Company: Airports Council International (ACI) - World

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Reporting Relationship: ACI World Executive Committee


  • Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President Administration
  • Senior Vice President, Programmes & Commercial Services
  • Senior Vice President, Airport Customer Experience & Training
  • Senior Vice President, Safety, Security & Operations
  • Vice President, Industry Affairs and Sustainability
  • Corporate Secretary
  • Advisor to the Director General

Key Relationships - Internal

  • Chair, Vice-Chair, and Immediate Past Chair of ACI World Governing Board
  • Chair of ACI World Audit Committee
  • World Governing Board Treasurer
  • Chairs and Vice-Chairs of ACI World Standing Committees
  • ACI Regional Directors
  • ACI Regional Presidents
  • Members: Official Representatives (ORs) and Alternate Representatives (ARs)

Key Relationships - External

  • Secretary General, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • President of the ICAO Council
  • Director Generals and CEOs of aviation and nonaviation international organizations
  • Senior members of Governments (regional and national)
  • Worldwide Media

Organization background

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, is a federated ACI WORLD | World Director General Page 3 of 19
organization comprising ACI World, ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific &the Middle East, ACI Europe, ACI Latin America & the Caribbean, and ACI North America. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward
ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally sustainable.

As of January 2024, ACI serves 757 members, operating 2,109 airports in 191 countries. In 2022, close to 55% of all employment in the aviation sector was at airports. According to ACI’s Annual World Airport Traffic Report, airports worldwide welcomed 6.6 billion arriving and departing
passengers, handled 116.9 million metric tons of cargo and 85 million aircraft movements in 2022.

Purpose and Role

The purpose and role of ACI is to:

  • Maximize the contributions of airports to maintaining and developing a safe, secure, and viable aviation industry in a responsible and sustainable manner;
  • Promote cooperation among all segments of the aviation industry and their stakeholders as well as with governments, regional and international organization;
  • Influence international, regional, and national legislation, rules, policies, standards and practices, based on established policies representing airports’ interest and priorities;
  • Advance the development of the aviation system by enhancing public awareness of the economic and social importance of air travel and airport development;
  • Provide leadership in airport operations and management through the development of global technical standards and/or recommended practices;
  • Contribute to increased cooperation, mutual assistance, information exchange and learning opportunities for member airports;
  • Provide members with timely information, advice and assistance, and foster professional excellence in airport management and operations; and
  • Generate programs and services which meet members' needs and contribute to membership retention and growth.


The Vision of ACI-World is “to be at the forefront of the world’s air transport development by fostering and promoting harmonized, coordinated, and sustainable growth.”


The Mission of the organization is a follows: “ACI World contributes to the safety, security, and sustainability of the global aviation industry by advancing the collective interests of airports and the communities they serve and promoting excellence in airport management and operations.”


In support of its Vision and Mission, ACI has established the following goals:

  • Promote industry excellence by providing members with innovative tools and expertise
  • Support the capacity of airports to provide safe, secure air transportation;
  • Represent the interests of airports to international and national policymakers;
  • Foster collaboration between airports, governments, industry stakeholders, and international organizations;
  • Maximize cooperation and assistance between airports; and
  • Increase public awareness of the social and economic importance of airports.

Governance & Organizational Structure

The ACI World Governing Board (WGB), comprised of 29 members, meets twice each year to decide ACI policy. The number of regional representatives on the WGB is calculated based on each region’s share of passenger and cargo traffic. Board members may be appointed by their region for up to two three-year terms, and members must be the official representative of a regular ACI member. The World Governing Board recommends the Chair
and Vice-Chair of ACI from its number to the General Assembly, each to serve for one twoyear term. Under ordinary circumstances, the Vice-Chair is expected to succeed to the Chair, assuming approval by the General Assembly. A list of the current members of the ACI World Governing Board is provided in Appendix A.

The Executive Committee of the WGB, consisting of nine members - comprising the WGB Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Immediate Past Chair and the Chairs/Presidents of each Region - supervises the work of ACI between Board meetings. The Executive Committee works with the Director General to ensure that the policies adopted by the WGB and then approved by the ACI World General Assembly (issued annually as “ACI World Resolutions”) are implemented worldwide. The current membership of the ACI World Executive Committee is provided in Appendix B. Both the World Governing Board and the Executive Committee are headed by the Chair of ACI World.

