Achieving a More Sustainable Airport Industry Every Day

By Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO, ACI-NA

Airports are more than gateways to travel.  Airports are gateways to a more sustainable community. And while the calendar says today is Earth Day, airports are in the business of being stewards of the environment all year long. I am especially proud of the positive work North American airports undertake every day to be good neighbors, leading the way in establishing environmental best practices in local communities.

Earlier this week during our Airports@Work Conference in Austin, TX, ACI-NA recognized the airport industry’s very best in environmental achievement.  Each year, the ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Awards are presented to airports that strive persistently to preserve the environment. This year, we are proud to recognize Tampa International Airport, Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Vancouver Airport Authority, and Nashville International Airport for their continued leadership in protecting the environment, educating their community, and creating a more sustainable industry.

As they advance this important work, our member airports continue to impress in their ability to innovate and implement better and more sustainable strategies to protect and preserve the environment. Minimizing our industry’s environmental footprint not only protects valuable natural resources, but it also makes great business sense because we know that sustainable business habits reduce operating costs.

North American airports are also demonstrating global leadership and becoming better partners in the aviation system by managing and reducing their carbon footprint.  As North American airport participation in the Airport Carbon Accreditation program grows, ACI-NA applauds the significant steps airports are taking to be leaders in environmental stewardship.

ACI-NA joined Airport Carbon Accreditation and recognized Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as the first North American airport to attain certification in 2014.  Since ACI-NA joined the program, 12 North American airports have joined more than 150 global airports in attaining certification, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Montréal – Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Portland International Airport, Portland Hillsboro Airport, Portland Troutdale Airport, Victoria International Airport, Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, Honolulu International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.

Join me in congratulating San Francisco and Winnipeg as the newest members of the Airport Carbon Accreditation family.  By achieving the ambitious goals of Airport Carbon Accreditation, these airports are setting our industry on a path toward continued success in innovation and sustainability.

These powerful results are not because of ACI-NA.  This leadership in environmental stewardship comes directly from engaged industry through ACI-NA’s Environmental Affairs Committee.  ACI-NA’s Environmental Affairs Committee – one of our largest and fastest growing committees – is responsible for the development and implementation of ACI-NA environmental policy positions on issues such as noise, air quality, water quality, waste management, wildlife, and environmental review processes. Over the last few years, this group has undertaken major industry projects to set our industry on a course for a more sustainable future, and their work is paying off on Earth Day and every day.

One Year Later, Travelers Continue to Benefit from Mobile Passport App

By Matt Cornelius, Managing Director, Air Policy, ACI-NA

As we celebrate the one year anniversary of Mobile Passport Control today, ACI-NA continues to welcome growing passenger satisfaction with our innovative app. Mobile Passport allows eligible travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form via an iOS or Android device prior to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by ACI-NA and Airside Mobile in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Passenger facilitation is a top priority for North American airports and our airline partners,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke at a press event earlier this summer at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “This new technology offers passengers one more tool for fast and efficient entry into the United States while maintaining the highest safety and security standards. As more and more travelers adopt Mobile Passport, we could not be more pleased with the early results and increased efficiency we are already seeing.”

First launched at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport one year ago today, Mobile Passport has now been successfully deployed at Miami International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport.

Since its official launch, the Mobile Passport app has been downloaded nearly 150,000 times. The app has been used more than 62,000 times by eligible travelers entering the United States, with half of all transactions taking place at Miami International Airport. Additionally, the app recently received its 500th five-star rating in the iTunes app store. Mobile Passport was also recognized as the Best Immigration and Arrivals Initiative in 2015 by the Future Travel Experience Awards.

In addition to transforming the Customs clearance process for eligible travelers arriving in the United States, Mobile Passport has proved to be an outstanding example of the kind innovation that occurs when industry and government work together to achieve cost-effective solutions.

“Airports see a clear role for innovative technology in creating a more efficient traveler experience, and Mobile Passport is just the beginning,” said Burke. “Moreover, Canadian, Asian, European airports have acknowledged U.S. leadership on Mobile Passport and have expressed interest in expanding Mobile Passport technology globally.”

ACI-NA Takes Home Three ‘Fastest Growing’ Awards

ACI-NA’s Vice President of Conferences, Education and Partnerships Dee Clemmons was spotted on the red carpet at the Fastest 50 Awards and Summit last night with ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition partners from Show Management Solutions.

ACI-NA’s Vice President of Conferences, Education and Partnerships Dee Clemmons was spotted on the red carpet at the Fastest 50 Awards and Summit last night with ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition partners from Show Management Solutions.

During the Fastest 50 Awards and Summit in Chicago last night, ACI-NA was presented with three awards after being identified as one of the 50 fastest growing trade shows in the United States by Trade Show Executive. The 2014 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition, hosted in Atlanta by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, took home Top 25 honors in all three growth categories, including growth in attendance, increase in exhibits, and expansion of the trade show floor. “Industry support for the ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition continues to grow because of the high priority our members place on having an impactful forum to discuss challenges and collaborate around solutions,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. Industry stakeholders can begin registering for the 2015 ACI Annual Conference and Exhibition, which will be hosted in Long Beach by Long Beach Airport October 4 – 7, 2015. Learn more about the 2015 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition at

Up, Up, and Away: Hudson Group Finds that Millenial Travel Is on the Rise

We live in a digital world. Truth be told, I’m never more than a few feet away from my smartphone. It’s amazing how one small device can do so much to keep us organized and connected in every aspect of our lives.

The smart phone has even taken on the role of travel agent. Exciting new domestic and global destinations are accessible through Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. With a few taps, I can log into my airline’s app and book my airfare in minutes. In Atlanta, Miami, and Seattle, I can use my smartphone to clear customs. At some airports, I can even arrange for Uber or Lyft to pick me up, all without missing a beat.

More and more members of my generation are harnessing this digital power to travel. In fact, millennials are traveling more than any other generation according to the Hudson Group’s latest 2015 travel trends infographic.


As an aviation newbie, I’m quickly learning how eager airports are to embrace mobile technology to enhance the travel experience. You can read about some of the latest airport mobile trends in ACI-NA’s latest issue of Centerlines.

Millennials like me are looking for an easy airport experience. We want airports to provide us with the ability to use digital boarding passes, access free (and fast!) wifi, and order a taxi from our phones. While most airports are working to progress with technology, figuring out how to do so and what’s next is no easy task.

That’s why ACI-NA is excited about our upcoming Business of Airports Conference this April 20 – 22 in Phoenix, AZ. The entire conference designed to help airports think about “what’s next” and how to get there. Through networking and interactive sessions, airport decision makers and innovative concessionaires and service providers will have the opportunity to discuss and discover the different ways to embrace technology in the airport environment. Mobile trends will at the core of the conference agenda as we explore non-aeronautical revenue and infrastructure considerations, including in depth discussions on ride-booking apps and more.

Mimi Ryals
Communications and Marketing Coordinator