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Dulles Airport chief Mike Stewart to take job as head of Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Stewart had managed operations at Dulles since 2017

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Mike Stewart, who steered Washington Dulles International Airport through the Ebola outbreak and then again through a global pandemic that all but grounded airline traffic, is leaving to become executive director of Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport in September.

Stewart has managed operations at Dulles International since 2017, but worked at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for 14 years, including as vice president of airline business development, where he was responsible for luring new carriers to Dulles and Reagan National.

He was not available to comment Monday, but in a statement recognized the colleagues with whom he has worked throughout the years.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have worked with so many talented people at the Airports Authority and having the opportunity to work on so many different aspects of the aviation business,” he said. “I’ll miss the challenges and rewards of leading one of the busiest international airports in the world. I thank the leadership and my colleagues at the Airports Authority, and I look forward to working with a great team in Roanoke.”

Jack Potter, MWAA’s president and chief executive, praised Stewart’s work.

“Throughout his career, Mike has proven his ability to build and lead high-performing teams, foster strong partnerships with internal and external stakeholders and launch new and expanded lines of business,” Potter said. “We are fortunate to have benefited from his experience, skills and leadership, and we wish him all the best in his new endeavor.”

Stewart will make $230,000, according to a report from the Roanoke Times.

In pre-pandemic times, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport served more than 791,000 passengers annually via four carriers — American, Delta, United and Allegiant Air. Like other airports, it was hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. In June, more than 46,000 flew through the airport, an increase of more than 5,300 from the month before.

By comparison, Dulles International served about 25 million passengers annually before the pandemic.

Stewart also was at the helm in 2018, when a massive snowstorm forced 40 international flights headed to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to be diverted to Dulles, leading airport staff to scramble to accommodate and reroute the planes.

Before managing Dulles, Stewart also managed airline affairs for the authority, serving as a liaison between MWAA and airlines. At one point he was responsible for overseeing airport leases, contracts and permits for airport tenants and businesses.

Before joining MWAA, Stewart also worked as general manager of the Dulles Jet Center, director of corporate real estate and airport affairs for Independence Air, and management positions with US Airways and Piedmont Airlines.

Stewart is the second high-ranking MWAA executive to leave recently. Last month, Jerome Davis, executive vice president chief revenue officer, announced that he was retiring in September after seven years.