A new Airports Council International (ACI) forecast, which highlights future traffic development from the perspective of the airport industry, predicts a tripling of current cargo volumes within the next 20 years.
Releasing the ACI Global Traffic Forecast 2006 Â¨C 2025 last month, ACI director general Robert J Aaronson said: "Freight operations will see a tripling of freight tonnage carried world-wide and an average growth of 5.4 percent annually over the next 20 years. Asia will show the fastest growth and expected to be the world’s largest freight market by 2025."
The forecast also said that over nine billion passengers a year will use the world’s airports by 2025, up from 4.2 billion in 2005.
"Both the scale and speed of growth indicated by this latest forecast represent a daunting challenge for airports. We are encouraged to see that the EU Commission, in its recently announced communication on airport capacity, recognises that congestion is a crucial concern across Europe. Given the current pace of construction and constraints on airport expansion, many airports may be facing a serious capacity shortfall if unable to urgently address infrastructure needs."
Aaronson said that many airport development projects are held up by regulation which "distorts market forces or creates expensive, time-consuming bureaucratic hurdles to airport development. This distracts airports operators from their core mission that is to serve the community and region and deliver services for airport users in an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective manner.