Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), made his first official visit to Van Nuys Airport on June 25 to witness firsthand the activities and operations at one of the nation’s leading general aviation airports. AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who manage commercial and general aviation airports.
VNY Airport Manager Flora Margheritis provided Hauptli a behind-the-scenes airfield tour and briefing which highlighted VNY’s major tenants, including its four fixed-based operator facilities and dedicated propeller aircraft park. Hauptli also had the opportunity to view VNY’s renovated air traffic control tower and learn about several capital improvement projects, valued at over $65 million, which have successfully moved forward. These include the new $7.5-million aviation complex at Aeroplex/Aerolease Group and $10 million south campus at Clay Lacy Aviation, plus other airport development projects currently underway.
“I was honored to share what makes VNY such a valuable asset to the Southern California region in terms of economic activity and job creation, environmental sustainability, safety and security, and community partnerships,” said Margheritis. “AAAE has a long history of supporting and collaborating with its member airports, and I was pleased to report that VNY is positioned for positive growth.”
Hauptli joined AAAE in 1991 and is the third CEO in the organization's history. Before his appointment to this position, he was responsible for overseeing AAAE's interactions with Congress and the Executive Branch agencies. He also previously worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation; on the White House staff of President Ronald Reagan; and for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He began his career on Capitol Hill working for the House Republican Research Committee. A California native, Hauptli is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and currently resides in Virginia with his family.
Regarding his visit to the airport, Hauptli commented, "It was a truly eye-opening experience for me. As one of our nation's busiest and vital general aviation airports, I was particularly impressed with both the extensive business jet operations and the propeller park. The leaders at the airport and in the community are upholding the incredible heritage of this very special facility. Flora and her team are firing on all cylinders."