The director of Pensacola International Airport announced his resignation Thursday. Greg Donovan, who has held the airport’s top post since last March, accepted a position as executive director of Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne.
In a statement released Thursday evening, Mayor Ashton Hayward praised Donovan’s accomplishments while working with the city and vowed to act quickly to find a replacement.
“Greg has been an incredible asset both to my team and to our airport,” Hayward said. “His expertise, passion, and leadership have been invaluable, and with his help we have been able to make great progress at Pensacola International Airport. This is a great opportunity for Greg to advance his career, and I wish him the very best as he transitions into this new endeavor.”
During Donovan’s tenure at the airport, the city added new service from Southwest Airlines and Silver Airways, increased seat capacity by 13 percent, welcomed the addition of the 127-room Hyatt Place hotel to the Airport campus and secured more than $21 million in aviation-specific grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and Florida Department of Transportation, Hayward said.
Donovan also played a key role in the adoption of a strategic land use plan for the airport and the negotiations with Singapore-based ST Aerospace to locate a maintenance, repair and operations facility at the airport.
On Thursday, Donovan reflected positively on his time in Pensacola, but said he was excited to return to his Melbourne roots. Donovan is familiar with the area, as a graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology.
“Serving as Pensacola’s airport director has been a wonderful experience,” he said, “and I am so proud of everything my staff and I have been able to accomplish. We have laid the groundwork for bringing new aerospace industries and jobs to our community, and I am confident that Pensacola International Airport is well-positioned for continued success.”
“This is a very exciting career opportunity,” he said of the Melbourne position, “and I am looking forward to working with the airport authority staff and board members who are focused on business development on Florida’s Space Coast. I’m also excited about returning and collaborating with my alma mater to explore ways to advance aviation, engineering and economic development.”
Donovan will remain with the airport through the end of July, according to the Mayor’s Office. In the meantime, Hayward said the city would immediately begin seeking a replacement.
“Pensacola International Airport is a critical asset for our city and an economic engine for our entire region,” Hayward said. “Having the right leader in place is crucial as we work to continue our airport’s strong growth and maintain its competitive position as the leading airport between New Orleans and Jacksonville.”
Airport director packing bags for Melbourne