Airport Improvement Magazine / Mike Schwanz / May - June 2020
Savvy airport officials know that it makes sense to help senior-level executives improve their leadership skills and broaden their perspectives. Such training helps the executives and airports.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) put a global spin on its development program by sending one executive to experience life at a European airport and another to observe operations at an Asian airport. Both worked through an exchange program developed by Airports Council International (ACI).
The organization’s Executive Leadership Exchange Programme (ELEP) is designed to support succession development at member airports by facilitating domestic and international exchanges. Candace McGraw, chief executive officer at CVG, was an early proponent of the program. As chair of ACI North America, she worked with the chair of ACI Europe—the chief executive officer of Munich Airport (MUC)—to coordinate an international ELEP pilot between the two airports in fall 2018. McGraw later worked with another colleague at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN), who serves as the chair of ACI Asia Pacific, to coordinate another exchange for summer 2019.
“By taking advantage of an opportunity to immerse themselves in a different structure or business model, the intent of ELEP was for our industry’s top future leaders to gain critical insights and bring home new and innovative ideas,” says McGraw.
She selected Scott Gibbons, the airport’s vice president of business administration, for the two-week pilot at MUC.
“Candace and I thought this would be very helpful for our airport, and would give some of our senior staff an opportunity to see how other airports in the world operated,” Gibbons says. “From a personal standpoint, I always have been interested in an international exchange to a world-class airport. I was very excited for this opportunity.
“Munich worked out very well,” he continues. “It consistently is ranked among the best airports in the world. It gets a lot of visits from officials from other airports, and its staff has experience showing people around.”
The schedule for the visit was largely developed by MUC, with input from CVG. “My primary goal was to gain exposure in departments or functions where I had no previous experience,” Gibbons says.
Full Story Here