The AAAE of today hardly would be recognizable to those few hearty souls who banded together to form the organization
back in 1928. In fact, the AAAE of today is barely
recognizable to those who helped usher in the
modern AAAE by hiring a young guy named Chip
Barclay to grow AAAE into a meaningful and
impactful association in Washington, D.C.
Today’s AAAE is a complex organism, with
a business model that is very unusual among
associations. Rather than simply cranking up
the dues machine to cover increased expenses,
AAAE relies on entrepreneurship, the provision
of marketplace services and non-dues revenue to
generate the resources necessary to provide topnotch representation in Washington and other
services valued by the membership. The greater
our success in the marketplace, the more resources
AAAE is able to devote to member services — a
virtuous cycle that benefits our members across
■ ■ Every year, literally hundreds of thousands of training
sessions are held at airports across the country using
AAAE training products, making our nation’s aviation
system safer and more efficient.
■ ■ Every year, scholarships are awarded by the AAAE
Foundation to accredited airport executives across the
country, and their sons, daughters and dependents,
helping people chart their own course for the future
— more than 2,000 scholarships and $3.3 million have
been awarded to date.
■ ■ Every year, Washington tests our industry with new
efforts to shift costs or cut back funding, and our
dedicated team of skilled professionals is there to
protect our interests.
These are three examples, but there are many more.
While AAAE is more complex in its structure than most
Washington associations, our formula for success is
deceptively simple: Service. Innovation. Results.
We exist to provide service to our members. Not just
service, but extraordinary customer service. The AAAE
staff is here to serve; we are here to help solve problems;
we are here to make our members at airports more
successful. I hope you have noticed an increased sense of
engagement and urgency among the AAAE staff over the
past several months. This is one of our touchstones.
Steve Jobs famously said that, “Innovation distinguishes
between a leader and a follower.” AAAE has a rich
heritage of technological innovation in the provision
of services to airports, whether it is in our vetting
capabilities for aviation workers, our impressive
interactive training products, or the rest of our suite of
service offerings. Our challenge going forward is to make
sure those solutions meet the needs of our membership
in a rapidly changing environment so the virtuous
cycle that has benefitted our members over the years
We deliver. Period. We have the best legislative and
regulatory team in all of transportation. We have the
best training for airport professionals in the world. We
provide the best meetings and networking opportunities
in the transportation community. Our team is a
results-oriented, highly motivated group of talented
professionals dedicated to serving you.
So, as you examine the products and services in
the pages ahead, and you see the impressive list of
airports utilizing our services, please understand the
interconnectedness of our mission, our business model
and our culture. AAAE is a unique organization with an
unparalleled record of accomplishment and a future that
holds great promise and excitement for our members. We
look forward to the shared journey on the road ahead.
BY TODD HAUPTLI, AAAE PRESIDENT AND CEO
INSIDE AAAE PHOTOS BY: BILL KRUMPELMAN, AAAE