Having announced its partnership with the Airport Operators Association (AOA) earlier this week, Willis Towers Watson – a global advisory, broking and solutions company – has highlighted the top 20 risks faced by airports with climate risk a major concern.

Other risks identified as of key concern were the failure of critical IT systems, as well as an increased security threat from cyber and data privacy breaches. The risk from drones and the corresponding threat to an airport’s reputation were new entrants, while security issues also ranked highly. 

The Airport Risk Community (ARC) was established by Willis Towers Watson to identify the top risks affecting the airport community. As part of a recent conference held by ARC 86% of the audience felt that airports are either very exposed or somewhat exposed to climate risk. Meanwhile, 48% highlighted flooding as their main weather risk.

Williston Towers Airport risk conference

“Our recent annual conference clearly demonstrated that airport clients were quite specific in their concerns about climate risk and its impact on airport functionality,” said John Rooley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson Global Aerospace. “Our commitment to tackling climate risk enables us to provide guidance on identifying and mitigating this issue.” 

Highlighting that, “Aviation is not the enemy, carbon is”, Javier Echave, CFO Heathrow Airport Holdings, added that “together with ICAO and UK authorities we must develop a roadmap for the uptake of sustainable fuels across our industry.”

Reinforcing the importance of ARC’s role in debating risks to the sector, Ugo de Carolis, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A agreed that, “As the aviation industry continues to grow, the risks increase, therefore the need for discussion and knowledge sharing is paramount to support and build a stronger and more resilient aviation industry.”

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