SHAWN ABASPOR: BY LAND AND BY AIR FAIRFIELD COUNTY BUSINESS JOURNAL
Ryan Doran | Aug-31-09
Shawn Abaspor, president of U. S. Limousine Worldwide, has his roots firmly planted in Stamford, in his business and in his family, but that doesn’t stop him from getting flighty about 100 hours per year.
Abaspor’s parents were Iranian business people who left their country during a time of unrest.
“We moved here before the revolution, but there was much turmoil at that time,” said Abaspor.
“I’ve been living in Stamford since 1978.”
Abaspor lives on the north side of Stamford with his wife Bita and their baby daughter Serena.
He graduated from Stamford High School and went on to attend University of Connecticut and then Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Abaspor has kept his fixed-wing skills sharp through the years, also attending Panorama Flight School, Arrow Aviation Flight School, Arizona Aviation Academy, Orange County Flight Center, Van Nuys Flight Center, Three Wings Flight School, COPA-Cirrus Aircraft and Jet Warbird Training Center.
“When I was young, my track was to be a commercial airline pilot,” said Abaspor. “I always had a love of flying. I was 6 and I’d see these planes and wanted to know how it happened and wanted to be one of those pilots.”
Abaspor couldn’t continue his dream and attend flying school without first achieving some income. After a variety of jobs, he started a limousine company with two drivers after doing some driving for an infomercial producer.
“She liked the way I handle these executives,” said Abaspor. “I saw some potential there. This was a way of getting to fly, it’s was a means to an end.”
Abaspor was able to begin flight school in 1987.
“As the company grew, we were becoming very successful,” said Abaspor.
U.S. Limousine Worldwide, today services mostly regional Fortune 500 companies. In 1997, the business also began to offer aircraft charter under its Royal Falcon Air Charter business.
Through it all. Abaspor earned his wings and become an FAA-certified commercial pilot. He owns and flies his personal aircraft, a Cirrus SR22, out of Westchester Airport.
“I fly on average 100 hours each year,” he said.
Abaspor has also tried to give of his time in the air, spending the last 12 years volunteering for the Civil Air Patrol, a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, nonprofit that serves as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
“I have also joined an organization called Angel Flight,” said Abaspor. “I’m with the Northeast office of Angel Flight. This is an organization that allows us to volunteer and fly people who are not so well off to destinations where they can receive medical treatment. I feel very good about it; it’s a great organization.
“We receive the calendars of missions on a daily basis,” said Abaspor. “I’ve taken people all over, from Washington to Canada.”
Recently Abaspor has begun to set up a scholarship program for members of the youth who are interested in becoming a part of the world of aviation.
“I couldn’t do it as easily, so I’m trying to see if I can’t help people who are in the same situation I was once in,” said Abaspor.
Abaspor said that flying is what keeps his mind agile and that without flying for even a few weeks he feels sluggish.
“For me flying is like exercise,” said Abaspor. “When you’re up there you have to be thinking three steps ahead. I never did drugs or drank much; I get high when I’m flying.”
Abaspor has recently been able to attain his dream of flying a military aircraft, an Aero L-39 Albatross, in New Mexico and will continue to be a leading Stamford advocate for the culture of aviation.