AXN Names Callahan Director of the Year, Small Airports

Airport Experience News (AXN) is pleased to announce that Christina Callahan, Executive Director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, which oversees Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), has been chosen as the 2018 Director of the Year in the small airports category.

“We are honored to recognize the work and career of Christina Callahan,” says Ramon Lo, publisher of Airport Experience News. “Her passion and impact on SYR is evidenced by the gains the airport has made during her tenure.”

Callahan has spent her entire aviation career with the Syracuse Department of Aviation, beginning in 1997 when she was hired as secretary to then-commissioner of aviation Charles R. Everett, Jr. In the following years, she advanced to the roles of ground transportation officer and public information officer. In 2011, Callahan served as interim commissioner of aviation and was tasked with overseeing a $60 million passenger terminal security improvement project. When the FAA approved the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority’s Part 139 operating certificate, Callahan became the authority’s first executive director.

Currently, SYR is nearing the end of a Terminal Improvement Project that includes a $49 million terminal makeover to update the aging facility. The project is expected to be complete later this year.
Callahan has also been instrumental in a recent build-up of air service to the market. Enplanements are still shy of pre-recession levels, but last year the airport recorded a 3.74 percent gain to 1.04 million enplanements. Traffic has continued to grow this year, with passenger numbers growing each month through May. Airlines have expanded service. Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air recently announced new direct service to cities such as Denver, Raleigh, Chicago, and Orlando, bringing the number of nonstop destinations to 21.

Callahan currently serves as vice president of the New York Aviation Management Association and is set to become its president later this year. She also serves as vice chair of ACI-NA’s Small Commercial Airport Committee and serves on the AAAE Diversity Committee.

“I am grateful for being named Director of The Year by Airport Experience News,” says Callahan. “We have made great progress at Syracuse by capitalizing on our vision for the Airport, from teamwork within our organization, and by collaborating with our business partners and the community as a whole. The truth is, this award belongs to the amazing team of people I get to work with every day and the members of the Board of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority who have been nothing but supportive of me and our efforts to advance our mission.”

Callahan will be interviewed in and featured on the cover of AXN’s September issue.