Saturday, September 24, 2016

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport director to resign

Anthony Marino, the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport’s aviation director, will resign his post, effective Oct. 14, to pursue another opportunity within the aviation industry, the city-parish’s airport announced this afternoon.

“I have enjoyed my career of 45 years as a city-parish employee,” Marino says in a statement issued by the airport. “And I have been honored and privileged to lead BTR through the extensive industry changes over the past 21 years. However, it is time to pursue other aviation opportunities.”

Marino notified the Metro Council and Mayor Kip Holden on Wednesday of his intent to resign, says airport spokesman Jim Caldwell.

It’s unclear who will serve as airport director in the interim. Caldwell says it’s possible that assistant airport director Ralph Hennessy will be appointed as interim director, but that decision ultimately is up to the Metro Council. The council, which is also the city-parish’s airport authority, will find the new permanent aviation director, Caldwell says.

Marino began his career with the city-parish in 1971 as an employee in the finance department. He transferred to the airport as an accountant and worked his way up to being appointed director in 1995.

During his tenure, Marino oversaw $410 million in airport improvements, the construction of the new 175,000-square-foot terminal building, the negotiations of 58 lease agreements and the 650-acre Aviation Business Park project, among other work.

The airport, though, has been grappling with how to increase passenger counts.

In November, the airport, which has an annual economic impact of $1.1 billion, unveiled a plan on how to attract business travelers who opt to use New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport over BTR.

However in the news release announcing Marino’s resignation, Metro Councilman Trae Welch noted the outgoing director’s accomplishments.

“Anthony has been relentless throughout his career in researching and securing available grant opportunities that might apply to BTR, and boosting airport revenue with new leases,” Welch says. “His commitment and hard work resulted in many accomplishments that have benefited the entire Baton Rouge area.”


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