Baronci, the current director of economics at ACI World, will assume the role of director general of ACI Asia-Pacific in December.
Chau, who has served as the regional director of ACI Asia-Pacific for the last eight years, is stepping down at the end of the year.
Baronci, a native of Italy, has almost 20 years of analytical and representational experience at national and international level in the aviation sector, in both airport and airline industries.
He started his career at ACI Europe, in Brussels, as a senior policy manager. He then gained substantial experience at IATA, dealing with the Single European Sky (SES). He served as director general of the Association of Italian Airport Operators, before joining ACI World in Montréal.
During his time in Montréal, Baronci made significant contributions to improving stakeholder dialogue, applying an evidence-based model of advocacy.
His strategic approach affected a paradigm shift in future reforms of the global slot allocation system by including airport operators along with airlines and slot co-ordinators.
He enthused: “I am honoured to serve our airport members and business partners in the fastest-growing region in the world.
"Building on the results achieved under Patti Chau’s leadership, my aspiration is to contribute to the progress of the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airports for the benefit of our sector and the people they serve.
"I am a strong advocate of close dialogue with institutional stakeholders at local level and through organic growth of Airports Council International Asia-Pacific.”
ACI Asia-Pacific president, Seow Hiang Lee, noted: “I congratulate Stefano on his appointment as director general.
"His previous experience of running a national airport association, working in both the Europe and World offices of ACI as well as experiencing the aviation industry from the airline perspective were instrumental in our decision to appoint him.
"The Board looks forward to working with him to continue pursuing the interests of our airport members and promoting excellence in the industry.”
Lee also had words of praise for the outgoing Chau, stating: "On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Patti for her contribution.
"Under her leadership, ACI Asia-Pacific has developed strong relations and partnerships with international organisations, senior levels of national governments and the various ACI regions. I wish her the very best in her future endeavours."
Chau, who announced in April that she was stepping down, said: “It has been my privilege serving as regional director for the last eight years.
"Since its establishment fifteen years ago, the ACI Asia-Pacific office has worked diligently to gain the trust of its members, national governments as well as regional and international organisations.
"With growth in this region showing no signs of slowing down, Stefano is in an ideal position to take ACI and its members to new heights.”