Gerald R. Ford International Airport Senior VP & COO Announces Retirement

GFIA Senior VP & COO Phil Johnson

By Tara Hernandez, Gerald R. Ford International Airport


Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) Senior Vice President & COO Phil Johnson has announced his retirement after more than 20 years at the Airport.

In his role at GFIA, Johnson has assisted the CEO in managing the day-to-day operations of the airport and directing airport activities. Johnson has also played a key role in assisting the airport in air service needs such as the addition of Southwest Airlines in 2013, and Allegiant Air in 2009, among others.

“Phil has been a valuable asset to our airport for more than two decades and we are thankful for his service,” said GFIA President & CEO Jim Gill. “He leaves behind a legacy of always working diligently to make our Airport the best it could be. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Johnson has held a number of aviation related positions prior to beginning his airport management career in 1989. Among these are  Systems Engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company — designing air defense and air traffic control systems; Air Traffic Control Specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — controlling air traffic at Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center; and Manager, Aircraft Ground Services for National Air Enterprises — managing aircraft line service functions at a Fixed Base Operator (FBO).

In addition, Johnson is an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). He also holds professional affiliations with the Great Lakes Chapter of AAAE (GL-AAAE) and the Michigan Association of Airport Executives (MAAE).

“I have so many wonderful memories in my 22 years at the Ford Airport, and I feel blessed to call Grand Rapids home,” said Johnson. “It was a pleasure working with all of my coworkers over the years, and I look forward to seeing the continued growth and development within the Airport Authority.”

Johnson holds a Master of Science degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University, and an Associate of Science degree in Air Traffic Management from Mount San Antonio College.

Johnson’s last day with GFIA is June 9th.