As the fiscal manager for the City of Albuquerque Aviation Department, Joshua Castellano-Gonzalez, CM, CGFM, loves making an impact in his community. “In economically disadvantaged state, the economic impacts of the airport are even more pronounced,” said Castellano-Gonzalez. “Every dollar we bring can make the city and state that much more better. Being part of a team that gets to help push out the ideas and create jobs is incredibly satisfying.”
Castellano-Gonzalez looks for more than one way to solve a problem. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport could have given the airlines a large credit using CARES funding. Instead of doing that and having inflated rates the following years, he recommended the airport allowing airlines to pay rates as they previously would have, giving them no credit and using CARES funding to supplement rates in the following years. This strategy allowed the airport to support the airlines and balance airport funding over multiple years.
All aspects of annual budgeting, PFC applications, CARES fund usage, CRRSAA distribution and capital financing/planning are overseen by Castellano-Gonzalez, who has helped find funding for $300 million in capital projects.
Prior to working in aviation, Castellano-Gonzalez worked in county government finance. “I had no idea when I accepted this position that I would be entering such an amazing industry,” he said. “I like that this industry connects people from all over the world. It is one of the few industries where people are happy to be there all of the time.”
In the future, he said he would like to see more technology and innovations used industry wide. “I think we are getting there, but to be in a world where the entire process is seamless and not just a series of lines would be the ideal future,” he said.
In his role with the city, Castellano-Gonzalez would like to be known for creating a welcoming environment for his employees and making finance an open process for everyone. “I know that sometimes finance can be intimidating for those outside of it,” he said, “but I want to make it so everyone can be well informed and make the best decisions possible for the respective areas.”