We demonstrate an optical element for generation of accelerating Airy beams. The element is conveniently constructed by combination of positive and negative cylindrical lenses of matching radii of curvature. With proper choice of lens curvatures, the resulting surface profile closely follows a cubic polynomial. Passing a Gaussian beam through this element and performing optical Fourier transform yields beam profiles close to the Airy function. Our experiments demonstrate parabolic propagation, or acceleration, of the resulting focal spots. © 2010 Optical Society of America.