Blog updates from 2017 ACC Board of Directors Chair Roddy Boggus. Follow Roddy on Twitter at @rboggus.


June 6, 2017

I don’t know about you, but I have grown weary of the constant barrage of negative news regarding the aviation industry.  Granted much of this, recently, has come from smart-phone enabled passengers documenting what seems to be egregious situations happening on-board aircraft.  It causes me pause many times to wonder if this is something that is happening, just recently, due to increased load factors, draconian seat pitches, a la cart pricing, or just one bad apple inserted into a tube of hot and sweaty humans. Is the next aviation collapse somehow related to a passenger Jenga-like event where one passenger, in the right situation, can collapse the entire system?  Probably not, but it is an interesting juxtaposition to our constant effort to increase the passenger experience with “surprise and delight”, as opposed to recent episodes of “confuse and fright” that we have seen.

This leads me to the question I have asked myself, “Self, what can I do to help diffuse these tense situations on the aircraft, when typically, my ability to affect change is limited to the built environment?”  Often that question is answered by a blank stare and a shrug of the shoulders.  Perhaps much of the causation of the stress by passengers and employees alike stems from the complex environment that our airports have become.  This is especially true for those who travel infrequently.

We all know that maneuvering through the airport process can be difficult at the best of times.  How long will the security line be?  Am I Pre-Check or Clear?  Why is the Pre-Check line so long?  What do you mean I can no longer take my laptop on the plane?  Then there is the TSA document checkers who try to be personable by jib jabbing with you like “Hey Rooty, nice photo on your driver’s license.”  

Of course, after you exit the checkpoint you are confronted with intuitive wayfinding, or as the Five Man Electrical Band song goes:  Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.  Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind.  Do this, do that, can’t you read the sign?  It is no wonder that passengers and employees alike are often at wits end by the time they huddle around the jetbridge door in a morass of people that all are seemingly “Group 1”.  Will my bag fit in the overhead?  Will there even be overhead space?  How many pair of clothes do I need to wear on the plane to not be charged for a bag?

Perhaps the best we can do as consultants to the aviation industry is to pause ourselves, and examine what we are doing from a fresh perspective and not continue to recycle solutions that have previously matured or that have continued for no other reason other than, that’s the way we always do it.  Maybe we, as consultants, need to help by creating more space to make up for the “lack of space” passengers are finding on the aircraft.  Maybe if we can “calm” the situation prior to boarding, we can by extension calm the cabin.  While we cannot make people be who they are not, we can, through our work, influence their state of mind along the way.  I think that message is starting to get out.

I’ve had the great opportunity these past six months to travel extensively to many conferences and locations and speak to a great number of people.  At every opportunity, the conversation will turn toward aviation and ACC.  Increasingly people are beginning to see the strength of this organization and how the power of partnership amongst its members leads to better solutions and experiences for the industry.  Two weeks ago, ACC President T.J. Schulz and I were on a panel for the Collaboration 2017 Conference sponsored by the International Partnering Institute (IPI).  While there both of us had the opportunity to be seen as ACC members and extol the virtues of what this group has, can and will do for aviation.  Last week in Iceland at another speaking event, I had an airport assistant director come up to me and ask how they could become involved in ACC.  Word is getting out.

With the recent ACC report that looks at Future Trends and Opportunities at U.S. Airports, ACC is growing and increasing its value to members and industry players alike.  With reports like this, newer, more relevant, and timely webinars, the ever-growing Planning, Design and Construction Symposium and our Annual Conference, if we don’t watch out, we may be seen as the “must join” aviation group in the U.S.

As we already begin to look at our 40th Anniversary year next year, there is so much to do, and that is where you come in.  There is no time like the present to become involved in committees, panels, speaking, moderating, and being an ambassador for your firm through ACC.  These great things that are happening are because of you, and with you we can do so much more.  As you’ve heard me say before, this is the only aviation organization where you have absolute direct control of what we do.  Soon we’ll be voting on new board members, and I hope that you will aspire to be an ACC Board Member.  I’m glad to talk you through that process if it is something you might find interesting.

I thank you all for your diligence, your extreme devotion and tireless effort, and your continued support of ACC.  We often reminisce about the “Golden Years” of aviation.  I’m convinced that the Golden Years of ACC are yet to come.  I look forward to seeing you there.



