Back from our Annual Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh. A few observations:
We had great attendance and spirited participation. This despite, the fact that three other organizations scheduled airport-related conferences right on top of ours. (How about some consideration next time, folks??? Ours was scheduled six years ago.)
Pittsburgh might be America’s most under-rated city. Just beautiful. The rivers, bridges and architecture combine in a really wonderful way. And the Pittsburgh airport team, led by Brad Penrod, were outstanding hosts. This was a great conference and a great event.
My big take away from the conference: Our members want the federal government out of the business of the airport business. More on this in coming weeks and months.
We had a major security session together with the board of ACI Europe. We had the new TSA Administrator, John Pistole; the European Union’s top aviation official, Daniel Calleja: and from Canada the head of CATSA, Kevin McGarr. There is a great interest in better coordinating and harmonizing security approaches around the world. The current meeting in Montreal of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, a UN body) is considering this. ACI World is the official airport representative there
We also had a spirited security panel, at which it became clear that airports and airlines want to work together on new approaches to aviation security
A lot of discussion about technology and social media. Our keynote, Nick Bilton, is a technology writer for the New York Times. I interviewed him prior to his session and his message was much discussed over the next few days
The week in Pittsburgh was just terrific, our best program yet I think with a great array of speakers and topics. The meeting with the ACI Europe board was interesting and engaging and lays the groundwork for a lot of good work ahead. It is always a grueling week, and I found that my new hip allowed me to do far more than before, including visiting a large majority of the exhibit booths. I’m tired, but exhilarated