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Governance in airport regions: dialogue is paramount for building consensus

Collaboration between airport area stakeholders can play a positive role in promoting constructive dialogue, especially among stakeholders who might, at times, have different interests. During the ARC’s latest event, Governance of airport territories: a European overview, it was shown that open dialogue can foster a shared vision for the airport areas.

The ARC, with the support of Gava Town Council, El Prat de Llobregat Town Council, Barcelona City Council and Government of Catalunya, organised a conference on the governance of airport territories on 12 April 2019, in the town of El Prat. ARC President, Erich Valentin, said: The ARC strives to be the voice of European regions and it’s 25 years since we are doing this successfully. We remain a key information provider and a competent centre for regions and today’s conference was a great opportunity to provide our members with best practices on the governance of airport territories.

The Secretary General of the Catalan Ministry of Infrastructures, Isidre Gavin, confirmed the key role of the ARC in regional growth and policy, mentioning that the ARC is a unique partner for airport regions who want to boost their economic activity.

This event gathered public authorities, local communities, airports and operators. The participants agreed that building consensus among airport area stakeholders, especially on complex decisions, such as planning, expansion, zoning, etc., is essential.

Consensus can be achieved if all concerned parties are involved in the decision-making process, as the mayor of El Prat, Lluis Tejedor Ballesteros, implies: Local authorities in airport regions should not just be able to react to the decisions made about the airports at the national level, but they should rather be part of the discussions.

Also, the mayor of Gava, Raquel Sanchez Jimenez, stressed the need for cooperation between airport area stakeholders: We are working together with the airport for a common strategy. We are representing around half a million resid