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Aviation

Gov. Walker picks new manager for Anchorage airport

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: January 5
  • Published January 5

Jim Szczesniak (Photo provided by Alaska DOT)

Gov. Bill Walker has selected a new manager for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Jim Szczesniak, a certified professional pilot, will start the job Jan. 22, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said Friday. He brings experience from O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport in Chicago.

"Jim has extensive experience in aviation and business," said Marc Luiken, commissioner of the state's transportation department. "He started his career in aviation where he excelled through the ranks and he has a proven track record running a successful company."

Szczesniak is also an aviation mechanic. He has a bachelor's degree in aviation management from Southern Illinois University and a master's degree in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago.

At O'Hare and Midway, he served as airport operations supervisor, director of aviation planning and deputy commissioner of aviation. Most recently, Szczesniak was chief operating officer at a Chicago company called Windy City Silkscreening.

"I look forward to working with Alaska's business and tourism industries to grow jobs in Alaska based on our air cargo strength and to increase visitor traffic," he said in a statement.

In October, Walker asked previous airport manager John Parrott to resign or retire from the appointed position. He had worked at Alaska's largest airport for nearly 19 years. Parrott retired and his last day was in November.

Five million passengers, 2.5 million tons of cargo and $130 million in revenue pass through the Anchorage airport each year, according to the state.

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