Top 40 Under 40: Abe Weber

A tour of John Deere’s flight department and its aircraft marks the day Abe Weber’s love of aviation took root. But the newly appointed director of Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATA) in Appleton, Wis., says his commitment to the industry truly blossomed in high school when he pursued his pilot’s license.

Weber went on to earn degrees in aviation flight and management from Southern Illinois University while working an externship with the Boeing Company.

He moved to Appleton after college to take an airport management internship, during which the airport hired him on as custodial and maintenance supervisor. Later he was promoted to landside operations supervisor and airport security coordinator, where he effectively managed an 180,000-square-foot terminal building and 1,700 acres of property with nine staff members. Weber then served as acting interim airport director before being promoted to airport director in September; in both roles he oversaw all airport operations including Platinum Flight Center, an airport-owned FBO.

Weber, a certified member of A.A.A.E., says he loves working in such a dynamic industry, where every day is packed with motivating projects and learning opportunities. During his career Weber managed a $7.5 million parking lot expansion, a $3 million security system upgrade, runway construction and rehabilitation, and taxiway additions. Weber was integral in the purchase and operation of the airport’s FBO and is currently in the midst of opening the nation’s first NetZero general aviation terminal. He has also completed an FAA-sponsored sustainability master plan, as ATA was one of 10 airports awarded a spot in the pilot program.

Weber’s drive and commitment to learning is tireless. While working full-time as the landside operations supervisor he earned his Master’s degree in business management along with his LEAN enterprise certification. He sits on the board of the Wisconsin Aviation Management Association and volunteers with Old Glory Honor Flight and Aviation Explorers.

“Abe has streamlined and improved the security program at ATW, totaling over $5 million in FAA funded improvements including Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), which covers the entire terminal and parking lot and replacement of our entire perimeter fence.”

Kim Sippola, marketing manager, Outagamie County Airport