Updated with responses from Ms. Ardizzone and Mr. Castagna
(April 29, 2003, updated April 30 & May 1) -- Two familiar names in LB airport-related business and policymaking are exchanging places on L.A. County's Aviation Commission: one exiting, one entering.
Citing increased travel and tasks for JetBlue Airways, Kristy Ardizzone has resigned her position on the County panel to which she was first appointed by Supervisor Don Knabe in July 2000.
"Due to my duties as the Government and Community Affairs Manager - Western Region - for with JetBlue Airways, I will be adding tighter travel days to my already escalating duties. With the amount of travel, and the accumulation of projects I am working on, it is with much deliberation that I have made the decision to submit my resignation to the Los Angeles County Aviation Commission -- effective this date," Ms. Ardizzone said in a January 29, 2003 letter obtained by LBReport.com.
Supervisor Knabe selected Curt Castagna, President/CEO of the Aeroplex/Aerolease Aviation Group to fill the remainder of Ms. Ardizzone's term (approved April 8 by the Board of Supervisors). The Aeroplex/Aerolease Group web site indicates the firm leases office space and aviation hangars at both Van Nuys and Long Beach Airports to meet business and aviation needs. Like Ms. Ardizzone, Mr. Castagna is also a former member of LB's City Hall-selected Airport Advisory Commission.
[Apr. 30 update] On April 30, Mr. Castagna took part in his first Aviation Commission meeting and spoke with LBReport.com shortly thereafter.
Mr. Castagna told us that after being introduced at today's Commission meeting, he indicated that he hoped his experience with various airports and other commissions and associations can be a resource to L.A. County and hopefully provide some positive input for the Board of Supervisors, County airport tenants and the County airports' management company [the County's airports are managed by a firm contracted with the County.]
The Commission usually meets at one of the five L.A. County-owned airports: El Monte, Lancaster, Pomona, Pacoima and Compton; its April 30 meeting was at Compton airport; Mr. Castagna told us he's flown in and out of all five County airports.
Mr. Castagna said he would work to help ensure that the County provides safe, secure and efficient airports...and hopes his experience in LB will be a benefit.
[May 1 update] Responding via out of town email to LBReport.com's invitation for comment, Ms. Ardizzone told us:
I have enjoyed the time I spent, and truly appreciate the support while serving as a Los Angeles County Aviation Commissioner.
Due to the new markets we are adding, and the destinations that will now have JetBlue service from the west coast- the amount of traveling I do will continue to increase.
Unfortunately, I will not have the additional time required to serve on the Commission- and to spend the adequate time required to fill a position such as this.
I am thrilled with Supervisor Knabe's decision-and Curt Castagna's appointment. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work and effort Curt does on all airport related issues, both locally and throughout the region, and I can assure you he will do a great job.
Ms. Ardizzone had been serving as chair of the County Aviation Commission. In selecting her in July 2000, Supervisor Knabe cited her "knowledge and personal experience...in the corporate and commercial airline industry and in general aviation" while then a member of LB's Airport Advisory Commission [for a time while a consultant to JetBlue, stepping down from the Commission (as chair) on accepting her current more formal JetBlue position], Airport Marketing "Red Team" and LB Area Convention and Business Bureau.
Mr. Castagna's appointment fills Ms. Ardizzone's unexpired term of office ending in November, 2005.