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Wheels Up for National Aviation Day

Jacobs’ Steve Pelham shares the wonder of aviation and a look at Jacobs’ top-flight aviation solutions in honor of this year’s celebration.

Celebrated in the U.S. on Orville Wright’s – one of aviation’s pioneers – birthday, National Aviation Day is the oldest aviation-themed holiday. What President Franklin D. Roosevelt began in 1939, today is recognized in airports and museums across the country to celebrate the advancements in the industry and look to the future skies.
Below, Jacobs’ Vice President of Aviation for the Americas Steve Pelham reflects on why he’s drawn to the aviation industry – and how Jacobs is playing a role in elevating the industry for tomorrow.

I don't know about you, but I get excited every time I see a plane take off or land. In fact, I have favorite commercial and military aircraft, favorite airports to go to and travel through, and favorite spots to watch planes take off and land. I think that qualifies as excitement, don’t you?

Just think how massive the aviation industry has become dating back to Tony Jannus’s first commercial flight from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida in 1914. It takes airlines, airports, numerous supplier companies and millions of travelers to support these efforts and make them all function day in and day out, all year long.

One does not fully comprehend how much aviation is part of the fabric of our great country until you ponder what if we didn’t have air travel. No chance to go see family at the spur of a moment, no chance to receive overnight packages, no chance to network and serve our companies across all the many industries that we all participate in and, no chance to see from the sky the absolute beauty that our country offers in every city, state and region.

As a professional in the aviation industry, I know what my “why” is. I work in aviation to see people and industry connect. In the Americas, I’m honored to represent more than 400 Jacobs professionals working with another nearly 600 across the globe who share that same affection for aviation and the same pitter patter in their heart when we see planes take off and land. We’re proud of our industry-leading position and the ability to help airlines and airports plan, design and implement their business strategies to improve the passenger experience, be safe and keep our economies growing.  

I’ve traveled millions of miles around our country and around the world. I never hesitate to stop and smile in any airport or on any plane when I see the connectivity of families and the wonderment of flying.  I snapped the picture atop this article in Atlanta 12 years ago. Notice the father and the son and their silhouetted expressions. Pure wonderment. 

I hope that you take a moment today to reflect on the wonders of aviation and how it has affected you and your family. May you too have a pitter patter every time you see a plane take off or land.

On behalf of Jacobs and myself - Happy National Aviation Day. Wheels Up!

Meet Jacobs

Airports are the gateway to the fastest mode of commercial transport, helping to carry people and packages to almost anywhere in the world and fueling trillions of dollars in economic activity annually.

As aviation traffic growth is forecast to exceed airport capacity, Jacobs delivers support to airport operators, airlines and stakeholder groups, scaled to meet every need – from small assignments to transformation programs – to deliver projects that owners can afford to build, own and operate. Our top-ranked aviation team, according to Engineering News-Record, has more than six decades of experience at commercial service, general aviation and military and aerospace facilities, delivering airport planning, architecture, engineering, program and construction management, consulting and specialty services worldwide.

We’ve held contracts on hundreds of airport projects, including the majority of the busiest airports in the U.S., two of the top three busiest airports in the U.K., three ofthe largest airports in India, most of the fastest growing airports in the Middle East, one of the world’s largest terminals at Changi Terminal 5 and the largest greenfield airport development project in Latin America

With extensive strategy, company development and change enablement experience with both products and services in several different industries, Steve Pelham now serves as Jacobs’ vice president of aviation in the Americas. Breaking down complex problems into solvable components, he enjoys raising the bar, seeing teammates develop beyond their dreams while creating satisfied clients as Jacobs drives innovative, sustainable solutions for airport owners and their customers.

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