New Chicago airport chief starts on the job
Monday marked Ginger Evans' first day on the job as the new Chicago Department of Aviation commissioner for O'Hare and Midway International Airports.
The civil engineer and aviation executive moves from a position as vice president of engineering at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Washington, D.C.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stressed the importance of O'Hare and Midway as job generators for the city in appointing Evans. Her greatest challenges should lie in reconciling conflicting sides of O'Hare's massive expansion program.
The progress of modernization hasn't been smooth with lawsuits in the past and a recent controversy involving noise problems arising from a parallel runway system.
O'Hare's switch to an east/west flight pattern has created a din in nearby neighborhoods and suburbs, leading residents and advocacy groups to push against closing two diagonal runways.
Meanwhile, a new runway is set to open in the fall, but the fate of another is undecided with pushback from United and American Airlines over funding.
While in Washington, Evans managed several construction projects including a new commuter rail extension to Dulles. The MWAA includes Dulles International and Washington National Airports.
Evans also worked as director of aviation at Denver International Airport.
Evans has bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from Colorado State University. She has worked in the private sector for several major engineering firms including Parsons Construction Group and CH2M Hill.
Former Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino left for the private sector in 2014.