Gary airport board meets interim manager
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent March 24, 2014 10:40PM
Updated: March 24, 2014 11:32PM
GARY — The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board was formally introduced Monday to its interim airport manager, Duncan Henderson, who has been in the post since March 17.
Henderson will stay on for about four months, when a permanent manager should be in place, said Dan Ungerleider, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Aviation Facilities Co., which runs the airport through a private-public partnership.
Henderson, of Ringgold, Texas, said he has tried to meet as many of the airport employees and tenants as he could.
“This is a really historic opportunity,” Henderson said of the partnership that the airport authority signed with AFCO/AvPorts and implemented Jan. 27.
While not having input into Henderson’s temporary appointment, the board will have the final say on his permanent replacement, interim board chairman James Cooper said.
A commercial pilot, Henderson’s most recent positions include executive director of the Waukegan Port District in Waukegan, Ill.; airport director for Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.; and associate administrator for Maryland Aviation Administration and the Baltimore/ Washington International and Martin State airports, according to his resume. He has also served as airport operations supervisor for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Board member Denise Dillard told Henderson that the board wants to make sure the community is aware of the airport’s finances. To that end, interim airport director Bridget B.R. Lane said the airport and the Gary Common Council plan to hold a series of community forums to allay concerns about the airport’s financial condition and other issues.
“We plan to use this (partnership) as an opportunity for jobs,” Lane said. “When (AFCO/AvPorts) decided to enter into this agreement, jobs and workforce development was at the heart of it.”