Los Angeles Airport Chief Gina Marie Lindsey wants to keep job

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, said she wants to keep her job under Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, even though the new mayor criticized one of her pet projects during the election.

“We are not finished here at LAWA,” Lindsey said. “We have a lot going on at LAX. We certainly have challenges at Ontario, and we have Van Nuys, which is a transitioning airport. There’s a lot to do.”

Lindsey has been on a push to modernize LAX, and many of her favorite projects — like renovated terminals and a new central utility plant — have not been controversial.

But she has also championed a plan to move Los Angeles International Airport’s northern-most runway 260 feet closer to Westchester homes and businesses. The point is to create greater separation between two parallel runways, which airport officials say will improve safety and operational efficiency. The airport would not need to increase its footprint to make the change.

During the spring campaign, Garcetti said he opposed the runway move, in part because of its effect on nearby neighborhoods, and he voted against it as a member of the Los Angeles City Council. (The measure still passed.) Lindsey, who said she has not yet met with Garcetti, said the difference of opinion does not bother her.

“No,” Lindsey said. “If I let things like that bother me, I would be sleepless all the time. He’s the boss.”

Lindsey, who previously ran Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, was picked by outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2007 to run Los Angeles World Airports. LAX, the nation’s third-busiest airport, is the key facility in the system, which also includes L.A./Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.

Garcetti takes office July 1, and he has said he expects all heads of city departments to reapply for their jobs. Lindsey said she wants to return, and said she looks forward to discussing the region’s airports with the new mayor.

“We have a lot to talk about,” she said.

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