Category Archives: Member Communications

Press releases, publications, etc

Cleared for Landing: January 5-9

This first week of January may have seen the temperature plummet in Washington, but our AirportsUnited efforts certainly heated up.

On Tuesday—which also was the first day of the 114th Congress—ACI-NA, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate committees overseeing the 2015 FAA Reauthorization.  The airport industry’s priorities are clear: modernize the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) local user fee and maintain the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

On Thursday, the AirportsUnited “Beyond the Runway” coalition—which is comprised of more than 20 associations and organizations representing a broad range of interests—sent their own letter to House and Senate committee leadership.  “We firmly believe that modernizing airport infrastructure is the best option for strengthening our nation’s aviation system to meet the needs of today and the challenges of tomorrow,” the coalition wrote.

Also on Thursday, AirportsUnited ran a full-page ad in the print edition of Politico, showcasing our unified message and coalition partners:

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ACI-NA’s social media channels this week, too, featured robust AirportsUnited activity.  Several of our coalition partners engaged with us and our campaign’s messaging on Twitter, and our fiscal-year countdown infographics encouraged our audience to contact their members of Congress.  Visit www.airportsunited.com to see how you can get involved.

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But our most popular post on Facebook this week was the announcement of the latest additions to the North American Airport Trading Card series—a.k.a. #AirportCards: Indianapolis International Airport and Prince George Airport in British Columbia.  We’d be very surprised if our friendly bit of trivia that Prince George had ever-so-slightly nudged Edmonton International Airport from the top spot as the northernmost participating airport—and which EIA shared with their Facebook followers—wasn’t a factor:

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Finally, Instagram gave us a glimpse into another busy—and cold!—week at several member airports.  This photo from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, though, proved that while it might be dreary outside, inside the terminal is a different world altogether:

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Caroline O’Reilly
Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing
ACI-NA

At The Gate and Ready To Go

By Kevin M. Burke
Today I begin a new journey – my ACI-NA journey.

ACI-NA's President Kevin M. Burke

I am excited to join ACI-NA as the new president and CEO. As only the sixth president in 66 years, I know that ACI-NA has a well-earned reputation as a respected organization with a staff of experts that Congress, executive agencies and the media call on for expertise on airport issues. I am looking forward to the challenge of enhancing its reputation so that the Voice of Airports is heard by even more both inside the Beltway and throughout the aviation industry.

I traveled extensively in my 13 years with the American Apparel and Footwear Association passing through airports on six of the seven continents. (If I knew that I would one day hold this position, maybe I should have kept a log of each airport I visited.) As a well-traveled end-user, I hope to bring a new prospective to the on-going discussions about improving airport infrastructure in the United States and Canada to ensure our global competitiveness.

While I am not coming from the aviation industry, I recognize the critical role that transportation plays in every day commerce here and around the world. For example, my former employer takes an annual snapshot of the economic impact of the apparel industry. In 2012, 4 million Americans working in clothing and footwear firms helped you get dressed and that industry contributed $354 billion to the U.S. economy. But in order to succeed these firms had to depend upon a massive transportation network, since 97 percent of the goods are made internationally.

Today’s economy with on-demand manufacturing and worldwide next-day delivery expectations could not function without up-to-date and financially-sound airports.

My job here at ACI-NA is to help our member airports gain greater flexibility so that they can finance and build the capital projects needed to handle tomorrow’s travelers and cargo.

There are bound to be many challenges in the years ahead and while the flight at times may be bumpy – with expected and unexpected turbulence, I am confident the landing will be smooth and our goals for a safe, effective and financially sound North American airport industry will be achieved.

As I said, the journey has just begun. We are on the runway, centerlines in sight and we are taking off.  Time to throttle up!

Reis: 2014 Ready for Takeoff

By Caroline O’Reilly
 “We have some challenges and we have some opportunities,” said Mark Reis as he opened his first official remarks as 2014 ACI-NA Board Chair during Wednesday’s Chairman’s Honors Luncheon.  “Our ‘to-do’ list is getting no shorter.  If anything, it is longer and it is more imperative.”  And with that, Reis wasted no time in laying out the objectives he wishes to accomplish during the next year.

2014 Chair: Sets Goals: Full-text

At the foremost of ACI-NA’s 2014 agenda: effectively addressing the “dysfunction” of the U.S. federal system of support for airports.  Reis charged the organization to realize an increase in the PFC; safeguard AIP from further siphoning; make the strongest case for adequate CBP staffing and funding; and push back just as strongly against any new and unfunded mandates created by TSA.

Reis’ second, third and fourth priorities are no less in measure.  Now that ACI-NA and CAC are fully integrated, the coming year should amplify the voice of airports also in Ottawa.  2014 also will ring in with new leadership at the helm of both ACI-NA and AAAE, which should provide the ideal fresh start to again explore how to best represent airports with a singular, powerful message.  And lastly, a new year represents a new opportunity for U.S. airports to mirror the initiative of their Canadian counterparts in working more in concert with airlines on issues of common benefit to both sectors.

“Let’s make ACI-NA the strongest organization it can be,” concluded Reis.  “I sincerely look forward to working with all of you, and I hope you will join the staff and Board so a year from now we can say ACI-NA is stronger and the airport industry is more unified and effective.”

A Final Note from the 2013 Chair

By Eli Rassi
David N. Edwards Jr. delivered his last official speech as ACI-NA chair at Wednesday’s Honors Luncheon.

During his tenure, Edwards’ focus was ensuring that North American airports remain globally competitive. He referenced ACI-NA’s Airports for the Future campaign that continues to gain strength throughout the communities that airports serve and connect with the rest of the world.

2013 Chair: Closing Remarks: Full-text

ACI-NA’s objective to forge and develop relationships with abroad cross-section of like-minded allies, from the traditional to the perhaps unexpected, has helped to keep airports whole with stakeholders and policy-makers across the local and national levels.

“ACI-NA is beginning to change the conversation about airports and their fundamental importance to the overall North American economy,” said Edwards.

With respect to ACI-NA itself, cross-border ties have never been stronger. The integration of the staff and expertise of the Canadian Airports Council into the overall ACI-NA structure has gone exceptionally well and to the great benefit of all ACI-NA’s members.

Edwards shared with the audience a quote that he recently ran across by Colin Powell: “No good idea succeeds simply because it is a good idea. Good ideas must have champions—people willing to believe in them, push for them, fight for them, gain adherents and champions, and press until they succeed.”

And this is why ACI-NA exists:  to champion the cause for North American airports, to push for results, fight hard to ensure their success is sustainable, and not stop until that success is achieved.

ACI-NA it exists to serve its members and, under the leadership of new chair, Mark Reis, will continue to fight hard every step of the way.

Airports Honor John Infanger (@airportbusiness) for 25 Years of Service

By Morgan Dye

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) President Greg Principato this morning recognized John Infanger, editorial director for Airport Business Magazine, for 25 years of service to the aviation community at the ACI-NA 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition.

Statement of ACI-NA President Greg Principato:

“For 25 years, John Infanger has covered the airport and aviation industry with intelligence, integrity and energy.  He will, as good journalists do, ask tough questions and hold people accountable using the facts and their own words.  John is thorough and fair, laying out the facts for his readers, shedding light on complex aviation issues.  Whether you are an industry insider or lay person, you will be better informed about airports and aviation after reading John’s work.

ACI-NA is delighted to recognize and celebrate John’s quarter century of covering our industry and to wish him many, many more years of service to his many readers and admirers.”

The plaque presented to Infanger had the following inscription: “In recognition of 25 years as an aviation journalist whose articles continue to be required reading for everyone in the airport industry.”