7:30 AM Check-In and Breakfast | 8:00 AM Presentation
Michael A. Giardino, C.M.
Executive Director, Peninsula Airport Commission
600 Butler Farm Road • Hampton, VA 23666
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Mike retired after a 26-year (13 in Virginia) Navy career. He made numerous at-sea deployments, was in the Pentagon on 911, deployed twice to Afghanistan, and was awarded the Air Medal for rescuing 110 people in the Tar River Valley of North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd in September 1999. He concluded his career as Executive Officer of Naval Air Station Key West, FL with over 2,400 mishap-free flying hours primarily in the H-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
After a brief stint as Village Manager/Treasurer in Brockport, NY, Mike was named Director of Aviation at the Greater Rochester International Airport. During his tenure, the airport kept all legacy air carrier service during four airline consolidations, maintained daily non-stops to Toronto on Air Canada, and added ultra-low-cost service on Allegiant Air. In five years, he lowed airline costs by 30%. In 2016 the airport entered a statewide airport revitalization competition for a maximum award of $40M. Mike conceived the project and authored the grant application that was the first competition winner. Bolstered by a $39.8M award, the eventual $79M debt-free project installed innovative technologies that enhanced the passenger experience and specifically made accommodations for passengers and employees with disabilities. The project earned the very first Medium/Small Hub Innovation Award from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and six additional awards including Mike's two Community Service Awards from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
Mike came to the Newport News / Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) in November 2017. Prior to COVID, despite the lowest passenger totals in recent memory, PHF's aeronautical revenues were up 12% and load factors were routinely in the high 80th percentile. Although airline traffic picked up in the Summer of 2020, circumstances beyond the control of the airport have caused passenger traffic to decrease further. At present PHF passenger traffic is below 50% of 2019 counts and only 15% of what it was in 2010. The latest challenge has been a regional airline pilot shortage. All that said, the future looks bright as the airport was awarded an $847,000 federal grant to support non-stop service to Dulles International Airport on United Airlines and Avelo Airlines will begin non-stop service to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale International Airports in October 2022.
Mike is the immediate past Chair of the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Small Airports Committee and served on the ACI-NA U.S. Policy Council. He served on the AAAE Northeast Chapter Board of Directors, is a past president of the New York Aviation Management Association and he is a member of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization Board. He has been featured on local and national television as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panels on the recent pandemic, Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS), and noise. He holds a B.S. in Meteorology and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Mike met his wife Janice at their 10th year high school reunion. Their oldest son Kyle is a United States Marine Corp Veteran who deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2012 and their son Dominic is a Fulbright Scholar who studied in the Netherlands. Mike and Janice are very happy to be back in the Commonwealth and are proud to call the Virginia Peninsula home.