Mac Armstrong, LTG (Ret.) USAF

Senior Policy Advisor / Senior Operations Executive

In three years as Executive Vice President-Operations, Mac helped lead Delta Air Lines to the most profitable 3 year period in its history.

He led Delta Air Lines’ response to SwissAir111 Accident in 1998. This is globally recognized to this day as the model for timely and complete response to a code-sharing airline partner’s accident, in terms of support for both carriers’ passengers, their families, both carriers’ employees, & support to the safety investigation teams from the three countries involved.

As SVP Operations ATA post 9/11, he coordinated closely with FAA in getting all US planes on the ground safely, caring for their passengers at myriad unplanned, often isolated recovery fields and in the successful re-launch and recovery of all US planes and passengers without any incidents beyond the actual 9/11 attacks.

During his US Air Force career, Mac led complete investigation of an aircraft accident from initial response at crash site to thorough collection and analysis of physical evidence, intense review of operator and manufacturer records, and comprehensive development of findings, conclusions and recommendations to the Air Force.  Mac also served as an accident board member on two other occasions. Mac has a MBA from Auburn University, a BS in Geology from Louisiana State University and completed the National and International Security Program at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University

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JB Kirk, Ph.D. P.E.

Strategic Advisor / Operations Executive – Aviation

JB is an insightful, solutions-oriented aviation operations executive, who served in leadership positions at American Airlines and Delta Air Lines for over 12 years. His last assignment was VP of finance for the operations group ($5B annual spend) at Delta. During the past 10 years, he served as a strategic advisor to senior executives at commercial airlines and repair stations on strategic initiatives. JB is a Professional Engineer (PE) with an earned doctorate (Ph.D.) in operations research. Core competencies include:

  • Strategic planning and advising. JB possesses the unique gift of seeing both the operational and financial issues that determine the viability of a business. He led more than 20 advisory projects in the past 10 years including:
    • A cross-functional assessment of recession-based fleet strategies that led to the early retirement of 120 B727 aircraft based on aging considerations and saved $400M NPV
    • An analysis of maintenance program costs for an international carrier defining specific cost reduction opportunities in excess of $100M NPV.
  • Operations leadership. JB has a proven ability to orchestrate the efforts of large interdisciplinary teams to find and implement solutions to key operational problems. He planned the implementation and assembled the technical team to lead a major regional airline through the implementation of CASS in less than 12 months. At Delta, he led financial planning in the operations division, which included 20 employees, $2B in assets and annual operating expenses of $5B. JB also managed third-party maintenance contracts, $250M annually, with activities at four sites simultaneously, keeping costs and schedules within plan on 95% of the jobs while ensuring high quality results. JB has a Ph.D. Mineral Economics (Operations Research) from Colorado School of Mines, a M.S. in Civil Engineering from Auburn University and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Military Insitute.

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