Today, the New Orleans
Aviation Board approved an employment contract with veteran airport
administrator Iftikhar Ahmad as Director of Aviation at the Louis Armstrong New
Orleans International Airport.
Ahmad, 44, is leaving
the Dayton, Ohio International Airport where he served as Director of Aviation
since 2006. He was selected by the Aviation Board after an extensive
nationwide search that narrowed the field of fifty down to four candidates, all
of whom had previous airport executive administrative experience.
"We are so pleased
to have Mr. Ahmad join the team at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International
Airport,” said Aviation Board Chairman Dan Packer. "We interviewed
four viable candidates and were most impressed with Iftikhar. Financial
management and community involvement were some of his strengths noted in the
interview along with a passion for air service development. We feel that those
strengths along with his background in planning and development make him a
great asset to our facility with all we are embarking on.”
Along with the Aviation
Board, a select number of community leaders, including area chamber of commerce
leaders, corporate executives and the co-chairs of Mayor-elect Mitch Landrieu's
transition team participated in the interview process.
Patricia Malone, who
held the position of Interim Director of Aviation since June 2009, will return
to the position of Deputy Director of Finance and Administration.
Ahmad, a graduate of
Oklahoma State University with a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, said
he is ready for the challenges faced by Armstrong International Airport, as the
community continues to rebound from Hurricane Katrina and the Airport
implements its master plan to modernize the facility.
"I am excited about working with the Aviation Board and staff
to improve the physical assets of the Airport and attract additional air
service for the benefit of Metro New Orleans and the Gulf South, while at the
same time, working with our neighboring communities to protect the excellent
quality of life that they enjoy,” stated Ahmad.
Prior to being named Director of Aviation at Dayton, Ahmad served
as Vice President for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority from 2002 to
2006 and prior to that, worked in various capacities within the Houston Airport
System that oversees both Houston Intercontinental and Houston Hobby Airports.
Pending approval the New
Orleans City Council this week, his anticipated starting date will be May 24,