Woolpert recently hired Vivek Khanna, Ph.D., PE, to serve as the firm’s Texas aviation design practice leader. Khanna has held multiple senior management and engineering roles in the aviation market and specializes in airfield pavement design, assessment and management best practices.
Khanna, who is based in Dallas, will merge his extensive general aviation (GA) and commercial airport experience with the knowledge, reputation and bench strength of Woolpert to address the growing Texas aviation market, which is potentially the largest in the country.
“Nothing about Texas is small,” Khanna said. “The state has 27 commercial service airports, 24 reliever airports and 67 business/corporate airports, and they’re reporting record numbers of passengers enplaned. Texas has 294 airports in its system, and about a $2.75 billion pipeline of airport infrastructure improvement needs. There’s a lot of opportunity here.”
Although he is new to Woolpert, Khanna has worked with the architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm on previous airport projects at various points in his career. In addition to Woolpert’s decades in airport design, Khanna said he is impressed by the firm’s contributions to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) information management modernization efforts and in bringing cutting-edge solutions, including enterprise asset management and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).
“The firm’s geospatial and strategic consulting expertise provides a great advantage over other airport design firms. It’s like an ace up our sleeve, and it helps us in teaming and in understanding an airport’s comprehensive needs,” Khanna said. “When I worked with Woolpert, I found it to be a smooth, well-managed operation. The firm completed projects on time and flexed a deep knowledge base—and, something that is very important to me, the people are nice, as well.”
Woolpert Senior Vice President and Infrastructure Sector Leader Tom Mochty noted that Khanna’s skills and regional knowledge make him a great fit for this role.
“Vivek’s experience and commitment to clients and partnerships in the Texas market align extremely well with those we have cultivated ourselves over the past several years. We look forward to bringing even more to the table in terms of the support we provide our airport clients and partners, and in advancing state-of-the-art airfield pavement design and management strategies,” Mochty said. “We’re very excited to have him join the firm.”
Khanna said he is looking forward to continuing to advance the industry and to comprehensively supporting the Texas market in his new position.
“I love Woolpert’s vision and strategy,” Khanna said. “The timing is right for this move. I’m very confident that we’re going to be successful.”