May 15, 2007
Gina Marie Lindsey given her 'goals' by mayor

The new director of Los Angeles airports met the press Thursday and talked about the ``tremendous things'' still to be accomplished at LAX and its satellite airports in the suburbs.

And then Gina Marie Lindsey, a well-regarded and veteran airport executive, got a long list of goals from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some of his City Council colleagues.

Renovate terminals. Build new gates. Get the Green Line's tracks into LAX.

Get more flights into Ontario and Palmdale. Keep the airports competitive.

And, oh yes, keep the neighbors happy.

Time and again during her brief introduction Thursday at LAX, Lindsey was reminded that the airports now under her watch are at a historic crossroads.

LAX is struggling to maintain its title as a gateway to the world, while the smaller Southland airports are struggling just to get business.

Alan Rothenberg, president of the airport commission, told Lindsey it was ``a time of great opportunity, and great challenge.''

Lindsey comes to the job with a record of transforming airports.

She oversaw a $3 billion renovation and reconstruction project as the director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Before that, she established Anchorage International Airport as an international cargo hub as its director of aviation.

She has worked for a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm in recent years, focusing in part on airport-related issues.

Villaraigosa chose Lindsey over 70 other candidates for the city's top airport job, citing her record as an ``innovative industry leader.'' He called her the perfect candidate to carry out a ``big, bold vision'' for the city's airports.

Lindsey moves into the executive offices of Los Angeles World Airports next month. She succeeds Lydia Kennard, who stepped down as the city's director of airports earlier this year but has stayed on as a paid consultant.

Several candidates who interviewed for the job questioned how much freedom they would have to run the airport department with Kennard still in the background.

Lindsey's appointment still must pass a review by the City Council, but that's not expected to present a problem. The airport area council members who turned out for her introduction praised her experience and leadership.

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