ATBD can now offer qualified international customers extended payment terms, services financing and foreign exchange capability through an export program with the Export-Import Bank of the United States.   

Aviation solutions that fly

Air Transport Business Development, Inc.


Latest Aviation News

2024 News Summary


  • ATBD News release - 22 years in business - January 25, 2024 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    "ATBD celebrates 22 years in business, serving the airline, airport and air transport supplier community. With our collective more than 1,000 years of hands-on air transport experience, no other US independent business can match our hands-on skills and experience in air transport." Dave Hopkins, CEO.

2023 News Summary


  • ATBD News release - March, 2023 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    Mark Haneke re-joins ATBD as VP Network Planning and Market Development after nine years in senior air service development and marketing positions at Sacramento and Ontario airports in California. ATBD CEO, Dave Hopkins said, "We welcome Mark Haneke back to ATBD. With his airline, airport and air transport services background, his depth of experience and skills are even more valuable to ATBD and our air transport clients."

2022 News Summary


  • ATBD News release - 20 years in business - September 9, 2022 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    Air Transport Business Development Inc. (ATBD) in 2022 is celebrating twenty years in business serving airlines, airports and air transport industry service providers.

    From modest beginnings in 2002 in the aftermath of 9/11 and the resulting US air transport industry slump, ATBD began its first year in business serving a UK engines services provider, Total Engine Support and US start-up airline Eos, among other customers. Founder and CEO Dave Hopkins provided most of the services in that time based on his then nineteen years' experience in the business. The mix of international and US customers has been a constant over twenty years since with international business forming between twenty and seventy percent of ATBD customers. Fast forward to 2022 and a similar ATBD customer mix prevails with start-up air carriers Ecuatoriana, Dream Asia and US-based FlyShare using ATBD start-up airline experience. ATBD professional team now numbers forty plus air transport industry professionals from a wide range of US and international air carriers. ATBD airline industry experience now totals over one thousand years of experience.

    Since 2008, ATBD has been offering its international customers the option of using credit support and customer financing provided by the US Ex-Im Bank that support ATBD sales of services. More details on US Ex-Im Bank programs are available at

    The air transport industry down cycles of 9/11, 2008 financial crisis, SARS and now COVID has steadily thinned the ranks of both airlines and their services providers. ATBD is now one of the few firms globally that have the industry experience to plan, apply for certification, start-up and operate a scheduled air carrier. In addition, provide "hands-on" and "how-to" airline implementation experience to a range of air transport service providers and their support industries.

    For questions or further details, contact Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO at or +1 310-990-2045. ATBD website has more details and brochures available for download.

2020 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — March 26, 2020 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    Air Transport Business Development Inc. (ATBD) is pleased to announce the launch of its "Airline Troubleshooter" program in response to the current COVID-19 crisis in the aviation industry. It is aimed at ATBD's core customer base of smaller and medium-size airlines worldwide.

    Airline Troubleshooter is a fast and affordable way for our customers to identify problems, put fixes in place and start the process of conserving resources and positioning for the future. Qualifying international customers can take advantage of US Ex-Im Bank financing, credit support and payment in local currency.

    ATBD's CEO Dave Hopkins commented, "ATBD has a track record of supporting medium-sized, smaller and start-up carriers around the world, from Copa in Panama, WebJet in Brazil to Air Blue in Pakistan, since 2002. With financing facilities available from the US Ex-Im Bank, we are able to offer 'troubleshooting' and 'get well' programs at rates that pay for themselves, hundreds of times over, in weeks, based upon our 18+ years of experience dealing with airline challenges. Our team of 43 people have weathered many challenging times in aviation, including Gulf Wars I and II, 9/11, SARS, MERS, the 2008 financial crisis and now COVID-19. Our combined airline experience is over 1,200 years of air transport experience.

    Our customer references are a testament to our success. I invite potential customers to call or e-mail me for a no-obligation, confidential discussion on or Tel: +1 310-990-2045."

    ATBD has a short description of its Airline Troubleshooter Program available for download on the brochures section of this website.

    More details on US Ex-Im Bank programs are available at

2019 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — November 15, 2019 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD is honored to welcome another world-class aviation industry professional to our team in Jim Starley. Jim is an Airline Flight Operations professional with impressive and accomplished senior management experience at global and regional air carriers, including, Continental, United and COPA Airlines. His 21,000 plus hours in air transport category narrow and wide body aircraft ranks him among the highest time and most experienced pilots in the industry.

    Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO commented, "We welcome Jim to our ATBD team of air transport professionals with now more than 1,200 years of industry experience. ATBD depth and breadth of experience serves start-up, emerging and medium-sized air carriers with best practices in terms of safely, reliability and efficiency worldwide."

2018 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — November 14, 2018 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD announces John Ball joins the ATBD team as VP Financial Planning and Strategy. John builds on ATBD bench strength of airline and MRO financial planning and control. John's aviation industry broad experience with DHL, GE, Mubadala, Etihad Airlines and Saudia Airlines has equipped him to contribute to major airline, MRO and airline supplier projects with ATBD. John's industry experience spans more than twenty years.

    ATBD's CEO Dave Hopkins commented, "Welcome John, ATBD is excited to add your considerable industry financial experience to our team. Our customers in the airline, MRO and supplier markets will find your practical and hands-on experience invaluable to improve their financial metrics."

    ATBD has 43+ professionals with more than 1,200 years of airline and airport experience. In business since 2002, the ATBD team has collective experience with 25+ start up airlines, 50+ small/medium size airlines and other air transport related projects in 54 countries. ATBD people speak seven languages and have more than 60 FAA / ICAO Licenses and authorities.


  • ATBD News release — April 11, 2018 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD announces Natalie Torin joins the ATBD team as Director Marketing having previously held Marketing travel and transport positions at Surf Air and Lonely Planet.

