Deputy Director of Transportation / Airport Administrator 2003 - 2010
Some thoughts of my 40 years at Hawaii airports
The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) hold their Annual Aviation Issues Conference in Hawaii and have done so for over twenty years. The State of Hawaii, DOT-A is a major sponsor of this event and spends tens of thousands of dollars. Top professionals from various sectors of aviation come together to discuss the latest issues. They include airlines, cargo, manufacturing, regulatory agencies, legislators, etc. Besides my position as Executive VP of BPA, I sat on the International Operators Committee of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). The NBAA would have their senior management at this conference. I traveled to the mainland on a regular basis, meeting with airline management as well as attend conferences and conventions. It was nice to be able to attend such a powerful event within the state. Brian Sekigushi didn't understand why I was attending his conference and was not happy that I was crashing his party
(even with AAAE membership my cost would be about $2,000 to attend - including hotel)
Brian considered the AAAE to be for those that operated airports and I should not be in attendance.
I attended all sessions which included the
occasional stink eye
Bradley Pacific Aviation was sold to Ross Aviation in May 2008, and I had an agreement to stay on and run the operations. In November 2008, my employment ended, it was stated that I didn't have a good working relationship with the DOT-A and that came directly from Brian Sekigushi. I was told later from the VP of Ross, that Brian Sekigushi flew to Colorado to meet with Ross Aviation management days before my release and told them he could take on my position and could ensure a great relationship with DOT-A for a $200,000 annual salary. Wonder how that trip was logged? No, he didn't get the job. He may have forgot that on a previous meeting he had with the potential buyers (Ross Aviation) it was one of his rude and unprofessional days...even threatening.
My departure from BPA, (Ross Aviation) had other issues from both sides but I find the Sekigushi element predictable.
Brian Sekigushi is now the fourth airport administration since I arrived in Hawaii in 1982. He is the third since Bob Yosaitis and I started Bradley Pacific Aviation (BPA) in 1998. BPA at that point was providing most of the fuel to helicopters, private jets and pumping over 1.5 million gallons a day to airlines serving five state airports. BPA always worked at having a good relationship with the DOT-A. For the most part it was easier at the airport district managers level, primarily because they were seasoned aviation professionals and we worked close together to ensure a safe work environment for all concerned. You would think that DOT-A leadership would appreciate what we accomplished. A meeting with Brian was a crapshoot... you never knew what to expect. One day he is your buddy and the next he would be rude and very unprofessional.
The airports were better off without him