The ACI World office has the primary responsibility for representing member interests at the global level, coordinating the positions and advocacy activities of regions, and providing strategic and tactical data and information as necessary to achieve desired results. As indicated above, ACI is a federated organization comprising ACI World and five regional organizations:

  • ACI Africa - Casablanca, Morocco
  • ACI Asia-Pacific & the Middle East - Hong Kong, China
  • ACI Europe - Brussels, Belgium
  • ACI Latin America & the Caribbean - Panama City, Panama
  • ACI North America - Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Each of the regional ACI organizations has a regional office and these organizations represent regional membership with regional governmental and non-governmental organizations and are supported by specialized committees and task forces. The regions have the primary responsibility for providing or arranging for services to their member airports and business partners.

Committee Structure

ACI advances its agenda and provides a platform for members to be active in that agenda through six primary committees:

  • The Airport Information Technology Standing Committee, which covers information and communications technology infrastructure at airports; common use and self-service environments; Flight Information Display Systems (FIDS); Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs); Advanced Passenger Information (API); and Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFID).
  • The Economics Standing Committee, which covers airport charging regimes; consultation with users; non-aeronautical revenue development; collection and analysis of traffic and financial statistics; airport financing and ownership; State taxation; the impact on airports of airline deregulation and consolidation; economic regulation and airport competition; airport slots; air traffic demand forecasts; and trends in airport privatization.
  • The Environment Standing Committee, which covers airport and aviation greenhouse gas emissions; adaptation and resilience to climate change; noise and emission related aircraft certification standards, aircraft noise mitigation; local air and water quality; use of chemicals for anti-icing and de-icing; fuel storage and spillage; site remediation; storm water management; waste management; natural resources management; and environmental management systems.
  • The Facilitation and Airport Services Standing Committee, which covers facilitation of the movement of passengers, baggage, freight and mail; standards and measurement of airport service quality; automated services for passengers and baggage; use of information technology, automated systems and telecommunications to support business and operational processes at airports; surface access to airports and intermodal issues; accommodation of passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility and measures to combat human trafficking.
  • The Security Standing Committee, which covers airside and landside security; measures related to access control; aviation security technology; the inter-relationship between security and facilitation; security awareness programs for the public; cargo security; risk-based differentiation; and considerations of security in airport design.
  • The Safety and Technical Standing Committee, which covers airport planning and development; airspace and airport capacity and congestion; future air navigation systems; physical characteristics of runways, taxiways and aprons; visual aids for navigation; operational safety including airport equipment and installations; apron (ramp) safety and aerodrome vehicle operation; aerodrome emergency planning; rescue and fire-fighting; dangerous goods; the removal of disabled aircraft; aircraft/airport compatibility issues; and safety management systems.

World Business Partners

ACI’s World Business Partners (WBP) program provides a unique platform for businesses to interact with the airport industry, build a network of airport key decision makers and explore new business opportunities. WBPs enjoy a wide array of benefits including access to key airport officials and membership on the ACI World Business Partners Advisory Board. They can also be appointed by Regional Offices to ACI World Standing Committees. Members also get preferential rates on a wide variety of reports and key industry publications, conferences/exhibitions, and ACI Global Training courses for professional development.

WBP membership is open to companies doing business with, for, and at airports, or in an airportrelated industry. Every ACI WBP designates a primary Region, determined by where the majority of their yearly airport-related revenue is earned.

While WBP is a global program, each region oversees the management of its own program, which is reflected in both the unique benefits it offers and its fee structures. For an additional fee, WBPs can also become an Affiliate member of another region, which entitles them to greater benefits in that region.

ACI World Awards, Benchmark Programmes & Unique Professional Development Offerings

ACI World is active in inspiring cooperation and coordination between airport officials and other aviation stakeholders as well as inspiring airline operators to provide exceptional service to airline patrons. This is primarily achieved through its well-recognized and respected annual awards for customer service and through its top-notch programmes and educational offerings as outlined in Appendix C.

Publications & Website

ACI World publishes the renowned annual World Airport Traffic Report, an annual Airport Economics Report, as well as numerous other reports, analyses, and best practice manuals that are of great value to the industry.

