Airport Manager, Moffett Field
Carl Honaker was hired by AvPORTS in 2014 to be the Airfield Manager for Moffett Federal Airfield as part of a contract with Planetary Ventures (a Google subsidiary) to manage the airport. PV operates the 1000 acre facility under an adaptive use lease with NASA. In this role his team manages the day to day operations of the airfield hosting the Air National Guard, NASA’s research partnership aircraft, the Coast Guard, the County Sheriff, Lockheed Martin Space Systems and other transient military and civilian aircraft. In addition to airfield operations, the AvPORTS team provides the Fixed Base Operation (FBO) services at the airfield including fueling and terminal services.
Originally from Papillion Nebraska, and with a Business Degree from the University of Nebraska in 1975, Carl spent the next twenty years in the U.S. Navy. He flew P-3 Orion aircraft world-wide during the Cold War and flew a variety of other training and transport aircraft on shore duty tours. He has Master’s degrees in Management and National Security from Salve Regina College and the Naval War College.
During his last tour of duty in the Navy, Carl was the Naval Air Station Moffett Field Executive Officer (Deputy Base Commander). In this role he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire military base including management of the airfield with over 80,000 annual operations, and support for the world-wide operation of over 100 based multi-sensor aircraft. He acted in this capacity until the base was closed and transferred to NASA due to Base Realignment and Closure in 1994.
After the transfer of the base Carl retired from the Navy and went to work for NASA Ames Research Center as the Moffett Field Liaison Office Manager. He was also a charter member of a NASA team tasked with developing and marketing a new concept for Moffett Federal Airfield as an integrated R&D Campus with partnerships in academia, industry and other governmental research. He worked closely with local cities, universities and various Silicon Valley organizations to fully develop and market the future use of this valuable asset.
Always involved with community activities, including helping to establish the Moffett Field Historical Society and helping create the vision for the California Air and Space Center, Carl decided to change career paths. In June of 2000 he was selected as the Director of Facilities for The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. In this role he provided facility management and team leadership for the day-to-day operation of a major educational attraction in the high tech center of Silicon Valley. For the next eighteen months he ensured The Tech was a safe, comfortable and appealing destination for nearly one million visitors. He left The Tech when he was selected to manage the Santa Clara County Airports in October 2001.
As the County’s Airports Director, Carl was responsible for the operation of Reid-Hillview, Palo Alto and San Martin airports. With over 350,000 annual operations in congested Bay Area airspace and nearly 1,300 based aircraft, these airports served a vital general aviation reliever role for Mineta San Jose International Airport. He retired from Santa Clara County in September 2014.
Active in many volunteer and community service organizations Carl has been involved with the following:
- 1998 – 2004. Airport Commissioner and Chair, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport
- 1998 – Present. Board Member and Past President, Bay Area Nebraska Alumni Chapter
- 1999 – Present. Board Member and Past President, Aero Club of Northern California
- 1995 - Present. Past President and Member, Navy League, Santa Clara Valley Chapter
- 1994 - Present. Past President and Board Member, Moffett Field Historical Society; Life Member
- 2004 - Present. Member, San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce
- 2005 - Present. Member, San Jose Rotary Club
- 2009 - 2012 Board Member, Earth, Air and Space West Foundation
Rated as an Airline Transport Pilot, Carl has over 4000 hours of flight time in various aircraft and is type rated in the Lockheed Electra (L-188).
Carl is married to his college sweetheart, Karen (Leonhard), who is a prominent, nationally recognized watercolor artist. They live in the Evergreen area of San Jose and enjoy golf, Husker football and travel.