Airport Business

OCT 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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38 airportbusiness October 2018 Walter Marchbanks Walter Marchbanks’s love for aviation is rooted in his family. Growing up, his uncle was a bush pilot flying from Fairbanks to Nome, Alaska. Marchbanks heard about the travels and the people his uncle would meet. Hearing about an interesting profession drew him into aviation. “I like that the industry is always changing. It’s not a static environment,” Marchbanks said. “Everything is always evolving. It’s always improving and transitioning from something that may not be perfect now into something that is.” As the customer relations manager at Portland International Airport (PDX), Marchbanks has played a crucial role in the airport’s title as Best Airport by Travel & Leisure magazine. “In my relatively short time in the airport industry, I’ve seen a meteoric rise in the importance of providing exceptional customer service at airports,” he said. “I think we’ll continue to see technology driving the overall experience. In 2016, he spearheaded four separate employee engagement events in one day to celebrate the award. In 2017, he hosted daily events form 3 a.m. to Midnight daily during a five-day period encompassing 75 tenants. Donned in a blue wig and cape, Marchbanks passed out Blue Star Doughnuts, Salt and Straw Ice Cream, Cookies and $5 vouchers good for anything in the airport. In February, Marchbanks raised the bar for the PDX Annual Banquet, an event that recognizes the best of the best employees at PDX who go above and beyond to make the passenger experience the best it can be. More than 300 employees and supervisors attended the event. “I get to make a difference,” he said. “My current role allows to make changes and make a positive difference not just in our airport.” Marchbanks made great strides in the A&E program by expanding the rotating art program into the rental car lobby, updating the music branding and improving signage, tables and performance guidelines used by entertainers. He also expanded membership on the Make the Connection committee to increase underrepresented industries like ground transportation and support service providers. Marchbanks is currently on a committee to ensure that considerations of people with disabilities are factored into $2 billion planned new construction projects and designs over the next seven years. Continued online at Casey Miller For Casey Miller, aviation isn’t just a career, it’s a family tradition. Miller’s parents met at a flight school in San Diego. His mother was a private pilot and his father went from flight instructor to eventually become an airline pilot. Eventually a family friend offered to let Miller use a plane. “Growing up, airplanes were always in our lives,” he said. “We either owned small airplanes or had friends that owned airplanes that we were borrowing and flying places.” Miller started Latitude 33 Aviation back in 2006 with one Cessna aircraft. Since then, he brought in a partner in 2011 and has grown it to become today’s industry-recognized solution to private jet charter, management and sales company. A solo pilot at age 16, captain at age 23 and pilot for a major U.S carrier at 26, Miller’s accomplishments reflect the success of Latitude 33 Aviation. The company closed 2017 with $157 million of assets under management and completed $68 million in aircraft sales and acquisitions transactions. Miller has created regular team meetings with all levels of employees in order to promote employee satisfaction and trust. Externally, he has built trusted relationships which have helped Latitude 33 establish collaborations with local, national and international businesses. These external collaborations, led by Miller have resulted in new and successful business ventures. He said the drive to focus on the right thing for the company’s customers is what drives him to success. “While it’s great making money, I think having a business you’re proud of and the close relationships with clients you create means more in the long term than the short-term dollar,” he said. In 2017, Miller contributed to11,000 hours of flight time, his professional relationships helped Latitude expand the mid and super mid-sized aircraft portfolio and increase operations in Los Angeles private charter. With his efforts, the company grew its private jet charter flight operations by 50 percent in 2017. Miller serves as a mentor to pilots, employees and partners above, below and at his career level. He motivates and inspires his team to perform at their best. Miller’s emphasis on community involvement continues to increase year over year. The strong relationships Casey has built within the San Diego community promoted Latitude 33 Aviation helped raise more than $50,000 for community organizations in 2017, much of which will benefit local youth and educational opportunities. He also partnered with the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, Hanna Fenichel Center, Grauer School, University of San Diego and Toys for Tots to raise funds for educational programs, student scholarships, and holiday gifts. Continued online at

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