Several North Texas leaders have expressed their well wishes for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport chief executive Jeff Fegan as he plans to retire later this year.
"We hate to see him go," Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. "He's been a great asset for the airport. But I understand why he's going and ... everyone likes to go out on a high point...But we will miss him."
"I'm disappointed. Jeff's been a great CEO and whenever you lose a great leader like that it's a sad day but it should be expected. He's been CEO for 19 years so his tenure is a lot longer than most CEOs, so I'm happy for him personally," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. "Jeff's leadership has been critical in painting that picture and putting the process in place that we're confident about growing. I think the international side is so exciting, we're getting more and more nonstops. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is truly becoming a global hub of commerce the way we envisioned it to be."
"Jeff Fegan has been an outstanding advocate for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area through his promotion of aviation as a key component of economic growth. He has always been a solid partner with American and has been instrumental in all of our investments in DFW Airport," said American Airlines senior vice president of government affairs, Will Ris. "He is also a highly respected leader among airline executives nationally. His shoes will be hard to fill and we thank him for his years of service to the community."
SMU economist Bud Weinstein said Fegan has been able to navigate the airport through several airline mergers and bankruptcies and security changes after 9/11. "Against a backdrop of a lot of turmoil in the aviation industry what we’ve seen under Jeff’s watch is a steady hand of management and a lot of improvements at the airport, particularly Terminal D which is one of the best terminals in the country."
"Jeff is a great leader and the one thing I’ve enjoyed about working with Jeff is not only is he a leader for this organization but for the community and the country. He’s community driven," said airport board member Lillie Biggins, who is also on the selection committee to find Fegan's replacement. "I think the quality I would look the most for is someone who is really focused on the overall impact of the operations of this airport on the overall community which is one of the strengths Jeff has had, not only looking at the airport but looking at the impact of the success of the airport on the overall community."
Kevin Cox, American's vice president of real estate, used to work under Fegan and issued this statement, "Every airline that serves DFW Airport, the millions of customers who utilize the airport every year, and the businesses which have benefited from the growth and development of this economic engine are all deeply indebted to Jeff Fegan. As the Executive Director of DFW Airport, he provided extraordinary vision, leadership, and professionalism which will leave a lasting mark on the airport and the community for years to come. We are sad to see him retire later this year as we know he will be very difficult to replace, but we wish him the very best in his retirement."