Bill Huisman is a native of Queens and has been serving as the Aviation Development Council Executive Director since 2002. Bill has more than 43 years of aviation experience, including a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines in the New York City area. During his Delta tenure, he served in staff and management positions within airport operations, airline reservations, consumer marketing, corporate sales, public relations, corporate communications, and government and community relations. Bill was also a Delta’s Aircraft Incident Response team member and participated in Delta’s humanitarian response to aircraft incidents in 1986 and 1987. He also worked closely with Mayor Giuliani’s office and airline partner, Swissair, during the recovery and relief efforts directly following the Swissair 111 tragedy in 1998.
Currently, as head of the Aviation Development Council (ADC), Bill directs several important business development, airport security, and community outreach programs on behalf of the region’s aviation industry and the Port Authority of NY & NJ.
1. As the Executive Director of the Aviation Development Council, tell us about what services and programs ADC offers to the employees and businesses in and around our local airports.
Bill Huisman: Aviation Development Council (ADC) began in 1962 as a way for the aviation industry at the PA airports to address the communities’ concerns about newly introduced jet aircraft & the aircraft noise associated with them. Since then, ADC has taken responsibility for the Queens & New Jersey Air Services Development Offices, whose goal is to match the needs of the region’s aviation community at the PA’s airports with the broad range of products & services provided by local businesses surrounding LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, Teterboro, and New York Stewart International airports.
Since 1985, QASDO has been responsible for 10,175 Direct Contract Awards @ $1.79B, including 989 MBE’s (minority-owned businesses) & 1,450 WBE’s (women-owned businesses). Additionally, NJASDO has assisted local businesses in acquiring 4,012 Direct Contract Awards at $1.04B. Both New Jersey & Queens ASDO’s are currently working collaboratively with the JFK Redevelopment Community Information Center (Jamaica) & the Newark and Elizabeth Community Outreach Offices to ensure that local businesses within the communities served by LGA, JFK, and EWR realize the many opportunities available within these expansive PANYNJ airport redevelopment projects.
ADC also directs & manages a number of other important community outreach programs for the PANYNJ Aviation Department and our airline partners, including the community outreach grant program (Airports Do Care). The program provides small grants to local grassroots non-profit organizations that offer wellness, leadership, and education programs for young people – including sports, cultural enhancement, and career development programs. ADC’s community grant program has initiated & supported the ADC-Vaughn College Leadership Academy since 2004.
Our grant program has also supported the Queens Council on the Arts ‘High School to Art School Program’; the Queens Botanical Garden’s Bee Garden; the Metro Queens Boys & Girls Club’s After School Programs; the Newark Museum’s Explorer Program; the King Manor Museum’s School Education Program; Queens Theatre’s QTELL English Language Learning Program; Kean University’s Project Adelante, to name just a few.
2. Considering all the redevelopment going on at JFK, LGA and EWR, what are some things a business can do to participate in these projects?
Bill Huisman: These exciting PANYNJ airport redevelopment projects are bringing tremendous opportunities to our local business communities. There are many ways to learn about these prospective commercial opportunities. Local businesses can contact Dolores Hofman, Program Manager for QASDO at (718) 244-6852, or Helene Gibbs, Program Manager for NJASDO at (973) 961-4278. Additionally, Queens or Western Nassau businesses can go online to contact the JFK Redevelopment Community Outreach Center directly at www.anewjfk.com or by phone at (718) 244-3834, or online at JFKRedevelopment@panynj.gov
New Jersey businesses can also go online to contact the Newark or Elizabeth Community Outreach Offices at www.ewrredevelopment.com or contact the Newark Community Outreach Office at (973) 961-6944 or the Elizabeth Community Outreach Office at (201) 395-7421.
The Port Authority, through the ADC-ASDO programs, as well as their other important community outreach initiatives, is committed to ensuring that the communities served by their airport system receive the economic benefits and business opportunities they provide.
3. ADC is in the business of serving the airport community. What is coming up that you are most excited about for the community, those at the airports, and into the surrounding communities?
Bill Huisman: The JFK Redevelopment, LGA Modernization, and the EWR Terminal One Projects are all very important to the community businesses at, or near, the PA airports – these programs will offer tremendous possibilities for local business enterprises, and the ASDO programs, as well as the PA’s Community Outreach Offices, will be integrally involved in these projects, and we are committed to the proactive outreach to community businesses and business organizations.
In addition, as the facilitator for the New York Community Aviation Roundtable (NYCAR) & its LaGuardia and JFK Airport Committees, I’m excited about the involvement of the FAA and Port Authority, as NYCAR advisory members, and the prospect of working with our neighboring communities and their elected officials to develop aircraft noise initiatives for the benefit of our airport neighbors. We are hopeful that NYCAR can create mutually-advantageous programs that can maintain the overall benefits provided by our local airports while addressing the community’s concerns about aircraft noise and related airport issues.
4. One of the programs that ADC is charged with managing is the Airport Community Watch Program. What are some things that employees at the airport should be on the lookout for?
Bill Huisman: Yes, ADC manages the Airport Community Watch (ACW) Program, which is comprised of Crime Watch, Security Watch, and the Airport Challenge Program (also known as the Bogus Bob & Babs Program). These programs encourage both airport employees and customers to be observant & vigilant about their surroundings when at one of the PANYNJ airports. The program offers monetary awards (from $50 – $1000) for individuals who successfully report to the PAPD, either a criminal act, or security threat or challenge someone without an airport security ID within a secure airport area. In addition to the regular ACW award presentations, usually made at the airport GM meetings, employees can look forward to monthly security awareness PDFs, that will be sent out to airport employees each month, reminding them of important security messages to be kept ‘top-of-mind’.
5. What advice would you give to someone new to the airport about how to network efficiently and effectively to deepen relationships within the airport community?
Bill Huisman: Yes, as ADC Exec. Dir., I’m involved in many community organizations, including the Kiwanis Club of LaGuardia Airport; JFK Airport Rotary Club; KAAMCO, LAAMCO, North Beach Club of LaGuardia Airport, the Advisory Board of Christ for the World ChapelJFK; the Vaughn College Perkins Advisory Board, and the Queens Council of the Boy Scouts Board, among others. I believe that it is imperative that the members of the region’s aviation industry: airlines, airport terminal operators, airport tenants, and ancillary companies take the time to participate in civic and community organizations as a tangible & direct way of giving back to the communities we serve.