When asked what it is about her job as director of the Boise Airport that gets her up in the morning, Rebecca Hupp quickly replies, “all of it.” Boise is an exciting place to be right now, she said, with a lot of growth and change, and she loves to be part of it.
Hupp has led the Boise Airport since 2012, a position she embraces with enthusiasm. During her tenure, the airport was part of much of the change seen by the rest of the Treasure Valley.
When Hupp arrived, local air service was in decline, but things have turned around, wrote Boise Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Connors in a letter of recommendation. Over the past eight years, Hupp negotiated nonstop routes from Boise to Houston, San Diego, Chicago and Dallas, as well as competing service to other cities. The airport has seen a 50% passenger increase in six years and added 300 new jobs, and Hupp is leading a $200 million capital development program to continue to meet the demands of increased traffic.
“Rebecca is clearly one of Idaho’s leading change agents and is making this a better place to live and do business,” Connors wrote.
This summer, a direct flight from Boise to Atlanta will begin service. Negotiating this route required being what Hupps calls a “pleasant pest,” making persistent and regular contact with the right people, and is one example of the level of determination with which she approaches life.
Hupp, who grew up in Massachusetts, didn’t originally intend to go into aviation management. Rather, she wanted to be a pilot. However, by college she found her passion lay in the business of running airports, and she graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in aviation management. Her career took her to Missouri, where she earned an MBA while working at Kansas City International Airport, then to airports in South Dakota and Maine.
As a director of an airport, Hupp said she tries to develop a culture of teamwork and collaboration among employees. She deals with many logistical matters in running a smooth operation, such as cost efficiencies and customer service.
However, at the end of the day, running an airport is about the people you serve there, she said. A wide variety of people travel through the airport on a daily basis for varying reasons, and it is important to ensure their needs are met.
“I always try to remember life is short and and it’s what we do — it’s the people we serve, the traveling public,” Hupp said.
Aside from airport management, Hupp is a mentor to others in her industry who seek a three-step aviation management certification. She also serves on the board of directors for the American Association of Airport Executives and is president of AAAE’s Northwest chapter.
Outside of her industry, she volunteers on various committees and charities in the community, including the Women’s and Children’s Alliance in Boise, Together Treasury Valley, her children’s school, American Lung Association Paci c Northwest Region Board and the Idaho Lung Association Leadership Committee.