Will Oversee LAX, Van Nuys, Ontario, And Palmdale
Los Angeles, CA mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa hopes Gina Marie Lindsey can work some of her previous
magic with beleagured Los Angeles World Airports. On Thursday,
Villaraigosa named Lindsey as executive director of the agency, at
a time when it is mired in litigation with several airlines over an
increase in terminal fees.
"In searching for a new executive director, we knew we needed
someone with experience, with an ability to build bridges and with
a vision for moving the area's airports forward," Villaraigosa
said, according to The Associated Press. "And we found the perfect
candidate in Gina Marie Lindsey."
Lindsey brings an extensive and proactive track record to the
post. She oversaw a $4.1-billion expansion of Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport, which included the building of a third
runway and facilities expansion. Before that, she helped reinvent
Alaska's Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, from a
refueling stop to a major cargo hub.
"She's certainly seen in the industry as someone who is both a
thinker and a doer — a rare combination," Greg Principato,
president of Airports Council International-North America, told the
Los Angeles Times. Lindsey was chairwoman of ACI-NA for 2003b.
If approved by the city council,
Lindsey would replace former director Lydia Kennard, who stepped
down in January to pursue interests in the private sector.
As ANN reported, in January
the Los Angeles city council voted to increase terminal fees at LAX
-- a move the Air Transport Association decried, stating the
increase violated previous lease agreements. One of Lindsey's first
duties, if approved, would be to bolster relationships with
the airlines, at a time when LAX is also appealing to carriers to
help with badly-needed terminal approvements.
Local leaders believe Lindsey is up to the task.
"I think that she was an excellent choice and will bring an
experience to LAWA that we need," said Gary Toebben, president and
chief executive of the LA Area Chamber of Commerce. "Airline
representatives who know her feel very comfortable with her ability
to negotiate leases and work with the airlines."