LAS sign
Photo by John Schreiber.

Mayor Eric Garcetti Thursday nominated Justin Erbacci to serve as the next chief executive officer of Los Angeles World Airports, the city department which owns and operates Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports.

“This moment of crisis for our world and change at our airports demands a leader with a proven track record, and Justin Erbacci is the right person to help us navigate this turbulent time,” said Garcetti. “Even as a pandemic continues to consume our attention and energy, Justin has led LAWA forward, accelerating a more-than $14 billion transformation of LAX, improving airport operations, maintaining fiscal health and affirming our commitment to rebuilding and re-imagining our infrastructure.”

The Los Angeles Airport Commission voted Thursday to approve Erbacci as the next CEO of LAWA, and his nomination now goes before to the City Council for confirmation.

Erbacci was named interim CEO in December and has since led LAWA during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, as passenger numbers have collapsed to historic lows, LAWA stated.

Garcetti said during Erbacci’s interim status that LAWA developed a COVID-19 Recovery Task Force to create “detailed plans” for every aspect of the airport system’s recovery, instituted new cleaning and physical-distancing protocols throughout the airports and secured more than $323 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding for LAX and Van Nuys airports.

“We set out with a global search for LAWA’s next CEO and identified some excellent candidates, but I have had the opportunity to work closely with Justin over the past six months in these incredibly challenging times and that has proven to me, without a doubt, that exactly what we were looking for was right in front of us all along,” said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

Prior to serving as interim CEO, Erbacci served as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for overseeing a realigned executive organization focused on implementation and delivery of LAWA’s multi-billion-dollar modernization program.

“I am incredibly grateful to Mayor Garcetti, President Burton and the entire Board of Airport Commissioners for placing their faith in me to lead LAX and Van Nuys airports,” Erbacci said. “I’m especially honored and privileged to have the opportunity to lead the LAWA team at this important moment in our airports’ and city’s history.”

Erbacci first joined LAWA in October 2016 as chief innovation and technology officer and deputy executive director, according to LAWA. He brings more than 15 years of experience in global executive leadership from inside and outside of the aviation industry.

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