Let's All Work Together

Airport Business checks in with Gregory Principato as he steps down as president of ACI-NA, with advice that the more aviation industry works together the better off we’ll be


TSA and airports seem to have a love-hate relationship. Where does that relationship stand today?

When I first got the job, three-quarters of the calls I got from airport directors were to complain about the TSA security situation at their airports. That’s changed. I’m not going to say airport directors think the TSA is a model government agency but things are much better. People were worried that some of the new technologies in use would mean a return to long lines but they have not, which can be attributed to the TSA and airports working together.

However, Custom and Border Protection remains a very difficult problem to solve. In a lot of larger international gateways, it has become the No. 1 problem, with long lines and waits in the customs hall. The use of technology in the CBP process, which ACI-NA has long championed, has huge opportunities. I’m optimistic things will change for the better here as well.


When you think back on your tenure with ACI-NA, what are you most proud of?

You should leave things better than they were when you found it. I think I’ve done that. By every measure, whether it’s the financial health of the organization, reforms made in the committee structure, bringing airport and business members into fuller participation, or work on the regulatory and legislative side, we have made great progress and have built much stronger relationships. Finally, I’m proudest of the ACI-NA staff we’ve assembled … We have a really talented, diverse group of people. I’ve been on some good teams but this one is the best.

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