The Wayne County Airport Authority Board of Directors confirmed the appointment of Chad Newton as Chief Executive Officer of the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) on Wednesday. WCAA operates Detroit Metropolitan and Willow Run airports. On Nov. 28, 2018, the board voted unanimously to appoint Interim CEO Newton to serve as CEO. At Wednesday’s meeting, his employment agreement was approved.
“I look forward to working with such a dynamic and forward thinker as our new CEO Chad Newton,” said WCAA Board Chair Nabih H. Ayad, Esq. “With over two decades of serving Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Mr. Newton not only brings experience and leadership to the table, but an understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion in leveling the playing field for all citizens of this region. Chad simply gets it.”
“Safety and security is one of the biggest concerns at any major airport,” said WCAA CEO Chad Newton. “It is an honor to know the Board of Directors has confidence in the nearly 30 years I’ve spent in law enforcement, including 20 years at Detroit Metro Airport. I look forward to using my knowledge and experience as our team continues to improve the customer experience, collaborate with our stakeholders, support small businesses and give back to our community.”
Newton is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and certified by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.). He is one of approximately 500 airport executives in the United States and the first WCAA CEO to hold this title. The A.A.E. certification is the highest level of accreditation granted by AAAE to aviation professionals who have demonstrated their ability to handle the responsibilities of airport management.
“I had the pleasure of getting to know Chad while mentoring him through the AAAE Accreditation Program,” said Bishop International Airport Authority – Airport Director Craig Williams, A.A.E. “His professionalism throughout the process impressed me and I am sure that will carry over to his role at Metro. I look forward to working together with Chad to further aviation and airports in Michigan.”
Newton is a United States Army veteran who served tours of duty in Seoul, South Korea and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After being honorably discharged from the Army, Newton joined the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff. His duties included patrolling the airport grounds and facilities. In 1999, Newton transitioned to the Wayne County Airport Police Department, where he advanced through the ranks to become WCAA’s Vice President of Public Safety. He was also assigned the responsibility of overseeing Willow Run Airport. In July 2018, Newton was appointed WCAA’s Interim CEO.
“Chad Newton has had a distinguished career in public service,” said Regional Director of the Department of Homeland Security/TSA Steve C. Lorincz. “He will continue to build and support the Wayne County Airport Authority and provide world-class customer service for the millions of passengers who utilize our airports. I am proud to continue to serve with Chad, and wish him nothing but the best.”
Highlights of Newton’s career at Detroit Metropolitan Airport include successfully managing the January 2017 protest of the United States Presidential Executive Order banning entry into the country and receiving the 2018 TSA Partnership Award. Newton also implemented initiatives to diversify WCAA’s Public Safety Division.
“In Romulus, we know firsthand how crucial it is to have good leadership at the Airport Authority. Chad Newton has a proven history of integrity and customer service at WCAA,” said Mayor LeRoy D. Burcroff of Romulus, Michigan. “Since his interim appointment as CEO, we have had unprecedented response to our questions and concerns. We appreciate the Airport Authority as an important community partner and look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Chad in the future.”
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Newton holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Technology Studies with a Law Enforcement specialty.
Newton’s contract became effective Jan. 16, 2019. The initial term is three years.