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Featuring Our Friendly Team – Michael Byrne

— Michael Byrne, Assistant Airport Manager, County of San Mateo Airports —

Meet Michael Byrne, County of San Mateo’s Assistant Airport Manager! Michael is an aviation enthusiast who has worked for the County for over seven years. His aviation journey “took off” during high school and college while drag racing at what is now known as the Sonoma Raceway.

He was passionate about the thrill of racing machines and their general mechanics. During this time, he also became captivated by the idea of working around aircraft. Michael’s road to the County had many twists and turns. “Upon reaching a pivotal point in my career, I stood at a figurative fork in the road with two paths before me—commercial pilot or airport manager,” Michael recalled.

Starting as a baggage handler for Hawaiian Airlines, he quickly advanced to supervising a team of 55 employees across two airlines. Michael assumed several roles throughout his airline tenure, including managing ground and ticketing staff, load planning for the Boeing 767, training for B767 and B787 operations, and oversight of hazardous material protocols.

Though he had accumulated roughly 100 flight hours, Michael gained a growing appreciation for team leadership, which motivated him to pursue a career in airport management. “I recognized a growing passion for leading and shaping the future of airports,” he said.

In late 2013, he secured an operations position with the County of San Mateo Airports. Michael also spent time in airfield operations at San Francisco International Airport before returning to the County as the Assistant Airport Manager, where he is now working with a fantastic team in an exciting environment.

A memorable experience for Michael at the San Carlos Airport was when staff had to unexpectedly and temporarily shut down the runway for maintenance, which created an opportunity for a tenant appreciation event. “The event was held right in the center of the runway, which together we transformed into a lively gathering spot complete with mouth-watering food and refreshing beverages. It was a unique and exciting opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate the thriving community the airport has built.”

To this day, Michael is continuously amazed by the ever-evolving aviation community and the individuals who perform critical functions to keep the industry moving.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with Delta, his German Shepherd Husky, and time at the coast. “A perfect day off for me is not hitting traffic on the way to a beach BBQ when the sun is shining bright.”


San Carlos Airport will be closed September 11 through October 10, 2023 for runway and connector taxiway pavement rehabilitation. For more information, contact us at [email protected] or (650) 573-3700.
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