Over 200 participants attended Air Cargo Belgium’s New Year’s Reception, held in the Aviato Academy training center at Brussels Airport. In his welcome address, ACB Chairman, David Bellon repeated his call for comprehensive digitization.
The chairman expressed his thanks to ACB Director, Geert Keirens and the Board for their relentless efforts in 2022. “This team, a handful of individuals, professionals with very busy
day-to-day jobs, engage themselves daily - for free - driven by passion for you, the entire cargo community. The input of all the individuals that have taken part in Board Meetings, working
groups, project teams and events, was also valuable and appreciated.”
Because the future does not come by itself, it needs to be created, said Mr. Bellon. “This future is digital and sustainable, not only here, but in the entire global air cargo industry. We all, at Brucargo and Brussels Airport, have a great responsibility to make this a success.”
Mr. Bellon reminded the audience of the pioneering role played by Brussels Airport as a center of excellency not only for pharma, but also for the courage of bringing all stakeholders together in one organization. “With the same goal: to become the most attractive and innovative logistical air cargo platform in the world.”
“We chose the path of digitization together, we signed agreements together, we initiated projects together, all with one goal: to improve quality and processes, supported by technology.”
In this process, 2022 was to be the year of the big jump towards 100% digitization, but it turned out to be a bumpy ride. ACB stepped into the Digital Green Lane, an attempt to digitize all the major operational flows at the airport.
This met with a lot of skepticism, as not everybody is embracing the digital world at the same speed.
“But let us not fool ourselves. There is no other way,” said Mr Bellon. “If we want to be an attractive cargo airport, we will have to continue this digital journey, we will have to adapt our processes, and we will have to cooperate even more than ever before.”
“Other airports are catching up, having learned from our best practices and having seen the great benefits of a cargo organization like ours. They are often using the same tools as we are and some of them are close to achieving that goal.”
If Brussels Airport wants to remain a pioneer, all stakeholders will have to step up and take responsibilities, the chairman added. “We will have to invest time and efforts in changing our processes, choosing between moving into a bright future or simply continuing to do what we have been doing for almost 50 years.”
Concluding, Mr Bellon drew the attention to the difficult environment of 2023, after a year in which political unrest took over from the pandemic. “Volumes are dropping, and profitability is under pressure: an ideal moment to seek that efficiency through the help of digital processes.”
Liège reports lower freight volumes
During the New Year’s Reception in Brussels, 100 km to the southeast, Liège Airport presented its 2022 traffic results. According to the management, volumes dropped by 19%, totaling 1,140,060 tons vs. 1,412,500 tons in 2021. Despite the decrease, Liège continues to be positioned among the top ten cargo airports in Europe. For more read our report: ACI Europe expresses concern about new environmental permit for LGG.
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