TRAVERSE CITY — A young Northwestern Michigan College graduate will fly to new heights and lead an airline’s operations at one of the country’s largest airports.
Ryan Ferris, 26, in late December was named chief pilot at Envoy Air’s New York base at LaGuardia Airport, the nation’s twentieth busiest airport, according to an NMC press release. Ferris graduated from NMC’s aviation program in 2011.
"We are really excited for Ryan and the legacy he carries on from NMC aviation," said Alex Bloye, director of aviation at NMC. "This is (the aviation program's) 50th year and we couldn’t think of a better way to kick it off."
Ferris becomes the youngest chief pilot in Envoy Air history and will supervise 150 captains and first officers based at LaGuardia. He also will be responsible for coordinating with officials from numerous groups, including the Transportation Security Administration, traffic control, passenger service and ground handling.
He was an NMC flight instructor for more than two years and an Envoy Air first officer for three years before taking the chief pilot position.
Bloye considers Ferris' being picked at a young age, without progressing through the typical career ascension — which includes time spent serving as a captain — "unprecedented". He knows him from his time spent at NMC and said he holds a number of qualities and skills that likely contributed to his promotion.
"Ryan is a solid person all-around," Bloye said. "He is a really committed individual. He is committed to others and exemplifies the idea of a team player. He was just a very positive person, has a solid outlook on the industry and what needs to be done to be successful."
Ferris did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
American Airlines Group owns Envoy Air, formerly American Eagle, and operates about 180 aircraft with about 190 daily flights to more than 150 destinations, the release states.