    ATBD's CEO Dave Hopkins said, "Welcome Natalie. We are delighted and proud to have your skills, experience and accomplishments on board the ATBD team. Natalie will join our expanded airports and FBO marketing practice, developing more business for customers in this business segment."


  • ATBD News release — February 13, 2018 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD announces Pete McGlade joins the ATBD team as VP Airline Planning, Scheduling and Revenue Management. Pete adds additional ATBD depth of airline / airport experience in airline network and schedule planning and airport air service development. Pete's air carrier industry experience spans more than thirty years, with a focus on industry innovators like Northwest, Air Cal, PSA and Southwest Airlines. Pete is thoroughly grounded in air carrier operations that enable him to plan and schedule an airline's day-to-day and strategic, long-term operations. Pete has planned and scheduled airline fleets from twenty to five hundred aircraft, with an emphasis on safety, reliability and efficiency.

    Much of Southwest's profitable schedule growth over the years 1994 to 2011 can be attributed to Pete's planning and strategic acumen.

    ATBD's CEO Dave Hopkins commented, "We welcome Pete and his considerable experience in airline schedule planning and air service development. Pete builds on ATBD trademark strength of having 30+ years air transport experience. For start-up airlines and medium-sized airlines planning to profitably grow, Pete's expertise and experience will be critical to success."

2017 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — June 1st 2017 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD announces Neil Capano joins the ATBD team as Director, Aircraft Dispatch and Station Operations.

    Neil adds additional ATBD depth of airline / airport experience in aircraft dispatch and airport operations. Neil brings a wealth of experience from FAR Part 121 scheduled airlines Delta Airlines and Independence Air. In the FAR Part 135, scheduled and on-demand air carrier world, Neil brings experience from Surf Air and Wheels up.

    ATBD's CEO Dave Hopkins noted, "ATBD is fortunate to add Neil to our team of airline experts in aircraft dispatch, airport operations and airport marketing. We welcome Neil to our team, one of the largest, completely independent airline and airport service providers that operates globally."

    ATBD is an airline contracting and consulting company based in Santa Monica, California, in business since 2002 with forty-three team members serving airlines, airports, airline suppliers and financial institutions. ATBD is an exporter of US services, backed by the US Ex-Im Bank since 2008. ATBD exports between 30% to 70% of its services in a typical year to Central and South America and Europe. The ATBD team has more than 1,000 combined years of varied air transport experience.

2016 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — July 22, 2016 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    Current CEO, Bill Kostel to resume his former position with ATBD as VP Planning. Current Executive Chairman and Founding CEO, Dave Hopkins to resume his CEO duties with the company.

    Dave Hopkins commented, "My sincere thanks to Bill Kostel for leading the company as CEO since January 2013. His contributions have been invaluable to ATBD."

    ATBD has 45+ professionals with more than 1,200 years of airline and airport experience. ATBD has been In business since 2002. The collective experience with 25+ start up airlines, 50+ small/medium size airlines and other airline-related projects in 54 countries worldwide is a testament to ATBD people quality and customer satisfaction. ATBD people speak seven languages and have more than 60 FAA / ICAO Licenses and authorities.

2014 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — October 23, 2014 - Santa Monica, California, USA

    ATBD is pleased to welcome professional writer, Heather Baldwin to our team.


  • ATBD News release — September 17, 2014 - Columbia, South Carolina and Santa Monica, California, USA

    KED Group and Air Transport Business Development Inc. today announce a strategic agreement combining their respective airport and airline contract and consulting expertise for a global customer base. Both companies have a depth of experience in the air transport sector that are complimentary and valuable for customers facing combined airline-airport challenges. The combined companies can offer the following hands-on experience and qualifications:

    45+ professionals with 1,200+ years of airline and airport experience. In business since 2002. 100+ Experience from number of airlines, manufacturers and airline suppliers 25+ start up airlines, 50+ small/medium size airlines supported 80+ airports projects supported 54 countries experience, 7 languages spoken 60+ FAA / ICAO Licenses and authorities 50,000+ pilot flight hours 2,000+ transport aircraft, sold, leased out, purchased, leased in and acquired US Ex-Im Bank approved program to support US jobs and international exports

    Unlike many companies in the field, the combined KED-ATBD partnership offers proven, practical, hands-on, airline and airport experience from a variety of airports and airlines in many countries. This experience is uniquely adaptable to customer's individual challenges, rather than a standard supplier solution.

    KED President, Grace Kalil commented, "KED Group is pleased to form a strategic alliance with ATDB - an airline advisory services market leader. We are sure that such association will allow to us to provide our global airline and civil aviation clients with enhanced solutions to foster commercial growth at their airports, maximize the use of infrastructure and promote economic development through aviation."

    ATBD CEO, Bill Kostel noted, "ATBD is delighted and proud to close a strategic agreement with a company as capable and accomplished as KED Group. Many companies and entities, particularly in developing regions of the world face interlinked airline and airport problems. The KED-ATBD partnership is the perfect, one-stop solution to maximize air transport safety, reliability and efficiency."

    ATBD - KED can also offer qualified international customers support with aircraft, equipment and airport financing through the US EX-IM Bank program that offers financing, payment in local currency and other facilities that support US jobs, products and services.


  • ATBD News release — June 12, 2014 - Santa Monica California

    ATBD offer congratulations and best wishes to Surf Air on one year of revenue flying on June 12, 2014. Surf Air is the worlds first all-you-can-fly scheduled air carrier, operating three Pilatus PC-12s on routes within California. ATBD supported Surf Air from May 2012 through February 2014 with pre- start-up and revenue flying support in aircraft programs, aircraft maintenance, operations and supplier contracts and management. ATBD supports start-up, smaller and mid-size air carriers operating under US FAR Parts 121, 129 and 135 and their international equivalents.

