Airport Cities Conference and Exhibition is one of the world's largest and influential aviation events. The event will provide thought leadership, best practice and discussion around airport city developments and how they stimulate regional economic growth and drive commercial benefits. Now in its 15th edition, the 2016 event continues to unite the 'airport city community' with decision-makers attending from airports, airlines, economic development agencies, real estate developers and other airport-related businesses.
ACE 2016 is organised by the world's leading exhibition group, UBM and Qingdao Municipal Government. It is also hosted by Qingdao International Airport Group.
In addition, world-renowned Airport Cities expert and Director of the Center for Air Commerce, University of North Carolina – Professsor John Kasarda – will once again conduct a masterclass in ACE 2016 to provide professional training to the global industry players.
What is an airport city?
In the past, airports were perceived simply as gateways for the transportation of goods and people from one region or country to another, but this historic perception is now giving way to a much broader concept of the airport as a business destination in its own right and as an economic engine for its region and local communities.
The model recognises that apart from performing their traditional aeronautical services, airports can evolve a range of new non-aeronautical functions and revenue drivers, from developing their real estate into commercial assets, transforming their terminals into fully functioning shopping malls and expanding their logistics and distribution chains.
With airports typically surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of hectares of undeveloped land as environmental buffer for environmental reasons, it has been recognised that airports are sitting on a potential goldmine of real estate opportunities.
Office blocks, hotels, convention centres, medical facilities, casinos, free trade zones and even entertainment and theme parks can be built within or just beyond the airport fence to generate new sources of revenue for the airport operator and encourage the perception of the airport as a business or tourism destination in its own right.
The spatial and functional core of the airport city is the passenger terminal, which has been likened to an urban central square. It operates as its multimodal commercial nexus offering a variety of specialised goods and services.