HE Minister Addresses 12th Airport Council Int’l Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Conf. & Exhibition
HE Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti today inaugurated the 12th Airport Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly Conference and Exhibition being held in Doha on April 10-12.
In his opening speech, HE the Minister said that over the past two decades, Qatar has risen to prominence both regionally and internationally to become an economic, political and cultural powerhouse in the Middle East.
He said that nowadays the issue of air connectivity is more relevant than ever because it is closely connected with productivity, economic growth, and international trade. With the global center of economic gravity continuing to shift eastwards, Qatar is ideally geographically situated to provide the bridge between the mature markets and the emerging sources of future wealth.
He also noted that work is currently underway to expand the Hamad International Airport, which over the past three years has established itself as a world-class hub, thus facilitating the expansion of our national carrier Qatar Airways that currently connects Doha with more than 150 destinations.
HE the Minister said that besides providing the airport infrastructure to boost air connectivity, Qatar has adopted over the years a liberal approach to air service bilateral policy, since it’s our belief that fair competition supports passenger traffic growth, the development of the aviation and tourism sectors. It also contributes to the growth and productivity of the general economy by increased trade, business activity, and greater personal productivity. We are therefore welcoming all initiatives that will further allow airlines to get access to markets around the world giving more schedule and pricing options to the end user, the passengers. And with ACI's projected annual passenger growth of almost 5% in the coming 20 years it is an industry worth looking into and investing, he added.
But the global aviation industry is not only opportunities; it faces also significant challenges: an era of economic and political uncertainty, external security threats, congestion in the air and the ground, restrictions to access specific markets, and environmental issues.
I would like to expand on is the environmental impact of aviation. All members of the aviation industry should continually strive to improve their environmental performance and actively participate in the aviation's efforts to tackle climate change. Since their inception, both Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport have been committed to caring for the environment, demonstrating environmental responsibility in all their activities and openly communicating their environmental performance to develop the trust on which long-term environmental leadership is built.
HE the Minister closed his speech by congratulating ACI for its Airport Carbon Accreditation programme that is a great initiative towards the aviation's efforts for sustainable growth, and to commend Hamad International Airport for becoming the first airport in the GCC to achieve Level 3 "optimization" status in the programme.