WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today announced a reorganization, targeted at building advocacy and lobbying capabilities and ensuring thought leadership on legislative and policy matters.
ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio, who was tapped to head the association last month, said the changes reflect a shift, leveraging the association's strong operations and technical expertise with a significant increase in outreach to key stakeholders to advance policy and legislative issues.
"As an association, we have strong technical and operational expertise that we will better leverage in our advocacy efforts with Congress, the Administration and other key stakeholders," Calio said. "The airline industry drives the economy and creates jobs, and with these changes, we are building the foundation that will enable the ATA to be the leading advocate for the industry, and ensure that the legislative and regulatory environment helps promote the growth of commercial aviation."
From the standpoint of regulation, taxation and fees, and capital costs, the airline industry is more complex and challenged than most others, Calio said.
"The direction from our board of directors is clear: ATA must build the capability to be a cutting-edge advocate for the industry, so that we can build a better understanding of the barriers that prevent commercial aviation in the United States from being sustainably profitable and from contributing even more to the global economy," Calio said.
As part of the reorganization, the ATA today announced:
- Sharon Pinkerton is promoted to Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, a new position. In this role, Pinkerton will lead policy development on legislative and regulatory matters, and will continue to work with Capitol Hill and the Administration. Pinkerton joined the ATA in 2006. An attorney and certified public accountant, Pinkerton was assistant administrator for aviation policy, planning and environment at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She also served as transportation counsel to then House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Fla.) and served on Capitol Hill for nearly 10 years.
- A new Senior Vice President of Global Government Affairs will be hired. In addition, the organization plans to add other top-line lobbyists to the government affairs function.
- Tom Hendricks is promoted to Senior Vice president of Safety, Security and Operations. Hendricks will take on responsibility for the technical and operational functions at ATA. He joined ATA in June as Vice President of Operations and Safety. Previously, he was Chief Pilot and then Director of Line Operations at Delta Air Lines. A retired Air Force Reserve colonel, Hendricks also served as a U.S. Navy officer.
These appointments join recently announced Senior Vice President of Communications Jean Medina along with CFO Paul Archambeault and General Counsel David Berg, in comprising the leadership team reporting to Calio.
As part of the reorganization, the ATA announced that Chief Operating Officer John Meenan and Chief of Staff Patty Higginbotham will be leaving the association.
"Both John and Patty have made significant contributions to the ATA and the industry, and the board and I thank them for their service and their commitment to ATA," Calio said.
With other changes, today's reorganization impacted approximately 10 percent of the association's staff.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesassn.
SOURCE Air Transport Association