Back from Pittsburgh

Back from our Annual Conference and Exhibition in Pittsburgh. A few observations: 

Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center, the site of the closing night event.

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. 

2010 ACI-NA Board Chair G. Hardy Acree and TSA Administrator John Pistole at a joint ACI-NA/ACI-Europe Board meeting in Pittsburgh.

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

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One thought on “Back from Pittsburgh

  1. It was an excellent event! The PIT staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful and the venue was perfect. Every year, the venue is different, the topics slightly changed, but the quality is always top notch.

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