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Flint named CEO of Toronto Pearson


November 28, 2019
By Wings Staff


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As Toronto Pearson approaches designation as a mega-hub, expecting to reach 50-million passengers by the end of 2019, Deborah Flint is scheduled to take over leadership of the GTAA in April 2020. (Photo: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Deborah Flint has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which oversees the operations of Toronto Pearson International Airport, YYZ – Canada’s largest with commercial passenger traffic of 49.5 million in 2018. Flint will begin her new role in April 2020 following more than four years as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports.

Born in Canada, Flint has served in a range of executive roles in the aviation industry for 24 years. She will succeed current GTAA CEO Howard Eng, who is scheduled to retire in March 2020 after leading Toronto Pearson from 2012 – overseeing a period of record passenger growth at YYZ.

“Deborah is a proven aviation executive who has been leading Los Angeles World Airports, one of the world’s largest passenger and cargo airports, through a period of significant transformation, including the development of an intermodal transit centre,” said Doug Allingham, chair of the GTAA board of directors.

In her role at Los Angeles World Airports, which operates both Los Angeles International and Van Nuys (general aviation) airports, Flint was instrumental in the US$14 billion modernization of its terminals, runway improvements, and a comprehensive transit program that includes roadway improvements and an intermodal transportation facility. GTAA explains her deep experience in connecting airports to regional transit networks dates back to her tenure as aviation director of Oakland International Airport where she delivered a US$480 million airport rail project known as BART.

Los Angeles World Airports served more than 87.5 million passengers and two million tonnes of cargo in 2018. In addition to being the 4th busiest passenger airport in the world, it is the only U.S. airport to serve as a hub for four U.S. legacy carriers (Alaska Airlines, American, Delta and United). It is considered to be one of two North American mega-hub airports, with Toronto Pearson focused on joining the ranks by the end of 2019. GTAA explains mega-hub international hub airports serve more than 50 million passengers. With 163 international routes, Toronto Pearson is North America’s most internationally connected airport.

“In the world of international airports, Toronto Pearson is a rising and notable star, known for its significant accomplishments on passenger service, growth in passenger traffic, and its leadership in working with both industry and community partners to take a regional perspective on the role a mega-hub airport plays in lifting those around it,” said Flint. “As a Canadian-born airport executive, I consider it a privilege to be able to return home to lead this organization and ensure it continues to deliver benefits to all of our stakeholders.”

Flint also serves as a member of the Airports Council International board, appointee to the U.S. DOT Drone Advisory Committee, and chair of the Oversight Committee of the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program. Beyond the airport sector, she has served on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank and is a director of the Honeywell Corporation.