Accidental Excellence

Oct. 1, 2018

I’ve never minced words when it comes to my love of our annual Airport Business Top 40 Under 40.

We get hundreds of nominations each year from across the industry — and the world for that matter — about all the talented professionals improving the aviation system. It’s never easy picking just 40, but when we do, it’s always amazing to see the impact the budding leaders of aviation are making today.

I love getting a chance to talk with and meet Top 40 winners. All of them are passionate about what they do and their drive to find better ways of doing business. If you ever get a chance to meet any of them at a conference or out in the field, please do. I assure you it will be a conversation you will remember.

There is a unique element for this year’s winners that we all need to take heed in. A reoccurring theme in many of the winners I spoke with was “I never thought of aviation as a career before, but…”

This was the first year I can recall the majority of people I spoke with didn’t have a deep focus on aviation from early childhood. There weren’t a lot of hours spent watching planes or dreaming of aviation.

I wasn’t surprised after realizing the average age of this year’s winners is 34.5. Being of the same generation, I’ve spoken before that aviation was never presented as an actual career choice. We all wanted to be pilots, but if you couldn’t do math or your eyes were bad it was a death sentence for that dream.

Bringing talented professionals into the aviation realm is a very powerful resource. It provides fresh ideas and concepts from people who didn’t come up with a tunnel vision on aviation and commonplace best practices. The best innovations often come from a fresh set of eyes.

Counting on professionals stumbling into aviation isn’t a viable path forward. It’s important to cultivate a love of aviation in your community to make sure you have employees and a customer base in the future.

A lot of communities are doing their part to get children hooked on aviation. I hope you’re planning your own events because the Top 40 Under 40 class of 2028 are depending on it.

About the Author

Joe Petrie | Editor & Chief

Joe Petrie is the Editorial Director for the Endeavor Aviation Group.

Joe has spent the past 15 years writing about the most cutting-edge topics related to transportation and policy in a variety of sectors with an emphasis on transportation issues for the past 10 years.

Contact: Joe Petrie

Editor & Chief | Airport Business

[email protected]


>> To download the AviationPros media kits, visit: Marketing Resource Center

>>Check out our aviation magazines: Ground Support Worldwide |  Airport Business  | Aircraft Maintenance Technology