The Importance of Small and Emerging Airports

Small and emerging airports are crucial to the development of local and global connectivity, cohesion and territorial equality, social and economic development, as well as the potential for growth of their individual regions.

While they deliver many positive benefits, these airports experience financial constraints. The ACI Airport Economics Survey estimates that 68% of the world’s airports operate at a net loss and that 97% of those loss-making airports handle fewer than one million passengers per annum.

Our Support and Assistance for These Key Players

Recognizing that a significant portion of ACI members are small and emerging airports, ACI World continues to ensure that their specific interests are represented in global advocacy and policy development, as well as in the establishment of appropriately scaled and tailored programs and services to support their sustainable development.

ACI World’s advocacy efforts seek to ensure the consideration of their specific needs and expectations in its global and regional advocacy and policy development efforts, to promote the development of regulatory frameworks that are fit for purpose and proportionate to the needs of all airports.

Download the ACI World Resolution: Support and assistance for small, emerging, and regional airports.

Empowering Small and Emerging Airports

The programs, initiatives, and services below are especially designed or relevant to this important category of airports.

Customer and Employee Experience

As a small or emerging airport, you can enhance your airport experience by enrolling in the renowned Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program. This program provides valuable resources such as customer and employee surveys, benchmarking tools, recognitions, and advisory services to help improve the quality of services offered at your airport.

Benefit from these opportunities:

Airport Customer Experience Accreditation program: for airports with less than 500K passengers per year, Level 1 signup is free. For renewals and other levels, discounts are available on annual fees.

ASQ Departure, Arrivals, and Commercial surveys: Offered at a 25% reduction for airports under 1 million passengers per year (as of Jan. 2023).

ACI Customer Experience Global Summit: 30% discount for airports under 1 million passengers per year.

Interested or have questions about this?


No matter the size of your airport, you can enhance your preparedness for future public health events by aligning with international recommendations and industry best practices.

Benefit from these opportunities:

Public Health & Safety Readiness Accreditation: Offered at a 33% discount for the first year and 38% on the following two years, for airports under 1 million passengers per year.

Interested or have questions about this?


To help small and emerging airports promote safe and positive travel for all is to improve airport accessibility and inclusivity.

Benefit from these opportunities:

Accessibility Enhancement Accreditation program: Offered at a 20% discount for the first year and 33% for the following two years for airports under 1 million passengers per year.

Airports & Persons with Disabilities handbook: Leverage a comprehensive guide designed to help airports effectively assist travellers and improve facilities. Reduced rate for ACI members.

Interested or have questions about this?

Sustainability and Environmental Protection

Small and emerging and airports can benefit from using tools and resources to measure and reduce their carbon emissions, promote environmental sustainability, and optimize their operational efficiency.

Benefit from these opportunities:

Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT): Accurately calculate and report carbon emissions with customizable features to minimize environmental impact. Complimentary access for all. This can be used to qualify for Airport Carbon Accreditation if required. Download the brochure for more information.

Aircraft Ground Energy System – Simulator (AGES-S): Evaluate ground energy systems' benefits for reducing environmental impact and operating costs with this simulator tool. Complimentary access for all.

APEX in Environment peer assessment program: Learn from a framework for evaluating environmental performance and identifying areas for improvement.

ACI members can also enjoy reduced rates or complimentary downloads for Environmental publications.

Interested or have questions about this?

Economics and Statistics

Get assistance in economics and finance from experts to make data-driven decisions, investments, and policies to unlock the potential of your small or emerging airport.

Benefit from these opportunities:

ACI Intelligence Hub: Airport economic, traffic and forecast data all made available through a comprehensive and easy-to-use portal. Complimentary access to the Library and Executive modules for ACI members.

Airport Economics Report & KPIs: A comprehensive analysis of the economic performance of airports around the world.

Annual World Airport Traffic Report: Exclusive data and reports on airport traffic, rankings, and trends across the world’s airports.

World Airport Traffic Forecast: Stay ahead of the curve with the most reliable industry forecasts.

ACI members can enjoy reduced rates or complimentary downloads for Economics publications, tools, and reports.

Interested or have questions about this?


If you're a small or emerging airport looking for help in airport management and operations education, ACI Global Training can offer you top-quality assistance as the world's leading provider of online or in person courses.

Benefit from these opportunities:

Airport Management Professional Accreditation Program (AMPAP): Offered at a 10% discount for Least Developed Nations (LDC) based on the UNCTAD list.

ACI Fund: Support offered for members from least developed and developing countries (based on UNCTAD). ACI Fund scholarships are also available to attend ACI global training courses.

ACI members can enjoy reduced rates on many ACI courses. Two-tier pricing is available based for members in developing nations and for regular course fees.

Interested or have questions about this?

Safety and Security

ACI World provides small and emerging airports with the necessary training, guidance, and resources to achieve world-class safety, compliance, and security standards.

Benefit from these opportunities:

APEX in Safety peer assessment program: Benefit from an assessment that customizes airport safety measures, reduces gaps, mitigates risks, and enhances performance.

APEX in Security peer assessment program: Improve your defenses and reduce vulnerabilities with a comprehensive on-site airport review led by industry peers and experts.

ACI members can also enjoy reduced rates or complimentary downloads for Safety and Security publications.

Interested or have questions about this?


Please see some of these complimentary publications relevant to small and emerging airports:

Policy Brief: Airport networks and the sustainability of small airports: An overview of the state of airport networks worldwide, based on a robust dataset and inventory of the world’s airport networks.

Sustainability Strategy for Airports Worldwide: An overview of airports’ most relevant and commonly reported material sustainability topics at the global level.

See our full collection of publications. ACI members benefit from reduced rates and complimentary publications.

Interested or have questions about this?