2018 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Brett W. Fay, C.M

Oct. 1, 2018

Brett W. Fay, C.M
Director of General Aviation
Tampa International Airport
Age: 35

  • Alma Mater: Middle Tennessee State University
  • Favorite Aircraft: Fairchild PT-19
  • Favorite Book: Title, author: A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
  • Favorite TV Show: Gold Rush
  • Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction
  • Favorite Hobbies: Snowboarding, Travel, and Music

Brett Fay’s leadership and experience managing large events were on full display when he and his team worked to bring in an AOPA Regional Fly-In to the Peter O. Knight Airport in 2017. The event brought in more than 5,500 aviation enthusiasts, 1,000 operations; 420 aircraft; and 57 exhibitors to the Tampa Bay area and generated more than $700,000 in economic impact to the local economy.

The event allowed the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority to showcase its system of general aviation system to the largest aviation association in the world. AOPA CEO Mark Baker said he had never seen better event preparation or a team more invested in its success.

Fay regularly devotes his time as an industry expert to work with the Transportation Research Board on airport cooperative research projects. In the last two years, he helped develop industry guidance and best practices for conducting tabletop and full-scale emergency exercises as well as a guidebook for airport operator options for delivery of FBO services. Additionally, he recently served as the chair of the General Aviation Planning Committee for the 2017 College Football National Championship, which was hosted in Tampa.

“The most enjoyable part of my job is having the opportunity to make a difference in our community through the promotion of aviation events,” said Fay. “Seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces after their first Young Eagles flight, it truly doesn’t get better than that.”

Fay has great memories of spending time with his father at airshows. “I was also inspired by my grandmother, who earned her pilot’s license in the 1940s,” he said. “However, the driving force has always been the constant love and support from my mom and most importantly, my wife Courtney and two daughters, Hailey and Adelyn.”

There is a great sense of community that is unique to the aviation industry, said Fay. “I would like to see a concerted effort to get more young people engaged in aviation and create more opportunities to share our airports with the community,” he said.

Alejandro A. Alvarez/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS