Airport Aviation Engineer Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Engineering, aviation, airport, FAA, mechanical engineer, safety, security, risk assessment, planning, seismic, earthquake, loss prevention, airport planning, facilities, airspace.


The Expert specializes in airport strategic planning activities with an emphasis on the airspace, airside, landside and terminal components; financial, environmental and land use issues; and compliance with federal standards. His experience includes airports in the United States and internationally. These services are built on his 39 years of experience as an airport planning and development specialist, president of an internationally recognized airport consultancy, and through leadership positions within industry professional organizations. The Expert has earned recognition for his management and technical skills and capabilities, and for defining innovative solutions to challenging assignments. He has provided expert witness testimony on airport height restriction and hazard zoning and land use issues including obstruction evaluations, aviation easements, and compatible land use planning; aviation facilities layout and function; aircraft accidents involving obstruction issues and airport facilities and development; and consultant selection and other airport management and operations processes. The Expert has unique skills in conveying technical information to the lay public and local, state and federal officials during the course of public meetings as well as in legal settings. His wide range of responsible experience also facilitates his role as an independent fee estimator as part of airport planning, architectural and engineering design and capital improvement grant applications and implementation.

The Expert also specializes in the evaluation of ground-based terminal navigational aids (NAVAIDS) and global positioning system (GPS) technology to enhance the utilization of airports during instrument flight rule conditions. These evaluations are based on the “United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS)”, and “United States Standard for Area Navigation (RNAV)” as developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) An area of specialization that The Expert has developed is in the evaluation of objects and their impact on navigable airspace, and in the preparation of instrument approach and departure procedure design based on the technically complex design criteria utilized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) His experience in these areas is especially well regarded by the FAA nationally. These skills are frequently of importance in the due-diligence evaluation of existing and proposed obstacles. In these instances, his services focus on means to mitigate adverse impacts through the positioning of the proposed obstacle and/or redesign of the instrument procedure to achieve ‘win-win’ solutions. The Expert has conducted TERPS and RNAV (GPS) approach feasibility studies for more than 800 runway ends, many of which were at airports located in areas of precipitous terrain and obstacle-rich environments. Statewide projects he has completed in this technical discipline include those for the states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming. In conjunction with some these assignments, he has prepared plans and programs that provide the aviation industry and other users with real-time weather data and products. These activities also place emphasis on establishing a telecommunications topology which allows for the near instantaneous acquisition and dissemination of the data generated. Some of these projects have been nationally recognized for their innovativeness and contribution to flight safety. The Expert evaluated the potential impacts on the use of airport facilities in southeastern South Carolina as a consequence of the proposed expansion of special use airspace by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Expert is responsible for the preparation of master plans for airports and heliports, aviation system plans, site selection and feasibility studies, land use planning projects, environmental impact assessments and statements, economic impact analyses, strategic business and marketing plans, financial plans, and the design of airport improvements. These assignments have addressed the airport planning and development needs at airports ranging in size from the large hub air carrier facilities to small general aviation fields. Each of these projects involved the full range of airport planning issues with special attention to the capital improvement and financial plans, and compliance with federal standards for airport facilities. Additionally, he has prepared FAR Part 150 and comprehensive off-airport land use plans for air carrier airports.

Representative projects that reflect the range of services the Expert has directed, either as the Principal of A PRIVATE COMPANY or in project management positions with other firms, include the participation in aircraft accidents/incidents investigations; aircraft noise monitoring site evaluations (City of Tempe, AZ – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport); obstacle evaluations at Montgomery Field (San Diego, CA), New York LaGuardia Airport; preparation of zoning regulations (Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, GA), and multiple wind turbine generators near the Akron Airport, NY; avigation easement definition and off-airport land use height restrictions for the Camarillo Airport and Oxnard Airport, CA; master plans for air carrier airports as Bradley International Airport (Hartford, CT) and Jacksonville International Airport, FL; master and layout plans for general aviation airports and heliports as Williams County Airport, OH; Provo Municipal Airport, UT; Watson Island Air Transportation Facility (seaplane and heliport base), FL; East 34th Street Heliport, NY; an air traffic control tower siting study for Jackson Hole Airport, WY; air cargo feasibility and facility requirements evaluation at the Greater Rochester International Airport, NY; environmental assessments and impact statements for airfield improvements at Newark-Liberty International Airport, NJ and Genesee County Airport, NY; a global positioning system (GPS) TERPS analysis and weather system plan for all public-use airports in Ohio; AWOS-3 siting analysis and frequency request at Mackinac Island Airport, MI; land use compatibility plan for the Greenville-Spartanburg Jetport, SC; air industrial park/master plan/land use compatibility study for the Gainesville Regional Airport, FL; security threat and risk assessments for 23 general aviation airports in the Delaware Valley Region (DE, NJ and PA); financial plan for planned improvements at the Juneau International Airport, AK; and business and strategic marketing plans for the Sussex Airport, NJ, Camden County Airport, NJ and the Sanford Regional Airport, ME. The Expert serves as the general consultant to the Meriden-Markham Municipal Airport, CT and earlier for Summit Airport, Middletown, DE where he assists these owners in defining a vision for the future phased development of these facilities.

