The Airport Innovation Accelerator (AIA), an industry community established by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), has selected Miami International Airport in Florida to receive the Airport Innovation Award in recognition of its efforts in improving the passenger experience.
AIA is a hub for innovation that brings together airports with corporate leaders, start-ups, regulators, airlines and key aviation stakeholders, to drive creative approaches and build airports of the future. The award was presented to Miami Airport officials on October 12 at the second Annual Airport Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley, California.
Carlos A Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, said, “In addition to leading Miami-Dade County in economic impact and bringing visitors to our community, Miami Airport is a local and national innovation leader as well. Congratulations to director González and the Aviation Department on receiving this prestigious award, and for the forward-leaning work they have done and continue to do.”
The Airport Innovation Award was established by AAAE to honor innovative developments that serve as a model for airports around the country. Miami Airport secured the award for its MIA Airport Official mobile app; MIAair, a special-needs dress-rehearsal program for hearing impaired and autistic travelers in partnership with a major medical institution; the airport’s US$40m energy savings initiative; the creation of MIA Connections, the airport’s interactive digital magazine; the construction of a Wall of Honor memorial for 119 fallen local military service personnel; Miami Begins with Me, an innovative customer service training curriculum in partnership with tourism professionals; and MIAmamas, a creative and comprehensive program for nursing mothers.
Emilio T González, aviation director, Miami-Dade County, said, “We are extremely honored to receive this inaugural award from AAAE, which recognizes leadership in airport innovation – one of our most critical core values. Since being appointed aviation director in 2013, it has been one of my highest priorities to improve the passenger experience at Miami Airport through advances in technology and outside-the-box ideas, along with developing a culture of innovation among our staff. This recognition from one of the aviation industry’s leading organizations, based on feedback from airport users, is proof-positive that we are moving in the right direction and making a difference with our customers.”
Todd Hauptli, president and CEO, AAAE, said, “The airport community is embracing and driving innovation like never before, and Miami International Airport under the leadership of Director Emilio González is a clear leader in the field. The work that Emilio and his team have done to enhance the passenger experience at the airport is remarkable, and AAAE and the AIA are pleased to recognize and celebrate their innovative approaches as a model for airports in the USA and around the globe.”