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March 4th 2016 | Written By Press Release | Share

Minneapolis-Saint Paul Taps Gerald R. Ford International Airport Director Ryks

Ryks is top candidate for CEO job at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA)Board announced today that GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks is the top candidate for the position of Executive Director/CEO of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

Ryks, who has led the executive staff at GFIA since July 2012, was selected as the finalist for the Twin Cities position by the executive committee of the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Minneapolis. The full commission will vote on the recommendation on March 21.

“Brian has kept us apprised of his candidacy, and we are fully supportive of him – whatever his decision,” said GFIA Board Chairman Roger Morgan. "He has led the airport during a period of record growth – including a nine percent surge in passenger counts in 2015, the arrival of Southwest to the market in 2013, and extensive facility improvements over the past couple of years; all of which paved the way to launch our Gateway Transformation Project in December. We are in a very strong position."

Morgan said that the board would move quickly and is strongly committed to finding the best candidate should Ryks be offered and accept the position.

“The search process would include the board, the Department of Aeronautics management team, as well as our business community,” said Morgan.

While the Airport has largely completed its transition from a department of Kent County government to regional airport authority governance, final approval on that transition is not expected from the Federal Aviation Authority until July 1.

The job would mean a move back to Ryks’s home state.

“I love the Grand Rapids community and have enjoyed serving as the director of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport through a very exciting period,” said Ryks. “But this is an opportunity that I have to consider. It would bring me closer to home and to family, and it would put me at the helm of one of the country’s major transportation hubs.”

GFIA, which was recently named the top airport of its size in the region by the Airports Council International (ACI), welcomed a record 2.5 million passengers in 2015. The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is a major U.S. hub serving 35 million passengers each year.

Airport leadership plans to update the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Master Plan in 2016.

Topics: Press Release, Airport Authority