Getting to Know Us

Meet Lia Sutanto, PMP, CM, PHL Airport Engineering Assistant Manager, Capital Development

Lia SutantoLia Sutanto is a certified PMP and Construction Manager with eighteen years of experience. She received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Lia is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).

Continue reading below to learn more about Lia.


What do you enjoy most about working at the Airport? 

The environment at PHL is vibrant and dynamic. The people are incredibly brilliant, fearless, innovative, relatively unafraid to embrace new things, but they also do so in a smart way. I have learned so much, and I am still eager to learn more. 

My current and previous supervisors at PHL have been incredibly supportive and always encourage me to ask all the questions I want to ask. They support me in making the right decisions and also living with the consequences of those decisions.

How often do you get the chance to go out on the airfield, or are you managing projects from behind the scenes? 

I started as a Project Manager and my portfolio is mostly Airside/Landside projects.  In my new capacity as an Assistant Manager I may have less time to spend on the Airfield but in exchange I learn more about the context and relevancy of all the current and future projects and their place in the overall big picture. 

In my opinion, project management styles are not limited to just “hands-on” or “behind the scenes” management. Each project is unique, and we must consider the team and stakeholder dynamics and therefore each project needs different style of management.

What do you think are some of the larger challenges PHL faces? 

I will have to concur with some of my co-workers that limited real estate can be an issue at PHL but also a source of opportunities and fuel for innovative solutions. Sometimes we have to rebuild, renovate, and reconstruct within the confines of existing facilities and structures, but this isn’t necessarily a challenge.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 3 to 5 years with engineering, design, and construction? 

I have several goals, but the most relevant one is currently related to the airfield and landside pavement management program. This is something that I am deeply committed to. And I am pleased to say that it is well underway now with all the past and current reconstruction/rehabilitation of Taxiway K, North Apron, Taxiway D, Portions of Taxiway H, Taxiway J, Taxiway S, Taxiway P, Runway 17-35 and Runway 8-25.  

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?  

I enjoy 3d-printing (additive manufacturing) and design.  Using 3D printing, engineers can create new prototypes – even those with complex internal structures and geometries – address problems, and find solutions, without ever leaving their working environments.

Do you like to travel? If so, where do want to go next? 

I would like to travel to Eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea).


Thanks to Lia for taking the time to chat with us!  We wish you much success.


Meet Imad Haq PE, LEED AP, Acting Engineering Manager, Capital Development

Imad HaqMeet Imad Haq PE, LEED AP, Acting Engineering Manager Capital Development

Imad Haq is a certified LEED AP and registered Professional Engineer with eighteen years of experience. Before joining PHL thirteen years ago, Imad worked as a construction engineer in New York State.

Imad received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology in Taxila, Pakistan and his Master of Engineering at CUNY, New York. He is a member of the US Green Building Council, the Project Management Institute, the Airport Council International, and the American Association of Airport Executives.

Despite his busy schedule, we had the chance to sit down with Imad and ask him some questions.

What do you enjoy most about working at the Airport?

I enjoy its diversity. The types of projects I work on are so varied. You never get bored working at an airport, especially with Capital Development.

How often to you get the chance to go out on the airfield, or are you managing projects from behind the scenes?

I’m not able to get out into the field as much as I would like to, but I still manage site visits during the construction phase of a project and to see the finished product.

What do you think are some of the larger challenges PHL faces?

I find the most challenging aspect of my work is to deal with limited real estate at airport. Additionally, from a vertical construction view and from airfield or landside development aspects, our engineers and contractors must maintain the smooth operation of the airport while managing major construction and expansion projects. This work needs special expertise, a lot of coordination, and ample facility knowledge.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 3 to 5 years with engineering, design, and construction?

At Capital Development, our job is to provide smooth airport operations and a facility that is easy to maintain. My focus is to update the existing conditions database and provide a rolling facility renovation plan that can minimize any emergency events.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in engineering?

I like to solve problems. Engineering work keeps me busy and engaged.

What made you go into the field of aviation?

I used to work for a contractor, and I once managed a construction project at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). This stroke of luck opened me up to a mini-city and a lot of engineering and construction challenges. When I moved to Philadelphia and found an opportunity in my City (PHL) over thirteen years ago, I just had to take it.