The organization also maintains a comprehensive website with substantial resources for members and the industry at large at

Staff & Budget

ACI World’s annual revenues are approximately USD 14 million and its annual expenses amount to about USD 13.6 million. Approximately 25% of the revenue is derived from assessments on the Regions, proportionate to their membership’s passenger and cargo traffic, while 75% is generated
from sales and services to members or others. The organization is led by a Director General (Chief Executive Officer) who serves as the senior most executive at the association.

Over its 28-year history, ACI World has had four Directors General:

  • 2019 to Pres.: Luis Felipe de Oliveira
  • 2008 to 2019: Angela Gittens
  • 2002 to 2008: Robert J. Aaronson
  • 1997 to 2002; Jonathan Howe
  • 1991 to 1997; Oris Dunham

The organization has about 70 staff and eight executive team members, all based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The Director General position is based at ACI World headquarters in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with considerable international travel as per the nature and requirements of the role.


Prior to the establishment of ACI World, the Airport Associations Coordinating Council (AACC) was the major governing body for the world’s airports. The AACC was established in 1970 by the three competing international airport associations at that time: Airport Operators Council International (AOCI), International Civil Airports Association (ICAA), and the Western European Airports Association (WEAA). The AACC helped to further collaboration and cooperation amongst the many industry constituents including government, airlines, and manufacturers. After the WEAA was dissolved in 1985, the two remaining international airport associations decided to join forces and establish ACI World. By 1990, the ACI Constitution was approved by both the AOCI and ICAA and the AIC-World was launched on January 1, 1991. ACI World was previously headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland) but, by 2011, the association decided to relocate to Montreal (Canada) in an effort to be closer and improve ties with other important industry associations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Chief Executive Officer - Key responsibilities

The Director General/Chief Executive Officer position serves as ACI's global spokesperson and as principal executive staff officer of ACI World. Working under the general direction of the Executive Committee, the Director General provides strategic vision and leadership for the organization; serves as the Chief Executive of ACI World; is responsible for implementing policies and programs of the General Assembly and the Governing Board; implement programs and services to generate revenues for the organization; serves as liaison with the regions and regional offices; and represents ACI to senior levels of national governments, international organizations and international events.

Given the strategic role played at the global level by airports within the aviation system and their contribution to the social and economic health of communities, the Director General's role is of great significance and potential. The position provides an unrivalled opportunity for a strong leader and consensus builder to continue position the world airport system on the global stage.

The key responsibilities of the role, by category, are as follows:

External Representation

  • Serve as global spokesperson for ACI and as principal executive staff officer for the ACI World office;
  • Direct the formulation of and recommend to the Board such strategies, policies, programs, and products that might require their approval;
  • Implement policies formulated by the General Assembly and the World Governing Board;
  • Promote growth of commercial revenues;
  • Work closely with the Regions and regional officers and staff;
  • Represent the Board with senior levels of national governments in coordination with the Regions; and
  • Represent the Board with international organizations such as ICAO and other UN agencies, and other international organizations.

Internal Management

  • Act as chief executive of ACI World, with ultimate responsibility for hiring and developing staff, determining and allocating responsibilities, and evaluating performance;
  • Set strategic objectives and direct the preparation of the ACI rolling three-year business plan and annual budget for approval by the World Governing Board;
  • Negotiate, manage, and execute contracts and commitments consistent with the budget and as authorized by the Executive Committee and the Board for the benefit of Members;
  • Direct the planning and organization of official meetings, seminars, and conferences;
  • Direct the preparation of the ACI business plan and annual budget for approval by the Board;
  • Working through ACI standing committees and other bodies, deliver on primary areas of program concentration include: safety and technical, security, economics, facilitation, information technology, environmental affairs, and conference and membership services. Provide staff support to committees and other bodies to facilitate effective outputs for meeting the needs of the global airports industry; and
  • Support the development of revenue generating programs and services to support the organization’s financial needs.

Membership Relations

  • Promote growth of ACI membership;
  • Enhance and uphold existing services to ensure that ACI Members receive maximum value from their affiliation;
  • Lead the creation of innovative products and services to address the evolving needs of the aviation industry and meet the members’ requirements;
  • Cultivate and strengthen relationships with current members, fostering a sense of community within the ACI network;
  • Actively engage in outreach efforts to attract new members, highlighting the benefits and opportunities associated with ACI;
  • Work towards providing added value to both existing and potential members, positioning ACI as an essential resource within the global aviation community;
  • Contribute to the growth and vitality of ACI's Membership base through strategic initiatives, collaborative efforts, and a keen understanding of industry trends.

