SLC Council approves new airport director to oversee $3B rebuild

Bill Wyatt, former CEO of the Port of Portland, Ore., was nominated as director of Salt Lake City Airports Department by Mayor Jackie Biskupski. The Salt Lake City Council approved his appointment.

The Salt Lake City Council has given Bill Wyatt its unanimous approval to pilot the next leg of a $3 billion airport rebuild.

The former CEO of the Port of Portland, Ore., was put forward last week by Mayor Jackie Biskupski to oversee Salt Lake City International Airport, the construction of new terminals and an annual $367 million budget.

Wyatt told council members before Tuesday’s vote that when he began to explore the possibility of taking over Salt Lake City’s airport, he “came to really appreciate the scale and the magnitude of what you’re doing here, and it’s extraordinary.”

It’s the first “truly new airport” in the nation since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Wyatt said.

“There is not another project like this in the United States, and when it‘s done, you’re going to have the best airport in the United States.”

Wyatt came out of retirement for the new job after spending 17 years at the helm of Portland International Airport, marine shipping terminals and industrial properties. The Oregonian newspaper reported that Wyatt’s salary was $418,000.

Biskupski told the council that Wyatt was an attractive candidate not only because of his experience running an airport, but also a port. City plans call for the establishment of an inland port in the largely undeveloped Northwest Quadrant.

Councilwoman Lisa Adams thanked Biskupski “for putting this outstanding candidate before us.”

The Department of Airports also oversees West Jordan’s South Valley Regional Airport and Erda’s Tooele Valley Airport.