What are some of the key principals by which you live?

I believe in service to others, and it is the main reason that I joined government service. I also strongly believe in the importance of having a positive attitude in life. Your attitude is more important than your outlook because it influences how you show up in life. I have faith in teamwork. A manager must be able to set priorities and motivate their team members.


Thanks so much for talking with us, Imad!

Meet Api Appulingam, PHL’s Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development

apiMeet Api Appulingam, PHL’s Deputy Director of Aviation, Capital Development.

Api is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and has over 15 years of experience in the aviation industry with several general aviation and commercial service airports in the U.S. and internationally.

Before joining the PHL family, Api served as the Philadelphia Office Leader for RS&H, Inc., a national provider of architecture, engineering and consulting services.

Api serves on the Philadelphia Chapter’s Executive Board for Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), is the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair for the Northeast Chapter/American Association of Airport Executives (NEC/AAAE) and is a board member of the March of Dimes Transportation, Building and Construction Awards Luncheon.

In her free time Api enjoys exploring the world with her family. She has lived in five different countries and visited more than twenty-five. Api eagerly awaits announcements of new destinations from PHL to plan her trips. Casablanca is now on the top of her list!

We know you’re no stranger to working at PHL, but we were wondering, what do you enjoy most about working at the Airport?

What’s there not to love about working at an airport?! Every day is different, and I enjoy tackling the challenges that we face, small and large. I also love that I get to be a small part of someone’s journey – hopefully they have a positive experience that brings them back to PHL. 

Do you ever get the chance to go out on the airfield, or are you running the show from behind the scenes?

Of course, I go out on the airfield.  My first project at PHL was the design for Runway 27L Extension and Associated Taxiways - it has a very special place in my heart. I felt so proud the first time I taxied on one of the connector taxiways and took off on the extension.  Most recently, I got an up-close look at the ARFF [Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting] and training facilities – that was pretty impressive and cool!

What do you think are some of the larger challenges PHL faces?

That’s a good question. I think the biggest challenge that we are facing is capacity. Many other airports in the U.S. and around the world are facing the same challenge. We are tasked with coming up with creative solutions that are sustainable, enhance safety and comply with regulations – all the while allowing us to grow to meet demand.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next 3 to 5 years with Capital Development ?

I started thinking about this before I joined PHL. I look forward to executing the projects in our $2.4 billion Capital Program. There are lots of exciting projects happening at PHL and PNE and much, much more to come with a potential new use and lease agreement. To hear more about Api's plans for PHL's Capital Development, listen here

What one change are you looking to implement with Capital Development?

I am lucky to work with such a great group of people. Everyone is excited to come to work and give it their all. I am not necessarily looking to implement major changes but will certainly enhance the existing processes and support the team in any way that I can.

As a woman in a male dominated field, what advice would you give your younger self and women entering engineering and similar industries?

I would tell my younger self to keep doing what you are doing and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I live by this motto: When one door closes another opens and if it doesn’t open then kick it down! One piece of advice I would give to women is to not be afraid of saying yes to an opportunity that comes your way, even if it’s challenging and unfamiliar. Every opportunity will help grow your talent and career and help you kick that door down!  

What are some of the key principals by which you live?

I believe being grateful and appreciative of what you have is an important principle to live by – both personally and professionally.  I am thankful for what I’ve achieved so far and will continue to pursue goals that take what I have achieved to the next level. Also, keeping a positive mindset through this journey is key and I try my very best to do that and surround myself with people that help me achieve those goals.

Have you tried out a cheesesteak at one of the airport eateries? ( Jim’s, Geno’s, Tony Luke’s ) And if you have, which is your favorite?

I haven’t. I’m a vegetarian so I’m still on the hunt for a vegan/vegetarian cheesesteak. However, I’m a tea-aholic so you’ll usually find me ordering a large English breakfast tea at one of the La Colombes. Caffeine is my Jet-A!  

Thank you for taking the time to chat with us today! We hope you accomplish everything you’ve set out to do as the head of Capital Development. We wish you much success.