  • ATBD News release — June 7, 2014 - Santa Monica California

    ATBD congratulates Copa Airlines on winning the prestigious "Top Performing Airlines" #1 rating among globals airlines from industry publication, Aviation Week and Space technology. [See details at] ATBD completed nine projects for Copa airlines in the 2007 to 2009 timeframe that supported Copa in its climb from good to world-class financially successful airline in 2014. ATBD continues to support smaller and mid-size carriers grow from good to great, most recently at Surf Air, a start-up airline in California.

    ATBD is most fortunate to have Larry Ganse, Head of Airline Operations, on the ATBD team. Larry as COO was the architect of Copa's operational transformation from good to great during his time at the airline between 2004 to 2009. Airlines large and small can put ATBD's 1,000+ years of airline experience and best practices on their team to grow and succeed similar to Copa Airlines.


  • ATBD News release — May 16, 2014 - Santa Monica California

    ATBD announces completion of Business Incubator Feasibility Study for the City of Hawthorne, California.

    The City of Hawthorne engaged ATBD to study the feasibility of a business incubator in the City. In summary the study was very positive, outlining the growth of such incubators in the Los Angeles County region. The Hawthorne location could generate jobs and services to support such an incubator and the young, growing companies that could be part of the City's future.

    Hawthorne has two key advantages versus other "Silicon Beach" locations; substantially lower cost of doing business, up to 70% less and as a transportation hub. Transportation options include LAX and Hawthorne airports, three freeways, rail and express bus service. Hawthorne Airport (HHR) offers the fastest trip time between Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley, using Surf Air's three-times daily scheduled passenger flights between HHR and San Carlos airport, one of the closest airports to Silicon Valley.

    Bill Kostel, CEO commented, "ATBD's knowledge and expertise in company formation, business incubators and air transport enabled us to quickly assess and deliver a feasibility study to the City of Hawthorne. ATBD is honored to deliver services to the City of Hawthorne, it's first work for local government. ATBD sought to support one of the cities close to its headquarters by donating twenty-five hours of its services free of charge as a gesture of community support to the City of Hawthorne."


  • ATBD News release — March 6, 2014 - Santa Monica California

    ATBD welcomes back founder Dave Hopkins in an expanded role as Executive Chairman. Bill Kostel, ATBD CEO commented.

    "We are delighted to have Dave Hopkins return to the company and focus on strategic partnerships. In his expanded role with the company, Dave will focus is on strategic customers and partnerships in the US and international markets.

    With ten-plus years in the market, the ATBD brand offers a proven track record in:

    1. Launch, funding and certification of start-up airlines.

    2. Improving safety, reliability and efficiency at small and mid-size air carriers.

    3. Supporting airline suppliers market their products to air carriers and the airline industry.

    With over one thousand years of collective airline industry experience, the ATBD brand is unmatched for hands-on, efficient implementation of airline and airline supplier growth and change strategies."

    With support from the US Ex-Im Bank in international markets, ATBD is able to offer a one-stop service to start and improve air carriers and market US products and services. Qualified international customers may be eligible for Ex-Im financing of US products and services.

2013 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — June 12, 2013 - Santa Monica California

    ATBD congratulates Surf Air on their certification as an air carrier and their first member flight on June 12 from Burbank to San Carlos in the San Francisco Bay area. ATBD personnel played key roles at Surf Air with Tim Brown as the Director of Operations and Dave Hopkins Director of Aircraft Programs positions from May 2012. Also assisting in the aircraft program were ATBD's Bill Kostel and Jack Graef.

    Bill Kostel is now CEO of ATBD. Tim Brian has now returned to his pilot training position at Jet Blue and Dave Hopkins has accepted a full-time posit with Surf Air as VP Fleet Transactions and remains as ATBD's non-executive Chairman.

    Read more about Surf Air's revolutionary all-you-can-fly-members-only airline at

    See recent news coverage.



  • ATBD News release — January 3, 2013

    ATBD management changes. Current CEO Dave Hopkins moves to non-executive Chairman. Hopkins has accepted the position of VP Aircraft Programs with ATBD customer Surf Air. Bill Kostel is promoted to ATBD CEO from VP Planning.

2012 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — July 22, 2012

    ATBD is saddened to announce the loss on July 21 of one of its team Members, Captain Wendell S. Dobbs, (retired) formerly Managing Director of Flight Operations technical with American Airlines. "We are all saddened with Wendy's passing, he made valuable contributions to ATBD and our customers. Our team will miss his knowledge and professionalism." said Dave Hopkins, CEO.

  • ATBD News release — July 8, 2012

    ATBD celebrates ten years in business providing contract support and advisory services to start-up and smaller air carriers, airline suppliers, attorneys and aircraft lessors operating in the airline market. ATBD business started and traded under the name. of its founder David J. Hopkins & Associates between July 2002 and December 2004. ATBD was formally incorporated in Delaware on January 5th, 2005 and took over the prior business, growing from one employee and aircraft programs expertise to more than forty employees and contractors, covering all the required skills to, variously, start, operate and manage a scheduled air carrier, market and sell products and services in the air carrier market.


  • ATBD News release — June 23, 2012

    ATBD starts work for major US OEM on potential new product for airlines, aimed at the narrow-body 100-220 segment. ATBD is tapped for its considerable experience with airlines in flight operations, ATC, maintenance and ground operations.

  • ATBD News release — June 15, 2012

    Surf Air has chosen ATBD for additional contract support services for Flight Operations, with ATBD's Tim Brown providing Director of Operations expertise as a FAR Part 119 post holder. Tim has considerable flight operations experience with Part 135 and Part 121 carriers, including Midway, MaxJet and Jet Blue.


  • ATBD News release — May 3, 2012

    ATBD has been contracted by start-up airline Surf Air to provide aircraft program direction and expertise as the carrier acquires used Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. ATBD has considerable depth and breadth of expertise with aircraft programs, having acquired and marketed more than one thousand five air transport category aircraft and related support services. Surf Air is an all-you-can-fly airline planning to fly under FAA Part 135 as an air carrier, with commuter authority, currently apply for FAA and DOT approvals. Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO stated, "Surf Air's innovative business model has great potential to revolutionize short-haul air travel. ATBD is honored to be chosen by Surf Air to provide our proven experience with aircraft programs to reduce costs and risk of execution."

