Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

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Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director
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Source: City of Santa Barbara

After conducting a nationwide recruitment effort, the City Council confirmed the appointment of Henry L. Thompson as Airport Director. He was selected from a pool of 55 applicants.  As Airport Director, Henry will oversee the operations, maintenance, fiscal management, and long-term capital planning for the Santa Barbara Airport with a staff of 61 employees and a $20 million operating budget.

Henry currently serves as the Airport Director for the Shreveport, LA Airport where he improved the airport’s financial management and developed new airport strategic goals. His prior experience includes various management positions at the City and County of San Francisco Airport Commission and the San Jose Airport. He also served as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force. Altogether, he brings 35 years of airport management experience to Santa Barbara.

He received a Bachelor’s degree from the National University in San Diego and Master’s degree in Business Administration from Golden Gate University. He holds numerous certifications from professional airport associations, including the Airports Council International, International Airport Professional, American Association of Airport Executives, Airport Security Coordinator, and FAA Air Traffic Controller.

“I am both honored and humbled to be selected as the new Airport Director for the City of Santa Barbara,” said Henry Thompson. “I appreciate the confidence demonstrated by the Airport Commission and City Council throughout this appointment and confirmation process. I look forward to joining the SBA team and building upon the airport’s many successes.”

According to City Administrator Paul Casey, “Henry is known for taking on tough issues and effective management and mentoring of airport staff. I think he will bring a breadth of experience in all airport operations to Santa Barbara.”

He will start his position on February 1, 2019

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a-1558362970 Jan 22, 2019 11:25 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Hey Henry. Find a way to reduce monopolization and create wing space for competing upstarts willing to fly regionally. Add competition and destinations. Streamline security so there's not only one ID checker that bottlenecks the line during the busiest time of the day. Find someting to do with the ground floor cavern that was created which sits relatively idol.

RHS Jan 22, 2019 08:51 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

So once again the city refuses to appoint from within. Are all assistant or deputy administrators inadequate to the task they were trained to perform? Appointing such people would seem simple in that they are already in the community, aware of its costs and demands and bureaucracy. The only reason for going outside would seem to be to justify higher pay?

SantaBarbaraObserver Jan 22, 2019 09:01 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Yes, the locals are inept. Haven't you been paying attention? They cant manage anything, they always have to hire consultants and /or look outside for talent. That's what happens with decades of nepotism and the inability to cull the herd. We end up with the lowest common denominator at the highest possible cost.

sbtraveler Jan 22, 2019 08:16 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Hopefully he can do a lot better attracting some real airlines to SB. Let me offer some free advice: American between here and LAX; Delta to Salt Lake need to pay a consultant $100K.

a-1558362970 Jan 23, 2019 07:13 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Where is it lost? Who was responsible for it? It's usually the airline, so take it up with them rather than implying it's the fault of SBA.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jan 22, 2019 08:59 AM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Southwest would be the coup of the decade but I'd settle for an actual clock, a water filter and a lot less of those billboards that are now on every last inch of free wall space... Oh, and make the employees and other parkers use the long term lot off of Hollister instead. Both of the short term lots are filled with non-flyers. Even after the doubling of parking fees in the last 6 years. Parking is clearly not being managed for the interest of the traveller as the same cars are there everyday.

a-1558362970 Jan 21, 2019 12:24 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Our airport has more than double the traffic and growing but Shreveport Regional is shrinking. This will be a big change of pace for Mr. Thompson not to mention our much greater small plane activity. Will the recent airport plan revision now get revised again?

Factotum Jan 21, 2019 12:02 PM
Santa Barbara Appoints New Airport Director

Former Director Hazel Johns was making $250,000 year - enough to purchase a home in this area. From Transparent California: Hazel M Johns AIRPORT DIR (2017) Note: Only part of the city's retirement costs were reported on an employee basis, as CalPERS now bills the debt portion separately. This necessitated estimation to capture the full cost displayed below. Regular pay: $175,041.84 Overtime pay: $0.00 Other pay: $8,423.04 Total pay: $183,464.88 Benefits: $67,296.83 Total pay & benefits: $250,761.71

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