Oak­land’s air­port leader picked for L.A.

Los Angeles Times - - THE WEATHER - By Dan Weikel dan.weikel@la­times.com

The head of Oak­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port was nom­i­nated Wed­nes­day to be­come the next ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Los An­ge­les World Air­ports, the op­er­a­tor of Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has se­lected Deb­o­rah Ale Flint as the re­place­ment for Gina Marie Lind­sey, who will step down on June 18 af­ter more than eight years over­see­ing the city’s air­port de­part­ment and the on­go­ing mod­ern­iza­tion of LAX, now the sec­ond-busiest air­port in the na­tion.

Her ap­point­ment must be ap­proved by the Los An­ge­les Board of Air­port Com­mis­sion­ers, which is sched­uled to vote Thurs­day on her nom­i­na­tion, and the City Coun­cil.

Ale Flint, 47, has been re­spon­si­ble for the op­er­a­tion, man­age­ment and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment of Oak­land In­ter­na­tional, a mid­size air­port that han­dled 10.3 mil­lion pas­sen­gers last year. She over­saw cap­i­tal projects, im­prove­ments in cus­tomer ser­vice and a new Bay Area Rapid Tran­sit con­nec­tion to the air­port.

Ale Flint — the first African Amer­i­can air­port di­rec­tor in the Bay Area — has worked for Oak­land In­ter­na­tional for 13 years, the last five as di­rec­tor of aviation. She holds a bach­e­lor of sci­ence de­gree in busi­ness from San Jose State Univer­sity.

“I am hon­ored by the op- por­tu­nity 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.”

She de­clined to dis­cuss her nom­i­na­tion Wed­nes­day be­cause she had not yet been ap­pointed.

If ap­proved, Ale Flint will join a much larger and more com­pli­cated op­er­a­tion that has three air­ports: LAX, LA/ On­tario In­ter­na­tional and Van Nuys, a gen­eral aviation fa­cil­ity.

LAX, which han­dles nearly 71 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year, is in the mid­dle an $8.5-bil­lion mod­ern­iza­tion, the cen­ter­piece of which as been the re­designed Tom Bradley In­ter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal. The lat­est round of pro­posed projects in­cludes a new midfield con­course, a cen­tral­ized car rental fa­cil­ity, a peo­ple mover and a light-rail con­nec­tion to the Cren­shaw Line, now un­der con­struc­tion.

At LA/On­tario In­ter­na­tional, Ale Flint will have to cope with a fa­cil­ity that has lost more than 40% of its pas­sen­gers since 2007 de­spite a re­cent uptick in trav­el­ers. The city of On­tario is now try­ing to wrest con­trol of the fa­cil­ity from Los An­ge­les, which ac­quired the air­port from that city in 1985. A law­suit is pend­ing in River­side County Su­pe­rior Court. Van Nuys Air­port has its own set of is­sues re­lated to de­clin­ing f light op­er­a­tions, ten­ant re­la­tions and a tran­si­tion to more ser­vices cater­ing to jet air­craft.

In ad­di­tion to her role at Oak­land In­ter­na­tional, Ale Flint is in­volved with the Air­ports Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional, the Cal­i­for­nia Air­ports Coun­cil, the U.S. De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s Aviation Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee and the Trans­porta­tion Re­search Board’s pro­gram to study air­ports.

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


Por t of Oak­land

Ale Flint is the nom­i­nee to head Los An­ge­les World Air­ports.

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