Recap of the 2016 Airport Innovation Forum in Silicon Valley

Christopher Runde
Airport industry leaders gathered in Silicon Valley on October 11-13 for the 2nd Annual Airport Innovation Forum. Over 150 attendees witnessed the first ever Airport Innovation Awards and Airport Shark Tank along with special sessions with Apple, Google, Lyft, DHS, and other leaders in innovation. Some of the highlights include:

Innovation Keynotes

Amy Wilkinson, Stanford leadership and innovation lecturer and author of the Creator's Code, kicked off the Forum with a keynote describing the tricks and traits of the most successful creators. Her examples highlighted notable entrepreneurs including Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Larry Page, and many of the iconic innovation leaders. 
Over the lunch break, the audience heard from Kate Lydon, Director of Public Sector Portfolio at IDEO, which specializes in uncovering unique solutions to the toughest problems. Kate described the design thinking process that resulted in the unexpected and high-impact solutions across many industries and how it can be applied in airports.
On the second day, John Kasarda, founder of Aerotropolis, spoke about the future of airports as economic hubs of activity. Dr. Kasarda explained that airports can be more than gateways by deliberately establishing the components of commerce that make airports the heart of a local economy. 

Airport Innovation Awards

Miami Dade International Airport received the first ever Airport Innovation Award for the Most Innovative Airport while Ian Law, CIO of San Francisco International Airport, received the award for the Most Innovative Individual. 

Airport Shark Tank

A panel of expert judges evaluated 7 start-ups on the stage of the Forum. At the end of the presentations and questions, the judges discussed the start-ups while the audience cast their votes through a live-polling system that showed CrowdVision and Canard Drones as the winners. 

Agenda at a Glance

The overall agenda is included below and highlights each of the presenters for the sessions.

October 11-13

Silicon Valley

Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose, CA

Tuesday, October 11th




5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Sponsored by our host airport San Jose International Airport (SJC)




Wednesday, October 12th

8:00 - 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast




8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

Welcome by AAAE President and CEO, Todd Hauptli

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

OpeningKeynote SpeakerAmy Wilkinson, Stanford Innovation Expert and Author ofThe Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs




10:00-10:30 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by FlightSpeak




10:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m.

Airport Executives Roundtable

From 30,000 Feet: Executive Perspective

Moderator: Todd Hauptli, President & CEO, AAAE

  • Ivar Satero,Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco International Airport
  • Ed Freni, Director of Aviation, Massachusetts Port Authority
  • Kim Becker, Director of Aviation, San Jose International Airport
  • KieranSheridan, Chief Operating Officer, Philadelphia International Airport
  • Jim Elwood, Airport Director, Jackson Hole Airport




11:45 – 12:00 p.m.


Airport Innovation Awards Presentation by Todd Hauptli

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.



12:15 - 1:30 p.m.

Innovation Mastery Lunch: Session with Kate Lydon, Director, Public Sector Portfolio, IDEO




1:30-3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions



Session 1: Disruptions Coming to Airports

  • Drones: Travis Mason, Google X
  • Augmented Reality: Eric Johnsen, Project Tango, Google
  • Ride-Sharing and Autonomous Vehicles: Bakari Brock, Senior Director of Business Operations, Lyft
  • Artificial Intelligence: Brendan McCord, Director, Evolv MOSAIQ



Session 2: The Internet of Airport Things
Moderator: Mark Sapp, Senior Vice President, AirIT

  • Peter Marx, Executive Director, GE Digital and Former Chief Technology Officer of Los Angeles
  • Dave Wilson, Chief Aviation Technologist, Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Steve Redlinger, Private Sector Office, DHS
  • Kevin Carlson, Vice President, Aviation Systems,AECOM


3:00-3:15 p.m.


Networking Break

Sponsored by Siemens


3:15-5:00 p.m.

Airport Shark Tank



  • Christina Heggie, JetBlue Technology Ventures
  • Bilal Zuberi, Partner, Lux Capital
  • Jeanette Quinlan, Starburst Accelerator
  • Amir Amidi, Managing Partner, Travel and Hospitality Center of Innovation at Plug and Play
  • Alex Wilcox, CEO, JetSuite







Thursday, October 13

8-8:45 a.m.

Continental Breakfast




8:45-10:00 a.m.

Airport CIO Roundtable

Moderators: Rick Belliotti, Chief Information Officer, San Diego International Airport (SAN)


  • Ian Law, Chief Information Officer, San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Maurice Jenkins, Chief Information Officer, Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Dave Wilson, Chief Aviation Technologist, Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Mark O'Connor, Chief Innovation Officer,Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)







10:00-10:30 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by AirMap




10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions


Session 1:Apple: Innovations for Airports


Session 2: Reinventing Airport Terminals

Moderator: Geoffrey W. Neumayr,Chief Development Officer, San Francisco International Airport

  • ManikArora, President & CEO, Arora Engineers
  • Aaron Ushiro, Senior Architect, San Jose International Airport
  • Alexandre Jacquillat, Assistant Professor of Operations Research and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Airport LAB




12:00-1:15 p.m.

Lunch with Aviation Leader Keynote by John Kasarda, Aerotropolis Founder




1:15-2:30 p.m.

Visionary Showcase: Eye-opening Solutions in Aviation




2:30-3 p.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by Honeywell




3-4:30 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions


Session 1:Passenger Experience Reimagined

Moderator: Lauri Golden, Customer Engagement Manager, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

  • David Hogue, Google Trips
  • Joe Ambrefe, CEO, Security Point Media
  • Campbell Kennedy, CEO/Co-Founder, LocusLabs


Session 2: Innovating DHS at Airports

Moderator: Mark Crosby, Senior Aviation Consultant, Ross & Baruzzini

  • Melissa Ho, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Innovation Program, DHS Science & Technology
  • Mara Winn, Lead Program Manager, Innovation Task Force, Transportation Security Administration
  • Wendy Reiter, Director of Security, Seattle Tacoma International Airport