Meet Phillip A. Washington, who serves as the CEO of Denver International Airport (DEN), the second largest airport in the world at 33,531 acres (52.4 sq mi; 135.7 km2). He was appointed in 2021 and reconfirmed in 2023 and is leading the charge at what is also the world’s third busiest airport, handling millions of passengers every year.
Washington’s vision for DEN, called Vision 100, aims to prepare the airport for a whopping 100 million passengers by 2030, a 30% increase, according to Fly Denver. Managing a $10 billion Capital Improvement Program, he has led significant changes, including retrofitting the airport, planning a massive rental car facility, and initiating environmental efforts like plugging oil wells and installing more solar panels.
Before Denver, Washington made waves as the CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD). In LA, he managed a balanced budget of $8.5 billion and oversaw major capital projects. His leadership led to the successful passing of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax supporting 40 major projects and creating jobs.
Washington’s achievements extend beyond transportation. Inducted into the American Public Transportation Association Hall of Fame and nominated for the position of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator by President Biden, he’s recognized for his exceptional contributions.
Washington, a 24-year U.S. Army veteran, holds a B.A. in Business and an M.A. in Management.
His impressive journey includes leading the Host Transportation Committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention and receiving honors like the Defense Superior Service Medal. Washington’s commitment to excellence, safety, and innovation continues to shape the future of transportation.
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