City of Fresno Airports Director Russ Widmar Resigns
– City Manager Mark Scott today announced that Director of Aviation Russ Widmar has resigned, effective September 30. Widmar has served as the City of Fresno’s Director of Aviation since April 2004.
Scott said the City will conduct a national search to replace Widmar, who has relocated from the Fresno area. Assistant Director of Aviation Kevin Meikle will serve as interim Director of Aviation until a permanent replacement is found.
“Russ Widmar built a solid record of accomplishment for the Airports Department,” Scott said. “His expertise and leadership were critical in helping the department during uncertain and challenging times.”
Scott said some of the Airports Department’s accomplishments under Widmar’s leadership include:
- Registering the highest monthly passenger count ever in July 2012 with more than 130,000 passengers traveling through the airport;
- Expansion of both domestic and international service. More than 1.2 million passengers traveled through Fresno Yosemite International Airport in 2011, a 6.4 percent increase over 2010;
- Installation of 2-megawatt solar system spanning 9.5 acres, or the equivalent of seven football fields, the largest project of its kind when it was completed in 2008. Widmar received a national award for creating the project’s public-private partnership;
- Improvements to runways and the terminal building, including installation of the “Sequoiascape" in the central terminal lobby that highlights the Airport's connectivity to the three nearby national parks;
- Restructuring the Airports management model by implementing a business-style approach for identifying diverse revenue streams and reducing costs;
- Receiving the Federal Aviation Administration’s Western-Pacific Region Outstanding Airport for 2009 for the significant contributions that improved or enhanced safety within the region.
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