Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry

Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry

The city of Long Beach on June 11 named a top L.A. Airport executive, Cynthia Guidry, as its new airport director, effective July 29.

The permanent director post has been vacant since Jess Romo retired in February. Claudia Lewis, the airport’s manager of finance, administration and public affairs, has served as interim director; after July 29, she will return to those roles.

Guidry spent the last five years as deputy executive director at Los Angeles World Airport, the Los Angeles city governing body for Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports, overseeing planning and development activities. LAX is currently in the midst of a massive $14 billion overhaul that includes renovation of every terminal, construction of a new terminal behind the Tom Bradley International Terminal, a people mover and other projects to improve the flow of people around the airport.

Upon taking over at Long Beach Airport, Guidry will have to cope with a facility still reeling from its long-dominant carrier JetBlue Airways’ decision to dramatically scale back operations last year after failing in its bid to get permission for international service from the airport. For the first four months of this year, passenger traffic fell 17 percent from last year to 1.1 million. Southwest Airlines has picked up some of the slack, nearly doubling its passenger count at the airport since JetBlue reduced its footprint.

Founded in 1923 as the first municipally-owned airport in California, Long Beach Airport completed a major facility renovation in 2012, including a new passenger terminal. Plans are in the works to further upgrade ticketing and baggage claim areas and replace the old terminal with a consolidated car rental facility.

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

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