Airports Commission chief Jeff Hamiel to retire after 30 years in charge

Jeff Hamiel, who’s been executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission since 1985, says he’ll retire in May.

MPR says Hamiel announced his retirement Monday, giving the commission eight months to find a successor.

MAC chairman Dan Boivin told MPR: 

“One of the reasons why this airport is great is that Jeff has been here a long time. I want to let you know personally, and on behalf of the commission, it’s a sad day.”

When Hamiel started his career at the airport 40 years ago, there were 8 million travelers a year. Now, there are 45 million, making MSP the 16th largest airport in North America by traffic.

Hamiel had been an Air Force pilot before joining MAC.

His first job at the airport was manager of noise abatement and environmental affairs. He worked his way up to assistant director of operations, the director of operations and has also been airport director and deputy executive director.

He told the MAC commissioners Monday: “My entire career has been locked up in aviation. … I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity. I’ve had a passion for aviation my entire life.” 

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