Phoenix airport director, assistant director to retire in October

Phoenix airport director, assistant director to retire in October

Two prime administrators at Phoenix Sky Harbor Worldwide Airport will retire in October,  leaving the town trying to find new management in the course of the worst disaster to hit the aviation business in historical past.

Sky Harbor’s prime official, Director of Aviation Providers James Bennett, will retire on the finish of October after 5 years main the 13th largest airport in the US. Assistant Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher may even retire Oct. 15.

Phoenix Metropolis Supervisor Ed Zuercher introduced the information in an e-mail to airport employees Thursday afternoon.

Bennett has guided the airport by way of creating its new Complete Asset Administration Plan, which plans to make investments $5.7 billion over the subsequent 20 years to double the airport’s capability. 

He additionally led the airport by way of lawsuits in opposition to the Federal Aviation Administration over flight paths and an Arizona Supreme Court docket case over rising charges on experience share corporations on the airport. 

In latest months, he has confronted headwinds from some members of the Metropolis Council as he labored to supply hire aid to eating places within the airport to assist them climate the drop in enterprise because of the new coronavirus pandemic. 

When reached by e-mail, Bennett, who has been in the airport business for 40 years, stated he plans to “take a while off and benefit from the holidays with my household.”

He has not determined whether or not he’ll stay within the Valley after retiring. 

Assistant director is retiring too

Sky Harbor is also dropping Assistant Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher, whose duties embrace recruiting new airways to the airport. She is going to retire after 25 years with the town.

She led the trouble to carry extra nonstop worldwide flights to Phoenix and was chargeable for recruiting Condor Airways’ nonstop flight to Frankfurt, Germany to the Valley. The airport had hoped to carry Lufthansa’s Eurowings to Sky Harbor this yr, however the pandemic halted these plans. 

Ostreicher, who additionally served a pair instances as communications director for the town, stated she plans to remain in Phoenix to run her communications firm in addition to volunteer locally.

How will Phoenix fill these positions?

“Jim and Deb have led Sky Harbor to incredible heights in their tenure at the city, including modernizations and a great plan for future expansion,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in a statement emailed to The Arizona Republic.  

“I applaud their resilience and the foresight they brought these past months working through the issues that come with a global pandemic. They no doubt leave the airport with a lasting legacy and I wish them well on their next endeavors,” she stated

Bennett’s and Ostreicher’s retirements go away Sky Harbor in search of new management because the airport is in the course of essentially the most extreme drop in passenger site visitors in its historical past. 

“Because of the world-wide aviation surroundings, and in an effort to curb prices, we won’t fill the Assistant Director place and can solely recruit for a Director of Aviation Providers at the moment,” Zuercher wrote within the e-mail to airport staff.

Zuercher has tasked Deputy Metropolis Supervisor Mario Paniagua with main the seek for Bennett’s substitute.

He stated Ostreicher’s duties can be redistributed amongst current employees. 

“We can be re-evaluating our air service improvement efforts throughout the pandemic and transferring ahead. The Director of Aviation Providers recruitment will start immediately and can be a nationwide search” Zuercher wrote.  

You possibly can join with Arizona Republic Client Journey Reporter Melissa Yeager by way of e-mail at You can even comply with her on Twitter and Instagram. 

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