Ford Airport announces new president & CEO

Courtesy photo of Jim Gill, the new president and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (Nov. 30, 2016)
Courtesy photo of Jim Gill, the new president and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. (Nov. 30, 2016)


CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Gerald R. Ford International Airport announced its new president and CEO on Wednesday.

The GFIA Airport Authority Board voted unanimously to hire Jim Gill.

“He’s been in huge airports before, I think he just brings a level and understanding and knowledge in this community in terms of where we need to go,” said Floyd Wilson Jr., the chairman of the selection committee. “Being around this industry he’s seen what good airports do, he thinks he can help propel us to the next level as well.”

Gill told 24 Hour News 8 he previously worked for 15 years at the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which operates two airports including the Pittsburgh International Airport. During his time there he served as both CFO and COO. Before that, he spent six years at Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority.

“One of the things that attracted me to this job is the excitement surrounding the growth of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport,” said Gill in a news release. “I am really looking forward to seeing all of these projects come to fruition, and to be the leader that helps drive even more growth and development in the future.”

Gill said he is ready to hit the ground running.

“Certainly want to continue the great work that’s been done. Specifics, certainly continue the improvements that have been going on like the Gateway Transformation project and partner with the community. And more great things certainly to come as it relates to air service and customer service. I think there are continued opportunities to make it better for everyone,” Gill told 24 Hour News 8.

Gill has big shoes to fill. His predecessor was well respected, propelled the Ford Airport to record passenger numbers in 2014 and 2015. He also led the charge to remodel and expand concourse B for when Southwest Airlines came in and helped launched the Gateway Transformation project to consolidate the security checkpoints which is currently underway.

“It can be a difficult situation when you’re coming in on something that’s been successful. It’s certainly going to be a challenge to keep the momentum, but we certainly will and look forward to new opportunities. I think things will continue to improve,” said Gill.

24 Hour News 8 also learned on Wednesday that a new air service is coming to the Ford Airport. Additional details were not released, but the announcement is expected sometime next week.

Ford Airport officials said they are on track to beat their 2,550,193 passenger record set in 2015.