Previous NYAMA Association News

2015 Phil Brito Project of the Year Award Presented to Passero Associates

NYAMA is pleased to congratulate Passero Associates and Watertown International Airport (ART) as the recipients of the 2015 Phil Brito Project of the Year Award in the Design/Construction Project category.

Passero’s winning design/construction entry redeveloped ART’s Airport Business Center. The project included providing a 14,400-square-foot, code-compliant hangar and adjacent finished office/conference space. The new facility included conference space, a pilot lounge, retail counter, lobby and weather briefing areas, kitchenette, flight school space and administrative staff offices.

The judges called the project innovative and creative, citing the use of several components instead of a single improvement, and its balanced approach to increasing airport revenue and stimulation of aviation-related businesses, as well as creating several new jobs. The green aspects of natural and LED lighting, as well as the increased insulation and radiant in-floor heating, were also noted.

“Congratulations to Passero Associates and Project Manager Shawn Bray on this award-winning project at Watertown,” NYAMA President Jeremy P. Martelle said. “This outstanding upgrade in design added tremendous value to the airport and exceeded expectations. NYAMA proudly applauds both Passero and the management team at Watertown for the project design and implementation,” Martelle said.

“Passero’s vision has always coincided with our goals for expansion and improvements at the Watertown Airport,” said Watertown International Airport Manager Jim Lawrence.

The Phil Brito Award was created to recognize engineering and planning consulting firms for outstanding achievement in the execution of an aviation-related planning, design, or design-build project for an airport or airports located within New York state. This award is named after the late, long-time FAA New York Airport District Office Manager, Mr. Phil Brito, whose tireless efforts greatly contributed to the success of aviation in New York state. The award is presented annually at NYAMA’s Fall Conference and Exhibit Show, this year held in Rochester, N.Y.

Entry fees collected from the Phil Brito Award are used, in their entirety, to fund student scholarships for annual Fall Conference registration or aviation-related courses of study on behalf of NYAMA.

The New York Aviation Management Association is a nonprofit association of aviation professionals and is the only organization in New York state dedicated solely to the needs of the entire aviation industry.

NYAMA Honors Joel Russell with 2015 Bill Shea Award

In recognition of his years of service to aviation in New York state, the New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) is pleased to announce that Joel Russell is the recipient of the 2015 Bill Shea Award. Mr. Russell was presented with his award at a ceremony held during NYAMA’s 2015 Fall Conference and Exhibit show in Rochester.

Mr. Russell’s career includes more than 38 years of service in the aviation industry, including senior airport management experience. Joel served as Airport Manager at Albany International and Westchester County airports, and was a senior manager at Teterboro Airport in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan region. He has experience in all aspects of airport management, including new terminal construction, oversight of environmental issues, management of security requirements, and ensuring compliance with all Part 139 standards and requirements. Currently, Mr. Russell is a Senior Associate at Steven Baldwin Associates, an airport management consulting firm.

Mr. Russell holds a master’s degree in aviation management from Embry-Riddle University and a B.A. in Economics from Lafayette College. He is a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). He is past president of the New York Aviation Management Association and continues to be very active in the organization.

“In recognition of all Joel Russell has done in aviation and the huge impact he has made in our field, NYAMA is honored to present him with the Bill Shea Award,” said NYAMA President Jeremy P. Martelle. “Joel represents the highest standards of excellence in aviation management. I couldn’t think of a better recipient of this award.”

The Bill Shea Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated exemplary leadership and effected positive change in the aviation industry in New York state. Those eligible for the award must have gone beyond the call of duty and given of their time, energy and resources to significantly impact the aviation industry in New York state for the better. Eligible individuals must also have developed a positive relationship with the New York Aviation Management Association, though they do not necessarily need to be NYAMA members.

The Bill Shea Award was created in honor of William F. Shea, an aerospace educator and lecturer and NYAMA’s first president, who has had extensive experience in administration, education, government, and aviation. Bill has held number of aviation positions, authored many aviation-related articles, and received numerous industry awards throughout his career.

Aviation Jobs Act Tax Reform in New York Budget

NYAMA has worked for years advocating for the passage of the Aviation Jobs Act (AJA). The NYS Senate and Assembly passed, as part of the state budget, this measure which stimulates New York’s aviation industry and supports the state’s airports and the communities they serve.

The AJA will exempt general aviation aircraft and machinery or equipment that is installed on these aircraft from the state’s sales and use taxes beginning September 1, 2015. The current tax is seen as a financial barrier to aircraft locations to New York because most other surrounding states do not charge sales taxes or have more favorable tax treatment for such aircraft sales and basings. New York lost over 700 of these planes over a ten-year period.

According to the NYS Department of Transportation, each business jet, on average, means five direct on-airport jobs and $1 million of annual economic activity.