2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Mitchell R. Hooper, MBA, Aviation Planning Manager for Mead & Hunt

Dec. 9, 2021

Aviation has always been a part of Mitchell Hooper’s life. Born in New Zealand, Hooper’s grandfather was one of New Zealand’s first aerial crop dusters and had his own business providing agricultural spray services. “My grandfather and uncle used to restore aircraft in my grandparent’s backyard so I have been exposed to aviation as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school, I used to draw airport layouts and airline route maps for fun,” Hooper said.

Fourteen years ago, Hooper joined Mead & Hunt and serves now as an Aviation Planning Manager. His work on aviation planning projects nationwide has earned him a reputation among clients as knowledgeable, innovative and people-focused. He has been the principal project planner for more than 50 airport planning and environmental studies. Mitch excels at taking on challenging projects – working through the minutia to deliver sustainable results that meet and exceed the needs of clients and stakeholders. With an educational background in planning and business, Mitch incorporates financial feasibility into long range planning.

“Aviation has always been quick to innovate. When you look back at where we were 10 years ago and we are going to be in the next 10 years, it is just hands down one of the most exciting fields I can see myself being involved in. I'm particularly proud of the work that my colleagues and I get to do where we are advancing aviation in a sustainable fashion, reducing environmental impact, improving financial performance, and removing barriers for everyone. And on the airport planning and development side, we get to be visionaries. We help airport management and stakeholders imagine what their airport is going to look like in the next 20 years. This leads to an infrastructure plan that will enable them to achieve their goals and do their part to help aviation remain a thriving and vibrant industry,” Hooper said.

Hooper cares deeply about advancing the aviation industry as a whole and his participation on several publications, panels, and presentations has garnered him respect among his peers as an industry leader. Noteworthy panels include presentations to the NBAA in the Fall of 2019 and 2021, and a June 2020 AAAE Airport Magazine article about non-aeronautical revenue generation and financial resiliency. Mitch is a frequent presenter at AAAE/Unison CIP conference.

“People that work in aviation are kindred spirits, regardless of where they stand politically or where they come from. Men and women working in the field dedicate their lives to helping the industry develop and thrive. Some of the finest conversations I've ever had have been with people in the airport industry, just because we have that shared passion,” Hooper said.

About the Author

Walker Jaroch | Editor

Contact: Walker Jaroch

Editor | AMT

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