Susan M. Baer has been named director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, after the death earlier this month of William R. DeCota.
Baer, who has 21 years of industry experience, is the first woman to head the port authority. In her new role, she will oversee the John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Newark Liberty International (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA), Stewart International (SWF) and Teterboro (TEB) airports.
“I’m truly honored to lead a department with such a rich aviation history and a
top-notch, hard-working staff,” she says. “We will continue our mission of providing world-class airports and service for our customers. I look forward to working closely with our committed industry partners to deliver on all our goals.”
Baer has held been second in command in the department since last year and will continue its focus on modernizing facilities at all of the airports. She will also focus on making NextGen satellite navigation technology a reality in the aviation industry and encourage airspace improvements to help reduce flight delays and maintain safety in the region.
She has been with the port authority since the late 1970s, joining as a management analyst and working in the Tunnels, Bridges and terminals Department before joining the aviation department in 1988. She was general manager of aviation customer and marketing services until 1994, and then managed LGA until 1998. From then until 2007, she managed EWR, including overseeing TEB. She became JFK’s general manager in 2007 and was then appointed the agency’s deputy director/chief operating officer in 2008.
“Sue is the natural person to help this agency carry on Bill DeCota’s extraordinary aviation legacy,” says Anthony Coscia, port authority chairman. “Her lengthy, hands-on experience at the region’s airports is unmatched, and I have no doubt she will continue the agency’s proud tradition of leadership on aviation issues, nationally and globally.”
Christopher O. Ward, PANYNJ’s executive director, also had positive things to say about her.
“The combination of Sue’s talent and experience will allow the port authority to continue its important mission of ensuring the safe and efficient movement of passengers and cargo within the New York/New Jersey region for the most important airport system in the world,” he says.
Baer earned her bachelor’s degree in urban studies and anthropology from Barnard College, and her MBA from New York University.