Top 40 Under 40: Tony Bean

Tony Bean says that “aviation trades on time, which is the most valuable commodity there is,” and he certainly does not waste it. Originally from Montana, Bean’s first experience with aviation was flying for the first time to attend Marine Corps...


Tony Bean says that “aviation trades on time, which is the most valuable commodity there is,” and he certainly does not waste it.

Originally from Montana, Bean’s first experience with aviation was flying for the first time to attend Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego Calif. Bean was assigned to an aviation specialty as a ground support equipment technician. In 1999, he moved into a new role as a cryogenics equipment technician working with oxygen and nitrogen equipment for servicing various aircraft pneumatic and aviators breathing oxygen systems, leaving the service as a sergeant and instructor in 2003.

Bean started his Bachelor’s degree in aviation management with a focus on operating airports while still in the service. He interned at Albert J. Ellis Airport in Jacksonville, N.C. before moving back to Montana.

Bean worked as a lead security officer with the TSA from 2004-2006 while working on another airport management internship in Helena, Mont. in his off-time to build his knowledge.

He worked as the manager of Yellowstone Airport with the State of Montana Aeronautics Division from 2006 to 2011. Here, Bean was able to increase enplanement numbers, revenue possibilities, and guide the airport through the new Part 139 requirements. He successfully wrote and implemented a 2008 Small Community Airport Development grant to enhance awareness of the airport.

Bean assumed his current position in 2011 as the executive director of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. The airport is jointly owned by two cities in separate states and serves two land grant universities. Traffic demand and increasingly larger aircraft are driving major changes to the region. Bean is leading the airport though a complicated $60 million runway realignment project currently in the environmental review process and due to be completed in 2018.

His advice to other young up-and-comers is to be solution-oriented. That’s certainly been Bean’s recipe to success!

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