Joseph R Nardone has been appointed as the new CEO of Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA), the operator of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County and Willow Run airports in Michigan.
Nardone previously served as WCAA’s vice president of business development and real estate for nearly two years before becoming Interim CEO. Nardone is credited with playing a critical role in the negotiations that led to the construction of Spirit Airlines’s new maintenance hangar at Detroit Metropolitan, which is expected to generate US$31.7m in private investment for Michigan’s economy.
Michael Garavaglia, acting board chair of WCAA, said, “Joe has proven to be a committed and thoughtful leader. His depth of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, combined with his understanding of airport administration, will help him successfully lead the airport authority. I look forward to WCAA’s continued growth with Joe at the helm.”
Nardone said, “I am grateful for the confidence the board has shown in me. I also appreciate the opportunity to work with more than 600 dedicated employees, as we build on the strong foundation and community partnerships that have made our team successful. I want our team to remain focused on delivering a world-class experience for our customers.”
In early January, OAG, an air travel intelligence company based in the UK, announced that Detroit Metro Airport ranked first among US airports and third globally in on-time performance. Detroit Metro Airport alone supports more than 86,000 jobs throughout Michigan, and the economic impact of the two airports combined is more than US$10.2bn.
Kevin M Burke, president and CEO of Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing airports in the USA and Canada, said, “Running a modern and competitive airport is no easy task. Joe is a proven and engaged leader who understands airports, people and business. I look forward to working with Joe and the excellent team at WCAA in advancing our industry’s shared mission to strengthen every airport’s ability to serve their passengers, customers and communities.”
Nardone is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and former executive committee member and interim CEO of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis, an initiative to create an airport-city in Southeast Michigan surrounding the airports. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and is a lifelong resident of Southeast Michigan. The initial term of Nardone’s employment agreement is three years.
Written by Dan Symonds