Mike Hainsey Announces Retirement from GTR Airport
February 18, 2022
Columbus/Starkville/West Point, MS—Mike Hainsey, the Executive Director at the Golden Triangle Regional (GTR) Airport, has announced his retirement, effective July 1, 2022, after 19 years of service. His retirement culminates an aviation career of more than 45 years, which includes both his airport time as well as a career in the U.S. Air Force.
During Hainsey’s tenure at GTR the airport saw record-setting growth in passenger numbers, including additional service from both Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines. 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. A strong proponent of economic development, Hainsey played a key role in the growth of the manufacturing facilities at Airbus, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Stark Aerospace, as well as worked with the GTR LINK to help locate more than $7 billion in new industry and 5,000 new jobs in the area. He was also appointed by the Governor to the Board of Directors for the Aerospace Alliance, a four-state alliance to promote aviation industry in the south.
During his career, Hainsey was the President of the Mississippi Airports Association and the Mississippi Intermodal Council and was selected as the FAA’s Southern Regional Airport Manager of the Year. On a nationwide level, he chairs the Air Service Committee for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). 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.
The GTR Airport Authority has selected Matt Dowell, the current airport Deputy Director, to replace Hainsey. Dowell is a Mississippi native and has been in his current position for nine years. He is a certified flight instructor and has a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management from Delta State University and a master’s degree in Airport Management from Delta State. Dowell is also an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives, an achievement fewer than 10 percent of airport managers have obtained. He is an ambassador for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and chairs the Young Leaders committee with the Southeast Chapter of AAAE. In 2021, he was selected as the Honorary Commander for the flying operations group at Columbus Air Force Base.
Following his retirement, Hainsey will remain in the Golden Triangle area and continue his involvement in community and charitable activities.