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Los Angeles to Get New Airport Director

The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the organization that operates the airports in Los Angeles, is set to have a new executive director in the coming months.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated the current head of the Oakland International Airport, Deborah Ale Flint, as the next executive director of LAWA on Wednesday. LAWA’s current executive director, Gina Marie Lindsey, is set to step down later this month after having served eight years on the job.

Ale Flint’s nomination must be approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners as well as by the Los Angeles City Council before she can start the job.

In her current post, Ale Flint oversaw the operation, management, and development of Oakland International Airport. Handling more than 10 million passengers a year, Oakland’s airport under her guidance improved tremendously. Ale Flint made significant improvements in customer service, building expansions, and transportation (she added, for example, the new Bay Area Rapid Transit connection service to the airport).

“I am honored by the opportunity to join Mayor Garcetti’s administration,” Ale Flint said. “I am looking forward to working with him, the commissioners, the entire LAWA team and our neighbors to shape the future of air transportation for Los Angeles and the greater region.”

As the executive director, Ale Flint will be responsible for overseeing the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Los Angeles/Ontario International Airport (LAOIA), among others. LAX, the second most-frequented airport in the United States, is currently undergoing a $8.5 billion revitalization effort.

Unlike LAX, however, LAOIA is struggling to get by. Having lost more than 40% of its passengers since 2007, LAOIA is also embroiled in a territory dispute. The city of Ontario is trying to gain full control of the airport from Los Angeles, which has had jurisdiction over the airport since 1985.

Regardless, Garcetti and other city officials are confident in Ale Flint’s abilities.

“Deborah Ale Flint is the right aviation executive to lead the changes we are making, including overhauling nearly every terminal, bringing rail to LAX, growing passenger activity at L.A./Ontario airport and adding new customs service at Van Nuys Airport,” Garcetti said.

Los Angeles and cities in 30 other states are home to national airports.

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