2011 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — September 3, 2011

    ATBD has been contracted by start-up airline California Pacific Airlines (CPA) in Carlsbad, California for aircraft programs, maintenance and IT support as it applies for FAA and DOT certification as a Part 121 air carrier serving destinations in California and contiguous states flying Embraer 170 aircraft. CPA CEO Bud Sittig commented, "We are delighted to have ATBD's depth of airline start-up expertise on CPA's team. The ATBD team have more than twenty start-up airlines in their experience and a track record of proven cost-savings and risk reduction." ATBD CEO Dave Hopkins noted. ATBD is proud and pleased to be chosen by CPA for our experience, particularly with Embraer, where our people have acquired and sold more than one hundred and fifty Embraer jets over the last twelve years.


  • ATBD News release — June 19, 2011

    ATBD is delighted to welcome another industry professional with an impressive track record, John Marshall who joins ATBD after a distinguished maintenance and marketing career with American Airlines and TWA.

    John was formerly Director, Maintenance Marketing, American Airlines in Tulsa. Prior to that he was Managing Director, Kansas City Overhaul Base with responsibility for FAA regulatory, TSA security, environmental compliance, planning, operations, budgets, and base safety. John started with TWA in 1986 as an A & P mechanic and before that served in the US Air Force, starting in 1968. His notable achievements include originating and directing third-party maintenance sales in excess of $200m from a zero base and managing budgets and people in excess of $100m and 2,200 people.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, noted, "Welcome John, we are very pleased to have you join our team. John is highly respected in the airline industry for his integrity and track record of successful win/win transactions. ATBD is building one of the premier independent groups of airline sales and marketing professionals, drawn from the airline and airline supplier sides of the business. These include American Airlines, Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Saab, Rolls-Royce, GECAS and ILFC. Such depth of and breadth of experience and talent is invaluable to airline suppliers and service providers competing to win in the ever-challenging airline environment. We welcome John to our team and wish him every success."


  • ATBD News release — May 30, 2011

    Tim Ford, VP Training has accepted the position of COO with Nordic Global Airlines Ltd (NGA) in Finland. Finnair Cargo has decided to participate, as a minority shareholder, in Nordic Global Airlines Ltd (NGA), a new all-cargo airline based in Helsinki, Finland. This is in line with previously announced Finnair plans and reflects the company's strategy of investing in growth areas of the airline industry.

    CEO Dave Hopkins commented, "thank you Tim for your support and work with ATBD. We wish you best wishes and good luck in your new company. We would be delighted to support you or NGA in your new position.

  • ATBD News release — May 20, 2011

    ATBD is pleased to announce that one of its Airline Advisory Board Members, Captain Bud Sittig has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer at California Pacific Airlines, based in Carlsbad, California.

    California Pacific Airlines' proposed routes from Carlsbad's McClellan-Palomar Airport in northern San Diego County are non-stop flights to: San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and later Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City. All flights will be non-stop, with crews and planes returning at night to Carlsbad. California Pacific Airlines is proposing to utilize E-170 jets, manufactured by Embraer in Brazil.

    For more details see: California Pacific Airlines
       5670 El Camino Real, Ste. D
       Carlsbad, CA 92008

    CONTACT: Tom Morrow at: - 760-710-4404

    Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO commented. "Congratulations to Bud on being appointed President and COO of California Pacific Airlines, best wishes for a successful start up and revenue operations."

    ATBD is an airline contracting and advisory firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with operations in the US, Europe and Australia. ATBD offers clients more than 1,200 years of airline industry experience, from providing all the management skills to start, apply for certification and operate a scheduled international carrier. The ATBD also can improving airline operational efficiency, acquisition of products and services, for example aircraft selection and acquisition. ATBD people have started or played key roles in the start-up of twenty-two airlines in the USA and other countries.


  • ATBD News release — March 24, 2011

    Captain Bud Sittig joins the ATBD Airline Advisory Board. Bud brings a tremendous amount of airline experience from the cockpit, to the boardroom, from established intercontinental carriers to start-up airlines.

    ATBD CEO Dave Hopkins said, "We welcome Bud and all his considerable airline experience and expertise as an invaluable asset to ATBD. The company now has more than 60,000 air transport pilot flying hours and more than 75 FAA qualification among its team of 44+ people, one of the most experienced independent companies in the airline industry."

    ATBD is able to offer airlines and airline suppliers 360 degrees of experience in the airline industry from operating an airline to supplying equipment and services.

  • ATBD News release — March 8, 2011

    ATBD welcomes Chris Grazel to the ATBD team. Chris is an industry flight operations veteran of 25 years with a background including US Navy carrier-based F-14s, US Airways, start ups Skybus and Jet America and Spirit Airlines where Chris held the position of VP Flight Operations. Chris holds an ATP and Check Airman designation with more than 13,000 flight hours and is typed in B737, B757/767, A319/320/321 aircraft.

    CEO Dave Hopkins commented, "ATBD is delighted to welcome Chris to our team, further consolidating ATBD's leading position as experts in airline operations, management and airline start ups. Chris brings a wealth of talent and experience to our team, offering our customers people who have actually started up, managed and grown airlines and all their accumulated wisdom. ATBD now has more than 1,200 years of collective airline experience."

  • ATBD News release — March 2, 2011

    ATBD is pleased to learn that one of its Airline Advisory Board Members, Dana J. Lockhart of DJL Advisors has been appointed to the new Board of Directors of Mesa Air Group. Mesa Air Group's Plan of Reorganization became effective today, allowing the company to emerge from its reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mesa and its related subsidiaries entered bankruptcy protection on January 5, 2010.

