- Jenna Bilyeu
Spotlight on Bruce Bleakley: Pilot, Historian, and Author
Bruce Bleakley brings a unique perspective to team projects with Public Information Associates (PIA) as an aviation historian and author. Bruce’s work involves detailed airport and traveler analysis based on national and international customer surveys. He provides targeted information about clients and audiences using passenger numbers and demographic patterns, satisfaction levels, and trends. Bruce also researches what airports are doing, including the struggles they are facing and their promotional efforts.
Bleakley’s fascinating experiences uniquely prepared him for this niche in our industry. Bruce began his flying career when he learned to fly in high school and went on to fly for 20 years as an Air Force pilot and later as a commercial pilot. Later, he directed the San Diego Aerospace Museum and the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, from which he retired in 2017.
Bruce’s work as an aviation author began when he was approached by a publisher to write the book, Dallas Aviation, published in 2011. The chapter on DFW Airport inspired his next book in 2013, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. (These titles are both available on Amazon.)
His last two books were collaborations with local cultural affairs specialists. They were commissioned by the cities of Dallas and Addison for the 100th anniversary of Dallas Love Field and the 60th anniversary of Addison Airport, respectively. The fact that both of these milestone anniversaries occurred in 2017 meant that Bruce and the other contributors had two book projects in the works simultaneously.
The books were published one day apart, on October 18 and October 19, 2017. The Love Field book title, Love Evolution, came from a slogan used by the PR company during the Wright Amendment compromise years. These books had limited print runs for the anniversary celebrations. Bruce provided a number of copies of the Love Field book that are still available at the Frontiers of Flight Museum store, but no more will be printed.
Bruce considers one of the keys to his success to be his habit since high school of reading the morning newspaper (the paper version is still his preference) from cover to cover before going to work.
Bruce’s next book project is in the works, and this one will be a biography of an aviator. Bruce loves to share his passion for aviation and its history and gave us recommendations for some of his favorite blogs and websites. One is “The Middle Seat,” by Wall Street Journal reporter Scott McCartney. It is written from the point of view of the average airline passenger. Two blogs he recommends are CrankyFlier.com and StuckAtTheAirport.com.
As part of our outreach efforts, Public Information Associates (PIA) will begin providing a spotlight on our project partners and associates.