The first ever Airport Leadership and Change Management forum began today in Dublin, allowing airport leaders from all over the world to discuss better management techniques and more effective ways to implement change at their airports.
The inaugural event, at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin, was officially opened this morning with a keynote speech from Declan Collier, the CEO of Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and president of ACI Europe, who gave delegates an overview of how the operator had taken just five years – spending €1.3 billion – to change the fortunes of Dublin Airport.
The speech focused on how airport leaders can transform the fate of an airport and explained the importance that should be placed on changing the management structure of an airport and its leadership approach to employees.
Throughout the day delegates were given the opportunity to network and exchange views and ideas as well as demonstrate methods and strategies they have undertaken themselves in the name of change management and leadership.
CEOs present at the event included James Cherry, president and CEO of Aéroports de Montréal, Jeff Fegan, CEO of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Torborg Chetkovich, CEO of Swedavia, and Armando Brunini, managing director of Aeroporto di Bologna.
These airport leaders took part in a platform debate and interactive discussion on the importance of airports – and in particular high performance airports – engaging with their stakeholders and employees.
Other important figures present at the event included Larry Cox, CEO of Memphis International Airport, and Tonči Peović, general manager of Zagreb Airport and chairman of the Regional Airports Forum, and Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO of Munich Airport. All of whom will speak at the final day tomorrow.
A number of delegates from Africa also attended the event to learn about new leadership styles and initiatives including George Kuntu Blankson, chairman of Ghana Aiports Company, and David Mpango Kakuba, deputy managing director of Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority.
In the afternoon a panel debate on the topic of ‘Translating Strategy into Action’, explained the way in which airport leaders can successfully implement the strategies and plans they have come up with. As the panels moderator David Feldman, managing partner of Exambela Consulting, said: “Just a master plan is never enough, you need the management in place to implement it.”
This evening delegates will be taken to do a tour of the Jameson Distillery, and then will attend a Gala Dinner at which they will be given the opportunity to try their feet at traditional Irish River Dancing.
Tomorrow, there is another full day of sessions including one on leadership in the 21st century from CEOs representing small, medium and large airports.
Additional sessions covering entrepreneurship and innovation as well as human resources and talent management will also take place, followed by a couple of workshops where industry members can raise specific questions and issues and discuss ideas between them.
The event is being supported by ACI Europe and the DAA and has been organised by Insight Media in conjunction with This is, a leadership and development consultancy.