Airport Business

OCT 2018

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

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46 airportbusiness October 2018 Cody Parham Before the Great Recession, Cody Parham’s career was on a different trajectory than aviation. Parham worked on land development projects during the massive development boom of the 2000s. After the recession wiped out the market, he seized an opening in the aviation department. “It’s the passion of the people in it. Having come from a background in other kinds of engineering, you don’t meet people every day who are excited about building apartment complexes,” he said. “In aviation, we have this unique culture of folks who always had the aviation bug. They spend their free time giving back to that industry because they feel so strongly about it.” Parham, who is a project manager with HDR, has worked in the aviation industry for 12 years. He got into the field thanks to a love of aviation and the challenges the field presents. “The 2008 recession was a blessing in disguise because it made me reconsider that career track and it gave me exposure to airports, which were still funding projects,” he said. “I became intrigued by the culture, jargon and unique design challenges in aviation. “How many highways are designed for 200-ton vehicles constantly slamming into it?” He recently developed a training program for airport and HDR staff to train new construction inspectors with a focus on quality construction. This was on top of his project work. Parham also helped a regional airport integrate innovative sustainable features into a building modernization. The results will benefit the community and environment,and reduce the client’s operations and maintenance costs — all while helping the client make efficient use of its budget. In order to better guide clients in the planning phases of aviation projects, Parham undertook teaching himself the complex system of taxes, user fees, debt and private sources that comprise funding for airport capital programs. What he learned led him to develop the Airport Finance 101 webinar for the Airport Consultants Council’s (ACC) Young Professional Forum, helping distribute knowledge to an up-and-coming class of aviation influencers and project planners. Parham stays active with ACC, Florida Airports Council and the American Society of Civil Engineers. For the ACC, he serves as vice chair for the Young Professional Forum. During last year’s planning, design and construction symposium, he served as the YP liaison to the engineering track, and at this year’s symposium, he moderated a ‘Shark Tank’ style innovative business competition. He sits on the corporate committee for the Florida Airports Council and on the airfield pavement committee for ASCE. Continued online at Maggie J. Bishop Maggie Bishop, business development analyst for Indianapolis Airport Authority, is making a name for herself in the air service development community while still in her 20s. Thanks to her efforts, Indianapolis International Airport landed its first year-round trans-Atlantic flight to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in May. Bishop got involved in air service development in 2012 when she was director of business retention and expansion for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in Texas. In that job, she coordinated the chamber’s Air Service Task Force that led to the city’s first trans-Atlantic non-stop route, to London Heathrow Airport, in March 2014. “The more I dug in during my time at the chamber, the more I realized that air service development was just economic development — with airplanes,” said Bishop. “What was so great was people calling to say they wanted to open offices in Austin because of this flight. “After that, I knew I had to get into [the airport] business. I loved my job in Austin, but I caught the aviation bug.” Bishop’s favorite part of her job is giving people their time back via nonstop flights out of Indianapolis. “I had a friend who was taking a flight who thanked me. He said ‘I get to leave a day later for a work trip because of this nonstop flight,’” further maximizing time with his family she said. “I also love being an ambassador of Indianapolis from the aviation community and telling our story on how the city has grown.” What’s so appealing about the aviation industry? “On the surface level, airplanes are sexy. And everyone has a fascination with or affinity for flying,” said Bishop. “But if you dig into it, it’s a complex industry that’s influenced by myriad economic and human factors.” The future of aviation for Bishop is about growing the pilot population. “I’d like to see more excitement about being airline pilots. We’ve been dealing with this issue for awhile and it’s been tough to resolve,” she observed. “Here in Indianapolis we support several aviation career development programs to help enhance the aviation talent pipeline.” Continued online at

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