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Hill Checks in at the NEC Annual Airports Conference

From March 25 to March 27, aviation executives, subject matter experts, and other industry professionals came together at the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives’ (NEC/AAAE) Annual Airports Conference in Hershey, PA. Attendees addressed some of the most pressing challenges in aviation, including operational costs, safety and security, sustainability, staffing, funding much-needed capital construction, and executing ambitious projects on time and within budget. In addition to networking opportunities, the three-day conference was filled with presentations and learning sessions featuring case studies, discussions about new products and the latest technologies, and best practices to help airports profitably deliver the best possible passenger experience.

Dave Briskey

“We learned so much at the conference—there was so much to see and so many people to talk to,” says Hill Vice President Dave Briskey, who manages the Hill team providing construction management services for the Allegheny County Airport Authority at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Allegheny County Airport (AGC). “One highlight for me included catching up with former colleagues and friends while sharing recent experiences. Another highlight was attending presentations by PIT Fire Chief Tom Bonura on FAA Part 139 Training for aircraft rescue and firefighting and by PIT Duty Manager Trudi Shertzer on Airport Operations Response.”

Dave also attended a presentation about how airports are working to address homelessness and human trafficking. “Talking about these topics is important for professionals in aviation,” Dave adds. “Compassionate strategies for addressing homelessness within the airport environment can protect the safety of passengers and airport employees and connect homeless individuals with social support services.

“As major transit hubs, airports also play a large role in the battle against human trafficking. The aviation industry’s strategies for preventing trafficking and helping the victims, including in the design and implementation of airport security systems, have a real impact on the issue.”

Addressing big issues, from human trafficking and homelessness to fire safety and operations, depends on overall airport strategy, explains Hill Project Director Kevin Graham, who works with Dave at PIT. “However, all of these issues have an impact on capital construction,” he goes on. “On one level, construction is an intrusive practice that can complicate already complex airport systems. As construction managers, we need to help make certain that our project sites are safe, secure, and don’t disturb airport operations. By doing that, we can enable our clients to focus on running their airports safely and efficiently.

Kevin Graham

“On another level, planning, funding, and executing capital construction must be undertaken in the context of these other big issues that airports face. So, when hard-earned funding is dedicated to a particular construction project, construction managers have to responsibly steward that money, which could’ve gone towards any number of other airport needs, by helping achieve a project’s goals on time and within budget. Staying up to date with the latest developments in aviation helps those of us on the capital construction side better achieve our clients’ project goals, so I really appreciated the opportunities to learn from my colleagues and peers at the conference.”

To learn more about Hill’s global aviation experience, please visit this link.

To speak with a Hill professional about your aviation project needs, please reach out to David Briskey at [email protected] or Kevin Graham at [email protected].