Government & Politics
2:24 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Allegheny County to Look for New Airport Authority Chief

The Allegheny County Airport Authority has demoted its two top managers and will begin searching for a new chief executive officer whose primary responsibility will be attracting more flights to Pittsburgh International Airport.

The moves were prompted by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who appoints the board's members.

Chief Executive Officer Bradley Penrod will now be the authority's president and chief strategy officer and was praised by Fitzgerald for his management of the airport's day-to-day operations. Chief Financial Officer James Gill becomes the airport authority's executive vice president, though his duties will remain similar.

The authority plans to hire an outside firm to conduct a national search for a new CEO.

The airport served 20.8 million passengers at its peak in 1997, before US Airways dropped it as a hub. Last year it served 8 million passengers.

The move comes just days after the board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County ousted CEO Stephen Bland in a move orchestrated by Fitzgerald.  Not long after taking office, Fitzgerald pressured the Allegheny County Board of Health to dismiss long time department head Bruce Dixon.