NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

William Vanecek appointed Chairman of Airports Council International, North America

Bill Vanecek has been appointed as the new Chairman of 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. Its mission is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of commercial airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities.

Bill is currently the Director of Aviation at NFTA and is responsible for assessing, evaluating and coordinating all airport activities at both the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls International Airport. Bill has been in this role since November of 1998. Some of his esteemed accomplishments include two terminal expansions at BNIA which took the airport from 15 gates to the current 25, extensions of both runways at BNIA to maximize takeoff and landing capability for airlines and the construction of a new 70,000 sq. ft. passenger terminal at NFIA. In addition, Bill coordinated an airport noise study for BNIA that allowed the airport to secure grant funding in excess of $50 million to provide noise insulation improvements for over 1,400 residences impacted by aircraft noise. Bill had significant involvement in the recruitment of Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airlines to BNIA, and the recruitment of Allegiant Airlines and Spirit Airlines to NFIA. This resulted in unprecedented growth in passengers at both BNIA and NFIA. In recognition of his efforts to promote and advance air service to the region, Bill was named Tourism Executive of the Year for 2013 by Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Bill has served on the ACI-NA Board since fall of 2001 and was elected to the Executive Board in 2005. Since then he has served as Secretary Treasurer (2013), Second Vice Chair (2014), and First Vice Chair (2015). When asked about what he hopes to accomplish as Chairman Bill said, “Among many things I am looking forward to achieving progress with our Challenge 2025 initiative, including the development of a business framework that will economically deregulate airports and allow them to function more effectively at the local level as well as the development of a National Aviation Infrastructure Assessment for both U.S. and Canadian airports.” Bill has also served as President of the New York Aviation Management Association.

Further, and in good fun, Bill was asked recently during an ACI-NA interview if there was a Hollywood film to be made about his life, what would be its basis and what actor should play him. It seems that Clint Eastwood riding into a town to save it from all evil would be the exciting version, but more humbly Bill said, “it would be a Jimmy Stewart type of role about a young boy who was guided through life by strong women beginning with a single mom who mentored him with love and patience (lots of patience!), followed by his wonderful wife of 33 years and their three daughters, all of whom have taught him that caring for the people in his life is as important as being cared for by others.”

Movie or not, the tale is true - Bill has done an amazing job of taking care of overall operations at our airports as well as employees and numerous travelers over his 18-year career at NFTA. Please join in congratulating him on his much deserved new appointment!