Metropolitan Airports Commission Executive Director/CEO Jeff Hamiel Retiring

Last month, Jeff Hamiel, the Metropolitan Airports Commission’s (MAC) executive director and chief executive officer said he would end his service to the organization on May 16, 2016.

As the MAC’s executive director and CEO, Hamiel oversees day-to-day operations of one of the nation’s largest airport systems, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports in the Twin Cities metropolitan area: Airlake (in Lakeville, MN), Anoka County-Blaine, Crystal, Flying Cloud (in Eden Prairie), Lake Elmo and St. Paul Downtown.

“Through nearly 40 years of service to the Metropolitan Airports Commission, Jeff Hamiel has made an indelible impact on air travel in Minnesota and has provided a strong voice for airports nationally,” said Dan Boivin, chairman of the MAC. “Under his leadership Minneapolis-St. Paul International has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best managed airports. The number of passengers served annually has more than quadrupled during Jeff’s tenure. He has provided a steady hand to keep air service strong in Minnesota not only in good times but also when airlines one after another were filing for bankruptcy, merging and discontinuing hub operations at other airports.”
A U.S. Air Force pilot, Hamiel joined the Metropolitan Airports Commission on May 16, 1977 as the organization’s first noise program manager. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming assistant operations director in 1980 and director of operations in 1983. He served as deputy executive director in 1984 before becoming the MAC’s executive director and CEO in 1985. At the same time, he continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as its chief pilot and commander of the 96th Airlift Squadron until he retired from military duty in 1998.

In his years at the MAC, Hamiel steered the organization through numerous critical events:
  • Deregulation of the airline industry in 1978
  • Provision of more than $300 million in financing to Northwest Airlines in 1992, helping the carrier avoid bankruptcy
  • A dual-track planning process that ultimately led to the Legislature’s 1996 decision to expand MSP at its existing site instead of replacing it with a new airport southwest of Hastings, MN
  • The resulting $3 billion MSP 2010: Building a Better Airport expansion program, which transformed virtually every aspect of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, including: a new Terminal 2-Humphrey; new Terminal 1-Lindbergh concourses A and B and additional gates on Concourse C; a new fourth runway, 17/35; new parking, transit and auto rental facilities; new cargo facilities; improved aircraft de-icing and storm water retention facilities; new roadways; installation of light rail tunnels and stations; and replacement of hundreds of acres of 1960s-era airfield pavement
  • Development of the most extensive airport noise mitigation program in the United States, through which nearly 15,000 homes around MSP have been insulated, including thousands of homes well beyond the federal standard for mitigation
  • Implementation of historic new aviation security measures following the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America
  • Airline negotiations aimed at maintaining air service and related jobs following the bankruptcy filing of hub carrier Northwest Airlines in 2005 and the acquisition of Northwest by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines in 2008

The MAC has retained an executive recruiting firm, Spencer Stuart, to conduct a national search for Hamiel’s replacement.

Board votes to defer publication of draft 2035 MSP LTCP

On Sept. 21, the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) voted to defer publication of the draft Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) 2035 Long-Term Comprehensive Plan (LTCP). 

That decision followed a recommendation by MAC staff to complete the draft documentafter an evaluation of runway use is conducted that includes results of an arrival procedure currently being evaluated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at MSP. 

The procedure, which began August 28, 2015, is undergoing a 60-day evaluation period and will consider a revised converging runway operations (CRO). Delaying publication of the draft allows the FAA's final CRO procedures to be included in the draft document.

Members of the public and the City of Minneapolis urged the MAC to delay publication of the draft LTCP at the September 8, 2015 MAC Planning, Development & Environment (PD&E) Committee meeting and during the MSP Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) meeting on September 16, 2015. 

The revised publication schedule calls for evaluation of the CRO be conducted through the end of October with an updated noise analysis completed in January 2016. The MAC anticipates the draft LTCP will be presented to the NOC in January and to the MAC PD&E Committee and Full Commission in February 2016.

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