Airport Business

OCT 2018

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

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Page 49 of 59

50 airportbusiness October 2018 Amanda Twitchell, RA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C Amanda Twitchell knew that she wanted to be an architect well before she even knew what an architect was. What started out as a childhood fascination building structures out of Legos evolved into a passion for the world of architecture. Although taking her chosen career path to the aviation industry was purely by chance, it was meant to be. “I’d like to help determine what the changing aspects for the new type of passenger would be and really look into the airport of the future,” she said. “I think for an airport like ours that’s fairly small that’s doable and something we can do to create a new experience here on our concourse.” Twitchell grew up in the Reno area and then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she was awarded both bachelors and master’s degrees in architecture. Upon graduation, she accepted a position as a project manager/designer for Richardson Wetzel Architects in Las Vegas. This introduced her to the world of airport design and construction, as the firm was contracted to perform design work at McCarran International Airport. Twitchell managed several projects including security office remodels, retail tenant improvements and even large terminal roof replacements. She joined the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) in 2013 as an engineering-architectural technician. “My role is constantly changing from project manager, to architect, to chair of the events committee,” she said. “ I get to work with all different types of stakeholders on all different types of projects and I’m constantly learning something new.” During the past five years, Twitchell has been recognized for both her design skills and project management acumen. She was integral bringing about a complete redesign/remodel of the airport’s customs and border protection facility in less than 42 days. This allowed for the establishment of regularly scheduled international commercial air service to the airport since 1999. In addition, she established the first set of airport improvement guidelines at the authority, ensuring consistent, high quality tenant improvements at the RTAA’s two airport facilities. Twitchell also led the design and implementation of the Nevada Unmanned, Autonomous & NextGen Collaborative Environment (NUANCE) Lab at Reno-Stead Airport. This facility is used by NASA, among other aeronautical research providers, to perform cutting edge research focusing on the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the national airspace system. Continued online at Gaél Le Bris, C.M., Engineer Gael Le Bris has been a consultant in the U.S. since 2017. He previously worked at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) but still works on airports in Europe. While at CDG, he prepared memos for proposing positive changes in the standards. His action contributed to the last update of the CS-ADR-DSN, anticipating changes at the ICAO level by two years, easing certification of airports and saving lot of money in upgrades and oversized infrastructure. “You meet a lot of great people in the aviation world from the ground handling people to the regulatory workers.,” Le Bris said Le Bris also managed complex infrastructure projects and provided technical leadership as an engineer while being entrusted with operational duties. Le Bris is a member of Eurocontrol’s EAPPRI, and of Airport Consultants Council (ACC) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in the U.S. He is invited to share at professional conferences such as the TRB Annual Meeting. He has participated in the preparation of guidebooks of reference such as EAPPRI V3 and ACI’s handbook on managing operations during construction. He is also a member of the Infrastructure Workgroup. “We talk about the emerging modes of transportation not only on the landside buy on the airside,” he said. “Uber and Lyft are not emerging anymore and you have the UAS devices and all these air taxis that are coming. It’s really going to change how we’re using air transportation.” When Le Bris joined Les Aéroports Francophones, he shared his experienced during major construction projects he managed to assist members facing similar issues. “As far as I remember, I have always been fascinated with aviation. But among all the jobs bringing me close to aircraft, I decided to work for the airport industry when I saw the diversity and the dynamism it offers,” he said. “You are constantly pushed out of your comfort zone, facing complex problems requiring skills in civil and aviation engineering, operations, economics, policies, etc. You meet with people from all origins and profiles. “Working in aviation is also about collaboration. Because failure is not an option – it would mean endangering life and putting high-value assets at risk – we must work together to succeed.” He is currently managing a research project on how to evaluate jet blast hazard on airport operations and infrastructure. There is still no standard to date on this matter and aircraft manufacturers publish very little about this. Le Bris has also taught courses at ENAC School in Toulouse. He manages students for their projects and for master’s thesis. Continued online at

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