The airport industry’s first international exhibition held in Guangzhou concluded on August 30th, 2023. Themed “Catch China’s Next Take-off”, inter airport China | South 2023 & the 3rd inter airport Exchange conference were held at the Canton Fair Complex. The Civil Aviation Management Institute of China, Shenzhen Safety & Defense Products Association, British Consulate Guangzhou, Canadian Embassy & ConGen in Guangzhou and Enterprise Singapore all offered strong support for the exhibition, which attracted industry professionals from 23 countries and regions with 70 participating brands over its three day duration. 2,036 delegates from airports, airlines, design institutes, contractors, and civil aviation companies attended the show, and overall participant satisfaction exceeded 85%.
At the 3rd inter airport Exchange, held concurrently with the exhibition, 51 experts, both domestic and foreign, as well as senior executives, delivered speeches. Integration of the conference with the exhibition promoted industrial development and drove industry demand through technological exchange. The event showcased and explored technological innovations, policy insights, and prospects for the domestic and international airport industry from multiple angles.
Ms. Lanny Zhang, Senior Vice President of RX China, the event organizer, and Ms. Sarah Mann, Consul General of British Consulate Guangzhou, delivered welcome speeches at inter airport China | South 2023’s opening ceremony. Also in attendance were Ms. Roxanne Hamel, Vice Consul of Canadian ConGen in Guangzhou; Mr. Lee Ik Lin Benjamin, Deputy Director of the South China Department of Enterprise Singapore; Professor Feng Zhang from Civil Aviation Management Institute of China; and other industry experts.
The UK, the country chosen as inter airport China 2023’s guest of honor, occupied the largest exhibition pavilion area with the most exhibitors. Fourteen participating UK companies displayed a range of products and services for airport terminals and flight areas, attracting many airports, design institutes, and civil aviation companies. These UK companies received recognition in the industry for their professionalism. Ms. Sarah Mann, Consul General of the UK in Guangzhou, stated in a media interview, “The UK aviation industry has been involved in the development of sustainable airports worldwide for years. We expect to work jointly with our Chinese partners to develop optimal solutions and share useful information.”
Collaboration between Enterprise Singapore and inter airport China led to the exhibition debut of companies such as Keppel, Mastermark, NCS, Singapore Airlines, and Surbana Jurong. These Singaporean companies were highlights of the exhibition due to their product displays and keynote speeches, covering topics such as airport and city sustainability, bird strike prevention, green airport solutions, aviation business and intelligent airport operation.
The Canadian ConGen in Guangzhou actively facilitated exchange and interaction between representatives of the Canadian airport industry and their Chinese counterparts. Ms. Roxanne Hamel, Vice Consul of Canada in Guangzhou, provided Chinese industry professionals with information on Canadian civil aviation companies and attended the dedicated matchmaking session with Chinese airports.
The show welcomed international brands and visitors, collectively embracing a global vision and a promising future. “It’s great to see the industry coming together after COVID. Finally, we have an offline event. It’s really exciting. We are both delighted and excited to see the civil aviation industry recovering and airport construction accelerating,” said Ms. Jin Fan, East Asia Aviation Leader at Arup.
Innovative industry event model: One social, two seminars, three forums
The exhibition featured a tech social, two special seminars (the Airport Safety and Security Seminar and the New Technology in Air-logistic Seminar), and three distinctive forums (the Passenger Experience and Terminal Environmental Planning Forum, Green Airports and Sustainable Development Forum, and Innovation in Airports Forum). The combination of all three activity types offered attendees the chance to experience vividly the aviation industry’s latest changes and developments.
At the two seminars, guests discussed topics including airport security management, smart and digital operation, and the intelligent construction of equipment and facilities. Seminars also covered aviation logistics development trends, route networks, freight hubs, smart freight stations and warehousing, and logistics information services. The seminars deeply explored feasible construction solutions for secure, green, smart and humanistic airports, as well as aviation logistics transformation.
At the forum sessions, guest speakers shared personal insights into improved passenger experience, green and sustainable development, and future technological innovation. At the forum on August 28th, Mr. Xiong Chen, Chief Architect of Guangdong Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd., shared his views on a large-scale terminal model combining urban gateway and urban living room. Ms. Jin Fan, Aviation Leader, and Mr. Geoffrey Moore, Security & Risk Associate at Arup East Asia, jointly presented research results on future airport design and urban air traffic planning. Mr. Roberto Castiglioni, director of RMR hailing from the UK, shared examples of accessibility experience improvement for special passengers at overseas airports. He was deeply impressed by the exhibition. He stated, “China is undoubtedly the new frontier for aviation. If you look at growth worldwide, China is growing at the fastest pace. This is why China is building so many new airports – to cater to growing demand. Our Chinese counterparts are constantly innovating in their projects, becoming models for others. Listening to their sharing onsite excites and thrills me.”
The sustainable development of green airports and airport innovations are important ways to improve service quality and competitiveness. At the two forums on August 29th, Ms. Min Belinda Yong, Southern China Manager of Singapore Airlines, talked about how Singapore Airlines provided customers with sustainable journeys. Mr. Adrian Morales Caceres, Senior Business Development Manager of Groupe ADP, spoke on AAM best practices within the Paris region. Moreover, the speakers conducted in-depth discussions on topics of industry concern. These topics, which all looked to improve the service experience of airport equipment, included airport automation logistics, smart airport security, and special apron vehicle operation and maintenance.
Industry exchange, promoted through multiple interactive forms
inter airport China | South 2023 utilized the industry’s most advanced technologies in its forums and conferences. The launch of interactive activities such as the inter airport Talk sustainable discussion corner, Smart Airport Experience Area, and Visiting the Guangzhou Airport Economic Zone highlighted the event organizer’s relentless efforts to promote domestic and international communication and exchange. “inter airport China | South is not only an exhibition, but an event with functional areas and supporting activities, combining current hot topics and popular forms to increase the engagement of attendees, enhance popularity, and create an atmosphere beneficial to communication. This is the uniqueness of inter airport China,” said Mr. Chris Zang, Project Director of RX China, the organizer.
The inter airport Talk sustainable discussion corner, jointly organized by S-Future and inter airport China, provided an efficient platform for cross-border exchange among attendees, promoting upstream and downstream industry collaboration. Civil aviation experts from around the world shared their opinions on the theme of “Sustainable Development of Civil Aviation”. They explored multiple dimensions of green airport development direction and sustainable solutions, including green buildings, renewable energy utilization, water resource management, and sustainable aviation fuels. Onsite visitors attended the event and shared their views on what defines a green airport. In addition, the Smart Airport Experience Area featured a range of smart airport application scenarios. This offered visitors an immersive experience that exemplified how innovative technology can help optimize and upgrade passenger comfort and convenience.