Our Leadership

Our award-winning management team is investing in the future of the aerospace industry and space exploration.

As part of Houston Airport System, the Houston Spaceport is run by a high-performance airport management, operations and maintenance team that has been recognized by the FAA for airfield operations and safety.

Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation

Mario Diaz

Mario C. Diaz is Director of the City of Houston Department of Aviation. He is responsible for the overall management of the Houston Airport System’s three aviation facilities: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) – and its more than 1,400 employees.

Prior to his appointment in 2010, Mr. Diaz was the deputy general manager for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since January 1999. He was responsible for ensuring that the daily operational activities of the world’s busiest airport, including operations, business, finance and capital development.

He has been one of the industry’s leading authorities in aviation technology as well as the study of future developments in commercial aviation.

Prior to 1999, Diaz was the manager of business, properties and commercial development for New Jersey Airports, a post he held for four years. In this role, he managed the division responsible for all business and lease negotiations at Newark International Airport as well as the day-to-day oversight management of Teterboro Airport, one of the nation’s premier general aviation airports, and a major reliever airport for Newark International.

His 17-year career with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began in 1981 and included key management positions in leasing, finance, marketing, operations and properties. During this period, Diaz also served 18 months as the assistant director of the redevelopment program at John F. Kennedy Airport.

A native of Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, and a licensed private pilot with instrument certification, Diaz earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. He also earned a Master of Business Administration in finance from Rutgers Graduate School of Business Administration in New Jersey.

Arturo Machuca, General Manager of Ellington Airport

Arturo Machuca

Arturo Machuca is the General Manager of the Houston Airport System's Ellington Airport. Machuca oversees the daily operations and the development and implementation of policies and procedures at Ellington Airport. He is also the lead on the Houston Spaceport project.

With over 30 years of sales and marketing experience in the aviation industry, Arturo joined the Houston Airport System in 2009. His prior responsibilities included economic development, industry affairs and business relations for all three airports.

Three years ago, Arturo Machuca was tasked with the huge responsibility to develop a plan to bring a commercial spaceport to Ellington Airport. Arturo worked with various Federal and local agencies, as well as key players in the aerospace industry, to create preliminary plans and conceptual drawings to pursue a license to bring commercial spaceflights to Ellington Airport. Arturo Machuca is now leading commercial development efforts for Ellington Airport and Houston Spaceport.

Machuca holds a bachelor of arts degree in Hotels and Tourism Administration from Universidad Regiomontana.

Ian Wadsworth, Chief Commercial Officer

Ian Wadsworth

Ian Wadsworth serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for the Houston Airport System. He oversees the commercial activities at the Houston Airport System’s three airports, including air service development, airline affairs, concessions, parking, real estate and business development. He joined the Houston Airport System in November 2008 as Deputy Director, Finance and Administration. In that position, Mr. Wadsworth was responsible for the finance, properties, human resources, and procurement functions. Prior to joining the Houston Airport System, Wadsworth served in various finance, planning, and marketing roles over the past 15 years at American Airlines, Capital One Financial, and Global Aero Logistics, the parent company of ATA Airlines, World Airways, and North American Airlines. Wadsworth received a BA degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MBA degree in Finance from the University of Michigan Business School.