(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman announced today that Stu MacTaggart, Director of the Nebraska Department of Aeronautics, has decided to retire in August. His last day will be Aug. 7.
“I appreciate Stu’s work during the past five years,” Gov. Heineman said. “He has provided outstanding leadership for the Department of Aeronautics, and I know he is well-respected by the aviation industry. His career has included military and combat service, as well as leadership roles in the public and private sector. I want to thank him for his service, and I wish him and his family well.”
MacTaggart was appointed in 2004 by then-Gov. Mike Johanns and was reappointed by Gov. Heineman. As the state director of aeronautics he coordinates policy discussions with the Aeronautics Commission, is responsible for a statewide system of navigation aids, and coordinates department activities with federal and local agencies.
He has been with Aeronautics since 1998, leading education efforts in addition to working as a pilot. Prior to coming to work for the State of Nebraska, MacTaggart had been head of the Operations Inspection team of the Strategic Air Command in Omaha and worked as a flight instructor for a major airline.
MacTaggart also completed four combat tours in the U.S. Air Force, and held several command and staff positions including command of the 328th Bombardment Squadron. He retired as a command pilot and full colonel with decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and the Legion of Merit.
MacTaggart said, “It has been a distinct honor to serve on Governor Heineman’s distinguished cabinet. With the support and with the help of a talented and dedicated Aeronautics Commission, we have made some very positive improvements in our state’s airports. I am particularly proud of our work to develop new instrument approaches and weather reporting systems. I would like to thank the entire Aeronautics team—flight operations, engineering, navigational aids, accounting, and those working at state-owned airfields. It has truly been an honor to work with each of them. I am especially grateful to Governor Heineman for his confidence and unwavering support.”
The Department of Aeronautics maintains and directs the Nebraska Aviation System Plan and the use of state and federal funding for airport development. The department oversees the state’s 81 public-use airports and manages three airports, and staffs a team of pilots providing air transportation for state officials.