Accredited Airport Executive Program

Becoming an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) is a great way to command respect in the airport industry. Since 1954, AAAE has been committed to the advancement of aviation professionals by granting the A.A.E. designation to those who have demonstrated their ability to handle the responsibilities of airport management. The program is open to Affiliate members of AAAE and IAAE. The Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) is a useful credential when seeking employment within the airport management profession.

Candidates in the A.A.E. program will obtain the designation by completing a three-step process:

  1. A 180-question, multiple-choice examination
  2. A management research paper, case study, proctored essay examination, or proof of an advanced degree
  3. A final interview with a panel of A.A.E.s.

You can complete the program in any order, but the final interview must be the final step. There are no time limits for program completion; however, after five full years in the program, you must pay an administrative fee of $100 annually until the program has been completed. Should you cancel your enrollment or fail to pay the $100 administrative fee, and wish to resume your program studies at a later date, you will need to pay a $250 re-enrollment fee.

Note: You must be an Affiliate member of AAAE or IAAE to enroll in the Accreditation Program.
Join now if you are not an active Affiliate member.

AAE Program Application
(Adobe PDF File)

A.A.E. Spotlights

Meet some of the people who have achieved their A.A.E. and find out what the designation and AAAE mean to them. 

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Mrs. Megan Atkins Thoben, A.A.E.

Director of Operations & Business Development
Louisville Regional Airport Authority

Year joined?


Who is your industry mentor?

I'm fortunate to have two incredible industry mentors, Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority and Eric Frankl, Executive Director of Blue Grass Airport.

What has being involved in AAAE meant for your career?

I attribute a great deal of my career success to the connections I’ve made and the experience I’ve gained through the industry involvement opportunities that are afforded to all members of AAAE.

Favorite airport code?


Dream destination?

Bora Bora

If someone wrote a biography about you, what would be the title?

Small Chick, Big Punch

What AAAE designations do you hold?


What has AAAE training/certification meant to you?

Attending AAAE-hosted meetings throughout the duration of my career has allowed me to build my go-to network of industry colleagues whom I'm fortunate to also call my friends. AAAE's training and certification programs have provided me with a solid foundation of industry knowledge and continue to prepare me for each and every next step or new challenge in my career.