The Airport Innovation Accelerator – established by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as a hub for innovation bringing together airports with corporate leaders, start-ups, regulators, airlines and key aviation stakeholders to drive creative approaches and build airports of the future – has selected Miami International Airport to receive the inaugural Airport Innovation Award for its creative work to improve the passenger experience. The award was presented to MIA officials at the 2nd Annual Airport Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley.
“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,” AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli said. “The work that Emilio and his team have done to enhance the passenger experience at MIA is remarkable, and AAAE and the Airport Innovation Accelerator are pleased to recognize and celebrate their innovative approaches as a model for airports in the U.S. and around the globe.”
“We are extremely honored to receive this inaugural award from AAAE, which recognizes leadership in airport innovation – one of our most critical core values,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Since being appointed Aviation Director in 2013, it has been one of my highest priorities to improve the passenger experience at MIA 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.”
The Airport Innovation Award was established by the Airport Innovation Accelerator to honor innovative developments that are a model for airports around the country. MIA secured the award for a portfolio of creative and cutting-edge innovations to enhance the passenger experience, including: MIA Airport Official, a mobile app that provides a full suite of customer service enhancements; MIAair, a special-needs dress-rehearsal program for hearing impaired and autistic travelers in partnership with a major medical institution; the Sustainability Project at MIA, a $40 million energy savings initiative; the creation of MIA Connections, an award-winning, 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.
As another sign of MIA’s commitment to innovation, the airport has also joined the Accelerator Airport Partner Program, which is an opportunity for leading airports to influence and drive innovation for the airport community through the Accelerator. MIA joins a growing list of airports committed to innovation that, through their Accelerator memberships, are well-positioned to drive cutting-edge innovation at their facilities and serve as a model for the entire aviation community. More information about the Accelerator Airport Partner Program is available online.