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About ICF
Stephen Freibrun
Principal, Airports and Americas Sector Lead, Aviation
Stephen advises airports on commercial strategies, with more than three decades of management and real estate experience in the public and private sectors.

Stephen has more than three decades of management and real estate experience in the public and private sectors. Since 1993, he has assisted airport clients, airlines, and airport investors with commercial projects, facilities planning, non-aeronautical revenue forecasting, and property management. Stephen’s responsibilities have included the evaluation, definition, and coordination of concessions facility implementation to improve passenger experiences and increase airport revenues. He has also assisted airports with developing optimal organizational structure of commercial departments.

As part of our aviation practice, Stephen oversees the global passenger experience/concession planning service line. He has regional responsibility for the Americas, the Caribbean, and Asia, where we have completed significant commercial planning work. Stephen has project management responsibility for clients that range vastly in size, from small regional airports to large and international airports. Stephen is not only responsible for overseeing client commercial planning projects, but he takes a hands-on approach. He often creates concessions plans, strategic approaches to enhancing non-aeronautical revenues, financial modelling and feasibility analyses, research analyses, and requests for proposals and leases.

Stephen is experienced in advising airports on commercial strategies, focusing on enhancing the passenger experience at every touchpoint. He is an industry leader in embedding concepts and commercial environments which ease the customer journey while optimizing passenger spend. Stephen creates customer experience strategies that cut costs, improve customer loyalty, or increase non-aeronautical revenues. The commercial programs he develops are known for being focused, impactful, passenger-centric and empathetic to the needs of travelers. He has developed projects focused on a passenger-centric approach for airports in Ft. Myers, Florida, Portland, Oregon and Orlando, Florida.

Over the last few years, Stephen has been a project manager, helping American Express launch its new initiative to open Centurion Lounges in over eight U.S. airports. Stephen has published numerous articles in industry publications and is a sought-after resource by local and national newspaper writers. He has also participated in almost two dozen speaking engagements. Stephen was invited to speak to Southwest Airlines’ station managers at the company’s Dallas headquarters.

Before joining us in 2001, Stephen worked at Chicago’s O'Hare International and Midway Airports for seven years. He was responsible for planning, managing, leasing, and developing retail and foodservice concessions as part of an on-site concessions consultant/property management team. He also has seven years of experience as a retail operations area manager with Exxon/Mobil and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

"I am a firm believer that good design is good business. Airports need to be flexible to account for new shopping/dining behaviors with commercial space plans that provide the consumer with emotional comfort."
Education
  • M.A., International Management, Thunderbird – American Graduate School of International Management
  • B.A., Political Science, University of Illinois
Publications
  • Freibrun, Stephen. 2017. Enhancing the Passenger Experience. ACI-LAC.
  • Freibrun, Stephen. 2014. Airport Lounges Aren't Just for Lounging Anymore. ACI-LAC.
  • Freibrun, Stephen. 2014. Price Matters in Airport Retailing. ACI-LAC.
  • Freibrun, Stephen. 2012. Miami’s Metamorphosis. Foodie Report.

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