ACI-NA Addresses GA, Cross-Border Lobbying

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recently announced two initiatives which could impact the future look of the organization, in particular with cross-border lobbying with Canada. In February, the ACI-NA board of directors was...

Principato: There are an increasing number of issues — security facilitation, for example — where the cross-border interests are more closely aligned. Instead of having two organizations that try to dance with each other, have one organization and be really integrated. The bylaw amendments passed over the last two years enable that to happen.

Two more Canadian voting members have been added to allow for more representation on the North America board [of ACI-NA]. The CAC board will remain in place as a policy board to oversee the legislative and regulatory work of the office in Ottawa. We will have a U.S. policy board, plus five past chairs, that will oversee our legislative and regulatory work.

There will be some growing pains. At some point, the Canadian Airports Council will go away as a separate legal entity. It will be basically the Ottawa office of ACI-NA and be known as the Canadian Airports Council, so when the person that runs the office there goes to Parliament Hill, he’s president of CAC.

In terms of policy issues, you’re not going to Parliament Hill and saying you’re taking your orders from some guy in Washington, just as I don’t go to Capitol Hill saying I’m taking orders from Montreal [ACI World headquarters]. He has a separate policy board from which he gets that direction.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm about it. I think people just thought it made sense. A lot of the issues around the world have a lot of commonality — financial; security; environmental; and so forth. It didn’t make sense to have two sets of work; two sets of activities.

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