DFW’s retiring CEO sets the Standard for Managing Airports

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ARTICLE: Jeff Fegan, longtime CEO of DFW Airport, to retire

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The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport was created as a regional solution to a heated relationship between the two cities. The appointment of Jeff Fegan 19 years as the Airport’s Chief Executive was a contrast to the historic animosity; the tall quiet leader had a natural talent to calm the waters and to get things done. The short list of his accomplishments is testament to his capacity to move the here-to-for divisive relationship between Dallas and Fort Worth (as concentrated in his Board) and his management of the staff:

  • doubled the number of international destinations to 50
  • saw a major hub carrier, Delta, leave, but did not experience a major drop in operations
  • increased annual revenues to $650 million, up from $212 million
  • oversaw a dozen capital improvement projects including one of the country’s best new terminal (Terminal D), runway extensions, the new Grand Hyatt Hotel, construction of a new rental car center
  • the introduction of the SkyLink people mover system
  • negotiations to end the Wright Amendment
  • dealt with the difficult security changes at U.S. airports
  • directing the airport through its first major renovation of the original terminals built in 1974. The airport is spending $2.3 billion to update Terminals A, B, C and E and
  • creating plans for a new headquarters building as part of its Southgate development near its south entrance

Management of an airport involves a wide variety of complex business issues—safety, environment, commercial offerings, attracting/retaining airlines, dealing with the community, finance, construction, strategic planning, etc. It takes tremendous talent to understand and execute all of these subjects. Jeff did and his record is unequalled among his airport executive peers.

Jeff, good luck in retirement; you set a new standard for airport management.

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