    Mesa currently operates 76 aircraft with approximately 450 daily system departures to 94 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico. Mesa operates as US Airways Express and United Express under contractual agreements with US Airways and United Airlines, respectively, and independently as go! Mokulele. This operation links Honolulu to the neighbor island airports of Hilo, Kahului, Kona and Lihue. The Company was founded by Larry and Janie Risley in New Mexico in 1982.

    More details of Mesa Air Group and Dana Lockhart can be found at:
    Mesa Air Group Exits Chapter 11 as a Strong, Competitive Airline

    Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO commented. "Congratulations Dana on being appointed to Mesa Air Group Board, we wish you all the best for the future in your new role." Dana Lockhart will continue his role on ATBD's Airline Advisory Board, bringing his more than forty years aviation sales finance and re-structuring experience to ATBD's work for client airlines, airline suppliers, attorneys and aircraft lessors.

    ATBD is an airline advisory and contracting firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with operations in the US, Europe and Australia. ATBD offers clients more than 1,100 years of airline industry experience to airlines and their suppliers, improving airline operational efficiency, marketing and acquisition of products and services as well as aircraft selection and acquisition.


  • ATBD News release — February 29, 2011

    Fred Williams joins ATBD growing team of airline industry experts, bringing his European technical, financial and marketing expertise to the team. Fred is based in Paris, France.

    Dave Hopkins, ATDB CEO noted. "We are delighted and proud to have Fred Williams, a tri-lingual, French, English and German speaker join our ATBD team, further expanding our presence and capability in Europe. ATBD airline industry experience totals more than 1,200 years of combined experience. Welcome Fred".

    Dick Van Balen has joined the ATBD team, based in Northern Virginia / Washington DC area. Dick is a veteran both of the airlines, with Delta, Western and Eastern route planning and scheduling expertise and airline suppliers like Douglas, Fokker and Airbus. Dick's expertise and knowledge of the airline industry will be invaluable to ATBD and it's customers in understanding airline needs and the winning products that airlines seek and acquire.

    Dave Hopkins, ATDB CEO explained, "Airline suppliers are increasingly seeking expert knowledge and experience in marketing quickly and successfully to the airline industry. Dick has the talent, experience and track record to assist both our start-up and medium sized airlines grow and succeed and our airline supplier customers achieve success in their marketing. Welcome Dick Van Balen."

2010 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — November 19, 2010

    ATBD welcomes Barbara Banks to the team, further strengthening our project management, airline and airframe manufacturer Information Technology capability.

    Barbara is a veteran of Continental, United Airlines and the Boeing Company. ATBD CEO commented, "Barbara's depth of experience in managing the integration and operation of complex software systems will be a valuable asset to ATBD's already impressive roster of airline industry experience."


  • ATBD News release — May 14, 2010

    ATBD welcomes Grant Powell to the team. Grant brings a wealth of web design and digital media experience, including companies like Google. Increasingly, ATBD's customers are requesting integrated marketing and sales solutions with digital media and website optimization being key requirements.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO commented. "We welcome Grant Powell and wish him every success in his work with ATBD. Digital media is now a key component of marketing, communications and business development in airlines, business jet operators and suppliers who sell to these businesses. ATBD can offer comprehensive solutions and implementation of digital media to the air transport industry."


  • ATBD News release — March 11, 2010

    Catherine Burnett bids farewell to ATBD, to accept a position with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The entire ATBD staff wishes Catherine all the best in her new position. She will be missed.


  • ATBD News release — January 30, 2010

    Kimberly Higgins joins ATBD as Director Asset Valuations.

    ATBD CEO, Dave Hopkins said, "Kim is highly regarded in the airline industry for her professional accomplishments in aircraft asset valuations and evaluations. This includes ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Traders) Certification as an Appraiser. Kim is also an accomplished and Licensed FAA Private Pilot. We welcome Kim to the team, further strengthening our transport aircraft analysis, recommendation and asset valuation abilities."

  • ATBD News release — January 29, 2010

    Captain Larry Ganse joins ATBD as Head of Airline Operations.

    ATBD CEO, Dave Hopkins commented, "ATBD is proud and pleased to welcome Captain Larry Ganse to our team of airline professionals. Larry has a varied, senior management experience up to the COO level. Larry has more than 18,000 flight hours including many transport category aircraft flying today in airline revenue service. Larry's depth and breadth of airline operations experience will be invaluable to ATBD as the company grows its business providing airline due diligence, operations and safety audits. ATBD is one of the few airline contracting and advisory companies that can efficiently analyze airline operations, formulate real world remedial plans and implement them. Welcome Larry!"

  • ATBD News release — January 20, 2010

    ATBD is pleased to welcome another aviation professional with 35-years of expertise, Michael Miller who joins ATBD's financial advisory board as the Senior Director of Economic Analysis. Mike comes to ATBD with a market planning and analysis background from Rolls-Royce North America.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, noted, "ATBD welcomes Mike Miller as one of the most experienced and seasoned airline analysts in the industry. Mike further reinforces ATBD's airline analytical capability, grounded with a solid understanding of airline economics and realities. Welcome Mike!"

2009 News Summary


  • ATBD News release — December 7, 2009

    ATBD welcomes Dana Lockhart as a member of the Airline Advisory Board for Air Transport Business Development, to which he brings over 40 years of sales, financing and restructuring experience in air transportation. Dana has held positions of increasing responsibility at Lockheed, Fairchild, Airbus - North America and GMT Global Republic Aviation up to Chief Financial Officer.

    Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO commented, "ATBD is honored to have Dana join our advisory board, his financial and restructuring experience will further strengthen ATBD level of knowledge and expertise in airline, aircraft lessor and airline service organization finances. Dana brings a depth of experience in airline finance, restructurings and work-outs that is among the industry leaders. Welcome Dana."

