2017 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Daniel B. Pruim

Nov. 3, 2017

Daniel B. Pruim
Director of Airport Development, Horry County, South Carolina Department of Airports
AGE: 29

  • Alma Mater: Florida Institute of Technology - College of Aeronautics
  • What is your dream job? Commercial Service Airport Director by day, musician by night.
  • What person has impacted your career the most? Jason Terreri, A.A.E.
  • If I could visit any airport in the world, it would be: Singapore Changi
  • If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead: Mel Brooks

Dan Pruim has always been an aviation geek, and even now he runs outside to watch military aircraft or the occasional Boeing 787 complete a low approach at Myrtle Beach International Airport. From his first flight on United Airlines and seeing the Chicago Air Show, he knew aviation was going to play a major role in his life.

After enrolling at Florida Institute of Technology, Pruim’s original plan was to become a professional pilot. While at Florida Tech, he met Dr. Dave Byers, Fin Bonset and Jason Terreri  who were instrumental in introducing him to airport development and management as a career opportunity. He also met a group of friends that started Collegiate Aviation Business Executives, an AAAE club where they toured airports all over Florida, as well as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta.

While at Florida Tech, Pruim worked as an intern with the Lee County Port Authority at the Southwest Florida International Airport in airport operations in 2009. In 2010, he founded Airport Research Associates LLC in Melbourne, Fla., and performed several assignments as a subconsultant for Quadrex Associates Inc.

Pruim was hired by AECOM in Philadelphia in 2011, where he worked with the consulting team on airport projects all over the U.S. and internationally. While at AECOM, he helped the aviation team develop solutions to policy, planning, development and design at general aviation, commercial service, and military aviation facilities.

In 2014, Pruim joined the Horry County Department of Airports as an airport development specialist.  In 2015, he was promoted to director of airport development, where he is responsible for the management and implementation of planning, design, development, construction, and capital improvement projects at all HCDA airports. He is a certified member of AAAE and is currently pursuing his Accredited Airport Executive designation.

The airport is often the first and last impression of a community for travelers, said Pruim. “It is the responsibility of airport professionals, stakeholders and our community partners to ensure airports bring positive experiences to all,” he said.

One of the most rewarding challenges of working at a small hub airport is flexing with the variability of work flows and assisting with tasks as they arise, said Pruim. “In a single day, you could be assisting airfield maintenance in defining repair options, then working with facilities in performing an energy audit, then on to discussing airfield projects and continuous improvement plan strategies with the Airports District Office, then an alert comes in and it’s all hands on deck, providing assistance as required,” he said.

The best piece of career advice Pruim ever received: “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control. Focus your energies on improving things that bring joy, happiness and empower others to realize the best in themselves and the team,” he said, quoting Pat Apone, A.A.E., the former director of Myrtle Beach International Airport.

“Pat always inspires others to realize the best in themselves and bring excitement, caring, and due diligence working with an Airport team. She hired me at Myrtle Beach,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her and know her as a friend and mentor.”

The aviation industry constantly evolves and brings people together from all backgrounds to connect and improve the world, said Pruim. “Throughout my career in aviation, I’ve met many friends and colleagues who I’ve had the pleasure to learn from, share experiences, stories, and share an interest in improving airports and the way we explore our world,” he said. “The roar of an engine, the smell of jet fuel, the hustle and bustle of a terminal is an amazing thing to witness everyday.”