Vincenzo is currently an Airport Focused Senior Project Director for Unity Electric, a subsidiary of Equans, a multinational construction consortium headquartered in France. He is based at John F. Kennedy International Airport and handles projects at LaGuardia & Newark Airports. Vincenzo also serves as a member of Equans’ Airport Business Group. Prior to his role in airport construction, he had more than a decade of construction-development experience, managing several signature NYC construction projects, including portions of the World Trade Center Redevelopment. Vincenzo is a published professional aviation & aerial photographer and a lifelong aviation enthusiast. His photography has been published in various print and online publications, and he was a finalist in the “Best Aviation Photo Category” for the 2021 Aerospace Media Awards.
1 What are the most exciting things coming up in the industry?
Vincenzo: I am most excited about seeing my home airport finally being redeveloped into the 21st Century Airport it deserves to be. JFK is literally New York’s Gateway to the world, and I am proud to be one of the thousands of devoted construction professionals playing a role in this decade-long effort. As a result, airport infrastructure in the United States is finally starting to get the attention it deserves, and new emerging technologies will help our airports become a benchmark for the rest of the world to follow.
2 How did your love of aviation start?
Vincenzo: Growing up around JFK airport, aviation was always a part of my life. Airplanes on the famous Canarsie visual approach would fly by my house in Howard Beach, and soon become part of my “extended family.” My parents used to bring me as a young kid to the observation deck of the old IAB on the weekends, and I started flying when I was five years old on an Alitalia 747 to Italy.
3 Alongside your airport job, you are also a well-known plane spotter. Tell us about that and how you got started.
Vincenzo: My Dad got me into photography at a young age. As a kid, my family used to go to NY Cosmos Soccer Games at Giants Stadium, and my Dad had field access where he would take pictures of the games. In 2005, when online aviation social media was in its infancy, I connected with local plane spotters via Airliners.net. I have met some great photographers who are friends to this day, including plane spotting legend Joe Pries, whose photography best practices still influence my work.
Career priorities took me away from aviation photography; however, I returned five years ago and have since invested in new camera gear and have worked hard to improve my photography skills. As a result, my work has been published in numerous print and online aviation media outlets. With the encouragement and mentoring of some close aviation photography friends, I have developed as an aerial photographer, taking air-to-air and air-to-ground photos of aircraft over airports across the United States. But, more importantly, as an older member of the community, I enjoy mentoring the next generation of plane spotters and hopefully serving as a role model for them to thrive and enjoy their enthusiasm for aviation and plane spotting.
4 Where is your favorite photo spot (unless that is divulging secrets), and what are your favorite aircraft liveries?
Vincenzo: I have become known for “banking shots” of aircraft departing from JFK’s Runway 31L on the Canarsie departure. This particular photography angle is world-renowned in the plane spotting community. My fellow spotters and I shoot from a location in Broad Channel, Queens, near the North Channel Bridge; this is an excellent location on Jamaica Bay, offering a tranquil setting to take pictures.
While I love many airline liveries, my favorites are ITA Airways, Delta Air Lines, and Virgin Atlantic. Before Alitalia ceased operations, it was my absolute favorite to photograph, not only for its beautiful livery but as a proud Italian-American. I have been eager to catch NASA’s cargo plane called the Super Guppy. So I’ll be heading out west to catch this fun plane sometime this winter, hopefully.
5 Community involvement is essential to connect where we work to those who live here. In what ways are you involved in supporting the local community?
Vincenzo: Service to the community has always been very important to me. I have volunteered and served on numerous community-based groups over the years. During my college years, I was a member of Queens Community Board 10. More recently, I served as an ACE Mentor, helping to attract high school students into pursuing careers in architecture, construction, and engineering.
I was recently elected to serve as Secretary of the JFK Airport Rotary Club and to chair the committee organizing the Rotary’s 2023 JFK Runway 5K. I also enjoy being a member of the JFK Chamber and meeting many outstanding members of our diverse airport community. In the photography world, I enjoy helping others improve their photography skills, whether a plane spotter new to the hobby or a fellow JFK Team Member looking to capture special aviation moments while at work.
To learn more about Vincenzo Pace and to see his incredible photographs, visit his website at www.aerovincenzo.com, or become one of his more than 185k followers on Instagram.