ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida's chief transportation director could soon be in charge of leading Orlando's international and executive airports.

The Board of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority — which oversees Orlando International Airport and Orlando Executive Airport — voted Wednesday to extend a preliminary offer to Florida Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault to be the new CEO of the airports.


With Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings the only board member to vote “no," the Board selected Thibault out of four finalists to be the primary candidate for the CEO job. The airport’s counsel will now negotiate an employment agreement with Thibault.

Thibault, who has served as Secretary of Florida Department of Transportation since January 18, 2019, was among four finalist to make their pitch to the GOAA Board Wednesday.

The board selected Thibault over:

  • Lance Lyttle, Managing Director of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Washington)
  • Mark Thorpe, Chief Executive Officer of Ontario, International Airport (California)
  • Jacqueline Yaft, Chief Executive Officer of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Texas)

Thibault is now in line to replace current CEO Phil Brown, who is retiring later this month. Brown was hired as the chief executive of Orlando’s international and executive airports in 2010.

Brown will hand over reigns of not only one of the nation’s busiest airports, with more than 50 million annual passengers, but also the opening of a new $3 billion terminal C project that is currently under construction.

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Brown’s current salary is approximately $316,000. Thibault's final selection will depend on negotiations with GOAA lawyers and agreement of an employment contract.