Szczesniak Appointed Director of Aviation for Houston Airports

Feb. 28, 2024
Szczesniak previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for Houston Airports.

With unanimous confirmation from the city council , Mayor John Whitmire has appointed Jim Szczesniak as the director of aviation for the City of Houston. Szczesniak will oversee the management and operations of George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), Ellington Airport (EFD) and the Houston Spaceport. Szczesniak previously served as the chief operating officer for Houston Airports. Szczesniak brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the aviation industry, positioning him to lead Houston Airports and the Houston Spaceport into a promising future.

"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. "Our airport system is part of the nerve system of this great city and you cannot take it for granted. I stand ready to join Szczesniak in a united endeavor and I believe that greater days are in front of us." 

With a distinguished career spanning over two decades in both the public and private sectors, Szczesniak has a track record of implementing airport growth programs while managing airports to an award-winning level of customer service. As director of aviation for Houston Airports, he’s poised to drive strategic initiatives aimed at enhancing the efficiency, safety and overall world-class airport experience for travelers, aviation partners and airport stakeholders. 

Previously, Szczesniak served as the airport director for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), the world’s fourth busiest air cargo airport and gateway to Alaska. He also spent a decade at the Chicago Department of Aviation. Szczesniak started in airport operations at O’Hare International Airport. He eventually became Director of Airport Planning and ultimately Deputy Commissioner of Aviation for O’Hare Airport and Midway International Airport. He joined Houston Airports in February 2022. 

“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.” 

Szczesniak holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's in aviation management from Southern Illinois University. He is a licensed commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic, and he is an Accredited Airport Executive by the American Association of Airport Executives.