Los Angeles World Airports is set to name its No. 2 executive as interim CEO to replace Deborah Flint, who moved up her previously announced departure date to the end of this month.

LAWA, which operates Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports, said Dec. 12 that current chief operating officer Justin Erbacci had been put forward for the interim chief executive post by Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton.

LAWA's full board will consider the appointment at its next meeting on Dec. 19. If approved by the board, Erbacci would become interim chief executive on Jan. 1, 2020.

The announcement also said Flint's departure would now take place at the end of December. She had originally agreed to stay on until March to give more time for an executive transition. Flint has accepted the chief executive post at Toronto’s airport system.

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Deborah Flint, Los Angeles World Airports chief executive

“With the plan to consider Justin Erbacci as Interim CEO, I know that LAWA will have the leadership it needs to guide it through this transition,” Flint said in the announcement.

On Dec. 11, the Los Angeles Times reported that Flint accepted a paid board position at Charlotte, N.C.-based Honeywell International Inc. in October, a potential violation of city ethics rules.

Honeywell, which provides aerospace-related products and services, had unsuccessfully sought a contract from LAWA earlier this year. Flint did not get approval from the Board of Airport Commissioners before accepting the paid board position with Honeywell.

A spokeswoman for LAWA told the Times that Flint would file disclosure forms showing any payments from Honeywell and would recuse herself if any decisions involving Honeywell again came before the agency.

It was not clear if this revelation played any role in the Dec. 12 announcement to consider Erbacci as interim chief executive or Flint's early departure.

In the announcement, Flint made no mention of this situation when referencing her early departure: “I welcome the chance to move up my departure date to begin moving to Canada and to prepare to get to work at Toronto Pearson (Airport).”

Erbacci joined LAWA in July 2016 and was named chief operating officer in June of this year. He has overseen implementation and delivery of the $14 billion modernization program at LAX. He has also managed daily operations, commercial strategy and environment/sustainability functions at both LAX and Van Nuys Airport.

Prior to joining LAWA, Erbacci was vice president of customer experience and technology at Frankfurt, Germany-based Star Alliance, a partnership between United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada, SAS Group and Thai Airways. He had previously held a similar executive post with Chicago-based United Airlines.

Healthcare/biomed, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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