legislation will need to address
a comprehensive organizational
structure, not only for ATO, but
the regulatory functions of FAA
for airports and aviation safety
as well. All of this will require
a transformational approach to
funding. Our national aviation
system is the largest in the world,
but it is in jeopardy of falling
behind in the global arena. Unless
we approach this transformation
very strategically and very
comprehensively, we will fall
behind. To accomplish this on the
cusp of a presidential election year
is a daunting task and may be more
than can be accomplished in the
short time remaining.
YOU RECENTLY WERE
NAMED CHAIRMAN OF THE
AAAE AIRPORT LEGISLATIVE
ALLIANCE (ALA) AND YOU
ALSO SERVE AS VICE
CHAIRMAN OF THE GATEWAY
AIRPORTS COUNCIL FOR 2016.
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES
FOR THESE POSITIONS?
My priorities for both positions
are similar: 1) listen to the
memberships’ concerns, 2) help
forge an effective strategy to address
those concerns with the leadership
and staff of AAAE’s ALA, on
the one hand, and support Sean
Donohue, the GAC chairman, in
forging an effective strategy with
the U. S. Travel Association, Roger
Dow’s staff, and the GAC members,
on the other hand, and 3) help
execute the strategy. (Editor’s note:
Roger Dow is president and CEO of
the U.S. Travel Association)
YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I really don’t think in terms of
accomplishments. To me, the past
five years as executive director
at the Greater Orlando Aviation
Authority have been very rewarding
professionally. We managed to build
our traffic back and surpass our
pre-recession high of 37. 2 million
annual passengers. We’ve grown our
international traffic to more than
4. 5 million annual passengers, and
we serve 46 international nonstop
destinations. We worked through
implementing rates by resolution
instead of entering into long-term
airline lease and use agreements.
We’ve initiated an airport-wide
customer service program that
is beginning to pay dividends.
We are executing a $1.1 billion
capital improvement program that
will lay the foundation for a truly
intermodal terminal in the southern
portion of our airport property
that will have trains, planes and
automobiles. We are beginning the
design of a south terminal. But
those are not my accomplishments.
All of those occurred because of the
leadership of our authority board
and a great deal of hard work on
the part of our staff, employees
TELL US ONE THING ABOUT
YOURSELF THAT IS LITTLE
KNOWN AMONG COLLEAGUES.
I worked as a bartender for
Hyatt Corp. while going to
IF YOU WEREN’T IN AVIATION,
WHAT PROFESSION WOULD
MOST ATTRACT YOU?
I spent 14 years in municipal
finance as a financial advisor and
later as an investment banker.
Except for the recession, I might
still be in that business.
WHAT IS YOUR
I try to spend time every week
walking around the airport,
watching passengers, talking to
passengers, talking to employees,
listening to folks who work at and
use the airport. I also try to spend
time reading about aviation and
economics regionally and globally.
From all of that, I get a sense of
what we are doing at the airport
that works well and not so well, and
what are factors that are likely to
affect us going forward. That helps
me adjust the strategic direction or
establish a new direction, if needed.
Then I will test it with the senior
management and, many times, with
my board members to see if it makes
sense to them. If it does, then we lay
out a plan to execute.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE
YOU EVER RECEIVED
THAT HELPS YOU IN YOUR
When I started in the municipal
finance business as a financial
advisor to state and local
governments, the man who hired
me told me the goal is to “stay one
page ahead of the client.” I still try
to stay one page ahead.