I haven’t written a post since it was announced I will be leaving ACI-NA at the end of June. But I didn’t want to leave without some sort of written goodbye.
This will be a short post as I wrote a final column for Centerlines (which has just come out and which I know all of you read!) and I don’t want to repeat myself.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my eight years as President of ACI-NA. For most of those years I have written this blog, more than 300 posts in all, I believe. I know I’ve enjoyed doing it, and, from what has been heard from so many of you, most of those 300 have been pretty well received. Thank you for reading these several years.
The blog has been part of an effort by ACI-NA to better communicate the airport message. We made a key strategic session years ago to undergird all we do with an effort to change the way airports are seen and talked about, especially by the press and policy makers. We needed to level the playing field a bit with the airlines, not to defeat them, but to have a more balanced outcome, hopefully working together with them. Without this work, any advocacy effort would be doomed to fail. I believe the strategy we developed many years ago is working, and will continue to work.
Similarly, years ago, in 2010, we identified the U.S. federal debt and deficit crisis as an opportunity to get our Passenger Facility Charge message across. We contacted Simpson and Bowles before most people had ever heard of them.
On the Canadian side, airports have moved beyond the old-style rent debate and are making headway in convincing the government to look at the need for a better policy framework to support a vibrant air transportation system.
On security, safety, facilitation, environment and many other issues we have re-ordered the playing field, changed the debate and made progress. The entire industry should be proud of this because we all did it together.
So, as I leave I wish all of you nothing but the best. This is not only a great industry, but an important one. I can’t even imagine a 21st century economy without airports. The work you do is taken for granted even by people who depend so deeply on you.
My final word is a thank you to the staff team at ACI-NA. I have loved working with them and I can’t think of an industry represented by any association in Washington whose staff is more passionate and dedicated. They made coming to work every day something I very much looked forward to these past eight years.