Category Archives: Member Communications

Press releases, publications, etc

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.”

Detailing ACI-NA’s Role in Re-Opening the FAA

By Jane Calderwood
Salt Lake City Airport Director Maureen Riley, chair of the 2011 Government Affairs Committee, gave the ACI-NA Board an update this afternoon on the committee’s activities.  She prefaced her remarks by noting that the board had established a healthy list of legislative priorities for the year that ranged from FAA reauthorization to the Alternative Minimum Tax waiver.

A consistent theme in her comments was the key role ACI-NA members played in the government affairs activities throughout the year.  In particular, she highlighted the successful efforts of airports, World Business Partners and Associates, commissioners and the media and communications committee in getting Congress to end the FAA shutdown.  She said the organization “lived up” to our moniker:  “The Voice of Airports.”

Riley explained that the battle plan formulated to combat the shutdown ensured that no stone would be left unturned in the effort to get the FAA back up and running.  The plan began with calling on airports across the country to reach out not only to their congressional delegations but to their local media as well, in order to get across the facts about the true impact of the shutdown on airports and their communities.  This put a “face” on the shutdown and it worked as members of Congress told specific stories about their local airports when they spoke on the floor of the House and Senate.

In Washington, the staff worked to ensure the issue remained a focus for Congress as well as for the press.  The strategy on press was twofold:  keep the airports’ story in front of the Washington press by providing insider information on what Congress was doing, due to our strong relationships with the committees and House and Senate leadership offices; and sharing the stories of individual airports.

Social Media played a large part in the plan with ACI-NA tweeting every local airport story they could find on the web, as well as up to the minute congressional action, and statements by members of Congress on the House and Senate floor.  Riley noted the tweeting was particularly effective, as the 14 day shutdown.

She ended her update by noting that the organization is on record in favor of a two year extension because at this point it appears unlikely that Congress can reach agreement on the unresolved issues facing the authorization bill:  National Mediation Board; slots; and authorization levels.