Alan Gross first became involved with blimps in 1964, when he watched two Goodyear blimps at Flushing Airport during the New York World's Fair. He spent a great deal of time observing the Goodyear operations, and in time took a summer job as a "rope grabber" for the Goodyear blimp crew.
He studied electronic journalism and public relations at Syracuse University. He joined Metromedia television, where he worked on many of the Company's syndicated television shows, and worked with all station departments in coordinating the broadcast log.
In 1979, Alan moved to Viacom, a growing television syndication company. His responsibilities included screening broadcast materials and ensuring the broadcast quality of the Company's film and video material. He gained experience in editing, and in identifying various videotape and film problems. This knowledge provided him with the ability to create various high quality marketing materials.
While at Metromedia, he began a videotape collection featuring his interests in lighter-than-air flight. This collection now consists of over 300 VHS tapes and represents the world's most complete and rare look at airship operations. His video collection was used in creating marketing videos for several airship operating companies, including Airship Enterprises Ltd. and Airship International Ltd.
Alan was instrumental in the founding of Airship Enterprises and Airship International, where he was involved with airship marketing, blimp construction, operations and administration. He has traveled throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe in his quest to establish himself in the airship industry.
He pioneered the concept of creating a commercial blimp port on part of the now-disused Flushing Airport in New York City, to serve the advertising blimps visiting New York City and as a base for a blimp sightseeing flight operation. He is actively seeking space to open a museum to house his extensive collection of airship artifacts. His remarkable airship archives attract scholars and researchers from all over the world.
Recently, Alan has provided his knowledge and rare video footage to several television film makers in support of lighter-than-air documentary production. He has also had articles published in international publications, and appeared on Cable News Network (CNN) and NBC-TV in connection with the blimp port project.
He is an active member of the Airship Association, the Naval Airship Association, and the Lighter-Than-Air Society.