Airports Council International - North America

Airports Council International - North America

September 19, 2005 07:48 ET

Toronto Hosts Airports Council International - North America's 14th Annual Conference & Exhibition

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Sep 19, 2005) -

U.S./Canada Aviation Policy, Capacity, Technology and Customer Service Highlight Agenda Sept. 18 - 21, 2005

Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) Chairman Kent George and President Greg Principato today officially opened the 14th Annual Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Conference and Exhibition. Over the next three days, aviation executives and more than 2,000 attendees from across the continent will meet to discuss important air transport challenges and opportunities in the current aviation environment. Focusing on a theme of "From Vision to Reality: Improving Airport Capacity, Efficiency and Customer Service," the conference will highlight the changing roles of airports in the aviation industry. Key programming sessions will focus on U.S./Canada aviation policy, capacity, congestion, security, technology, and customer service.

"The aviation industry is growing once again with passengers returning in record numbers at airports across North America. We have many challenges before us and this meeting provides us the opportunity to better understand our industry and to help design supportive public policies and management practices to meet these new challenges," said Kent George, ACI-NA Chairman and Executive Director of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

The Honorable Jean-C. Lapierre, Canadian Minister of Transport, will headline the conference with the keynote address. Roy Williams, Director of Aviation, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, will also speak during General Session I and provide a first-hand account of Hurricane Katrina's impacts on his community and the greater region, as well as the relief and recovery efforts many of which were staged at his airport.

Keynote speakers for other sessions include the leaders of two of the fastest growing low-cost carriers in the world, Clive J. Beddoe, Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer WestJet Airlines and David Neeleman, Chief Executive Officer and Director, JetBlue Airways. James J. Patton, Acting Director, Border and Transportation Security Directorate, Department of Homeland Security will address key border and security issues before another session.

"Eleven years ago, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and the Canadian Transport Minister spoke to our delegation here in Toronto and set the stage for the landmark 1995 U.S./Canada Agreement that liberalized trans-border aviation. We have come a long way and we are in Toronto again to encourage further progress on further liberalizing air services. We're pleased Minister Lapierre will join us, as I'm sure all of our airports can appreciate the opportunity to engage in discussions with him," said John Kaldeway, President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority. "It is our privilege to host the ACI-NA conference once again."

In sessions of note, Toronto executives will be on hand to discuss the recent Air France incident and response, as well as recent developments with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. Other discussion forums will focus on a U.S./Canadian "Open Skies" policy, airport congestion, assuring financial sources, and airport security policies. Another conference highlight includes "Friendly Fire with the FAA", where participants will have the opportunity to address key FAA decision makers.

Press Opportunities

-- Press Briefing, 8:00 a.m., Monday, Sept. 19, ACI-NA booth (#611) inside Exhibition Hall at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. ACI-NA President Greg Principato; ACI-NA Chairman Kent George (Executive Director, Allegheny County Airport Authority); Canadian Airports Council Chairman Reginald Milley (President and CEO, Edmonton Regional Airports Authority); Canadian Airports Council President James Facette; and John Kaldeway (President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority) will brief the press on topics such as Canadian rent issues; rates, charges and fees; U.S./Canadian air service agreements; worldwide trans-border travel; rise in passenger traffic and fuel costs; and the state of the airport industry.

-- Hurricane Katrina Press Briefing, 12:00 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19, immediately following General Session I (Theatre/102). Roy Williams, Aviation Director of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, will be joined by Patrick Graham (Executive Director, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport), Frank Miller (Executive Director, Pensacola Regional Airport), and Rick Vacar (Aviation Director, Houston Airport System). Briefing will provide a first-hand account of Hurricane Katrina's impacts on his community and the greater region, as well as the relief and recovery efforts many of which were staged at his airport.

The Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) is a membership organization representing approximately 170 state, regional and local governing bodies that own and operate the principal airports served by scheduled air carriers in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports handle approximately 98 percent of the domestic, and virtually all of the international air passenger and cargo traffic in North America.

Contact Information

  • Airports Council International - North America
    Pam Shepherd, 416-585-3605
    Greater Toronto Airports Authority
    Connie Turner, 416-579-4635