BWI’s Smith Named 2020 Watkins Guardian Award Recipient

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) recently announced the recipient of the 2020 ACI-NA Leon C. Watkins “Guardian Award” for Excellence in Business Diversity: Ricky Smith, executive director and CEO of the Maryland Aviation Administration. The new Guardian Award recognizes a business diversity leader who has promoted the growth and evolution of minority- and women-owned businesses and suppliers, while also fostering the advancement of civil rights and equal opportunities for all within the airport business environment.

ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke caught up with Ricky Smith to discuss the airport industry’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.


About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at