Oakland’s airport leader picked for L.A.
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.”
DEBORAHPor t of Oakland
Ale Flint is the nominee to head Los Angeles World Airports.