Kelly Fincannon Retires after Forty Years of Service to Airports

By Katelyn Wade

The Oklahoma Department of Aerospace and Aeronautics (ODAA) has announced that engineer, Kelly Fincannon, PE, is retiring at the end of this year.

Kelly Fincannon

Fincannon began working for the Department in September of 2021 as the agency’s Chief Airport Engineer. His primary focus was airport planning, design, construction, and project management with a mission to provide continued development and improvement of the Oklahoma Airport System while working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, airports, consultants, and construction contractors.

“When Kelly came to ODAA, his experience and knowledge were timely, as we were experiencing a significant increase in construction projects across Oklahoma airports. As he closes his professional career, we thank him for his dedication to ensure the safety of the flying public through meticulous and responsible airport engineering,” said Grayson Ardies, Executive Director for ODAA.

Fincannon is a fourth-generation Oklahoman, born in Bartlesville, and attended Grove High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Oklahoma State University. After college, working as a Civil Engineer, he obtained his Oklahoma Professional Engineer License where his professional career led him to infrastructure projects from coast to coast. Fincannon also worked internationally.

Kelly boasts four decades of work experience including office and staff management, regional financial oversight, business development, client negotiation, project management, engineering design, bidding services, construction administration, and observation, grant administration, master planning, and capital improvement plans.

His airport experience spans civil, military, commercial, and general aviation airports as well as other civil infrastructure projects including highways, streets, drainage, water lines, sewer lines, and water resources projects. The airport projects he has been a part of have ranged in size from a $60,000 concrete apron hardstand in Oklahoma to the $5.8 Billion Peace Sun IX Program in Saudi Arabia to the $12 Billion Chicago O’Hare Modernization Program.

He holds professional engineer registrations in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri.

“When looking back on my 40-year professional career, I can tell stories about amazing projects that I am proud to have had a hand in completing. However, what I am most proud to recall is the tremendous, amazing, talented, professional people I have been blessed to work with and call friends and colleagues,” said Fincannon.