By Maria-Jose Subiria
A Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport official has become the first U.S. airport official to be elected to the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme (AMPAP) Steering Committee, according to leaders with the program.
Robert Kennedy, assistant general manager for operations, maintenance and security at Hartsfield-Jackson, was elected last week as a community representative to the steering committee, according to Paul Behnke, team leader for AMPAP.
The Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme was established about three years ago, through a partnership between Airports Council International and the International Civil Aviation Organization, to provide airport managers, worldwide, with specialized management training, according to Airports Council International.
Kennedy, the first U.S. airport official to be chosen for the steering committee, will serve for two years, added Pierre Coutu, program executive for AMPAP.
"I am proud to serve as the AMPAP community representative," said Kennedy, who has been involved in the aviation industry for more than 30 years. "As a Steering Committee member, I can play a role in developing the next generation of airport leaders -- the leaders who will help navigate our industry through the headwinds of a global recession into the clear skies of economic recovery."
According to Coutu, one of Kennedy's responsibilities will be to focus on sharing best practices in airport management worldwide.
About 300 participants, from 60 countries, voted for Kennedy to become part of the steering committee, from a slate of approximately 30 graduates of the program interested in the position, Coutu said.
"We want to turn this program over to the people that are in it," said Coutu.
According to Behnke, Kennedy is the fastest AMPAP graduate, finishing the program in six months. On average, it takes from 18 months to two years to complete the program, though participants have a maximum of three years.
"Robert [Kennedy] is always resourceful and always a plus on the energy side," said Behnke.
Kennedy has been in his current position at the airport since September of 2006, according to Katena Carvajales, media relations manager at Hartsfield-Jackson.
He previously worked as cargo development manager, route development manager, and director of marketing, public relations and intergovernmental affairs, airport officials said. He has also been highly involved in several industry associations and business groups.