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For two days - October 26th and 27th - Bologna becomes the European capital of top managers of human resources of the major airports in Europe. 

The ACI EUROPE Leadership & Human Resources Forum, hosted by Bologna Airport, is a special edition, the 10th anniversary. This special HR task force, formed by Airport Council International, the industrial association representing Europe's largest airports, was created ten years ago.

A decade of intense activity for the Forum, in which the labor market has faced impressive changes, as overcoming a global pandemic, and even more, addressing and integrating challenges of Innovation and Sustainability according with sustainable development of the airport industry.  

In this edition, there is also a change at the helm of the Forum. Marco Verga, People Development & Organization Director of Bologna Airport, is promoted to 'chair', from 'vice-chair', and will therefore lead the international HR task force, starting from the next edition and for the following two years.

“Our main goal for the next years it to make our sector attractive again. At same time as Human Resources Professionals we have to work to change the culture company towards sustainability. We think it is increasingly important to develop projects for social sustainability, care and well-being of one's employees and at the same time to stimulate virtuous behaviors and create a shared culture of sustainability. Training also takes on ever greater importance in a world that has changed and is changing ever faster, in this context we have to carry on process of reskilling and upskilling according the effects of digitalization and the impact of Artificial Intelligence. Bologna Airport is very involved in these projects and wants to bring more and more contributions and best practices to the forum table.” Mr Verga, said.  

The two-year term of the actual Forum Chair, Mrs Natasha Iacovides, HR Director of Hermes Airports, who has strongly contributed to the group's development, ends with this Bologna meeting.

“The objectives I pursued during my mandate were those specific to the forum: to bring the European airports together and give the opportunity and the space for the HR leaders working for airports, to share their good practices and also to support each other in difficult times. And in recent years we have managed to overcome a pandemic closer together and I am glad to say that  we were stronger as a team. But we are now in a new era: there is a change on people's perception about life and their priorities. People consider essential a good work-life balance and feel that they have to live and work for something meaningful. As airports the big challenge is to make our industry attractive again starting from the bottom, working on our culture and our values and a new leadership” said Ms. Iacovides. 

Noteworthy in this edition, was also the election of the group's new vice-chair Micheal Spears, from London City Airport.

Bologna’s edition, still under Jacovides-Verga’s leadership, registers a record number of participants, over 40, arriving from all main European airports - from London to Athens, from Munich to Madrid. All participants will share their experience, and at the same time, will witness the HR new development and management policies of Bologna Airport: the hosting airport recently received the ACI EUROPE HR Excellence Award.    

The focus of the Forum is networking at an international level and to maintain up-to-date all trends of the airport industry labor market. It is essential both to attract talents and, at the same time, enhance the experienced staff. Through debates and round tables on sustainability, skills development, people engagement, exchange staff projects, and industrial relations, participants will be involved in the event.  

Moreover, the forum aims to make airports more attractive in such a complex and competitive world of work, developing employer branding, strengthening people's engagement, and generally improving wellbeing, with a view to social responsibility.  Therefore, the working group will develop documents and projects to meet these challenges. 

In addition, during the Forum, team-building moments will effectively reflect the Italian character and specificity that of Bologna and its region, such as enjoying a cooking lesson preparing traditional Bolognese handmade pasta and visiting one of the excellences of the Motorvalley.

ACI EUROPE Director General, Olivier Jankovec said: “In celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ACI EUROPE HR & Leadership Forum, hosted by Bologna Airport, I would like to recognise the remarkable work done by the Forum members, and point to the path that lies ahead. This milestone underscores the Forum's pivotal role in shaping the future of aviation leadership, as we continue to navigate through challenging times and work together to realise our industry's sustainable future. In an era marked by a critical skills shortage and the necessity to reaffirm our industry as an attractive employer, the important work done by the Forum and their vital contributions are directly boosting the resilience and sustainability of the airport industry. Congratulations are in order for Marco Verga of Bologna Airport for his appointment as Chair of the group. I also wholeheartedly thank Natasa Iacovides for three years of excellent leadership and results.”

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