What first attracted you to the
airport management profession?
I have always been interested in
aviation. I received my pilot’s license
when I was 16 years old, and knew I
wanted to do something in aviation.
After college I was planning to
work either at airports or fly for the
airlines, and I was able to find a job
in airport management. And, as they
say, the rest is history.
What are the most interesting
aspects of your present position?
As with all airports, Tulsa presents
a wide variety of issues and
challenges on a daily basis. Over
the last year we transitioned our
airport from a city department to
an autonomous airport authority,
which has presented us with great
opportunities to restructure our
organization and improve our
performance. We also are exploring
providing our management services
to a general aviation airport in our
region, which would provide capacity
relief for us and better position them
for additional development.
What is the most important
responsibility of an airport
Meeting the needs and expectations
of your community. That ranges
from a general aviation facility that
provides important flight training
and private aircraft services to a
large hub airport offering flights
around the world. Listening to
and communicating with your
customers and community, and
A CONVERSATION WITH
JEFF MULDER, A.A.E.
DIRECTOR OF TULSA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
AND INCOMING AAAE CHAIR
anticipating changes and proactively
addressing the challenges and
opportunities, are the most
important responsibilities of
What could you envision yourself
doing professionally, if not
managing an airport?
I would be a professional pilot with
the airlines or corporate aviation.
Are your outside interests/
hobbies aviation related?
I fly recreationally, enjoy
traveling and outdoor activities,
What are the AAAE programs
that convinced you to join
I saw the accreditation program as
essential for career advancement,
both from a credentials perspective
and for expanding my knowledge
base, which is the benefit of going
through the process.
What advice do you have for
AAAE members who want
to become elected leaders in
Become involved in a variety of
committees, and be a ready and
willing contributor on a variety of
issues. Members of our association
and our industry need to share their
ideas for solving our challenges.
Reaching out to existing AAAE
leadership, board members and
committees with your ideas and
support demonstrates your passion
for what we do.
You will take office as AAAE chair
during deliberations in Congress
over FAA reauthorization. What
is the biggest policy change that
you would like to see enacted as
part of FAA reauthorization?
Lift the cap on PFCs and make the
program a true local user fee that is
used for the benefit of the passenger
to upgrade/expand facilities
to ensure a competitive airline
marketplace. Reform the capital
procurement process for NextGen
from an annual appropriation to
a multi-year capital improvement
program that can accelerate airspace
capacity improvements for high
traffic areas. Modernize the flight
training requirements to utilize
modern technology and training
techniques like the rest of the world,
and expand the pipeline to solve our
pilot workforce challenge.
What are your personal priorities
as AAAE Chair?
To formalize our cooperative efforts
with other aviation organizations
to help sustain and grow aviation.
More pilots, more aircraft, and
more aviation services help airports.
Airports need to bring a more
holistic message to the conversation
that supports the efforts of the
other sectors in our industry, since it
ultimately helps to sustain and grow
our activity and longevity. A