Airport Business

OCT 2018

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

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October 2018 airportbusiness 55 Kyle Quinn Kyle Quinn is a young man on the rise. He started at Xjet Denver, a luxury FBO based at Centennial Airport, four years ago as a line service technician and is now the facility’s general manager. And he’s been busy during those four years, doing everything from revamping the FBO’s concierge and line operations teams to business development and developing a safety program centered around the IS-BAH program. Those who nominated him praised him for his willingness to learn and expand, leading to his current job at the age of 27. Quinn said he’s been fascinated with aviation since he was eight. “I loved being around aircraft and interacting with pilots. I also realized early on that I wouldn’t be happy sitting behind a desk,” he said. “Aviation is fast-paced and constantly changing. No day — or even hour — is the same. It’s a lot of fun.” He originally came to Ohio State University as an exercise science major. “OSU’s campus is right next to John Glenn Columbus International Airport and I’d just look at the planes,” he said. “I decided to major in aviation at OSU. I got my pilot license, graduated with a degree in aviation management and was fortunate enough to land an internship with NetJets, then a full-time job as a flight manager.” Quinn ended up in Colorado, moving there with no job. “I lived on a friend’s couch for two weeks before finding a place a place to live and getting my first job at Xjet,” he said. “I worked on a special project where I updated the XJet operations manual, which got my boss to take notice, and that put me on the map.” Aviation is a fast-paced environment and Quinn likes that. “There’s always change and problems to solve. I’m always trying to find ways to meet the needs of our customers so they have a seamless experience,” he said. Quinn is most proud of a project he did researching locations and markets around the world where Xjet could expand. “There was a market on the other side of the globe where I discovered that private aviation in the region was growing by double the global average. I recommended that we go into that market. My boss, Josh Stewart, and I still talk about expansion to this location to this day.” In his few short years at XJet, Quinn has worked to build a team that has consistently been recognized in surveys as being in the top 5 percent of all FBOs in the Americas. “This year we received the highest customer service rating we have received in the 10 years we have participated,” he said. Continued online at www.AviationPros.com/12424077 Ferdinand Paul Mehrlich III, C.M. ACE Paul Mehrlich wanted to serve his country, so he trained to become a Navy pilot. After an injury caused him to leave the military with an honorable discharge, he didn’t know what to do, since he had planned this as his long-term career. That lead to a pivot into airport management. In March 2013, Mehrlich got his first airport job, as an operations assistant, at San Diego’s Brown Field Airport. In February 2015, he made a big leap when he was named acting airport manager at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport. “The airport manager got deployed in the reserves, so I stepped up,” said Mehrlich. He made the best of his eight-month stint, working on projects like managing more than $120,000 in capital improvement projects in his first four months and conducting a study to update the airport’s rates and fees. The work Mehrlich did at Montgomery-Gibbs helped him get his current job at Dallas Love Field. “My work in San Diego showed that I could move up,” he said. Mehrlich is most proud of a personal project he took on in San Diego. “While I was still there, I met a gentleman, Bill Gibbs, who was 103 years old. He originally built Gibbs Field on his farmland and it was used to train World War II pilots,” he said. The city bought the airport in 1950 and renamed it Montgomery Field. But thanks to Mehrlich’s work with the airport and the city council, it was renamed Montgomery-Gibbs. “I was able to get it done before he died. He and his son were a major piece of San Diego aviation history and now everyone will know that.” But looking ahead, Mehrlich wants to bring back the excitement of aviation. “There was a time when the airport was more than just a destination. It was a place that people visited. When I was a kid, my dad traveled so we’d go to the airport and watch the planes take off,” he recalled.”You didn’t have security and airports were more welcoming.” Stronger security at airports made us disconnect and lose the love of aviation, said Mehrlich. “I’d like to see an opportunity for people to come back and reconnect with the airport,” he said. “I want people to see the airport and be a part of the experience rather than just get on the plane.” Continued online at www.AviationPros.com/12422792

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