ACI-NA Presents Phoenix’s Bennett with 2019 Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award

TAMPA, FL – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) today announced that James E. Bennett, Director of Aviation Services for the city of Phoenix, was named this year’s recipient of the Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award. The award was announced during the 2019 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Tampa, FL.

“ACI-NA is pleased to recognize the distinguished leadership of Jim Bennett with the 2019 Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “As the Director of Aviation Services at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Jim leads one of America’s busiest airports with integrity and the understanding that employee alignment is critical to execute a sound, unified business strategy. His dedication to PHX and its 45 million annual passengers is unmistakable, and will ensure the continued success of the airport and the local Phoenix community.”

“It’s a great honor to receive ACI-NA’s Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award,” said Bennett. “I am proud to be at the helm of America’s Friendliest Airport, where we strive to foster an environment of continued growth and mutual respect. Our team knows that no idea is too small, and this award embodies the hard work of the more than 57,000 employees, who remain committed to delivering an exceptional airport experience.”

Bennett was named Director of Aviation Services at the city of Phoenix Aviation Department in 2015. The city of Phoenix Aviation Department owns and operates Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as well as two general aviation airports – Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear. His more than 40-year career has included roles such as CEO of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Director of Airports for the Shreveport Airport Authority, and president of his own consulting firm, among others.

Launched in 2016 by ACI-NA’s Human Resources Committee, the Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award recognizes the extraordinary leadership of an airport CEO who best exemplifies the nine core competencies, including people practice expertise, relationship management, consultation, leadership and navigation, communication, global and cultural effectiveness, ethical practice, critical evaluation, and business acumen.


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