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Airport Revenue News Announces “Director of the Year” for Small Airports Division

Airport Revenue News (ARN) has named El Paso International’s (ELP) Patrick T. Abeln as its Best Director of the Year in the Small Airports division.  For the purposes of this competition, a small airport is defined as having less than five million total passengers.  The ARN editorial staff chose Mr. Abeln for this prestigious award due to his successes in the areas of leadership, innovation, revenue generation, marketing, customer service, and charity.
To nominate their director, several airports submitted responses to questions pertaining to the six above-mentioned areas. After reviewing and scoring the submissions, the ARN staff determined that Mr. Abeln excelled amongst the competing submissions.
“Mr. Abeln has proven himself to be an outstanding leader based on his impressive achievements at El Paso International,” says Pauline Armbrust, president & CEO, Armbrust Aviation, the company which publishes ARN. “We were especially impressed by his creative approaches to increasing non-aviation revenue at the airport and his encouragement and support for staff to further their education.  We are proud to award him with this honor.”

As a result of Mr. Abeln’s leadership and guidance, ELP’s non-aeronautical revenues now account for more than half of total operating revenues at the airport, including significant growth in the areas of parking, hotel and car rental.  Contributing to current and future revenue is the development of over 2,000 acres of land surrounding the airport, including the creation of the Butterfield Trail Golf Course & Club House and construction of a new hotel and high-tech industrial park.  As a proponent of sustainable leadership practices, Mr. Abeln encourages his staff to pursue higher education or certifications with the airport covering 80% of the cost.  This serves as both an employee retention tool and a means of grooming replacements in the event of leadership changes.  Mr. Abeln has formed partnerships with El Paso’s Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Regional Economic Development Corportation to collectively market the airport and the city.  Recognizing the airport’s important role in the community, Mr. Abeln is an active supporter of the Hospice of El Paso, the El Paso Child Guidance Center and various charities
Mr. Abeln’s accomplishments will be featured in the November issue of ARN and he will highlighted on the front cover of the issue. He will also become a member of ARN’s Advisory Board and awarded a special hand-engraved trophy at ARN’s 2008 Revenue Conference on February 24-26, 2008 in Dallas, TX during the publication’s much-anticipated Awards Show.

Read the interview on Mr. Abeln in the upcoming November issue.