Golden Triangle Regional Airport Executive Director Mike Hainsey announced his retirement Friday.
Hainsey will retire July 1 after 19 years of service at GTR and a 45-year career in aviation.
Matt Dowell, the airport’s deputy director, will assume Hainsey’s role after his retirement. Dowell, who has been in his role for nine years, is a certified flight instructor and an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives, an achievement fewer than 10 percent of airport managers have obtained.
GTR saw a record growth of passengers, as well as services from Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines, under Hainsey’s direction, according to an airport press release issued Friday. He oversaw more than $30 million in capital improvement projects including a major runway expansion, two aircraft parking ramps, four parking lot expansions and two significant terminal expansions.
Hainsey helped the growth of multiple manufacturing facilities, including Airbus, Aurora Flight Sciences and Stark Aerospace and helped the GTR LINK locate more than $7 billion in new industry and 5,000 new jobs.
Throughout his aviation career, Hainsey served as president for the Mississippi Airports Association and the Mississippi Intermodal Council, as well as being selected as the FAA’s Southern Regional Airport Manager of the Year. Appointed by the governor of the Board of Directors for the Aerospace Alliance, Hainsey served this four-state alliance, promoting the aviation industry in the south. He is the chair of the Air Service Committee for the American Association of Airport Executives.
A press release Friday said his proudest accomplishment was when the GTR Airport was given the FAA Safety Mark of Distinction Award for an outstanding safety program, recognizing the superior work by the airport staff.
Hainsey will remain in the Golden Triangle after retirement, continuing his involvement in community and charitable activities, Friday’s press release read.
Dowell is an ambassador for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and chairs the Young Leaders committee with the Southeast Chapter of AAAE and was selected as the Honorary Commander for the flying operations group at Columbus Air Force Base in 2019.