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World airports days away from meeting in Panama to chart a course for future growth

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The Airports Council International (ACI) Latin America-Caribbean/World Annual General Assembly, Conference and Exhibition (WAGA), organized this year under the theme “Airports: Shaping our future” and graciously hosted by Tocumen International Airport, is just four days away.
From 31 August to 2 September, airport leaders from around the world will gather in Panama City, Panama for an informative conference centered on charting a course for sustainable growth and a leading-edge exhibition featuring the latest innovations from product and service providers specializing in airports.
ACI Latin America-Caribbean Director General Javier Martinez Botacio, along with executives from Tocumen International Airport, met with local press today in Panama City to discuss the upcoming event and why its importance extends far beyond the aviation industry.
“Aviation is a major driver of world economies and connector of people and businesses,” Martinez Botacio explained. “According to statistics from the Air Transport Action Group, aviation supports 58.1 million jobs worldwide and contributes US$2.4 trillion to world gross domestic product. Moreover, throughout the world some 5.1 million people work on site at airports.
“With worldwide traffic expected to nearly double over the next decade and a half, airports’ contributions to their local economies will only increase,” Martinez Botacio continued. “Events like WAGA 2015 are vital for ensuring that airports are well aligned in how best to move forward safely, sustainably and profitably.”
At the latest count, 575 delegates, 45 exhibitors and 26 event sponsors will take part in WAGA 2015. By popular demand, this year’s conference will be preceded on 31 August by an expanded Forum and Symposium programme covering safety, the environment, generating commercial revenues, human resources, and new airport developments in China and the Latin America-Caribbean region.
The conference itself has been crafted from the ground up to give delegates the chance to deliberate on issues of particular interest to airports. Session topics include CEO insights on future challenges and opportunities; catering to the emerging generation of air travelers; improving the passenger journey from curb to boarding; best practices during periods of disruption; and new tools and technologies for improving the customer experience.
Notably, keynote speakers at the event include Jorge Quijano, Chief Executive Officer, Panama Canal Authority and Pedro Heilbron, Chief Executive Officer, Copa Holdings and Copa Airlines. ACI is pleased to announce that Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama, will open the conference on 1 September.
“Our 590 members operate 1,850 airports in 173 countries, and air travelers worldwide can rest assured that our priorities are firmly set on safety, security, environmental sustainability and customer service,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “At WAGA 2015, we’ll have occasion to discuss all of the above and more as the world’s airports meet in Panama next week to shape our future.”

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