NYAMA Member Profile: Shelly LaRose-Arken, Commissioner of Aviation and Transportation at MacArthur Airport and Bayport Aerodome

Shelley LaRose-Arken, a fixture for decades in Long Island’s aviation community, had a very different career planned as a kid: She was going to be an accountant.

Great idea, she thought at the time, except for one tiny problem. “I was terrible with numbers,” the NYAMA Board member says with a laugh. 

So instead of majoring in accounting, the teenaged LaRose-Arken took a gap year and – following the example set by her stepfather – became a pilot. She logged enough hours and gained sufficient expertise to eventually earn a commercialinstrument and multi-engine license.

 Meanwhile, she enrolled at the Florida Institute of Technology, where she majored in aviation management and flight technology. Following an internship at Spirit of St. Louis Airport not far from her childhood home in Kansas City, Kansas, LaRose-Arken landed her first full-time aviation gig in the noise abatement office of Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. 

In 1994, she came east to Westchester Airport, where she was greeted by eyepopping New York real estate prices.  

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