Internationally, the Expert has provided Expert second opinion services (value planning/engineering) to the Norwegian Civil Aviation Administration on the planning and design of the new Oslo International Airport that opened for activity at Gardermoen. His experience also includes providing strategic and technical planning advice to the private sector with regard to the privatization of airport facilities. These services were for proposed build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects at the Ataturk Airport (Istanbul, Turkey); Ezezia Airport and Jorge Newberry Airport (Buenos Aires, Argentina); a grouping of 18 airports in Argentina; the international gateway airport serving Asunción, Paraguay; and Khanty-Mansiysk Airport (Russian Federation). The Expert also provided financial and technical assistance to the Indonesia Minister of Communications under a two-year grant awarded by the United States Trade and Development Agency. He directed the preparation of an Aeronautical Meteorological System Development Plan for the Republic of Colombia. The Expert provided oversight to the Directorate of Civil Aviation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the procurement of a new air traffic management system, WGS-84 surveys, meteorological systems and communications networks, and civil works projects funded in part by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. His analyses of airspace and air traffic control systems have considered facilities serving the transition plans and programs to satellite-based communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM) requirements for several foreign governments. Additionally, he identified high priority, emergency projects at the Port-au-Prince International Airport, Haiti that addressed the international response to the earthquake that struck that country. Other international assignments have evaluated the expansion of the passenger terminal complex and air traffic control center at Accra, Ghana; improvements to the air traffic management systems for the Republic of Indonesia; and the establishment of terminal navigational aids at a new air carrier airport to serve the State of Ceara, Brazil.

His experience also includes the preparation of plans related to the use and development of airport land areas for revenue producing purposes while maintaining the integrity of the airport operation. In this regard, he was a featured presenter in a series of seminars organized jointly by the FAA and AAAE on “Developing Airport Revenue From Non-Aeronautical Use Land,” and for an “Airport Compliance and Sponsor Assurance Seminar” at which he addressed similar issues.

With respect to passenger terminal complex facilities,  the Expert has been responsible for their planning and consideration of related operational concerns. During these assignments, he also coordinates with the airlines and other terminal tenants in order to assure that their input is timely and appropriate for the project at hand. His planning experience includes preparation of demand forecasts, terminal programs, funding options including the use of passenger facility charges, identification and evaluation of alternative conceptual layouts, and threat/risk security assessments.

In addition to AAAE, the Expert has been an invited speaker to several professional organizations including, NASAO, AASHTO, HAI, INAC, SWAAAE, several state aviation pilot and airport management associations, and the National Governors’ Association on topics relating to the aviation and airport industry. He served as President of the 235-member firms comprising the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) and as a member of its Board of Governors. Earlier he served as Chairman of the 4,000-member ASCE Air Transport Division. He is a licensed private pilot and is listed in “Who’s Who in Aviation and Aerospace”. The Expert is also an assistant professor with A PUBLIC UNIVERSITY in Illinois where he instructs undergraduates on the topic of airport planning.



Rutgers-The State University, Newark, NJ: MBA, Business Administration, 1973
Newark College of Engineering, Newark, NJ: BS, Mechanical Engineering, 1969



Professional Engineer, New Jersey, 1973 – Present



Principal, A PRIVATE COMPANY, Amelia Island, Florida, since April 1994.

  • Lead airport and aviation planner responsible for the conduct of projects encompassing all technical disciplines provided by THE COMPANY.
  • Specialized skills in the areas of strategic airport facility planning and development, site evaluation, airspace and airfield capacity analyses, instrument approach procedure development, and airport land use and zoning issues.
  • Frequently invited speaker to aviation interest groups on airport and aviation issues.
  • Past president of the Airport Consultants Council and former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the ASCE Air Transport Division.

President, Thompson Consultants International, Briarcliff Manor, NY, January 1992 – April 1994.

  • Responsible for management and staffing of the firm’s three operational divisions, project teaming and negotiation of contracts.
  • Maintained project management control of those activities emphasizing the airside and airfield component.
  • Managed major passenger terminal complex projects involving multidisciplinary skill sets.

Executive Vice President, Thompson Consultants International, Reston, VA, October 1987 – January 1992.

  • Responsible for the firm’s southeast division projects related to passenger terminal complex planning and firmwide responsibility for airside planning activities.

Director, Airports Discipline, CH2M Hill, Herndon, VA, February 1978 – October 1987.

  • Technical and budget responsibility for firmwide airport planning projects addressing all components of the airport complex.
  • Established standards for project execution and quality assurance controls.

Senior Associate, Arnold Thompson Associates, Riverside, CT, August 1972 – February 1978.

  • Project manager for airport planning projects.
  • Airports ranged in size from major air carrier international hubs to relatively smaller fields serving general aviation.

Loss Prevention Engineer, Hartford Insurance Group, Newark, NJ, August 1970 – August 1972.

  • Evaluated new business risks and implemented loss prevention programs for insured clients in industrial and commercial industries.

Piping Analytical Engineer, M.W. Kellogg Company, South Plainfield, NJ, June 1969 – August 1970.

  • Project engineering review and design of nuclear power plant piping systems to withstand seismic vibration loading.



Working knowledge of Spanish.