The 2012 Airport Cities World Conference and Exhibition (AC E) is expected to set a new all-time attendance record. This year’s event will take place in Denver from April 25 to 27, hosted by Denver International Airport.
Airport Cities is the world’s premier event which brings together experienced and talented airport professionals, aviation industry experts, and community and business leaders to talk about accomplishments and possibilities, sharing ideas and stimulating discussion.
From its humble beginnings in 2002 at the Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida, where the first ‘Creating Airport Cities’ conference welcomed 120 delegates and a handful of exhibitors, the international event has grown by more than six times in size over the last ten years. This year Denver International Airport (DIA) expects to play host to at least 800 delegates, 50 major corporate sponsors and more than 60 exhibitors at the city’s Sheraton Downtown Hotel – a more than 30% increase compared to the 600 delegates who attended last year’s event.
Alex Kirby, founder and executive vice president of Airport Cities, said: “We are entering a new phase marked by a different level of political involvement in the development of Airport Cities. The development of Airport Cities and Aerotropoli has now evolved from the airport via the city to regional or state governments and will soon ultimately rest with national governments. A few years ago we dealt exclusively with airports as our hosts but this has now changed with cities and regions taking ownership of the event.”
To highlight the phenomenal growth of this unique event, Denver’s new mayor, Michael B. Hancock, said in his recent inauguration speech that his new administration is dedicated to turning the area surrounding DIA into a “bustling aerotropolis that will drive job growth and become a regional economic powerhouse.”
Kim Day, manager of aviation at Denver International Airport, said: “Opportunity - in the form of an aerotropolis - is again available to us, and we intend to explore this potential. So, I can’t think of a better time for Denver to provide the venue for the Airport Cities World Conference.”
The conference begins on Wednesday 25 with an Airport City Tour, followed by a three hour Masterclass run by event chairman Prof. John Kasarda, the industry thought leader and inventor of the term Aerotropolis. That same evening is the Welcome Reception and ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Exhibition Area.
Thursday sees the start of the two-day conference with the day culminating in the Gala Evening that takes place at ‘Red Rocks’, a natural amphitheatre set in the Rocky Mountains with spectacular views back to the City of Denver. Since opening in 1941 Red Rocks has staged many great concerts including super groups such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and many, many more top artists. Friday will be the second and final day of conference and exhibition activities and will conclude with the Farewell Reception hosted by Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele, the host for ACE 2013 in South Africa.