Mark Gale has been named CEO of the city of Philadelphia’s Division of Aviation, effective immediately.
He will direct the development, planning and administration of all activities at the division, including Philadelphia International (PHL), Northeast Philadelphia (PNE), as well as manage about 800 airport personnel.
“The first thing I ‘want’ to do,” Gale says, “is to start the development of a comprehensive strategic business plan and redefined mission statement for PHL, which will concentrate on several areas, but the three main areas are continued infrastructure development and expansion, modernizing/upgrading and/or adding new facilities across the board; refocused and revitalized emphasis on excellent customer service and amenities; and working with all stakeholders on new air service and other economic development opportunities, especially those that will increase PHL’s global access and connectivity.”
Gale will serve as the city’s chief representative in local, state, national and international affairs to market the airport system and improve air service. His salary, $200,000, is funded from the airport enterprise fund, and not general taxes.
Gale’s career at PHL began when he was an intern with the Division of Aviation in 1985. After graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical studies, he returned to the airport in 1989 and held a slew of positions. He was appointed airport operations manager in 1996, and then deputy director of aviation for operations and facilities in 2000. He became acting aviation director in February 2009. When asked if his new role was a position to which he’d always aspired, his answer was “”unequivocally yes.”
He is an accredited member of the American Association of Airport Executives, and serves on its Policy Review Committee; he also is an officer on the board of directors for the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania.
“After a national search and interviewing some impressive candidates, it is clear to me that Mark is the best in the business,” says Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Mark’s accomplishments as acting aviation director and as deputy director of aviation for operations and facilities are impressive. Mark’s vision for the future of PHL is bold. He is the right choice to lead one of region’s most valuable transportation assets.”
Gale says he is honored to be chosen for the position. When asked whether his new role was a position to which he’d always aspired, his answer was “”unequivocally yes.”
“Philadelphia International Airport should not only serve as a world-class air transportation facility, operating with maximum efficiency while offering premium amenities and excellent customer service, but must and will serve as an epicenter for consistently strong regional economic development and global connectivity,” he says.
“As both the airport CEO and a lifelong Philadelphia area resident with a tremendous sense of pride in our great city, I am committed to working tirelessly with all necessary stakeholders to achieve these goals,” he says.
In other PHL news…
The airport opened its free on-site cell phone waiting lot on Friday, giving motorists waiting to pick up someone whose flight hasn’t arrived yet a place to wait.
The 150-space lot will soon have three large digital signs showing flight information.
“This new cell phone waiting lot gives motorists a safe and convenient option for waiting at the airport for that call that the people they’re meeting are ready to be picked up,” says Nutter. “The lot is easy to get to from both I-95 and Route 291 and it’s a quick one-minute drive to the baggage-claim areas.
Gale says the new cell phone waiting lot helps the airport achieve its goal of providing a world-class air transportation center.
“Whether it’s a modernized and expanded security checkpoint, passenger-friendly services and amenities, great food, beverage and retail shops, or an accessible waiting area, the airport is constantly working to provide a facility that makes the experience of coming here a safe and friendly one,” he says.