Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gary/Chicago International Airport general manager leaving after 10 months

GARY — The general manager of the Gary/Chicago International Airport is leaving after less than a year at the airport.

An airport spokesman said Michael Zonsius is moving to a similar position in Florida, after serving at the Gary airport since last spring. Airport Authority Chairman Stephen Mays thanked Zonsius for his service at Monday's airport board meeting.

Zonsius has been in charge of airport operations since March, when he was appointed general manager by the private firm AvPorts, which has a 10-year contract to manage the airport. 

AvPorts was hired as an independent contractor in 2014 in a version of a public-private partnership that also brought in its parent company, Aviation Facilities Co., or AFCO, as property developer at the airport and for surrounding land.

Airport Executive Director Dan Vicari, an employee of the airport authority and liaison between it and AvPorts, along with Assistant Manager Hank Mook, who handles day-to-day operations, continue in management roles at the airport.

Zonsius, who had worked as chief financial officer for the Chicago Department of Aviation and was that department's liaison with the Gary airport before coming to Gary, replaced Delbert Brown, who had filled the general manager position for one year, from August 2014 to August 2015.

Among Zonsius' duties was managing airport operations. At Monday's meeting, he reported that takeoffs and landings at the airport rose about 3 percent in 2016, to 25,967 from 25,229 in 2015.

Fuel flowage was up 4 percent, Zonsius reported. The airport's fixed base operators pumped 2,581,876 gallons of fuel for aircraft in 2016, as compared to 2,482,342 in 2015. The airport authority collects a fee on each gallon pumped into a plane, so the increased fuel flowage should help airport finances.


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