The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today named Susan Baer as director of aviation. She is a 32-year veteran of the agency and the first woman to hold the post. Baer replaces the late William DeCota, who died suddenly in August.
Baer has held a number of positions within PA management since her hiring in the late 1970s. She joined the aviation department in 1988 and has been entrusted with progressively larger responsibilities ever since. In the 1990s, Baer was appointed general manager of LaGuardia Airport, until she was moved into the same role at Newark Airport in 1998. In 2007, when she was appointed general manager of Kennedy Airport, she became the first person to have run all three of the Port Authority’s major airports. In 2008 she was promoted to deputy director/chief operating officer of the Port Authority.
The Port Authority’s aviation department manages all three of the New York metropolitan area’s major airports—Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark—ranking among the world’s largest airport management organizations. Baer will hold the reins on a $1.3 billion operating budget and $594 million 2009 capital budget. The role is also deeply involved in the federal government’s efforts to modernize air traffic control systems and reduce flight delays.