With more than 30 years of commercial and military flight operations experience, Joseph T. Houghton, 52, will join the Airbus Americas leadership team as Vice President of Training and Flight Operations Support, effective May 7, 2013. Houghton will oversee financial and technical operations at the Airbus Training Center in Miami to fulfill customer requirements for flight and maintenance training throughout the Western Hemisphere. The position reports to Ken McKenzie, Senior Vice President of Customer Services at Airbus Americas.
Houghton joins Airbus after an illustrious career in commercial aviation that spans three decades. He most recently served as Vice President of Flight Operations and Director of Operations at Spirit Airlines, where he was responsible for strategic oversight and direction of flight operations, including the operations control center, training department, standards and quality assurance, flight dispatch, FAA regulatory compliance, operations engineering and crew resource department. Prior to his tenure at Spirit, Houghton founded and served as President and General Partner of the aviation certification consultancy group Locked On. Houghton was also a founding officer and Chief Pilot at Virgin America, where he led the airline’s Operations Control Center, and was an Assistant Chief Pilot at US Airways.
Before working in commercial aviation, Houghton served for the Maryland Air National Guard for more than 20 years, achieving several notable ranks, including Lieutenant Colonel, Squadron Commander, Operations Officer and Flight Commander. Houghton also completed two operational tours in Bosnia and one in Iraq.
With nearly 12,000 flight hours, Houghton is a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He resides in South Florida with his wife Elizabeth and three children.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that someone with Joe’s stellar career in aviation will now be leading our training operations in Miami,” said Barry Eccleston, President and CEO of Airbus Americas. “With increasing customer requirements for quality flight and maintenance training, Joe is perfectly suited to ensure our customer needs are met and exceeded.”
The $50 million Airbus Training Center in Miami provides training for Airbus customers’ flight and cabin crew, as well as maintenance personnel. The custom-designed, 110,000-square-foot complex has a total of six full-flight simulators, as well as cabin door and slide trainers, state-of-the-art computer-based training classrooms and aircraft system trainers.
More than 1,000 trainees take Airbus courses annually at the Miami training center under the direction of more than 100 Airbus employees. Most of the facility’s trainees come from Airbus airline operators in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Airbus manufactures the most modern and eco-efficient family of airliners available, ranging from 100 to over 500 seats. At its facilities in Wichita, Kansas and Mobile, Alabama, Airbus Americas helps engineer the entire product line. Additionally, Airbus supports, trains and sells to customers in the Americas from its centers in suburban Washington D.C. and Miami. Airbus has spent more than $140 billion in the U.S. since 1990 with hundreds of American suppliers in more than 40 states.