Over the course of the year, readers of ACI Insights will have the opportunity to meet each ACI World Governing Board (WGB) member. This article features Ezequiel Barrenechea, Corporación América Regional Manager.
In 2002 Ezequiel joined Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 as Manager of International Projects, and then as Regional Manager of Corporación América S.A. where he participated successfully in the tenders of Montevideo (Uruguay), Yerevan (Armenia), and Guayaquil (Ecuador) airports.
In 2003, he assumed the role of TAGSA’s General Manager (Terminal Aeroportuaria de Guayaquil), leading the possession and construction of the new airport and has been the Executive Vice President since 2005.
He is responsible for Corporación América in Ecuador and Executive President of ECOGAL (Aeropuertos Ecológicos de Galápagos S. A.), which is the first ecological airport in the world (certified by USGBC LEED Gold Level). He is also the Vice President of Aeropuertos Andinos del Peru S.A., a consortium that operates the airports of Arequipa, Juliana, Ayacucho, Tacna, and Puerto Maldonado.
During my childhood, I travelled a lot with my parents, and was passionate about airplanes and airports. As an adult, I owned a travel agency and enjoyed travelling and facilitating others to travel as well. Then for several years, I worked for the government and in 2001, I started working at Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, in the new business division, participating in the development of the group’s airport concessions. Aviation is an exciting sector and generates an infinite variety of experiences.
ACI unites all airports, large, medium, and small. Belonging to an airport community is very important and provides numerous benefits, such as the sharing of experiences, information, possible solutions, and technological advances. The information that ACI provides to its members is also very valuable and the events and training that it offers are of great relevance. Finally, ACI’s relationship with the aviation sector and with organizations such as ICAO is very helpful to advancing airports’ collective interests.
First, I would like to continue contributing to the strengthening of the organization. Secondly, I would like to introduce and support new actions that will facilitate the use of technologies to improve the passenger experience and airport operations and security, as well as to establish policies and regulations with specialized agencies to support these goals.
At Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, we have implemented biometrics throughout the entire airport journey, from the moment the passenger enters the airport to the moment he/she boards flight. This is an incredible shift and affects many aspects of the airport including its security, safety, and facilitation.
In Galapagos, we built the world’s first ecological airport, which has received the LEED Gold Certification, and generates 100% of its energy from renewable sources (solar and wind energy). This is a unique achievement in our industry and a leading example of the types of sustainability projects needed to manage and reduce airports’ environmental footprint.
Very true. Most of our airports have programmes aimed at strengthening their relationship with surrounding communities, such as developing community schools or supporting specific foundations.
For example, Aeropuerto Internacional José Joaquín De Olmedo, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, has a foundation that helps children to learn agricultural tasks such as banana and coffee plantation. In addition, the airports’ luggage carts are managed and driven by young people with disabilities, who work and study at our foundation.
Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributes to the sustainability of the Hospital Interzonal de Ezeiza, a modern community hospital – which was donated by one of our shareholders.
And in Galapagos, we work with the community and with the Charles Darwin Foundation, to provide equipment to help them care for species in extinction, and to clean the beaches and coastlines invaded by marine debris.
I believe that the biggest challenge will be to make the passenger flow within the airport as comfortable and agile as possible while also maximizing security. Clearly, this will be achieved by applying innovative technologies.
Ezequiel Barrenechea studied International Trade in Buenos Aires. He also studied Foreign Trade and Public Utilities in the USA.
Between 1997 and 1999 he was an official member of the Buenos Aires Provincial Government as Coordinating Secretary and was then designated as the representative of New Jersey State in Argentina (Overseas Office – NJ Commerce & Economic Growth Commission), a position that was transferred to Mexico in 2002.
Between 1996 and 2001, he was Secretary of The Argentine Planning Foundation and Director and President of Cruzada Cívica and represented both institutions in different regulations commissions (ENRE of Energy, ORSNA of Airports and ETOSS of Waters).
The WGB consists of 28 representatives nominated by the regional ACI Boards, plus the Immediate Past Chair of the Board. The number of regional representatives is calculated based on each region’s share of passenger and cargo traffic.
The ACI WGB meets twice a year for strategic discussions on key subjects for airport operators that reflect the concerns and interests of ACI members. They also determine ACI’s worldwide policies, report to the General Assembly, approve the budget, worldwide programme of activities, policy statements and participation in the work of other world bodies, among other duties.