KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a nationwide search, Kansas City has chosen a new aviation director, who will make history.

Melissa Cooper has been named to the role and is the first woman aviation director in Kansas City history.

Cooper has worked her way through the field and the aviation department for the last 25 years. In December 2021, she was promoted to Deputy Director of Aviation over Properties & Commercial Development. In this position, she helped launch the new terminal at KCI.

Cooper is also the first female airport manager at the Charles B. Wheeler downtown airport. She started that position in 2017.

“I am proud to welcome Melissa—who makes history as Kansas City’s first-ever female Aviation Director—to lead the department into the future as it continues to serve the flying public across our region,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a release.

Brian Platt, the city manager, said she has already shown her qualifications for the role.

“Director Cooper has already demonstrated and proven her ability to lead and manage our team within the aviation department and has been instrumental in the successful launch of our world-class new airport terminal,” Platt said.

Cooper will begin her role as the Director of Aviation on Nov. 6.