Year One critical success factors

The following critical success factors are most critical in year one to ensure success:

  • Establish strong, trust-based working relationships with the Executive Committee and World Governing Board, Regional Directors, and other key stakeholders as outlined above.
  • Quickly establish himself/herself as a clear and compelling voice for the airport industry globally.
  • Identify, grasp the essence of, and address the most important the issues and opportunities facing the industry globally, with clear and actionable advocacy plans and objectives.

Ideal candidate profile

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible leadership experience within a transportation-related organization, governmental unit, international organization/association, or multinational corporation;
  • Knowledge of the public sector and government decision-making processes and a related track record in influencing regulation and public policy affecting airports or other similar infrastructure assets. Experienced in government relations and regulatory affairs.
  • Experience in working effectively with a large, multi-constituent board of directors and its various committees complemented by an appreciation for the distinction between governance/policy and administration.
  • Ideally, experienced working in a federation/federated organizational context wherein agendas need to be advanced through collaboration and influence versus authority.
  • Experience in the airport industry or a related aviation sector helpful but not required. Consideration will also be given to individuals with relevant leadership and representational international experience in related industries possessing similar characteristics.
  • Highly experienced and comfortable in representational and ambassadorial roles that require a high degree of advocacy. Capable of functioning comfortably as an ambassador at the highest levels with tact, diplomacy and a deep appreciation for the interests and issues of the membership.
  • Commercial and marketing expertise required considering that 85% of the budget is derived from ACI’s commercial activities.
  • Experience in international relations with relevant work experience in more than one continent. Demonstrated ability to deal effectively with individuals at all levels in the global marketplace. Knowledge of how cultures and their associated needs and business
    processes differ.
  • Superior public speaker and a regular conference contributor and participant.
  • Fluency in the English language, both oral and written. Multilingual capabilities would also be an advantage.
  • An undergraduate degree in business, economics, public policy, engineering or other appropriate field is required and a master's degree in a related field is desirable.
  • Preparedness to travel extensively and regularly on a global basis (approximately 60% of the time).
  • Preparedness to relocate to the ACI World office in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Ideal personal profile

  • Ability to deal effectively with a diverse group of people with respect to geography, culture, size/scale of organization, and varying levels of resources and sophistication. Possesses the diplomacy necessary to successfully function across varied cultures and environments.
  • Cultural awareness essential for collaborating in diverse working environments; a necessity as the role involves engagement with global stakeholders.
  • Ability to deal with multiple and often conflicting demands of a complex multimember/multi-constituent organization.
  • Ability to function comfortably as an ambassador at the highest levels with tact, diplomacy and a deep appreciation for the interests and issues of ACI. A strong advocate for his/her industry and organization. Not afraid to push hard to address the key issue facing the industry.
  • Ability to build consensus among diverse opinions without compromising the goals of the organization. Flexible and adaptable while remaining sufficiently focused and determined around primary goals.
  • Strategic by nature with a "big picture" orientation a related ability to see the full array of perspectives on an issue.
  • Proven leadership skills with the instincts to bring others toward a common vision through influence and persuasion.
  • Dynamic in style with a passion for work and a genuine commitment to ACI's mission.
  • Strong work ethic and stamina given the demands of the role and the heavy travel requirement.
  • Action-and results-oriented; not hung up with bureaucracy.
  • Hands-on approach considering the size of the organization and the deliverables.
  • Possesses strong business acumen, an appreciation for economics, sound business sense, and good budgetary and cost management skills.
  • Learned, with an ability to relate and share informed perspectives with a variety of groups and individuals and a curiosity for continuous personal improvement.
  • Excellent written and verbal communicator with strong listening skills.
  • Excellent organizational and managerial abilities, with a track record of leading successful teams.
  • As ACI is not a political institution; Politically astute and aware, but apolitical himself/herself.

Health requirement

A physical examination including drug screening will be obtained before ACI will make an offer of employment. The examining physician will be requested to provide a letter assessing the ability of the candidate to perform the essential requirements of the position of Director General.


To apply, please send an application to

Download the Appendix for more information.