SAN JOSE, Calif. – John Aitken has been appointed as Director of Aviation of the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) by City Manager Norberto Dueñas. The San José City Council ratified his appointment today.
An accredited aviation professional with 26 years of experience, Aitken has been serving as Interim Director of Aviation for the last four months, following the departure of then-Director Kim Becker in late March. Prior to that, he served as SJC’s Assistant Director of Aviation, a role in which he oversaw administrative functions as well as the five Airport divisions: operations, facilities, finance, planning and development, and business development. Aitken has been with SJC since 1993. His appointment is effective immediately.
During his two-plus decades at SJC, Aitken successfully led the Airport team in redesigning the Airport’s strategic plan as well as its information technology plan. He also held a key role on the leadership team in designing, building and operating the Airport’s $1.3B modernization of two terminals, which was completed in 2010.
“John’s broad experience with aviation management, information technology, and capital improvement programs has well positioned him to lead the Airport team and direct the growth of this increasingly popular airport, considered to be America’s fastest growing airport,” said Dueñas. “I’m confident he will successfully build on the outstanding efforts of our prior director.”
“It’s a proud moment when a two-decades-long City veteran, who began his career refueling aircraft at Mineta San José International Airport, rises through the ranks to be Director of Aviation,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I offer John my heartiest congratulations and fullest support, and wish him much success leading our vision to offer our business and leisure passengers an expanded network of domestic and international air service destinations from Silicon Valley’s Airport.”
SJC has an annual operating budget of $171 million, a current five-year capital improvement program of nearly $301 million, and 211 full-time employees. In fiscal year 2016-2017, the Airport saw a 12.7 percent growth in passengers over the prior year, exceeding the national airport average and that of other Bay Area airports.
“I’m very honored to have this opportunity. The spirit of creativity and innovation here at the Airport, at City Hall, and in our Silicon Valley community is inspiring,” said Aitken. “SJC is wonderful airport, both as a great place to work with a team of dedicated, creative, and forward-thinking employees, and as an airport that is transforming the way we travel through its adoption of technologies and efficiencies.”
Aitken earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from Florida Institute of Technology, and an MBA in aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University based in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is also an accredited airport executive through the American Association of Airport Executives. Aitken is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration both as a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor in single- and multi-engine instrument aircraft.
About SJC – Transforming How Silicon Valley Travels – Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is Silicon Valley’s airport, a self-supporting enterprise owned and operated by the City of San Jose. SJC serves over 11 million passengers annually, with 180+ peak daily departures on 15 international and domestic carriers to 41 nonstop destinations. SJC was America’s fastest-growing major airport in 2016, based on percentage increase in passenger seat capacity. For more airport information, visit www.flysanjose.com.
About the City of San José – Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the nation’s tenth largest city and the largest city in Northern California with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million people. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and now encompasses 180 square miles. The City’s website is www.sanjoseca.gov. Facts about San José can be found here: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/780.