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Szczesniak Takes Helm At Houston Airport System

After serving as interim director for less than a month, Jim Szczesniak has been named director of aviation for the city of Houston, overseeing operations at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Ellington Airport (EFD) and the Houston Spaceport.

Szczesniak took the helm in early February after former director Mario Diaz abruptly announced his departure from the Houston Airports System. Diaz served as executive director for the Houston Airport System for nearly 14 years.

Szczesniak previously served as the chief operating officer for Houston Airports. Before joining the Houston Airports System in 2022, Szczesniak served as the airport director for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), the world’s fourth busiest air cargo airport. He also spent a decade at the Chicago Department of Aviation, becoming director of airport planning and ultimately deputy commissioner of aviation for Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) and Midway International (MSW) airports.

“I am confident that Jim Szczesniak’s proven track record and visionary leadership will propel Houston Airports and the Houston Spaceport to become first-class operations,” said Whitmire. “I stand ready to join Mr. Szczesniak in a united endeavor and I believe that greater days are in front of us.”

As director of aviation, Szczesniak will drive strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the efficiency, safety and overall world-class airport experience for travelers, aviation partners and airport stakeholders.

“I am humbled, honored, and excited to lead Houston Airports into a new era that includes the growth and modernization of our airports as we endeavor to connect even more of the world to Houston, a world-class global gateway known for safe and clean facilities and our Houston-friendly hospitality,” said Szczesniak. “Together, with the city of Houston, Houston Airports is steadfast in our commitment to lead the industry in innovative and thoughtful solutions that continue to enhance and expand the passenger experience.”