The AirCargo Conference is thrilled to announce Captain Houston Mills, UPS President of Flight Operations & Safety, as AirCargo 2024’s keynote speaker! Captain Mills will kick off the conference on Monday, February 12 with his dynamic, forward-looking approach to aviation safety, training, compliance, and policy-making.

In his current leadership role with UPS Airlines, Captain Mills has global oversight of and responsibility for UPS Flight Operations, crewmembers, dispatchers, crew scheduling, training, regulatory compliance, and airline safety.

Aviation Expertise

Prior to his current position, Captain Mills served as Global Aviation Strategy & Public Policy Director, where he advocated for federal and international aviation policy and collaborated with domestic and international industry groups to harmonize aviation safety standards and sustainability rules. He was also responsible for aggregating aviation strategy issues under one umbrella within UPS to help maximize safety and reliability for the company, as well as service to UPS’s growing global customer base.

In an era where aviation safety and regulation dance with technology and innovation, Captain Mills offers a voice of guidance and expertise. The AirCargo Conference is a place where we work to secure a promising future for airfreight, and, as such, Captain Mills will kick off the 2024 conference with his experience and insight!

The AirCargo Conference Pillars

  • Connections
  • Learning
  • ROI
  • Growth
  • Networking
  • Innovation
  • Global View
  • Diversity

Captain Houston Mills – Background and Experience

Captain Houston Mills served as UPS’s Part 119 Director of Airline Safety and Compliance, where he ensured safe and regulatory compliant flight, maintenance, and ground support operations, emergency response preparedness, and interaction with government regulatory and safety organizations worldwide. Under his leadership, UPS Airlines became one of the first U.S. airlines to have a certified Safety Management System (SMS). Other senior leadership assignments included: UPS International Chief Pilot, where he was responsible for crew-related international flight operations and UPS Director of Flight Training, where he led the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) for crewmembers.

In 2022, Houston was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to serve as chair of the FAA Advanced Aviation Advisory Committee, where he explored and made recommendations to the FAA administrator for the advancement of Advanced Air Mobility and Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) integration into the National Air Space system. He also serves on the board of governors for the Fight Safety Foundation, board of advisors of RTCA, IATA Operations Advisory Council, Airlines for America (A4A) Safety and Operations Council, board of advisors of Embry-Riddle Center for Aviation/Aerospace Safety, and is the immediate past chair of the Cargo Airline Association board of directors.

A native of Indianapolis, Houston received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Wabash College and an MBA from Webster University. He also holds a Professional Human Resources designation.

Houston began his aviation career in 1985 as a Marine Corps officer and F/A-18 fighter pilot where he was certified as an air combat tactics instructor. He served the U.S. in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Restore Hope and Southern Watch. He has more than 100 aircraft carrier landings to his credit. He has previously served as an FAA designated check airman and is currently an international qualified captain on the Boeing 757/767.

In step with UPS’s commitment to the community, Houston has served on numerous boards including:

He currently serves on:

Houston had the honor of operating captain of the first COVID-19 vaccine delivery flight in the U.S. in December 2020.

Married and the father of three, Houston particularly enjoys motivational speaking, golf, and has coached youth sports for many years.

We look forward to coming together to welcome Captain Houston Mills as Keynote Speaker for AirCargo 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.!