2017 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Ryan Maxfield

Nov. 3, 2017

Ryan Maxfield
General Manager/Director of Business Development, Indy Jet
Member/General Manager, Columbus Jet
Member/Director of Business Development, Quincy Aviation
Member/Director of Business Development, Horizon Jet Charter
Member/Director of Business Development, Phoenix Flight Academy
AGE: 35

  • Alma Mater: Indiana State University BS in Aviation Administration/Professional Flight Technology. University of Indianapolis MBA with concentrations in marketing
  • What is your dream job? I’m already there. To own and operate aviation services businesses across the country. A business aviation career that also still allows me to fly.
  • Who has impacted your career the most? I have been extremely fortunate to have brilliant mentors with varying backgrounds in the industry; all of whom have helped shape me into the aviation professional I am today. They are, in no particular order: Mike Medvescek (Senior Director of Operations with the Indianapolis Airport Authority) Bob Palmer (Former Vice President of FedEx and Owner of Indy Jet) Brad Cable (Air Carrier Cpt., Owner of Indy Jet, and member of our sister companies)) and Gerry Haan (Owner of Haan Development and member of our sister companies)
  • If I could go anywhere, it would be: Being a pilot I have had the opportunity go to a lot of great destinations! One of the areas of the world I have yet to explore is the South Pacific. So I would love to go to one of the isolated south pacific islands like Bora Bora or Tahiti .
  • If I could have dinner with anyone living or dead: I think one of the greatest eras of aviation advancement and innovation was in the testing program years following world war 2. So I think it would be amazing to have a dinner with any of the original Navy, Marine, and Air Force test pilots that were involved in the aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force base as well as the “Mercury Seven.” Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper, Alan Sheppard, and Chuck Yeager are a few on that list.
  • Favorite airport restaurant/eatery: I haven’t been to a lot of restaurants based at airports that have been overly memorable. I would say that my favorite place in the world to fly-into/eat would be Grand Cayman island followed by lunch at Macabucca’s Cracked Conch restaurant. 

Ryan Maxfield caught the aviation bug early. As a child, he would go out and see the airport and the planes. When he was a teenager, he was learning to fly even before he was driving.

And when he was old enough, he would hang around White County Airport in Monticello, Indiana, where he would mow grass, pump gas and wash airplanes in exchange for airplane rides.
“Like a lot of young people, I always kind of idolized the airline captains,” he said. “To me, it represented a life of adventure and travel. A lot of small town kids you look over that fence and you kind of want to get out and aviation to me was to me in my mind a way for me to connect with the rest of the world.”

Maxfield has been dedicated to his aviation career from an early age. He attended Indiana State University where he graduated with honors with a degree in Professional Flight Technology and Aviation Administration. In addition, he worked as a Supervisor of Flight at Terre Haute Air Center and managed a team of flight instructors.

Maxfield received his MA in Marketing and Finance in 2010. In his career, he worked as airport operations manager at the Indianapolis Airport Authority, chief airport inspector for the Indianapolis Department of Transportation, has been a pilot with Horizon Air Charter and been general manager Columbus Jet and Indy Jet.

Always priding himself as an entrepreneur, Maxfield used the opportunity to use his acumen to build and develop his own aviation business.

After taking over Indy Jet in 2013, Maxfield led the FBO to substantial growth and expanded its charter fleet. After it joined the Paragon Network in 2016, Maxfield has been a significant contributor to the entire organization. He played a key role in the acquisition of the FBO at Bolton Field Airport (TZR) in Columbus, Ohio .