January 12, 2017

In November, Roddy Boggus, Executive Vice President, Aviation with Suffolk was installed as the 2017 Chair of the ACC Board of Directors. During the ACC Membership Meeting at the 38th ACC Annual Conference & Exhibition, Boggus provided the following remarks on the state of the organization and opportunities in the future. We hope you enjoy his remarks.

A lot of folks, myself included, might say, “Hey, Roddy! What are you going to do for ACC?”  Just stating that I want to “Make ACC Great Again” wouldn’t get it done. Because, you see, ACC is already great.

This greatness has been shouldered in the modern past by ACC Board of Directors Chairs, and inspired in the early times by a number of industry stalwarts. Even more important than that, is what ACC has become and will be.  This will be defined by you, the members of ACC.

So, when someone asks what ACC should be when it grows up, perhaps our answer should be like one response provided to me:

“We are grown up and we’ve matured very nicely – not long changing with the times, but being in front of much change.  ACC has become well-known and recognized for increasing the influence of our members and the value of membership.”

We have celebrated this, and continue to celebrate the successes of ACC.  More importantly, we celebrate our membership.

We cannot rest on our laurels because we all know that if you wait around for something to happen, it will, but it may not be what you had in mind.  We must be out in front affecting change to have first mover advantage, to have brand recognition, and to provide value to our membership.

This coming year will be no different.  Some items never change.  Once again, we will be talking about funding our nation’s aviation infrastructure, and to the best of my knowledge, this is something we all ought to be very involved with.  There are also some other things I would like to look at with your approval this year, including:

  • How is alternative delivery affecting our industry?  We are seeing delivery methods like Design/Build, CMAR, IPD, P3, etc. as more and more builders become involved in ACC.  Builders like Skanska, Tuner, Hensel Phelps, Q&D, and my own employer, Suffolk, in addition to A/E firms that also have building components.  Does this, will this, change the landscape and how A/E firms do their business?  How well can ACC represent, in what some may say, is a changing landscape of how projects are done?
  • We are hearing that the new U.S. administration may be friendlier to the privatization of our nation’s airports.  How plugged into airport development/privatizations firms are we?  Are we where we need to be with this group so that they will allow us to help our industry determine where tomorrow is?
  • How do we maintain the knowledge base and involvement of long-term members as they become leaders in their firms, so that we have the balance and wisdom of where they have been with that of our young professionals?  After all, one of our vision statements speaks to networking and information exchange, as well as “connections.”
  • How do we continue to grow our industry-leading young professionals group and maximize their energy, input, and out-of-the-box thinking to propel this organization and our industry forward through continued mentoring and generational gap closure?
  • How do we build consistent involvement in our committees?
  • Internally, how can we and how should we look to expand non-dues revenue sources like webinars, on-demand training, on-demand CPE courses, conferences, seminars, and other, to expand our palette of services?
  • And finally, how do we recognize those of us who have made a difference and who have laid the groundwork for our successes today?

At the end of the day, I would like to focus on:

  1. Continuing to build up our education and training components to include on-demand and CPE credit courses.
  2. Growing our membership to include financial professionals, developers, construction/build companies, safety professionals, LEAN champions, management, and legal firms in addition to our membership of A/E and vendor firms.
  3. Add more airports and airlines to our Associate Membership Category.
  4. Involve our young professionals more intimately in everything we do.
  5. Create a standing award that is dedicated to honor those in the aviation consultancy (excluding airports and airlines), that have had meaningful and significant impact to our industry through their time, service, and products.

So, I will close this in saying that ACC is a membership organization.  As such, we rely on our membership to make us strong.  We are a sum of our parts.  If you are a member and are just waiting for ACC to reach out and make something good happen to you, it can be a long wait.  Not because we are not trying, but because we may not know what you are waiting for.

I encourage you to be an active part of this organization. This is the ONLY organization where you can have an immediate and direct impact.  This is your organization.  You want value?  Then get out and give value.

I represent you.  I want to hear what you think.  I want to push what you want pushed.  I want you to have all the tools you need to succeed, but to do this, my “I” has to become a “We.”

Don Bergin has been and continues to be the leader that ACC needed this past year, and there is no way I can measure up to who he is and what he has accomplished.  Don is in many ways someone that I aspire to be.

We are the sum of our parts.  I look forward to seeing you playing your part, and “WE”, as ACC, will be more wildly successful than you can imagine.