Airport Business

OCT 2018

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

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44 airportbusiness October 2018 Ryan Shropshire, PE When Ryan Shropshire was planning his professional career in college, he never envisioned aviation in his future. Shropshire said he figured he’d follow a traditional civil engineering career, but he got a work placement with Laing O’Rourke while his was a sophomore in college. He got to work with an engineer at London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) where he got exposed to the intricate details of what airport construction looks like. “It was during the Terminal 5 project and that was one of those big ‘wow’ moments where you see a big project like that going on in addition to all the stuff that was going on at the airport,” he said. ”In my mind it seemed like, wow this is pretty cool. The airport is it’s own self-contained city.” Shropshire started his career as an HNTB engineering intern in 2007, working on the Manhattan Kansas Regional Airport Master Plan update. Described as a dedicated and driven individual, Shropshire demonstrated his commitment to become an experienced aviation project manager, specializing in aviation design and construction services. Dependability and responsiveness describe Shropshire approach. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects at general aviation and international airports that have included snow removal equipment acquisition, obstruction removal, wildlife fence installation, hangar construction, engineered material arresting systems (EMAS), runway status lights (RWSL) and reconstruction of aprons, taxiways and runways,” he said. “No day at work is the same and there are always new challenges to take on.” His general aviation experience, combined with is commercial aviation experience, includes virtually every aspect of airfield pavement construction, positioning him as a lead for many major airport infrastructure programs. He has worked with more than a dozen large and small commercial and general aviation airports on a wide-range of projects, which provided Shropshire with a wealth of knowledge and experience of working on nearly every type of airfield paving project. He’s currently project manager for the reconstruction of Runway 13R-31L at Dallas Love Field, which is in the preliminary design phase. This project encompasses environmental assessment, alternatives analysis of all aspects of the project, as well as incorporating other airfield improvements to address current deficiencies and mitigate future impacts to operations. Continued online at Scott Van Gompel, PE In his role as aviation supervisor and project manager for planning firm Mead & Hunt Inc., Scott Van Gompel has taken the lead in bringing the company into the Arizona market based on his ability to impress upon customers the value it brings to their airport projects. Each project is unique and each one has a new set of challenges, said Van Gompel. “It’s really fun to be able to look at something as complicated as a pavement reconstruction project on an active airport and develop a plan for how this whole thing will be accomplished,” he said. “It’s always a compromise between airport operational challenges, efficient construction operations and safety. The most enjoyable part of this job is working with our clients to develop a plan and then watching the plan come to fruition.” Most airport projects take multiple years to become a reality, he added. Van Gompel started his aviation career and with Mead & Hunt when he was a sophomore in college. “I was lucky enough to get a summer internship at Mead & Hunt. At the time, I had plans to be an architect. I was hired in the aviation engineering group that first summer and my plan was to get construction experience and spend some time shadowing the architects,” he recalled. That summer Van Gompel worked with several different departments including the aviation group, highways group, architecture group, survey and material testing group. “The aviation project I worked on was a hangar relocation and apron reconstruction project at [Wisconsin’s] Dane County Regional Airport. I really enjoyed the high level of communication between the airport, contractor and engineer that was required to make sure the project went smoothly,” he said. “I worked with a great engineer and mentor that gave me enough responsibility and supported my decision making in the field. At the end of the summer, after consulting Andy Platz, our CEO, I decided that I was going to pursue a career in the aviation engineering business.” The community is one of the main reasons Van Gompel loves the aviation industry. “The people that work in this business are very proud of their accomplishments and they are always willing to help out the younger generation,” he said. “There is a strong sense of purpose and passion in this profession. It’s fun to be part of an industry that cares not only about doing a great job but also about creating meaningful relationships within it.” Continued online at

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