Hillwood announced July 13 that Christian Childs has been promoted to president of the Aviation Companies at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, with former president, Tom Harris, stepping into a new role as executive vice president at Hillwood.
Over the past 32 years, Fort Worth Alliance Airport has successfully evolved into one of the world’s most formidable airports, Hillwood said.
With more than 23 years of aviation experience, Childs will now lead the airport and its teams through highly anticipated rapid growth and will oversee all of the day-to-day operations of Hillwood’s three aviation divisions: Alliance Air Services, Alliance Aviation Services and Alliance Air Productions.
The three entities together manage the airport and fixed based operation, as well as produce the annual Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show, ranked first among “Best Air Shows” in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
“Throughout my time with Hillwood and specifically the Alliance Aviation Companies, I’ve worn many hats, which has allowed me the privilege of seeing how every facet of the company works together to create a unique environment that sets each team member up for success,” Childs said. “The entrepreneurial spirit that exists at Hillwood has provided me with the opportunity to guide Alliance Aviation Companies into its next phase at the airport.”
Harris, celebrating 31 years with Hillwood, will transition to a new role overseeing key airport infrastructure projects, activities at the AllianceTexas Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ), workforce development programs and community partnerships, as well as the Alliance Landscape Company, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.
“As I pass the baton to Christian to lead Alliance Airport into its newest chapter, I have been able to reflect over the last 30 years with a great deal of gratitude and pride for what we’ve been able to accomplish together,” said Harris.
“What was once an empty field is now a globally-recognized and thriving industrial airport poised to change the way aviation and the supply chain intersect. Looking to the future, I’m looking forward to resuming my role in Hillwood’s workforce development and community efforts, while also leading several legacy projects to completion,” he said.
Christopher Ash, with 25 years of service to Hillwood, was promoted to senior vice president of aviation business development with a core function of expanding military, corporate, airline and real estate partnerships while maintaining oversight of AllianceTexas Fuel Services.
Additionally, Ash will serve as a central leader within the Aviation Companies, overseeing strategic marketing efforts, advancements in aviation mobility technologies and the unmanned aerial systems proving ground operations at the MIZ.
“Chris has a longstanding track record of success and superb leadership skills, demonstrated best when he led the team that developed our airline fueling business at Alliance Airport,” said Harris. “Chris’ deep understanding of the aviation industry and what’s to come next in mobility innovation will help us exponentially in our efforts to maximize opportunities at the MIZ.”
Under Harris’ and Ash’s guidance, Hillwood will set the stage for the latest advancements in aviation technology, Hillwood said in the announcement.
The MIZ and its Flight Test Center are key focus areas for the Airport. Unlike anywhere else in the nation, the MIZ provides customers with the scale, infrastructure and perfect backdrop to test, prove and commercialize emerging technologies in air and surface mobility. Pertinent data collected during the testing of technologies will be used to support the development of standards, regulations and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification guidelines.
Fort Worth Alliance Airport is the world’s first industrial airport designed for cargo and corporate aviation traffic. Owned by the City of Fort Worth and managed by privately-held Alliance Air Services, Fort Worth Alliance Airport provides state-of-the-art infrastructure and an award-winning FAA air traffic control tower, Hillwood said. The attached FBO has been ranked among the finest in the U.S. by industry publications, as well as fuel service providers.