CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon Honored with Distinguished Service Award from American Association of Airport Executives Recognizing his Nearly 50-Year Career in the Aviation Industry

The Connecticut Airport Authority is pleased to announce that Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E, the organization’s Executive Director, is the recipient of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Distinguished Service Award.
AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization that represents individuals who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. The organization’s 10,000 members represent more than 850 airports, as well as hundreds of companies and entities that support the airport industry.
The Distinguished Service Award is among the AAAE’s highest levels of recognition. Airport professionals receive this award as a reflection of outstanding accomplishments in their professional and personal lives. It is given to respected leaders who contribute to other aviation organizations, serve AAAE and its regional chapters, and participate in civic and community affairs. Distinguished Service Award recipients are selected through a nomination process, and the winner exemplifies the best in airport management by continually bringing credit to the profession and the aviation community.
Dillon is an accredited airport executive, whose career in the aviation industry spans 48 years, eleven of which he has spent leading the Connecticut Airport Authority.
Over his long-standing and impactful tenure, Dillon’s accomplishments touch all aspects of airport management. He has served as a senior executive in various airport government structures, including independent aviation authorities, state aviation authorities, and city aviation departments. He has worked his way through the industry from the ground up, gaining significant experience in virtually every facet of airport management.  Dillon’s track record is marked by strong financial performance at his airports and his particularly strong working relationships with the FAA, airlines, and community and airport stakeholders. Past roles include leadership positions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Massachusetts Port Authority, Manchester-New Hampshire Airport, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.
Since 2013, Dillon has led and grown the Connecticut Airport Authority after the state’s airports were transitioned from the State Department of Transportation to the newly established quasi-public agency. Under his leadership, Bradley International Airport has seen consecutive years of passenger growth, generated by the reestablishment of transatlantic and west coast service, as well as the introduction of the airport’s first two ultra-low-cost carriers. Dillon also successfully attracted Amazon Air to the airport, giving a significant boost to cargo operations. Today, Bradley International Airport serves more nonstop destinations than it did prior to the pandemic. The air service development accomplishments at Bradley International Airport have transformed the state’s largest airport, firmly cementing the airport’s status as the second-largest airport in New England.
During his career, Dillon has also made major contributions leading aggressive capital development plans across all airports where he has served, totaling in the billions of dollars. Most recent examples include the completion of Bradley International Airport’s $210 million ground transportation center, and the recent kick-off of nearly $250 million worth of additional improvements to BDL.
Dillon’s dedication to the aviation industry has included board member roles for the AAAE, both regionally and nationally, and includes similar roles with other aviation trade organizations.
Dillon’s dedication goes beyond his role in managing airports, it also extends to supporting local communities. He has served as a Board Member for the MetroHartford Alliance and the Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau, and as an Advisory Board Member of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, Director for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Director for the Manchester Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Board Member for the New Hampshire Restaurant and Lodging Association, and Board Member of the Brentwood, NH Planning Board.
Dillon was awarded twice a Key to the City of Manchester, New Hampshire, and was the winner of the New Hampshire Travel Council’s “2001 Travel Person of the Year” award, winner of the 2003 Distinguished Citizen Award from Daniel Webster Council Boy Scouts of America, commissioned as the Rhode Island Commodore by the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, winner of the Ambassador Award by the Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, and he was recognized as a 2015 finalist for the Public Owner of the Year award by the Associated General Contractors of Connecticut. Dillon has also been featured in numerous articles across industry publications and local press, including the Hartford Business Journal, which has named him one of the most influential leaders in the greater Hartford region, honoring him with the C-Suite award in 2022.
About Bradley International Airport
Bradley International Airport (BDL) is New England’s second-largest airport. Recognized nationally by leading travel publications for its ease of travel, Bradley International Airport is ready to welcome you with new nonstops and expanded services. The award-winning airport is operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority, and its operations are entirely self-funded. The airport contributes nearly $3.6 billion to the regional economy. For more info, visit
About The Connecticut Airport Authority
The CAA was established in 2011 to develop, improve, and operate Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general aviation airports (Danielson, Groton-New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham). The CAA Board consists of 11 members with a broad spectrum of experience in aviation-related and other industries, as well as government. The goal of the CAA is to make Connecticut’s airports more attractive to new airlines, bring in new routes, and support Connecticut’s overall economic development and growth strategy. For more info, visit