Philadelphia, November 30, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the retirement of Mark Gale, Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), who has spent almost 28 years with the City-owned Airport, the 12th busiest in the United States.
“Mark has been an outstanding leader of the Airport,” said Mayor Nutter. “As the City has grown into a world-class destination, Mark has kept PHL on pace to address the needs of today’s air travelers. He has been focused on expanding convenient, efficient and affordable air service while directing operations of this facility so important to the economic health of the city and region.”
Appointed CEO in 2009, Gale has served as the City’s chief representative in local, state, national and international affairs, in marketing the Airport and improving air service. He was responsible for directing the planning, development and administration of all the activities of the City’s Division of Aviation, including both Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport and the management of about 800 Airport personnel.
PHL generates more than $14.4 billion in spending for the local economy and accounts for more than 141,000 jobs in the Philadelphia region. PHL’s status as an American Airlines hub and expanded service by low-cost carriers have spurred passenger demand and made PHL one of the busiest airports in the world. With 419,253 takeoffs and landings annually, about 31 million passengers come through the Airport each year.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my years at the Airport, especially the last seven when the leadership team has worked together to improve air service and to enhance passengers’ travel experience,” Gale said. “I thank Mayor Nutter for the opportunity he gave me to lead this great organization and I thank all our employees dedicated to serving the Airport’s customers. Now, I’m looking forward to the next phase of my life, both personally and professionally.”
Under Gale’s direction, the Airport has worked with its stakeholders to advance its multi-billion dollar modernization and expansion program. During his tenure, five new airline carriers began service at PHL, expanding destination options for both business and leisure travelers. Also, the Airport worked to improve the passenger experience with new amenities and a range of retail and food concession options.
Michael Minerva, American Airline’s Vice President Government and Airport Affairs, said, “American Airlines and our predecessor airlines, especially US Airways, have enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Mark Gale. He has devoted his career to improving PHL. He leaves the city and the region a larger and better airport than the one he found when he started in 1985. Perhaps more importantly, Mark’s successor will inherit an airport poised for greater improvement and with a settled airline lease. On a personal note, those of us who have worked closely with Mark over the years wish him all the best as he moves into the next chapter of his life.”
Gale began his career at the Airport in 1985 as an intern. After graduation, he returned to the Airport in early 1989 and has held a variety of positions during his tenure. From 1996 to 2000, he served as the Airport’s Operations Manager. From 2000 until his appointment as CEO in 2009, he served as Deputy Director of Aviation for Operations and Facilities and led a group of managers directing the day-to-day critical airport functions, including all airport operations, and maintenance, safety/security, information technology, engineering design and construction. Gale will retire at the beginning of January.
Gale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is an accredited member in the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and also serves on AAAE’s Board of Directors, the Board of Directors for Airports Council International – North America, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the U.S. Travel Association.