As aviation market sector leader, Irion works closely with HNTB leadership and aviation professionals to broaden the range of value-based services that HNTB provides aviation clients. The firm’s many signature aviation projects include design of the “Green Build” expansion at San Diego International Airport; engineering and design services at Los Angeles World Airports; design and construction management of runway status light implementation at airports across the country; and design of the runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
● Airport Council International-North America; World Business Partners/Associates Board, board of directors, 2014-2017
● Global Leadership Committee, NextGen Institute, 2014
● Active in leadership positions in many other industry organizations, including American Association of Airport Executives, Airport Consultants Council and the Aero Club of Washington
30 seconds with Laddie Irion …
Q. What might surprise people outside the industry about aviation infrastructure?
A. The amount of time it takes to get an airport project off the ground. Before the first plane lands at a new or expanded airport, years – sometimes decades – of preparation and planning must take place, including environmental impact statements, airport noise and land use compatibility, and funding and financing. That’s particularly challenging as the United States works to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System. While NextGen has the potential to increase the number of airplanes that can be safely and efficiently managed in flight, airports need to be preparing for similar increases in terminal and gate traffic.
Q. What can the federal government do to help?
A. Airports traditional sources of funding – bond issuance, federal funding and passenger fees – are vulnerable to slow growth or even declines. We need to identify a permanent funding mechanism for improving airport facilities. As part of that effort, Congress should approve a pilot program to explore a market-based passenger facility charge to better align funding for regional projects with local customers’ needs.
Q. How is the desire for “greener” infrastructure impacting aviation?
A. We’re advocating strategic investments in efficient and sustainable materials and approaches. Many sustainability best practices can help airports grow a green bottom line, cost effectively addressing energy efficiency and carbon emissions – sometimes in as little as 12 months.
Awards and recognition:
● Moderator, ACC/AAAE Technical Symposium, 2015
● Participant, Airport Development Roundtable, American Association of Airport Executives, 2014
● Appointed to editorial advisory board for Airport Business Magazine, 2014
● Appointed member of the Airport Working Group of the U.S. Joint Planning and Development Office, 2005 to 2010
● Associate Degree, St. Petersburg College, Florida
● Bachelor of Arts, University of South Florida, Tampa, College of Natural Sciences
● Supplemental studies in computer science, environmental engineering and transportation modeling