Kansas City Names First Female Aviation Director

Kansas City announces Melissa Cooper as first female aviation director. Photo Credit: City of Kansas City, Missouri

Posted November 6, 2023

Kansas City has chosen a new aviation director, Melissa Cooper, the first female in Kansas City history to take the role.

Cooper has more than 25 years in the Aviation Department and in December 2021, she was promoted to Deputy Director of Aviation over Properties & Commercial Development.

“I am truly honored, as a lifetime Kansas City resident, to serve our community and to lead the men and women of the Aviation Department, in pursuit of a first-class airport experience for our business and leisure travelers arriving to and departing from Kansas City,” Cooper said.

Cooper will begin her role as the Director of Aviation on Nov. 6.

“As Kansas City month-over-month breaks passenger traveler records and secures more flights to more places both domestically and internationally, I am proud to welcome Melissa—who makes history as Kansas City’s first ever female Aviation Director—to lead the Department into the future as it continues to serve the flying public across our region,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

In her position as deputy director, Cooper helped usher in Kansas City’s $1.5 billion new terminal at KCI.

In 2017, Cooper also took up a role as the first female airport manager at the Charles B. Wheeler downtown airport.

The Kansas City native holds a Master of Science degree in aviation safety and a Bachelor of Science degree in aviation technology both from the University of Central Missouri.

View the full news release, here