Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
The head of a 30-airport Chinese consortium has elected to attend an airport security and logistics event in Atlanta in October that aims to prepare Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.

The consortium’s president, Li Pei Ying, agreed to attend an Oct. 30-Nov. 1 CIFAL Atlanta workshop here after CIFAL program manager Sebastian Mathews met with the Beijing Airports Capital City Group during a trip to China, June 23-30.

Mr. Mathews also met with the Civil Aviation Authority of China, Beijing’s Olympic Committee and economic development officials while there.

He told GlobalAtlanta that Beijing Capital International Airport is positioning itself to be a gateway into China and to become the world’s largest logistics center, so its officials are consulting with experts, including some at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Beijing has a lot to learn from Atlanta in terms of the management of large airports and environmental issues surrounding their expansion,” he said.

Mr. Mathews added that CIFAL’s relationship with Beijing aviation officials may be beneficial for Delta Air Lines Inc.’s pursuit of a direct air route to China. Airports in China play an important role in advising the aviation authority about which international cities they want to partner with, he said.

The U.S. government approves U.S. carriers for routes to other countries, but the Chinese authorities also express their opinions on which U.S. cities would be beneficial for new air routes, he explained.

The CIFAL event in Atlanta will showcase Atlanta as a destination for Chinese tourists and businesspersons and as an origination point for U.S. passengers and cargo headed for China, Mr. Mathews said.

CIFAL Atlanta expects eight Civil Aviation Authority of China representatives, five Beijing airport officials, five Beijing Olympic Committee representatives, three Beijing municipality representatives and two Shanghai Pudong Airport officials to attend the Atlanta conference. The event is being organized by CIFAL, Atlanta’s airport, Delta and the Georgia National Guard.

CIFAL’s Shanghai office is to identify Shanghai airport officials to attend the event, he added.

CIFAL Shanghai, which focuses on information technology training for municipal officials, has been operating since last year but will celebrate its official opening later this year.

CIFAL Atlanta, the North American office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, specializes in information technology, private/public partnerships and commercial diplomacy.

Representing CIFAL Atlanta while in China, Mr. Mathews also attended the annual Academy of International Business conference with Georgia State University professors Wade Danis and Joan Gabel.

The event drew some 16,000 attendees from academic institutions worldwide that focus on international business. Dr. Gabel, who is also director of Georgia State’s Institute of International Business, and Dr. Danis were two Georgia professors whose research papers were accepted to be presented at the conference.

Contact Mr. Mathews at (404) 962-4841 or Andrew Waskey at (404) 962-4837 for more information about the CIFAL airport event. Contact Dr. Gabel at (404) 651-3877.