Michael Gula, the director of operations, planning and facilities for the Columbia Metropolitan Airport since January 2014, has been promoted to executive director.
Gula, who has been acting as interim airport director, succeeds Dan Mann, who left the Columbia airport in January after almost eight years as executive director to take the same job at the Louisville Regional Airport Authority.
Gula, 36, who will oversee all business operations at the airport, has worked at four commercial service airports during the past 15 years. He was previously director of operations at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and operations manager at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky.
“I am very excited to transition into the role of executive director at CAE and work with the airport commission, staff, stakeholders and community,” Gula said in a news release. “I look forward to opportunities that will continue to make CAE a regional catalyst for air service, cargo and economic growth.”
Gula, who received a degree in aviation management and operations from Bowling Green State University, was named a top 40 under 40 recipient by Airport Business News in 2016.
The Richland-Lexington Airport Commission conducted a national recruitment search with ADK Executive Search.
The Columbia airport has seen a 6.7% increase in traffic in the first four months of 2018, with nearly 97,000 passengers traveling through the airport in April — a 17.7% increase from the same month in 2017.