Stuart Witt is celebrating his 10th anniversary as CEO and General Manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. He reminisced a bit about his decade as head of the desert facility and looked ahead during a meeting of East Kern Airport District on Tuesday.
Witt recalled his first board meeting where everyone was very concerned about the future of the airport. But, the airport is now thriving as an R&D and test flight center where multiple companies are building the world’s most advanced aircraft and spaceships.
Board Chairman Jim Balentine said that Witt had given the airport strong direction and led it well.
“It’s been the gift of my life to be part of it,” Witt said.
Witt credited board member Dick Rutan and his brother, Burt, for their pioneering work in composites, which are now being widely used in aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 Dream Chaser. Their work put Mojave at the forefront of developments in aviation.
Witt said he wants to deepen ties with the three NASA centers in California: Ames, Dryden and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. These centers are doing much to support commercial spaceflight, an area in which Mojave is taking a leading role.