Update Provided on Activities of Two Working Groups

The role of the ACI-NA Finance Committee is to share ideas and exchange information among fellow airport finance and associate member professionals on important industry topics such as benchmarking; airline rates, fees and charges, accounting, budgeting and financing.

The Finance Committee currently has four active working groups – the Airport/Airline Business Working Group, the Strategic Planning and Performance Management Working Group, the Accounting/Financing Working Group and the Alternative Airport Business Models Working Group. This update will focus on two of the four working groups.

The Airport/Airline Business Working Group had a meeting on May 2 in Phoenix during the Economics and Human Capital Conference which highlighted a presentation on an ACRP study titled “Airline & Airport-Airline Consortium” by Paul Demkovich of AvAirPros. The working group also helped put together a roundtable panel, which included three airport and three airline representatives to discuss issues of interest to both groups. The meeting was well attended with over 100 members.

The most recent working group call discussed recent airport/airline use & lease negotiations. Some of the issues that emerged from the recent negotiations include treatment of affiliates, security deposit (whether PFC and CFC should be included), preemption language (especially from Southwest Airlines), common use formula, consortium, and revenue sharing. Please contact Liying Gu if you would like to sign up for this working group.

The Strategic Planning and Performance Management Working Group is responsible for the Annual ACI-NA Benchmarking Survey. This survey has proven to be an invaluable tool for airports in evaluating their operational and financial performance. A total of 39 airports respond to the survey request before the first deadline. Preliminary survey results were released during the working group meeting in Phoenix. The final survey results will be released during the Annual Conference in San Diego. As of July 1, a total of 70 airports have submitted their survey response.

The Working Group also set up an Airport Best Practice Forum, which conducts webinars on a regular basis. The mission for the “Best Practices Forum” is to “offer a prime opportunity to create a discussion venue to identify and characterize common airport practices and ultimately, develop a best practices knowledge database.” The forum’s success will ultimately depend on relevant content, practical application and participant commitment. So far, two webinars have been conducted. The first webinar featured a brief overview of ACRP Report #20 “Strategic Planning in the Airport Industry” provided by Pete Ricondo of Ricondo & Associates. The second webinar featured three airports: San Diego, Toronto and Dallas/Fort Worth. Two webinars are being planned for September: one on “Strategy Deployment” and the other on “ACI-NA Annual Financial Benchmarking Survey.” Please contact Liying Gu if you would like to sign up for this working group.

Since 2007, the Finance Committee began organizing the annual Airport CFO Summit. The CFO Summit (which is only open to Airport CFOs and senior finance staff) is an intensive 1.5 day event which focuses on peer-to-peer discussion and problem solving. The CFO Summit is not a typical conference with panels of speakers. Rather, the purpose is for senior airport finance members to get a chance to talk with each other about issues of importance. This year’s event will be held in Madison on July 19-20. As of July 1, there are a total of 28 registered airport attendees. This year’s Summit will focus on: airport airline use/lease negotiations, trends in HR benefit and labor costs, airport cash policies and credit ratings, investor relations, planning for an uncertain future, financial impacts of FAA’s Safety Management Systems (SMS) proposal, emerging trends and impacts of technology, and global trends that CFOs should be aware of.  If you are interested in attending this year’s CFO Summit, please contact A.J. Muldoon by July 11.