Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, hosted the first World Exhibition of Airport Infrastructure, Equipment and Services (SMIESA 2022).
SMIESA aimed to encourage networking within the airports industry, explained the event’s creator, Daniel Lefebvre, president of the Union of Central and West African Airport Managers (UGAACO).
Lefebvre says that he now has a lot more confidence in the future of airport activity in Africa following two years of crisis.
Fourteen countries participated in the exhibition, along with the transport ministers of Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Rwanda.
According to Lefebvre, airports and industry operators are now more experienced in dealing with crises. “And even if the recovery is starting we’re still experiencing fairly fragile finances,” he reported, adding that he wanted to salute the governments that have understood the situation and provided support to airport operators.
“Airports must have advanced knowledge of future projects as they have a direct impact on the layout of airports and terminals,” he said.
Coming out of the pandemic, African airport operators believe they need to develop non-aviation revenues as these are very low in Africa. “These revenues at African airports should increase to 30-40% even to break even,” concluded Lefebvre.
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