The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Board of Directors today officially removed “interim” from in front of the title of J. Brian O’Neill, executive director and CEO for the airport.
“I’m excited we have someone with his experience,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles, chairman of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority. “It’s been a pleasure getting to know him over the last couple of months and I know he’ll do a great job leading this airport forward.”
O’Neill was hired a year ago as deputy director and COO.
He told board members at their meeting Tuesday that the airport is currently ranked second best in the region, serving 94,142 passengers in August with total operations up 55 percent over last August.
“It’s an honor to work for a board who understands the economic importance of this airport,” O’Neill said. “They ask us what resources we need and that’s unique. I look forward to improving air service and infrastructure at this airport.”
Shea Joachim, business development director for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, said that for under a million ($991,128) Allegiant Air (the airport’s main customer carrier) has everything to operate for a whole year at $1.49 per passenger at the airport.
“They are getting a pretty good deal to operate here,” he said. “We need to increase our parking revenue and bring more food and beverage to our customers so we are looking at doing that right now.”
Joachim added that the passenger terminal LED (light-emitting diode) conversion is complete and has improved the aesthetics of the airport.
“We worked on this with SRP and we will save on maintenance and operating costs,” he said.
In addition, Joachim said staff is working on bringing ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft to the airport through the Transportation Network Companies. They will host a public meeting at the airport on Oct. 4 to seek input by the community.
“This airport is a jewel just beginning to shine and we look forward to great things happening here,” Giles said.
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA). PMGAA consists of representation from Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Gila River Indian Community, Phoenix and Apache Junction. Gateway Airport offers nonstop passenger service to 38 cities via Allegiant and welcomes more than 1.3 million passengers each year. Corporate, military and general aviation customers are served by the Gateway Aviation Center, a 24-hour full service FBO located just north of the passenger terminal.
For more information, visit www.gatewayairport.com.
– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.