A nationwide search was conducted to find a replacement for Terre Haute Regional Airport Director Jeff Hauser, who announced in February he would be retiring, but the best choice turned out to be a homegrown talent.
Craig Maschino, an Air Guard lieutenant colonel and intelligence officer, was named to the post at an airport board meeting Wednesday morning. He will start his new position on Nov. 1.
His currently chief of wing plans, execution and integration at the 181st Intelligence Wing and will be retiring from the Air Guard in October after 35 years of service.
Maschino got a degree in aviation administration from Indiana State University, and followed that up with a masters in public administration. He learned aircraft maintenance and took an American Association of Airport Executives course last year.
“I’ve been training for this position my whole life,” he said.
The AAAE course “really brought me up to speed on a lot of the things I’ll need to know to lead an airport today,” he added. “It was a tough course, but it was well worth it.”
Noting that many airports around the country are filled to capacity, Maschino said, “We’re blessed to have all this great land and opportunity on the east side of Terre Haute and around the airport. How we navigate that going forward working with our private sector partners is a critical piece in that growth.”
Maschino emphasized that his priority will always be airport safety. He said that he was honored to be named to his new position.
“I’m very humbled, because there’s a lot of great folks out there that applied for this position,” he said. “I’m glad to be able to stay in Terre Haute — for me, this is definitely not a stepping stone.”
Maschino said one goal will be to assess how to market the airport nationally.
“We want to grow the airport,” he said. “We want to create good jobs and to do that, we have to look across the country at similar-sized airports. What are they doing, what kind of things are they bringing into their community?”
Hauser will be leaving his job at the end of January, 2024, so Maschino will have three months to learn the ropes from him.
Hauser also is an Air Guard veteran, having served 38 years before he retired as a brigadier general. His roles included command of the 181st Fighter Wing and 181st Intelligence Wing, as well as assistant adjutant general of the Indiana Air National Guard.
“It’ll be a nice transition period,” Maschino said. “I have a lot to learn.”
David Kronke can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.