programs to the airports in China.”
With the 2025 ACI World Customer Experience Summit & Exhibition to be held at CAN, the city hopes to attract more than 600 senior airport executives, civil aviation authority representatives, airport specialists, and other executives to the event.
In 2019, CAN was one of the busiest airports in China with more than 73 million passengers. In 2020, the first full year of the pandemic, it was the busiest airport in the world due to its high domestic traffic. ACI’s preliminary data for 2023 indicate its passenger numbers will reach 63 million.