    ATBD is a Santa Monica- based independent airline advisory and contracting company. Started in 2002, the company now supports, airlines, airline service providers, banks and aircraft lessors and investors globally with a full range of commercial, financial, technical and legal expertise.


  • ATBD News release — September, 2009

    ATBD contracted with MTU Aero Engines North America (MTU AENA) to support their continued growth and stature in the North American market. ATBD has extensive experience working with top-tier airline supplier companies doing business in the Americas. ATBD brings expert people in airline operations, regulatory compliance and airline supplier commercial and technical operations to support MTU AENA.

    Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO said, "ATBD is proud to add a premier global company like MTU to it's customer list. MTU products serve airlines, military services and business jet operators around the globe."

    ATBD provides contract, focused to support airline suppliers wishing to infuse and learn from ATBD's more than one thousand years of collective experience in the air transportation business.


  • ATBD News release — July 4th, 2009

    ATBD now offers extended payment terms, financing and foreign exchange services through it's facility with the the Export-Import Bank of the United States. See for additional details. ATBD international experience, language capability and now financing and foreign exchange capability offers our international customers additional value. More than sixty percent of ATBD business originates from international customers outside of the US.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, said, "We are extremely proud that such a large and prestigious Export bank would evaluate and back our service product as a valuable export to the US economy. ExIm is best known for providing credit and finance support to large US companies like Boeing Commercial Aircraft, GE and PW aircraft engines. More details of ExIm are at


  • ATBD News release — May, 2009

    Ascend selects ATBD to plan and execute a fleet selection and acquisition process and support fundraising activities. Ascend Jets is a start-up carrier focusing on member-only premium service, initially between Los Angeles and New York, utilizing narrow-bodied aircraft in an all-premium configuration.

    Joe Watters, Ascend Chairman and CEO said, "Ascend contracted ATBD to assist in the evaluation of aircraft for US transcontinental service. Dave Hopkins and his team have provided exemplary support to Ascend. I give ATBD the highest marks for their expertise, professionalism and efficient manner in getting the job done." Dave Hopkins, ATBD CEO added, "We are proud and pleased to add Ascend to our customer list, bringing ATBD's decades of experience supporting start-up air carriers."

  • ATBD News release — May 4th, 2009

    ATBD has grown its capability for languages with six languages spoken fluently, Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi and Urdu, in additional to our common languages of native US and UK English speakers. Our team speaks a further three languages at the conversational level, Japanese, Russian and Turkish. ATBD has five Spanish and eight French speakers of various levels. ATBD language capability has greatly assisted our international customers in their business and accounts for ATBD's international focus of more than sixty percent of it's business originating from international customers outside the US.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, said, "ATBD is proud of its people and their capability in languages. From the start of the business in July 2002, the first customer was from the United Kingdom. Over the years we have supported numerous international organizations in France, Germany, Panama, Columbia and Dubai. Our language capability is a real asset as we grow our business overseas."


  • ATBD News release — April 28th, 2009

    ATBD welcomes Rod Mahoney who brings more than 26 years aircraft marketing, sales and programs experience to ATBD's team of airline experts. Rod will be ATBD's VP Asia Pacific, based in Sydney, Australia. With an MSC in Air Transport and a distinguished track record with Airbus and V Australia Airlines, Rod is trained and experienced in all aspects of aircraft programs.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, commented, "ATBD welcomes Rod to our team of industry experts. ATBD adds to its depth of knowledge and expertise in transport aircraft programs, from specifications, competitive analysis, purchase agreements and operations. Rod adds to ATBD's bench strength and complements our existing, engineering, maintenance, flight operations and finance capabilities. Asia is also a new market for ATBD where demand is strong from established and new airlines requiring airline industry expertise and hands-on guidance. We welcome Rod Mahoney and wish him every success."

    Unlike many consultancy firms, ATBD offers its customers analysis, practical solutions and the ability to either do the job at hand or train and mentor the customer airline personnel involved. As such, ATBD has a unique talent to bring independent airline expertise solely focused on the best interests of the customer. ATBD does not sell or endorse any particular product or service.


  • ATBD News release — February 23th, 2009

    Chuck Marcotte has joined the team at ATBD, bringing more than 40 years logistics and supply management to ATBD's team of airline industry experts.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, said, "With the addition of Chuck Marcotte, ATBD now has more than one thousand collective years of airline industry expertise. Our team is unique in the airline business. We have a depth and breadth of expertise drawn from many airlines, their manufacturers, lessors and suppliers. No other independent company can offer their customer airlines, lessors and manufacturers, such expertise. We are proud and pleased that Chuck has joined the ATBD. Welcome Chuck."

  • ATBD News release — February 19th, 2009

    ATBD continues it's steady growth by adding another support staff member of our team. Dave Hopkins, CEO, said: "We are very pleased to have Josh Evans join us, on a part-time basis for now, assisting with business operations in our Santa Monica office. Josh is a valuable asset to us as we grow, based on expanded work assignments for existing customers and by new customers by recommendations." Welcome Josh.

  • ATBD News release — February 18th, 2009

    ATBD rounds out its airline team with a highly experienced attorney, Tammy Akerman, who joins ATBD from aircraft operating lessor ILFC, (International Lease Finance Corporation). ILFC is one of the world's premier aircraft lessors where she was corporate counsel. Prior to ILFC Tammy was an associate at Dewey Ballantine LLP (currently Dewey Lebouf), a prestigious international law firm. Tammy has negotiated hundreds of aircraft operating leases, security agreements, maintenance agreements and overseen appraisers, outside counsel, tax counsel and other specialist advisors and professionals. She is tri-lingual in English, French and Hebrew, complimenting the other five languages that ATBD team speaks.

    ATBD can now offer its airline, lessor and manufacturer and airline service providers a full spectrum of contract and advisory services. Providing one-stop service for many transactions and assignments. This now includes airline industry commercial, technical, finance and legal services from expert practitioners in their respective fields.

