Posted: May 14, 2019

Renato Camacho’s State of The Airport (CAK) at NSME Akron/Canton May Luncheon

 “The community is key to the success of the Akron/Canton Airport.”

This was the key takeaway from Renato “Ren” Camacho’s presentation at NSME Akron/Canton’s May Luncheon, held at Embassy Suites by Hilton Akron/Canton Airport. Since stepping into the position of President & Chief Executive Officer of Akron/Canton Airport last October (2018), Ren has focused on a few key areas:

  • Positioning CAK for the future/Gate Replacement Project
  • Ease of airport access and customer service
  • Getting the word out and collaborating locally 
  • Ease of airport access and customer service
  • Getting the word out and collaborating locally 

Positioning CAK for the future/Gate Replacement Project

Ren began with a quick overview of the airport and an update on the Gate Replacement project, which is a $34-million, 3-phase project that is currently in Phase 1. The Akron/Canton Airport currently has 11 gates that were designed and built in the late 1950’s. Not surprisingly, these gates are no longer serving the community’s needs. The passenger corridors are too narrow by today’s standards and only 9 of the 11 gates can be used simultaneously due to the larger aircraft currently in use. The project will transform the 11 outdated gates into 9 modern gates, with future expansion possible. The work is ongoing “behind the scenes.”

NSME Akron Canton Airport Renato Camacho2

Ren also noted how the airport is engaged in economic development locally while working to fill future staffing needs. As many current airport employees are approaching retirement age, the airport has partnered with Stark State and other local entities to help prepare future airport professionals, including aircraft mechanics.

Ease of Airport Access and Customer Service

Ren noted a little-known fact about CAK – it has greater population density surrounding it than does Cleveland-Hopkins Airport. This gives CAK a natural competitive advantage over its cross-town competitor, especially for those living in Summit and Stark counties. Akron/Canton Airport access is also much easier compared to Cleveland-Hopkins. Ren pointed out that only at CAK can you park on-site and simply cross the road, no dragging your bags up and down various levels.

In fact, the airport is currently engaged in a light-hearted social media campaign, “CAK is Easier Than…” to highlight this advantage to the community.

Getting the Word Out/Collaborating Locally

For the airport to be successful, it must serve the needs of its customers. This includes ease of access, fast TSA checkpoints, but also non-stop service to preferred destinations. Ren noted that business travel drives what markets are served as this is the airport’s bread and butter. It also creates a symbiotic economic environment that helps both the airport succeed as well the locally-based companies it serves. Therefore, the airport reaches out to understand the travel needs of large companies based in the area. This also helps market the airport to airlines.

Ren noted that they have a good understanding of the travel needs of large companies, including nationally-known companies that are headquartered here – Goodyear, Timken, GoJo, Diebold Nixdorf, etc. But they would also like to hear from smaller, mid-cap companies as well. This sounded like an invitation to reach out to him. It also explains why he is actively engaging with and presenting to local entities and organizations like NSME Akron/Canton. He welcomed the questions, feedback and suggestions offered during the Q & A session.

NSME Akron/Canton May Collaborative Summit Group

Join us for our next luncheon and Collaborative Summit Group (May 21, 2019) to hear speaker Ellen A. Moreau, Senior Vice President Marketing Communications at Sherwin-Williams. Ellen will share how the 153-year-old company stays relevant in a changing world. Her presentation is titled “Sherwin-Williams: Old but Not Old School.” The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. –  1 p.m. at The Tangier in Akron (532 w. Market Street), with lunch/program beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Registration for the May 21st Collaborative Summit Group is available online.


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