Breakout Session

Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 11:15 am

Thoroughbred 4

"Embracing Disruptive Technology:  How drone testing and humanitarian aid use cases are helping to move the UAS industry forward".

Captain Houston Mills

UPS Global Aviation Strategy & Public Policy Director

As Global Aviation Strategy & Public Policy Director, Captain Mills advocates for federal aviation policy and collaborates with domestic and international industry groups to harmonize aviation safety standards and sustainability rules. He is 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.


Prior to his current position, Houston served as UPS’s Director of Airline Safety and Compliance where he was responsible for ensuring 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 became one of the first U.S. airlines to have a certified Safety Management System (SMS). He also served as the UPS International Chief Pilot, where he was responsible for crew-related international flight operation activity and as the Director of Flight Training where he was responsible for the UPS Advance Qualification Program (AQP) for all crewmembers.


Houston most recently was appointed to serve as one of 35 executives on the newly formed FAA Drone Advisory Committee, where he brings an airline and pilot perspective to a group of other transportation and technology leaders as they explore policy considerations for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) integration into the National Air Space system.  He also serves as the Chair of the Airlines for America (A4A) Safety Council and on the UPS corporate Unmanned Systems and Lithium Battery Steering committees. 


A native of Indianapolis, Houston received a bachelor’s 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 (ACTI).  He served the United States 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 serves on the national Board of Directors of the Marne Toys for Tots Foundation, Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI), Aero Club of Washington Board of Governors, and is president of the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky.


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