Warwick, RI — The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) Board of Directors announced this afternoon that they have appointed Iftikhar Ahmad to lead T.F. Green Airport as the new president and CEO of the Corporation. The announcement concludes a six-month national search process to identify T.F. Green’s next leader. Mr. Ahmad currently leads airport operations at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport where he has served as the director of aviation since May of 2010. Mr. Ahmad’s official start date is October 13.
“On behalf of the entire board, we are extremely pleased to announce Iftikhar Ahmad will lead T.F. Green moving forward. His experience and record of success in growing passenger traffic in New Orleans and his ability to secure new routes and airlines were particularly appealing to the board. He also has a strong history of building community support, which is integral to the success and growth of any airport. We have every confidence he will be able to replicate his successes here,” said Jonathan N. Savage, chairman of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation’s Board of Directors.
“All of the ingredients are here to grow and expand T.F. Green’s operations. I’m looking forward to meeting Rhode Island business, labor and community leaders to discuss a path forward for our six airports. My family and I are excited to be moving to Rhode Island and making it our home,” stated Ahmad.
“A thriving airport is essential to attracting businesses and visitors to Rhode Island,” Governor Raimondo said. “T.F. Green is already one of the most convenient and accessible regional airports in the nation, and I’m confident that Iftikhar will build on that solid foundation and be a strong partner in our shared effort to grow our economy.”
In total, Iftikhar brings 19 years of aviation management experience to T.F. Green through his previous positions with the City of Houston’s Department of Aviation; the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority; the City of Dayton’s Department of Aviation and the New Orleans Aviation Board. He currently serves as the CEO of the New Orleans Aviation Board, which oversees an airport serving 10.7 million passengers annually.
For the past six and a half years, Mr. Ahmad spearheaded an unprecedented period of growth in New Orleans. Under Mr. Ahmad’s leadership annual passenger traffic grew from 7.8 million passengers in 2009 to 10.7 million in 2015, representing an increase of more than 36%. These numbers are projected to surpass 11 million in 2016, which would mark a 42% increase over 2009. During that same timeframe, passenger travel at peer airports declined by 6.6% while New Orleans broke all its previous records.
He grew the total number of airlines serving New Orleans to a record of 15 having recruited 10 additional airlines since 2010. He also significantly increased non-stop flights from 28 to 57. Additionally, Mr. Ahmad secured new routes to Latin America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and Europe.
“Working in concert with elected officials, community leaders and RIAC’s Board of Directors we will implement a plan to increase airlines, increase passenger traffic and increase non-stop routes. It will not happen overnight, but together we can accomplish this goal,” added Ahmad. “Achieving these worthy goals will help to fuel Rhode Island’s economy and in turn an invigorated economy will support the growth of T.F. Green.”
Mr. Ahmad has coordinated approximately $5B worth of capital work in his career. He is currently overseeing the construction of a new terminal in New Orleans.
The RIAC board of directors retained SpencerStuart, a national executive search-consulting firm with expertise in the aviation industry to help identify T.F. Green’s next CEO in April.
Mr. Ahmad has served as a United States’ civil aviation expert to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since April 2015 in an uncompensated capacity. Mr. Ahmad obtained an MS and BS in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University.
Contact: Patti Goldstein, Sr. VP Marketing and Communications