    Dave Hopkins, CEO, of ATBD said, "We are honored and excited to have a professional of Tammy's calibre join the team at ATBD. She will complete our team of airline industry professionals. ATBD is unique in the airline industry, having an independent team of experts, capable of, for example, providing all the principal management skills to start, apply for certification and operate a schedule airline. ATBD also can provide staff and services for an operating lessor or service provider to the airlines. We welcome Tammy Akerman to our ATBD team."

  • ATBD News release — February 5th, 2009

    John Judge is awarded FAA Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" Award. Congratulations to our fellow ATBD colleague, John Judge

    Congratulations to John Judge, who was awarded the Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" Award by the FAA at a ceremony at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth, Texas on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. John teaches FAA Aircraft and Powerplant courses there on a part-time basis.

    The Charles Taylor "Master Mechanic" Award is the most prestigious award the FAA issues to persons certificated under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 65. This award is named after Charles Taylor, the first aircraft mechanic, to recognize individuals who have spent over 50 years in the aircraft maintenance profession as "master mechanics."

    The award is an 8-½ by 11-inch certificate and distinctive lapel pin. The certificate is signed by the FAA Administrator. A stickpin similar in design to the lapel pin is also provided to the award winner's spouse in recognition of their support to the award winner's aviation maintenance career. Once the award has been issued, the recipient's name is added to the Roll of Honor, a leather-bound book on display at the entrance to the FAA Aircraft Maintenance Division (AFS-300) in FAA Headquarters, the Orville Wright Federal Building, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 2059.

    We can all be proud to have an individual of John's caliber as part of the ATBD team.

    ATBD is an airline industry advisory and contracting company based in Santa Monica, California, with almost one thousand years of collective industry experience. More than three quarters of ATBD's people hold at least one FAA qualification, as either senior management, mechanics, inspectors, pilots, instructors or dispatchers. Some have multiple qualifications.


  • Air Gumbo has retained ATBD as advisors and contractors to support Air Gumbo fundraising, start up, certification and revenue operations. ATBD CEO, Dave Hopkins said, "We are delighted to support Air Gumbo. ATBD has extensive experience with preparing, equipping and operating new start airlines."

2008 News Summary


  • Bill Kostel speaks to us about the role ATBD plays in building business cases and financial models in his video segment, "Been There, Done That!" From ground operations to inventory, ATBD provides unique solutions.

  • Cash flow going the wrong direction? Jack Graef has solutions. Watch Jack's video to find out more about how to reduce your airline equipment costs.


  • ATBD adds a new website video feature: "Been There, Done That."

    The ATBD team has a depth and breadth of airline experience, involving virtually every aspect of the business. Now customers can hear about it firsthand in brief (about 1 minute each) videos where team members talk about past experience and memorable ATBD projects.

    "It's a more personal way for customers to get to know us," says ATBD CEO Dave Hopkins, "and lets them put a face and voice to a name."

    In the first available videos, Hopkins himself discusses ATBD's airline and sales experience. More videos featuring other subjects and team members will be added in coming weeks.


  • A warm welcome to Toney Quillen and Ed Jones, both men recently joined the ATBD team.

    Toney is a former ATBD customer at Skybus as VP Maintenance and Engineering and prior to that Southwest and Braniff. Toney brings 45-years of experience to ATBD. His management experience will be a welcome addition to our staff.

    Ed, joins us a specialist on aircraft inspections. With 27-years experience in the airline industry we look forward to great things from Ed, his expertise in the maintenance and inspections will serve our clients well.

    ATBD now provides support for seven active customers;


  • ATBD welcomes new team member, Doug Sutton.

    Doug Sutton as Vice President Aircraft Transactions and Programs. Doug further strengthens ATBD aircraft transactions and programs experience with more than 29 years of experience from McDonnell Douglas, Airbus and BAE Systems. Doug brings particular strengths in technical knowledge combined business expertise to lower risk in aircraft transactions that stand the test of time. He has both lead teams and manned front-line positions structuring sales, leases and purchases.

    A native of California, he has lived in several states in the US and overseas. Doug is a seasoned and proven executive with a track record of more than 150 aircraft sold and leased. With the addition of Doug, ATBD's airline Industry experience now exceeds 900 hundred collective years of airline experience. Learn more about Doug Sutton.


  • ATBD welcomes two new team members who add to our wealth of airline expertise.

    Catherine Burnett brings over 20 years of airline experience to ATBD. In her position as Director of Security Operations and In-Flight Services Burnett serves to ensure your smooth and hassle-free operation. Whether in the air or on the ground Burnett's strengths shine through. Look to her to provide the best in security operations, in-flight services, policies and procedures and regulatory compliance.

    ATBD is proud to welcome Frank Sitterly to our team of airline experts. In his position as Managing Director of Quality Assurance and Chief Inspector Frank brings the expert knowledge and seasoning our clients have come to expect from our ATBD team. His first class service reputation and skills will get you off the ground with confidence.

    If expert QA and inspection expertise is what you are looking for, Mr. Sitterly can bring his wealth of experience to bear on your particular challenges. Find out more about Frank Sitterly.


  • ATBD has been invited to run a workshop/seminar, "Selling to Low Cost Airlines" on Tuesday, June 17 in Coral Gables, Florida by Terrapinn, Inc. an industry conference organizer. We have more than 700 collective years of experience in the airline business, including many new start and LCC's (Low Cost Carriers). ATBD has a 360 degree perspective on sales to airlines. We have substantial experience on the marketing and sales of products and service to LCC's and buying the same goods and services for LCC's. A recent example was advising and assembling a fleet of 81 A319 aircraft for Skybus Airlines. Join us for a day of case studies, networking and spirited discussion on what works and what doesn't selling to LCC's. Additional details.
    [Download Conference Brochure]

  • Fleet Lentz, joins ATBD as Vice President Marketing and Sales. His experience has encompassed senior management at engine manufacturers, repair and overhaul facilities, with Global responsibilities for business development. Prior to that, Fleet served in the US marine Corps retiring as a Colonel with more than 1,500 flight hours as a Naval Flight and Radar Intercept Officer in F4 Phantom aircraft with more than 100 combat hours in South East Asia.

