Top 40 Under 40: Shane Wright

“The wide variety of projects I work on over the course of any given day is the most exciting and challenging aspect of my job,” says Shane Wright, assistant airport director of Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK). “I can go from a budget meeting, to a terminal construction project discussion, to being called out onto the airfield to haze wildlife or conduct an inspection.”

In this role, Wright is responsible for administration and oversight of MHK’s daily operations. The Manhattan, Kan. commercial service airport, located in the Flint Hills of Northeast Kansas, sees more than 60,000 annual passenger enplanements and has an economic impact exceeding $46 million to the region.

Wright’s primary responsibilities include oversight of FAA Part 139 Certification, airfield and building maintenance, training, budget administration, wildlife management, snow removal operations, emergency planning, and general aviation development. Additionally, as part of the airport management team, Wright assists in airside and landside construction oversight, marketing, lease development and negotiation, and air service development efforts.

While at Manhattan, Wright has been instrumental in the airport receiving an FAA Part 139 Airport Certification Program Medal of Excellence. Wright is additionally involved with the City of Manhattan Safety Committee, where the airport has received consecutive awards for best departmental safety record. Prior to working at Manhattan, Wright worked as an airport management intern at the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN). Wrights’ working career in aviation started at Wisconsin Aviation, the largest full-service FBO in Wisconsin, working in the charter and marketing departments.

Wright began his aviation career with flying lessons at Wisconsin Aviation’s Watertown FBO in high school. He attended the University of Dubuque where earned Bachelor’s degrees in aviation management and flight operations. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater MBA program, graduating with degree emphases in both management and marketing.