I’m here in Bermuda on the last day of the ACI World and ACI Latin America/Caribbean Annual Conference. There are 500 people here from more than 70 countries and every continent.
The start of this meeting coincided with the uncovering of an attempt to send and perhaps detonate explosives aboard cargo aircraft. The ACI World Governing Board made a strong statement on this. Airports around the world want to be, and should be, part of the way forward.
We also spent a great deal of time on the issue of gratuitous taxation of aviation. Often under the guise of environmental benefit, governments around the world have imposed, or are considering such taxes. Make no mistake; these taxes are only being put into place to try to close budget deficits. In the end, they hold down travel and actually have a negative impact on the economy and on government revenues. ACI World took a strong stand against such gratuitous taxation.
As is often the case when I travel outside of the US, I talk to airport and airline leaders who just do not understand U.S. airport finance. These conversations are especially interesting coming from overseas airlines who just don’t believe their U.S. counterparts can possibly prefer having these costs in their airport charges rather than as a user fee like the PFC. This is one foreign perspective I hope takes hold in the U.S.
I could go on, but do want to thank Aaron Adderley, Jacqueline Horsfield and all the folks at the airport here who have been such great hosts. I also want to congratulate my friends Javier Martinez, the new Regional Secretary for ACI-LAC, and Miguel Southwell, chair of ACI-LAC, for a successful meeting and also my friends Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World, and Max Moore-Wilton, chair of ACI World, on a very successful event. The hospitality here has been unsurpassed, and the natural beauty of Bermuda is hard to match. The spirit was contagious and as you will see in the attached picture, some were possessed by it to don traditional Bermuda business wear (but not yours truly, legs not good enough!)