    Fleet is fluent in Spanish, a published author and resides in San Antonio, Texas. Fleet is tasked with growing ATBD's business and customer list, particularly in South and Central America. With the addition of Fleet Lentz, ATBD collective airline experience now surpasses 800 years and the following languages; Spanish, German, French, Russian, Hindi and Urdu.

2007 News Summary


  • Linda Small, another airline industry veteran joins ATBD. Linda reinforces the team's airline customer service, line station and hub expertise. Her experience has encompassed senior management of a FAR Part 135 commuter carrier, line positions at Western Airlines and hub and call center responsibilities at Delta Air Lines. Linda is a commercially rated fixed and rotary wing pilot. ATBD airline experience is now more than 700 hundred collective years of airline experience.


  • ATBD welcomes Dennis Martin to ATBD, further fortifying the independent team's airline engineering and maintenance strength. Martin's resume includes AMR Eagle's Flagship Airlines, Midway Airlines and MAXjet, diversifying ATBD's M&E experience to range from American Airlines, with a long history of innovation and leadership, to the newest generation of US start-up airlines like MAXjet.

  • ATBD welcomes four new members to the team. Carolyn Fletcher, Mike Jefferson, Ute Wiedenbauer and John Stonier join ATBD, bringing the following airline experience:

    • Carolyn Fletcher - Director In Flight Operations
    • Mike Jefferson - Airline and FAA Regulatory Compliance
    • Ute Wiedenbauer - Aircraft, engine, airline and company finance
    • John Stonier - Financial analysis, aircraft and engine performance and economics

    ATBD now has 23 professionals and three support staff, who collectively offer over 600 years of airline experience.


  • ATBD welcomes five new members to the team.Brian Cimaglia, Tim Ford, Deborah Aragona, John Judge and Rich Kuhns join ATBD, bringing the following airline experience:

    • Brian Cimaglia - Information Technology
    • Tim Ford
    • Deborah Aragona - Curriculum Development
    • Rich Kuhns - Crew Scheduling and Operations Planning
    • John Judge - Maintenance

    ATBD now has 20 professionals and three support staff, who collectively offer over 400 years of airline experience.

  • Los Angeles Times article by Peter Pae: Skybus: not a frill ride A reporter snags a $10 seat on the a la carte carrier, which may take airlines in a whole new direction. A pillow and a soda? That'll be $17.


  • ATBD welcomes two new members to their team. David Hansen, previously with Airbus, joins as vice president - airline analysis; Gerald Elder, formerly of Skybus, Eos and Delta Airlines, assumes the title of vice president - operations control and stations.


  • ATBD welcomes Amber Willenborg to our business operations team. Amber joins ATBD and the airline industry for the first time, although she has several family members who are long-time employees of Boeing in her home town of Seattle. Welcome Amber.


  • ATBD announces its role as advisor to Skybus Airlines, Columbus, Ohio for the selection, negotiation and acquisition of its Airbus A319 fleet.

  • ATBD welcomes Xavier Bethune formerly with Continental Airlines, Rolls-Royce, US Airways, Piedmont and Braniff. The ATBD staff of 15 now offers more than 300 years of industry experience.


  • South American Airline contracts with ATBD for lease return conditions analysis. ATBD's consulting contract with US new-start airline, which commenced in March 2006, continues. Aircraft purchase and lease contracts consummated for more than 79 narrow-body aircraft, engines, avionics, APU's and related equipment and overhaul contracts worth more than US$5 billion.

  • ATBD welcomes Sandy Saunders, formerly with Gemini and MAXjet, and Dave Arthur, formerly with American and Boeing. The 14 staff members of ATBD now offer more than 290 years of industry experience.


  • ATBD signs contract with Copa Air Lines for maintenance evaluation.

2006 News Summary


  • ATBD welcomes Bill Kostel formerly with AMR Eagle, Mesa and Indigo, bringing ATBD staff's industry experience to more than 250 years.


  • ATBD signs contract with major aircraft operating lessor to evaluate portfolio expansion.
    March, ATBD signs Fleet Transactions support contract with Skybus Airlines to write Fleet RFP, direct aircraft and engine evaluation and negotiate MOU and purchase contracts on x50 narrow body aircraft and engines, with MRO contracts worth in excess of a combined US$2 billion.

2005 News Summary


  • ATBD supports Air Blue, a new-start airline in Indian sub-continent with aircraft lease and purchase contract advisement.


  • Website launched.


  • ATBD starts business development consulting sub-contract work for major US aircraft manufacturer.


  • Air Transport Business Development, Inc. incorporated in Delaware, with Headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

2004 News Summary

  • A growing list of customers including new start airline, Atlantic Express, later re-named Eos airlines looks to DJHA for hands-on aircraft acquisition expertise. Zeenath Shareef joins the organization as the first staff member and later with ATBD in 2005 when the business incorporates as employee #2, providing back office support.

    Start-up airline Atlantic Express, nee, Eos Airlines hires DJHA to lead search and contract for two leased 757-200ER's from aircraft lessor ILFC. DJHA performs sub-contract marketing development work for Boeing subsidiary Boeing Priority.

2003 News Summary

  • DJHA, adds additional airline expertise through sub-contracting and joint venture agreements with other airline professionals. Boeing Commercial Aircraft Services uses DJHA airline expertise.

    DJHA retained to market engine management services in the USA for UK firm Total Engine Support. Grows TES business more than five-fold within twelve months.

2002 News Summary


  • July 8, 2002. ATBD business founded by Dave Hopkins and trades under the name of David J. Hopkins & Associates (DJHA) from 2002 to December 2004. Among the first customers are Total Engine Support and Volvo Aero.

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