LONG BEACH, CA. – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, today announced that Gerry Bruno has been named the recipient of the 2023 William E. Downes, Jr. Memorial Award. The Downes Award, the highest honor given by ACI-NA, is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting the cause of airports and aviation throughout the local, national, and worldwide communities. The award was presented during a special ceremony at the 2023 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Long Beach, California on October 1, 2023.
“As he enters his 50th year working with and supporting airports, Gerry’s contributions to our industry are astounding and will have a positive impact for years to come,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “His leadership helped establish critical initiatives, like the U.S.-Canada Open Skies Agreements and the Future Borders Coalition, that have allowed for the more efficient flow of passengers across borders and ensured collaboration between U.S. and Canadian entities. We are pleased to recognize Gerry’s accomplishments, dedication, and indubitable legacy with ACI-NA’s highest honor.”
Bruno has had a wide-ranging and positive influence on the industry. Early in his career—as Managing Director of the Pacific Rim Marketing Program—Bruno successfully launched the first-ever marketing program for a Canadian airport, one that promotes Vancouver International Airport (YVR) as an Asia-Pacific pipeline to Canada to this day. Bruno went on to serve as Vice President, Marketing and Strategic Planning of Vancouver Airport Authority until 1997, when he then founded one of the world’s leading aviation consulting firms, InterVISTAS. After 16 years as CEO of InterVISTAS, Bruno served as Vice President, Federal Government Affairs at YVR. In 2018, Bruno co-founded the Beyond Preclearance Coalition, today known as the Future Borders Coalition, where he served as Executive Director until 2022. Now retired, Bruno maintains a contract position with YVR to manage select strategic files.
Each year, ACI-NA presents the Downes Award to an aviation leader who has demonstrated strong and outstanding leadership and action in the cause of airports and aviation as a vital part of the local, national, or worldwide aviation community; successful work for acceptance, development, and support of needed airport programs; cooperation among various segments of aviation, with the goal of bettering airports; or conceived or fostered a creative or innovative approach to solving today’s problems and planning for future airport and aviation development.