Aviation Thought Leaders

  • Tim Fish, P.E.Aviation Business Class Director

    Expertise in airfield design, development of construction safety and phasing plans, and project management on large-scale, aviation-related projects
    Serves as Secretary of the ACC Engineering Technical Committee
    Published an article on utilizing 3D, 4D and 5D Design to determine construction phasing by Florida Engineering Society, in addition to being named Top 40 Under 40 by Airport Business Magazine in 2015
    Served as Project Manager on Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airports Terminal 4 Apron Civil Works and Terminal Modernization Program

    Q. What is one of the biggest challenges facing airport clients and how is HDR assisting?

    A. Airports are again making massive investments in their facilities and infrastructure to not only keep up with unprecedented growth but also to meet the ever-changing needs of our passengers. Our clients are faced with difficult decisions to rehabilitate and modernize existing infrastructure or construct new. We are assisting by providing cost risk assessment and value engineering services which provide decision support throughout the program.

  • Mark M. DikunAirfield Electrical

    Expertise in airfield electrical covering FAA runway approaches, runway and taxiway lighting and signage, and switch house upgrades
    Participated in work at PANYNJ EWR and TEB replacing infrastructure and wiring damaged from Super Storm Sandy

    Q. What do we do that has the client calling us back time and time again?

    A. We do our work according to the client's original scope of work. While doing the field work, we note all areas that are not in the scope of work that need repair and then have a meeting with the client to discuss these issues. Most of the time, the contract is amended to add these items or another task is issued to address them and take corrective action. We also talk with facilities when doing our field work and note areas that are or have been giving them problems. We then follow that same outline as above and these are corrected most of the time.

  • John McPherson, AICPMaster Planning, Senior Transportation Planner, Vice President

    Specializes in airport master planning for general aviation and small commercial airports, including experience in airport site selection and seaplane base master plans, and FAA NEPA documentation and permitting
    Completed more than 15 airport master plans and numerous FAA EAs and Categorical Exclusions

    Q. How are electronic airport layout plans (eALPs) going to affect an owner's airport plan?

    A. The FAA is in the process of requiring airports to convert their ALPs into an electronic, GIS-based system called the eALP. Rather than maintaining a paper (or mylar) copy of the ALP, which can quickly become outdated, airports will store their information in a web-based application within the FAA's Airports GIS (AGIS) system.

    This system houses up-to-date data and will ultimately be able to dynamically generate ALP drawings. The data will also support the Next Generation National Airspace System. The surveying and GIS data inputs must meet highly specified standards and be approved by the National Geodetic Survey.

    We have found that having experienced surveyors and GIS professionals on the planning team is the key to navigating the cumbersome FAA AGIS site and securing approval from the NGS and FAA. Also, having a strong relationship with your local FAA planner is critical.

  • Mark J. Pavlick, P.E.Senior Project Manager - People Movers

    Structural engineer who has worked on over 30 Automated People Mover (APM) projects
    Experienced in the design of guideway, switch, emergency walkway, maintenance areas and other required APM components related to the guideway
    Extensive international experience with APM projects in Beijing, Singapore, England, Germany and San Francisco, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Las Vegas nationally, with most projects at international airports

    Q. How do People Movers function in airports?

    A. Many major airport renovation and expansion projects involve new or extended APM systems that service airside or landside airport operations. People Movers serve as a vital link connecting main terminals to satellite terminals or main terminals to intermodal connectors and/or rental car facilities.

  • Michael Pucci, P.E.Federal/Department of Defense

    Expertise in managing federal projects and is fully versed in FAA and DoD requirements for airfield civil design
    Currently leads airfield design for various federal and commercial projects at Joint Base Andrews (JBA), Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst (JBMDL) and NYSDOT Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York
    Experience involving permitting with regulatory agencies for environmental impacts including wetlands and stormwater management as well as compliance with Bird Aircraft Strike Hazards (BASH) standards as set forth by FAA

    Q. How do you minimize interruptions to airfield operations when critical construction repairs to storm drainage infrastructure is needed?

    A. We have developed innovative solutions for airfield stormwater management which include various pipe relining options for storm drainage repairs.  

    Pipe relining where feasible minimizes the need for ramp freezes and disruptions to airfield operations and an open trench excavation for full pipe replacement can often be avoided.  Additionally, the service life of the storm drainage system can often be extended 50 to 75 years through pipe relining.

  • Kim Schulz, P.E. ENV SPSustainability, Senior Project Manager

    Spearheads HDR's cross selling effort between the Aviation and Sustainability Market Sectors on the national level, leading HDR's Aviation Sustainability program
    Experience in the planning, design, and analysis of aviation, transit, and highway projects throughout the southwestern United States
    Serves on the ACC Environmental Technical Committee

    Q. How is sustainability changing at airports?

    A. Sustainability is becoming a bigger issue for the aviation industry, as airport operators are improving their environmental, social, and economic performance.

    Previously, sustainable practices tended to be regulation or policy based. However, at airports across the country, there is now a shift to prioritize stakeholder concerns. This has resulted in an increased expectation of sustainable and socially responsible practices in aviation. As aviation sustainability grows, so has HDR's Aviation Sustainability Program. We offer a broad sustainability strategy to accommodate needs of our airport clients, including land use planning, airport connectivity and environmental impacts.

    We understand that all of these plans must be developed to comply with FAA regulations, such as the Noise Compatibility Program and Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) Program. Our professionals regularly provide a full spectrum of services to assist airport authorities and their many stakeholders in achieving their goals.

  • Scott SikelWest Region Aviation Market Sector Leader

    Specializes in Airfield Design and Airside Construction Management
    An active member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and serves on the Engineering Technical Committee for Airports Consultants Council (ACC)
    Experience with major airport development projects at large and medium hub airports, such as Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, John Wayne Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, Portland International Airport and SeaTac International Airport

    Q. What is the condition of our country's airport infrastructure and how can it be improved?

    A. In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our airport infrastructure a grade of 'D.' The average airport in the United States is about 40 years old, and our youngest airport is just over 20 years old.

    In a recent study, the nation's airport system had a capital development need of roughly $75.7 billion over the next five years. Airport capital development needs are driven by current and forecast aviation activity; use and age of airport facilities and the need to modernize aging infrastructure; and changing aircraft technology which requires airports to update or replace equipment and infrastructure.

    There are two primary means for funding capital development programs. The first is the FAA's Airport Improvement Program (AIP), and the second is a fee you pay when you buy a ticket. Next time you buy an airline ticket, look and you will see a fee of $4.50, which is the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC). The limit of $4.50 was set in 2000 and has not been increased since. When adjusted for inflation, the $4.50 PFC now has the buying power of $2.30.

    There has been a push by several associations in the aviation industry to revisit the PFC issue. Increasing the PFC limit to $8.50 would cover the gap between our current funding shortfall. Without adequate investment, the ability of airports to fully serve the public and the community as a growth engine is diminished.