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Modernizing Pittsburgh International Airport: A Conversation with Christina Cassotis, CEO Allegheny County Airport Authority

29 Aug 2018 9:55 AM | Anonymous

In September 2018, SWEP Three Rivers is reaching for the sky as we welcome Christina Cassotis, Chief Executive Officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. As the Airport Authority’s first female CEO, Christina is helping to elevate the reputation of the Pittsburgh Region by embarking on an ambitious project to modernize Pittsburgh International Airport. The $1.1 billion project will right-size the former US-Air hub design to better serve the market and our region.


Christina’s nontraditional path to leadership has given her solid footing upon which to challenge conventional thinking. She grew up in southern New Hampshire, the daughter of a commercial airline pilot and loved learning about his trips to exotic destinations. While she dreamt of working in aviation like her dad, she did not see herself as a pilot and there were few opportunities for women in the Aviation industry. However, her networking skills and willingness to try new challenges led her to the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources where she quickly earned respect as a writer at Energy and was hired as director of communications for the Executive Office of Communities and Development. From there Christina made the transition to the aviation industry. She worked at the Massachusetts Airport Authority (Massport) for five years before joining the consulting firm SH&E and then earning her MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management—all while working full time, traveling, and raising her son.


Her work ethic and drive for success were fostered by her hard-working parents—her father experienced the loss of his own father at a young age and the difficulty his family faced made him “determined to raise women who, no matter what, were going to be fine on their own.” Better than fine, Christina has leveraged her years of hard work and experience in the aviation industry to lead the Allegheny County Airport Authority and the results speak for themselves. Since she joined the airport in 2015, it has seen three straight years of increasing growth, including eight new airlines. In 2017, the airport saw nearly 9 million passengers, signaling an 8% increase over the previous year. The same year, the Airport Revenue News named her "Airport Director of the Year" for increasing domestic and international flights and she received the ACI-NA Excellence in Visionary Leadership Award from the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA).


Christina’s vision for a modern airport brings people to the forefront with a goal to provide a fresh and market-savvy presence for Pittsburgh International. Our Conversation with Christina Cassotis, CEO Allegheny County Airport Authority, will be held on September 25, 2018 at 8:00 am at the DoubleTree Green Tree (500 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15205). We look forward to seeing you at this exciting event! Please visit the SWEP Three Rivers website for event details and to register.

Sources:
Photos: Allegheny County Airport Authority Flikr
Pittsburgh Quarterly
Next Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh International Airport

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