The city of Santa Barbara has named Christopher Hastert director of the Santa Barbara Airport.
Mr. Hastert’s appointment was confirmed during Tuesday’s Santa Barbara City Council meeting.
His start date is Oct. 3.
Mr. Hastert comes to the airport with more than 30 years of airport and airport management experience, including military aviation experience. He most recently held the role of general manager for the Santa Maria Public Airport District, where he managed a commercial service airport that serves aircraft as diverse as single engine trainers to the DC-10 air tanker that fights local wildfires. While there, he also oversaw an annual operating budget of more than $5.5 million combined with a capital budget of $5 million.
Mr. Hastert thanked the city for entrusting him with the role of airport director and expressed his excitement about getting started.
“Providing a convenient, stress-free travel experience for our passengers, promoting the welfare and success of the general aviation community, all while minimizing impacts on neighboring areas, are my key goals and objectives,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting.
He was chosen for the highly specialized role from a selection of 42 applicants from throughout the United States.
“Mr. Hastert’s experience demonstrates strong leadership, business and communications skills, as well as a focus on positively engaging with the community,” City Administrator Rebecca Bjork said. “We are pleased that he will be bringing those skills to the Santa Barbara Airport in this complex role.”
Mr. Hastert is a private pilot and has experience balancing the needs of both commercial and general aviation at a busy general airport.
Highlights of his career at the Santa Maria Public Airport District include being a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Airport Land Use Release; reviving the Central Coast Airfest, and being involved in the completion Compatibility Plan Update; working on the Santa Maria Airport Master Plan Update; successfully completing an environmentally complicated FAA Land of the Santa Maria Airport Runway Extension. He has certifications from AAAE and TSA.
Mr. Hastert added that he and his wife Kathy, and their sons Riley and Colin, appreciate the warm Santa Barbara welcome they’ve already received, and that he is readily available to discuss with staff and the community their airport needs and expectations.