Palm Springs, CA

The Interim Executive Director of Palm Springs International Airport has been named its new Executive Director, City Manager Justin Clifton announced this month. Harry Barrett has served as the Airport’s Interim Executive Director since December 2021, when former Executive Director Ulises Aguirre retired.

Barrett was first hired in Palm Springs as Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance in April of 2020. He served in that role for just over a year when he was promoted to Assistant Airport Director in July of 2021. Barrett currently oversees a $27 million operating budget, directs all aspects of financial and capital programs, recently launched three new airlines and is in the process of negotiating airline use agreements between 13 airlines. Since his arrival in Palm Springs, Barrett has overseen an $11 million terminal passenger loading bridge replacement project, coordinated phase and move logistics between 11 airlines during the Airport’s $36 million ticket lobby and TSA expansion project, and designed COVID-19 response protocol and passenger protections measures.

“Harry Barrett’s knowledge and expertise about the operations and projects ongoing at Palm Springs International Airport make him the right choice to serve as our next executive director,” said City Manager Justin Clifton. “I am thankful we have an experienced airport executive whose proven management skills have kept PSP on an excellent course.”

Prior to Palm Springs, Barrett served for five years as the City of Renton, Washington’s Airport Manager from 2015-2020. From February 2014 to June 2015, he served as a Landside Supervisor at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport where he assisted integrating rideshare services into airport operations. In addition, he served as an Airport Operations Specialist at Bellingham International Airport from August 2012 to February 2014.

Prior to working for municipal airports, Barrett also served 11 years from 2001- 2012 as a lead flight examiner and then aviation management section chief for the United States Air Force. Barrett currently serves as Committee Vice-Chair of Industrial and Military Relations for the American Association of Airport Executives as well as Committee Chair and California legislative representative, Diversity and Inclusion, for the Southwest Chapter, American Association of Airport Executives.

Barrett holds an MBA in Global Management from Arizona State University. “Over the past several years, Palm Springs International Airport has continued to grow and flourish as one of the premier airports in Southern California and beyond,” said Barrett. “As we continue to bring new airlines and passengers to the Palm Springs destination, I am honored to take the helm and I look forward to continuing those efforts with the City Manager, Council, Staff and our tourism partners.”

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