Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Executive Director John Wheat has submitted his resignation effective April 5. After two years of serving the airport, he has been offered and has accepted the job of director of airports for Sacramento County, California.
"We are sad to lose John but congratulate him and his family on this tremendous opportunity, and we thank him for all he has done. It should come as no surprise to anyone that John would have other airports interested in his leadership. His new position is a testament to what he and the rest of the airport staff accomplished during John's tenure," said Airport Board Chairman John Pilcher.
"Since his arrival in 2011, we've seen an end to the lawsuits, cost overruns, and cash flow shortages that weighed ECP down. The sale of the old airport was finally completed, and the environmental problems will soon be put to rest. Our market share among Northwest Florida airports has grown from 9 percent to 24 percent, and our air carriers have signed new agreements with ECP, ensuring they are here to stay. These achievements have resulted in strong financial health for this airport.
"As John begins a new chapter in his life by returning closer to home and taking on new professional challenges, he leaves ECP on an upward trajectory. Covered parking will be completed this year and the long-awaited crosswind runway is no longer just a wish, but is actually in the works. The master plan is nearing completion, ensuring a clear long-term vision for ECP, and we continue working the plan to expand air service with new destinations and carriers. Through this transition, and continuing into the future, the board, airport leadership, and staff remain focused on delivering an economical, convenient, and painless travel experience."