New D/FW Airport Board Chairman Picked

As the newly elected chairman of the board of directors for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Jan Collmer must steer through the politically sensitive waters of the Wright Amendment debate.

"It's an interesting time at the airport," Collmer, a Dallas resident who is serving his 10th year on the board, said in an interview Wednesday. "The issues that face us are widely known. They're difficult. They're probably not going to be resolved completely in any short time."

Earlier this month, the D/FW Airport board voted to change up its board, which is made up of 11 voting members -- seven chosen by the Dallas City Council and the rest chosen by the Fort Worth council.

With the March 2 retirement of Jerry Haynes from the board, Dallas named lawyer Michael Sorrell as his replacement.

On that day, the new board voted Collmer as chairman and Lillie Biggins as vice chairman. Biggins is vice president of operations at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

"Ms. Biggins is an exceptional leader who is tremendously devoted to serving the residents of Fort Worth," Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said in a prepared statement. "Her business and professional expertise lend additional strength to her valuable advocacy for our entire region."

Since Collmer sold his last electronics business in 2005, he has had more time to devote to the board.

He said the airport is in the process of making suggestions on how to resolve the Wright Amendment squabbles, but he declined to give any specifics.

"I'm not going to comment any further than that," he said, adding that he didn't want to insert D/FW Airport back into the debate at this point. "D/FW is very interested in the situation, but it is just a little bit out of our hands."

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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