Clint Harper, C.M.

Aeronautics Economic Development Manager
Utah Division of Aeronautics
Salt Lake City, UT

Clint Harper came to UDOT in 2017 after retiring from a diverse aviation career with the United States Air Force. As an avionics maintenance technician, he maintained over 60 communications, navigation, and targeting systems on fearsome AC-130 Spectre Gunship through five deployments to Afghanistan. As an airfield manager, he was trained to see potential landing surfaces where they did not yet exist, and then operate these landing zones in unfamiliar airspace so large C-130 and C-17 aircraft could land and takeoff safely. He brought this expertise to the civilian world as a volunteer firefighter where he helped pre-designate contingency landing zones for medevac helicopters within his response area. Finally, a tour as a military technical instructor helped him fine-tune his airfield management work, added airspace management to his portfolio, and he learned how to effectively pass it on to 18 year old high school graduates with short attentions spans. He holds a Master of City and Metropolitan Planning degree, as well as a graduate certificate in Urban Design from the University of Utah. He currently works for UDOT to ensure airport capital improvement expenditures maximize their potential return-on-investment. He does this through collaborative work with state and regional economic development organizations to incorporate aviation into their strategic plans in innovative ways. Drones are becoming a big part of this economic development solution. His military work required the blending of technical knowledge, collaborative skills, and meticulous risk management. With his urban planning and design background, Clint brings brings a valuable perspective to the Unmanned Aerial Systems integration discussion that will help us transform a vision to reality.