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The Art of Being a Local Expert in Aviation Program Management 

April 27, 2022

Since HPM’s inception, understanding what our clients want and how we can use available resources to bring their dynamic projects to fruition has been at the core of what we do. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of regional conditions such as weather, available labor and permitting processes, and how we can leverage this knowledge to protect our clients from scheduling delays and increased material costs. HPM has established itself as a local expert through our extensive experience providing program management for aviation and aerospace initiatives, such as the Airbus FAL USA project, and specialized support to our clients. 

Leveraging Your Network 

As a local expert, one of the most crucial steps is to develop a strong network of trusted contacts whom you can count on throughout each stage of a project. Before a contract is even signed, HPM conducts a market analysis to determine what the labor pool and resource availability look like in the local region. To begin cultivating market interest early on, we also hold town meetings to identify local and regional contractors. Acting as a mediator between the client and local stakeholders, HPM’s project managers can utilize these pre-qualified contacts during the project lifecycle to keep construction timelines on track. 

Building Trust 

HPM engages in consistent and open communication with a small group of officials at the city and county levels, such as the chief building inspector, fire marshall and the Department of Environmental Management and the US Army Corp of Engineers to discuss the project’s goals and plans. We also build strong, working relationships with the local area district offices of the FAA. By building a rapport with local officials, HPM can get the appropriate person’s attention if an issue arises because a solid foundation of trust in our work has been built over time.  

“Trust starts with how you treat people, and if you treat people with respect, they will respect you back,” says Larry Hipsh, program director at HPM. “Our company also ensures that we remain transparent with our clients about the state of a project and explain complex processes and situations in a way that is easily understood. The meaningful relationships and trust we have built with all of the partners and clients we have worked with are what keeps HPM’s engine running and maintains a pattern of success for all parties involved.” 


Case Study: Airbus US Manufacturing Facility – Mobile, AL

HPM provided and continues to provide program management services for the development and implementation of the Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line program that began in 2013, the A220 Final Assembly Line beginning in 2018 and the current expansion which started in early 2022 at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama. With its operations office located in multiple countries in Europe, Airbus looked to HPM and our partner Mott MacDonald for our understanding of both U.S. customs and regulations as well as specific nuances of the area of Mobile, including its complex permitting process. HPM took the time to understand the client’s communication style to ensure they understood our messaging and were satisfied with the results we provided them.  

“HPM’s team in Mobile both lives and operates close to the Airbus project, and we had a passion to positively impact the footprint and skyline of our own backyard,” says Foster Veazey, project manager at HPM. “Having this established presence in the same neighborhood that our client was operating in allowed us to use a boots-on-the-ground approach and be by their side throughout every phase of the project.” 

Because HPM is dedicated to providing comprehensive program management services, we can remain flexible to meet our client’s needs as they change and evolve. For the Airbus project, our team had a hard deadline which, if missed, would incur heavy fines for our client. Despite having to work remotely with the Airbus team, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HPM successfully completed the project ahead of schedule.

HPM looks beyond the basic needs of our clients and instead focuses on building a custom “one-size-fits-one” approach for each client to meet their specific expectations and needs while addressing any pain points they may have going into a project. We serve as an owner’s representative and advisor from the beginning to the end and beyond. Our people care about each other and the work we do. This is what makes the difference for our clients. HPM doesn’t treat projects like a line item on a profitability spreadsheet but instead goes the extra mile to become a local expert and a valuable asset to each of our clients. 

Do you have an ambitious schedule and challenging budget for your capital building project? That’s our specialty! Please explore our aviation portfolio and reach out. We would love to connect with you.

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