Aviation Guru Allan Shapiro is Dead at 80 | 2017-09-07

Allan M. Shapiro, a veteran transportation sector executive who was widely consulted on aviation infrastructure and facility planning issues, died on Sept. 2 at age 80 in Scarsdale, N.Y.

The cause of death was colon cancer, according to a statement from Ross & Baruzzini, the St. Louis engineering firm at which he was a senior transportation consultant.

In a career that spanned more than four decades, Shapiro was a senior manager on more than 100 airport projects, as well as others in public works, criminal justice, government and military construction globally.

An Ohio native, Shapiro followed his father—one of the first registered architects in the state—into the architecture field, earning a degree from Cornell University in 1959.

Shapiro joined Ross & Baruzzini (R&B) in 2009 as a vice president and transportation group director, and took his current role two years later. He previously had been transportation systems program manager at L-3 Communications and a corporate vice president and northeast division manager at DMJM, later acquired by AECOM. He also worked for design firms HOK and HNTB, according to a family-posted obituary.

Shapiro was active in transportation and construction sector issues and activities, serving as a vice president of the Society of American Military Engineers, a steering committee member of the American Association of Airport Executives, treasurer of a joint industry association committee on professional services, trustee of the American Geographical Society and foundation board member of Westchester [County, N.Y.] Community College, among other positions.

He was also a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Architects, says R&B.

R&B Chairman Craig Toder termed Shapiro “a fixture in the industry.”

In moderating a 2014 American Association of Airport Executives conference panel, Shapiro offerred insights to attendees on how U.S. non-hub airports increasingly were turning to non-aeronautical budget enhancers as they faced uncertainty in shaping long-term capital plans, according to a June 2014 ENR report.

Mario Rodriguez, executive director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, says Shapiro “made our airport industry better, and he did this not only with his expertise but also with his charm and humor.”

Adds Stacy Sayers, an aviation strategic consultant: “Allan was a great asset to the aviation industry. He was always willing to help others learn and connect.”

Shapiro was also known for an eclectic personality that favored everything from high-profile hats to cooking to a love for opera music, says the online obituary. 

Inspired by an uncle, noted archaeologist and theologian Nelson Glueck, Shapiro spent summers from 1959 to 1967 with Harvard and Cornell University archaeological expeditions in the ancient city of Sardis, Turkey.

Condolences can be sent to: Mary Healy Shapiro, 6 South Old Orchard Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63119.

According to the family, donations in Shapiro’s name can be made to Westchester Community College at this weblink:

www.sunywcc.edu/about/foundation/make-your-donation/

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