2023 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Michael A. McDougall, C.M., ACE

Dec. 19, 2023
Michael A. McDougall, C.M., ACE, Florida Department of Transportation Aviation Program Manager

In the realm of aviation leadership, Michael A. McDougall is a distinguished professional with a profound commitment to the industry. As the Aviation Program Manager in the Aviation Office of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), he embodies the qualities that make him a strong candidate for recognition in the "40 under 40."

McDougall's motivation to succeed in aviation is deeply rooted in his upbringing in Dayton, Ohio, famously known as the Birthplace of Aviation. From a young age, he developed a passionate fascination with aviation. This enduring passion has been a driving force in his life, propelling him to surmount numerous challenges and adversities.

"Growing up in Dayton, Ohio instilled in me a lifelong passion for aviation," McDougall said. "I've never wavered from my love for aviation, despite the challenges I've faced."

A standout achievement in his professional journey is his role as the airport manager of a public-use general aviation airport in Sulphur, Louisiana. He assumed this role at the age of 23, shortly after graduating from college in 2013. He took the lead in rebranding the airport, ensuring compliance with FAA regulations, and successfully executing the airport's 5-year Capital Improvement Plan. His tenure as the youngest airport manager in the country underscored the pivotal role that airports, including general aviation airports, play within communities.

"This experience provided me with invaluable lessons in leadership and highlighted the vital role that airports play in communities,” he said.

Being a part of the FDOT Aviation Office is an honor for him. He said it allows him to collaborate with all the airports across the state of Florida.

"Being a part of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Aviation Office is an honor," McDougall said. "The wealth of knowledge and experience I've gained from my colleagues is something I will cherish forever."

Looking to the future, he said, “I aspire to be recognized for my unwavering work ethic, my dedication to teamwork, my belief that no challenge is too big to overcome, and my capacity to consistently meet or exceed expectations to fulfill our agency's requirements.”