AT COMMUTEAIR, WE HAVE GREAT PEOPLE WITH GREAT STORIES TO SHARE.
As a regional airline and United Express partner, we play an important role in connecting people and communities to the world via United Airlines’ global network, but we’re also a critical step in the careers of those working in the airline industry. Our “Featured Crew” series tells the individual stories of standout members of our team whose hard work makes our organization unique.
Meet Regional Manager of Airport Operations, Steve Moore! Steve Moore is a storied aviation professional with a 44-year career in the industry, currently serving as our Regional Manager of Airport Operations at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). It is with a heavy heart that the CommuteAir family thanks Steve for his service and wishes him the best in his next upcoming venture…Retirement! Read on to learn some of his amazing aviation story…
What was it that first interested you in aviation?
It all started back in 1969! My brother was in the Civil Air Patrol and when my dad would take him down to Eppley Airfield in Omaha I got to go with him (back in those days there was not much airport security so you could run anywhere…and as an 11-year-old, I did). I would go to the airport to explore and look at the jets and watch airplanes. I ended up by myself at a gate looking out the window and a United Airlines Captain came up behind me. It was just the two of us in the gate area. “Are you interested in airplanes?” He asked. I said, “Oh, yes, I’m fascinated!” And he said, “Would you like to go out and see them?” We walked right down the ramp, and I got to see a 727-200, 727-100 and a 737-200. He let me sit in the captain’s seat, got to wear the captain’s hat. That was exciting for an 11-year-old and got the blood stirring.
Describe your journey to becoming a Regional Manager of Airport Operations.
I started in consumer finance after college and became the youngest branch manager in Nebraska for the company I was working for. I did a lot of lending, did some collection work, and had fun doing what they call “skip locating” which is finding people who do not pay their bills. But my true love was aviation. And when I read a newspaper article about a small regional airline that was taking over the “Panhandle Route,” the Essential Air Service route between Denver and Rapid City, I knew I had to apply. My very first day in the industry I jumped on an airplane and flew from Omaha (in an unpressurized Beech 99) to Columbus, to Kearney, to Hastings, to McCook, and then into Denver. I had my interview. I was offered the GM job for CDR (Chadron, NE) on the spot and then took the same route back home! It was a long day!
Working at a small operation really exposed me to so many things – Almost always solo working single–person turns, but then again it was only a 15-seat aircraft. Before long I became a Route Manager at my station and three other stations. I then transferred to SAF (Santa Fe, NM) and was the GM and Route Manager for three other stations. After a couple of years, I became the Hub Manager in DEN. Opportunity presented itself and I changed companies and went to work for Continental Airlines where I worked in a wide variety of ever-increasing responsibilities including Control Center Agent, Supervisor and Duty Manager, Customer Service Duty Manager, Manager of System Baggage Services, and Hub Operations Manager. Another opportunity presented itself and I went to Continental Express as Director and then Sr. Director of Properties/Facilities/GSE, Charter Sales, Projects and participated on the Certification Team for single operating certificate during a merger and being on the Embraer 175 launch team. Over the years I helped open and service many of the original stations that we still service at CommuteAir today, so it has been an interesting career over the past 40 years.
What are some of your plans for the future?
I am an amateur aviation historian. I love reading, studying, and researching regional airlines specifically. Over time there have been so many of them and there are so many different stories to tell. I have had the opportunity to play a part in some of those, so to me, it is more personal than just industry history because it’s impacted my life. So, one of the things that I want to do is write a book about regional aviation. It is a difficult industry no matter what you fly and to where. There are so many factors outside of our control that we must overcome to be successful as an airline and analyzing them is interesting.
The book will be a fun project, but I am going to spend only some of my time doing that. My wife is in the Real Estate business so I will be helping with that (she does great without me so hopefully I can lighten the load a little bit). Of course, we also love to travel so I plan to do some traveling (starting in October) a little laying out at the pool, taking life a little bit easier, trying to lose a few pounds, you know…all that good stuff.
What advice would you give to future aviators?
In aviation, there are companies who have come and gone over the years, and I’ve concluded that it is not about the aircraft you fly or the destinations you serve, but the people you work with. It is the people that you stand next to who are working hard, doing incredible and awesome things every day right beside you. My advice is to value them, be thankful for the opportunity to learn and to love what you do. If you love what you do, it is no longer a job…it becomes a passion.
Pictured below: Steve and his wife Denise