Savannah is also among the most beautiful cities in the United States, maybe the most beautiful (and has one of the most beautiful airports). I actually had a little time to search for my great, great, grandfather who emigrated here more than 150 years ago. Making progress in tracking him down. I learned a lot about yellow fever, which was a major fact of life when he was here. A lot of times, people who died from yellow fever were buried in mass graves, which might be what is making this search so difficult.
We held our annual CEO Forum here, a meeting attended by dozens of airport directors and several corporate CEOs. The CEOs examined a number of issues including legislative and regulatory matters, economic issues (overall economic issues as well as airport economic issues), information technology, relations with airlines and so forth.
I like to say that airport directors are a rare breed. Not just because they have to possess so many skills (business, political, technical and so on). But also because there are so few of them. There are 430 or so commercial service airports in the United States. There are 750 players on active major league rosters at any one time. So, you are statistically twice as likely to play big league baseball as be an airport director. A rare breed indeed.
Joining us here were Angela Gittens, who runs ACI World; Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe; Ali Tounsi, ACI Africa; and Javier Martinez, ACI Latin America-Caribbean. Patti Chau from ACI Asia-Pacific joined us from Hong Kong by phone. It is a uniquely talented group, and one that is passionate about the industry and serving our members. One of the great honors and opportunities of my career has been the opportunity to get to know these terrific people, to work with them and to learn from them. It was especially interesting to visit with Ali, whose office is in Morocco, home is in Tunisia and whose annual meeting this year (along with ACI World’s) is scheduled for Cairo.
As I write this, it is my last night in Savannah. Ann and I are taking Olivier and Ali out for hamburgers, got to sample some real American cooking!
This hasn’t been perhaps as substantive as some of my more recent posts, but ya gotta lighten things up every now and then!