2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Matthew Brown C.M., Assistant Airport Manager, Columbus Municipal Airport

Dec. 9, 2021

Matthew Brown grew up near an airport, leading him to develop an interest in aviation early on in his life. Planning to become a pilot, Brown enrolled in Vincennes University, receiving an associates degree in aviation flight technology and earned up to his CFII certification. He then went on to Southern Illinois University for a bachelor’s in aviation management.

 And from there, Brown “accidently” found his way into airports.

“I was just doing a pretty generic job search for aviation management degrees and came across the operations specialist at Philadelphia International Airport. So, my first job out of college was in airport operations at a large hub airport,” Brown recalled.

Brown said the job at the Philadelphia International Airport gave him a great “introductory course” to the world of airport operations. He has also worked at Lambert St. Louis International and Evansville Regional Airport. Brown obtained his American Association of Airport Executives Certified Member Accreditation in 2019.

Today, Brown serves as the assistant airport manager for the Columbus Municipal Airport, bringing many innovative ideas to the airport board and administration over the past year-and-a-half since his hiring.

Before Brown’s arrival to Columbus, the airport had all paper records from FAA part 139 compliance to the leasing system. He took on the task of moving away from paper to a more efficient electronic system. He spent many hours transitioning lighting, sign, and airfield data from paper to our VEOCI electronic software. The transition took multiple months of planning and coordination between Matthew, the operations and compliance specialist, and the FAA.

“During winter operations I like when we make a plan and, when that plan gets executed just right. When you watch that first airplane takeoff and then they come on the radio afterwards and say, ‘thank you so much. You did a great job.’ That's just a really cool feeling,” Brown said.

In addition to his responsibilities with the airport, Brown is serving in many positions within the community. He is the Chairman of Aviation Indiana’s Membership Committee and a member to the Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO). Brown also serves as an adjunct professor for the Ivy Tech Community College Aviation program, teaching a number of aviation and airport management classes to students, allowing them the opportunity to apply book knowledge hands on while taking tours of the airfield.

“I love talking aviation – if we're talking about flying, if we're talking about the airport itself or talking about just anything in general with aviation. I love getting together with people just talking about where it's going and what we're doing or what they're doing and how much fun they're having flying. I really enjoy that when you get to get out, get the chance to chat with the people and see what they're interested in and where they see things going,” Brown said.

About the Author

Walker Jaroch | Editor

Contact: Walker Jaroch

Editor | AMT

[email protected]


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