From the Publisher

The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie

“Air travel reminds us who we are. It’s the means by which we recognise ourselves as modern. The process removes us from the world and sets us apart from each other. We wander in the ambient noise, checking one more time for the flight coupon, the boarding pass, the visa. The process convinces us that at any moment we may have to submit to the force that is implied in all this, the unknown authority behind it, behind the categories, the languages we don’t understand. This vast terminal has been erected to examine souls.”

– Don DeLillo, The Names.

Martin Moodie (shown speaking at The Trinity Forum in Shanghai on 31 October): "I see airports as a melting pot of nationalities and personalities; a fusion of business and pleasure; a whirring blend of human sentiments from the joy you see in arrivals to the sadness one so often witnesses in departures."

Welcome to a publication that I believe is not only unique but overdue. A celebration of airports worldwide, not just of their operations, their commerce and their often astonishing architecture but of what they represent.

Airports are a fascinating, ever-changing crossroads of humanity, an enthralling tapestry of emotion, a compelling laboratory of human behaviour, and of course a conduit to a city, region and country. They are the first thing a visitor sees of a country and the last.

Over the course of a 30-year career in travel retail publishing, I have flown into and out of countless airports worldwide. I’ve shopped in them, dined in them, been delayed in them, slept over in them. I love airports.

I see them as a melting pot of nationalities and personalities; a fusion of business and pleasure; a whirring blend of human sentiments from the joy you see in arrivals to the sadness one so often witnesses in departures. Extraordinary amphitheatres of commerce and culture, an integral yet often underappreciated – or downright disliked – element of the travel retail experience.

What form could this celebration of airports take? What if there was an International Airports Day, we asked? After all, there are ‘International’ or ‘World’ days marking hundreds of different sectors and subjects. I spoke about my concept to Eugene Barry, Executive Vice President Commercial at Dubai Airports, a man with a deeply considered vision of what airports stand for – and of what they might be.


Eugene encouraged me to proceed with the concept of a special ‘day’ and a publication to support it. I’m honoured and grateful that Dubai Airports, operator of the world’s busiest international airport, has supported this project so wholeheartedly.

Dubai International is one of the world's great airports (and its busiest by international traffic). Its operator Dubai Airports has been a staunch supporter of the International Airports Day concept.

To bring our concept to life we hosted an international design competition online to come up with an appropriate International Airports Day logo. The winner was Katsuo from Japan, whose work adorns this publication.

And our day? We’ve chosen 17 December – the anniversary of the day (in 1903) that Wilbur and Orville Wright pioneered the first free, controlled flight of a power-driven, heavier than air plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the USA. Wilbur flew for 59 seconds, at 852 feet, the world’s first successful airplane flight and the aviation sector has never looked back since.

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We then asked airport companies around the world to supply us with an image and/or video that encapsulated something unique, memorable or indicative about their airport. The content could be commercial (for example, shopping, dining or advertising); cultural (say, an art display or aviation museum); or operational (runways, ATC tower, terminal buildings, aprons) or people-oriented.

The collective result forms this honorary publication, a lovely and striking melange of photographs and videos from the airport world. We're grateful for the support of so many airports and to their commercial partners who contributed generously with advertising for this publication. Because of the values that underpin the International Airports Day concept, The Moodie Davitt Report is donating all advertising sales in the publication to our nominated 2019 charity, Friends International, a great Asia-focused children's cause and beneficiary of The Moodie Davitt Report ‘Duty Calls’ Charity Dinner in Singapore on 11 May.


We plan to mark this landmark day every year in the same way and in fact grow it so that International Airports Day actually becomes an established landmark in the aviation calendar. I hope that, in the words of the great American author Don DeLillo, this publication, like the terminals it portrays, serves to examine souls.

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The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Spotlight Series – Special Report | 17 December 2018