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Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award

Airports are complex and dynamic commercial enterprises serving the broad and diverse needs of 21st-century communities in a globally connected world.  Collectively, as curators of a commercial airport ecosystem, North America’s Airport [Executive] Directors/Chief Executive Officers are leading organizations responsible for millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of economic impact within their communities.  To achieve maximum organizational effectiveness and impact, these executives require excellence in visionary leadership to lead their organization’s diverse and varied stakeholder groups, coordinating complex commercial activities for the collective good. 

Recognizing the exceptional level of skill required to lead a successful 21st-century airport, Airports Council International – North America's (ACI-NA's) Human Resources Committee is excited to launch the annual Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award. Each year, this award recognizes the extraordinary leadership of an Airport Director, Executive Director, or President/CEO who best exemplifies the following competencies: relationship management, consultation, leadership & navigation, communication, global and cultural effectiveness, ethical practice, critical evaluation, people practice and business acumen. Leading an airport requires an unwavering commitment to bringing a vision to life coupled with excellence in each functional area of a 21st-century commercial airport.  The Committee believes it is appropriate to recognize this commitment.  

All applicants must create an account to submit required materials.


Only the applicant with the highest score based on the above criteria will be awarded the “Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award.” 


Any ACI-NA airport member, in good standing, is eligible to nominate and apply by submitting one (1) written report and one (1) group of five (5) collateral pieces of information, that demonstrate relevant competencies (i.e. collateral pieces may include press releases, magazines, newspapers, published articles, social media communication/information, interviews, podcasts, web-site analytics, audio or video clips, etc.).   

Written Report

The written report submitted must detail how the Airport Director, Executive Director, or President/CEO exemplifies the competencies listed above. The written report should be insightful and contain structural analysis with examples on how the Airport Director, Executive Director, or President/CEO demonstrates the nine competencies.

Collateral Pieces

A characteristic of a strong and effective leader is to lead by example. Along with a written report, one (1) group of five (5) collateral pieces of information may be submitted that demonstrates how the Airport Director, Executive Director, or President/CEO exemplifies the competencies listed above.

Please note that video submissions will be used for future ACI-NA marketing purposes.


To learn more about the award criteria, application, and submission process, please click here to access the program brochure.


The award will be based on a total percentage of 100% (Written Report = up to 75% and Collateral Pieces= up to 25%)

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will consist of the representatives from each ACI-NA Committee operating as a judge so that the award represents all facets of an airport’s business model (15 committees represented).  In no event will there be more than one representative selected from a committee representing the same airport.  The intention is that no airport has more than one vote in the selection process. 

Judges are given submissions as-is and the identical category criteria that airport participants are given to score each entry.

View past award winners >>


There is no entry fee.

The written report should be no more than 1800 words demonstrating the nine (9) competencies. References and appendices can be included and will not count towards the 1800 word maximum limit.  All submissions must be in MS Word or PDF format.

The collateral pieces of information must not be greater than two (2) years of age, and the total number of any form of collateral pieces shall not exceed five (5). If any video/audio clips are submitted these pieces shall not exceed five (5) minutes collectively. In addition, one collateral piece of information may be used to demonstrate more than one (1) competency. All collateral pieces of information must demonstrate project/initiatives within the nominee’s current organization. 

If submitting video/audio clips, applicants must upload their video on a host server e.g. YouTube and Vimeo and submit the hyperlink to ACI-NA during submission. The video hyperlink should be private so that the video is only available to ACI-NA and the judging committee. 

Receipt of the written report and supporting materials by the said deadline will be considered a formal submission.  

If you have any questions, please contact Zarina Manapova at zmanapova@airportscouncil.org.

Submissions must be received by close of business Eastern Time on Friday, April 12, 2024. 

Click here to submit a nomination >>