Executive Director Kevin A. Dillon Announces Retirement

Today, Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., announced that he intends to retire as Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) effective January 2025.

“Out of my nearly 50 years in the aviation industry, I have spent the last 12 years leading the Connecticut Airport Authority,” said Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., Executive Director of the CAA. “Together, we have achieved significant milestones for Bradley International Airport and our general aviation airports. As my tenure with the CAA winds down, I want to thank the CAA Board of Directors and my team for their hard work over the years. I have every confidence that the organization’s success will continue into the future. Leading an organization in this community has been a privilege, and I also want to express my sincere thanks to our local leaders and partners.”

Dillon was appointed as the Executive Director of the CAA in 2012, and he first achieved federal regulatory approval to transition Bradley International Airport and five of the state’s general aviation airports from the Connecticut Department of Transportation to the newly established quasi-public agency later in 2013.

He has led and grown the CAA with unmatched expertise, credibility, and experience in a rapidly evolving and competitive aviation industry – positioning the organization as a vital asset that drives growth and maximizes the potential of its airport portfolio. 

Over the last decade, Dillon’s effective leadership in prioritizing air service development, superior customer service, capital improvements, strong fiscal management, and innovation has resulted in transformational impact for the community. This includes better travel options, easier access into the state, job creation, new opportunities for ancillary airport businesses, and national recognition.
Specifically, Bradley International Airport has seen consecutive years of passenger growth, generated by the reestablishment of transatlantic and west coast service, as well as the diversification of airlines, including the introduction of the airport’s first ultra-low-cost carriers.

Today, Bradley International Airport serves more nonstop destinations than it did prior to the pandemic. During Dillon’s tenure, there has been a more than 35% increase in nonstop flight destinations. 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. The economic impact of CAA airports now stands at $4 billion of total output, representing an increase of $1 billion at Bradley International Airport alone compared to the last economic impact study.

Dillon has also made major contributions leading aggressive capital development plans. 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.

“The CAA is very fortunate to have benefitted from Kevin’s strong leadership since his arrival as the organization’s first executive director in 2012,” said Tony Sheridan, chair of the CAA Board of Directors. “As a direct result of his efforts, the CAA has experienced sustained nonstop route growth at Bradley International Airport, been recognized with national awards, and completed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of capital projects across our entire airport system. It is not an overstatement to say that Connecticut’s air travelers, tourism industry, and overall economy are better off due to Kevin’s tenure at the CAA, and we will all be sad to see him go. We wish him well in his retirement, and we look forward to continuing our work together for the remaining months.”

Dillon has also successfully attracted multi-million-dollar private investments into Bradley International Airport, driving terminal-wide upgrades, cargo developments, and hangar expansions that will benefit the region for generations to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought forward unprecedented challenges, but, with Dillon’s leadership and business acumen, Bradley International Airport has reemerged from the pandemic stronger than before.
At the CAA, he has led the modernization of processes, harnessed employee talent, and aligned departments in order to make the authority an efficient and entrepreneurial agency.

His integrity as a leader and demonstrated results have earned him numerous local and national accolades, including the American Association of Airport Executives 2023 Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest levels of recognition from the world’s largest professional organization of airport executives.

Over his long-standing and impactful career, Dillon’s accomplishments have touched 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 operations and 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-Boston Regional Airport, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.

Prior to his time at the CAA, Kevin had major achievements at various other airports, including the introduction of JetBlue and the execution of over $500 million worth of projects at the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and growing Manchester-Boston Airport’s passenger numbers by more than double, leaping from approximately 2 million passengers to over 4 million passengers during his tenure, while executing $500 million worth of projects in New Hampshire.

The CAA Board of Directors will identify a successor in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition following Dillon’s departure.

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 https://ctairports.org/about/caa-ten-year-anniversary/.