Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is to be a model for some 1,650 airports worldwide during four seminars that United Nations affiliate CIFAL Atlanta is to conduct in 2007.

Airports Council International has asked Hartsfield-Jackson and CIFAL Atlanta to offer best practice-sharing executive seminars for their 567 members operating more than 1,650 airports in 176 countries and territories in Africa, Asia and North and South America.

Hartsfield-Jackson and CIFAL are to present seminars in 2007 in Atlanta for North and South American council members, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa, for African members and Shanghai or Beijing, China, for Asian members.

CIFAL Program Director Sebastian Mathews made the official announcement of the agreement at the council’s World Annual General Assembly Nov 4-10 in South Africa.

“The model of best practice sharing that CIFAL uses, together with Atlanta airport’s world-renowned expertise, was accepted by all signatories to the memorandum of understanding,” Mr. Mathews told GlobalAtlanta prior to his trip. “They recognized that Atlanta airport is a global leader in airport management.”

The agreement came out of a long association between Hartsfield-Jackson and the council, he said. Ben DeCosta, the airport’s general manager, is a director on the Airports Council International North America board.

Hartsfield-Jackson has been working with CIFAL Atlanta to host seminars on various airport safety and efficiency issues since last year. They recently conducted a training seminar for some 30 Chinese aviation officials who came to Atlanta for advice on security and operations measures in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Hartsfield-Jackson and CIFAL presented a proposal for the four seminars to the international council in Geneva, Switzerland, several months ago. They were notified of its approval during the seminar to train the Chinese officials, which was held in Atlanta Oct. 29 – Nov. 1.

Airports Council International North America represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. Member airports host more than 95 percent of the domestic and all of the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Some 300 aviation-related businesses are also members of the association, which is the largest of the six regional divisions of Airports Council International.

In 2005, council members handled 4.2 billion passengers, $180 billion of freight and 71.6 million aircraft take-offs and landings.

Visit www.airports.org for more information.