A FedEx Express plane. Photo by Scott Ball.
A FedEx Express plane at the San Antonio International Airport. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Russell “Russ” J. Handy will be the City of San Antonio’s new Aviation Department director, according to a City news release.

“I am confident in Lt. Gen. Handy’s ability to lead the San Antonio International Airport forward,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley stated in the release.

Sculley hired Lt. Gen. Handy, who retired from the Air Force on Oct. 1, after the City conducted an almost year-long national search. That search was launched when former Director Frank Miller abruptly resigned in January.

Lt. Gen. Russell "Russ" Handy starts his work as Aviation director for the City on Jan. 9, 2017.
Lt. Gen. Russell “Russ” Handy starts his work as Aviation director for the City on Jan. 9, 2017. Credit: Courtesy / City of San Antonio

Lt. Gen. Handy “has more than 20 years of senior executive experience of military and civil aerospace operations,” according to the release. His first official day with the City will be Jan. 9, 2017.

The hire comes just weeks after Mayor Ivy Taylor and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff announced the formation of a task force to investigate current and future challenges that the San Antonio International Airport faces and determine future needs.

“The issue of the airport keeps coming up as far as the city’s competitiveness and meeting needs of the 1 million people who are going to come here (in the next 25 years),” Taylor told the Rivard Report in November. “We need to get folks in the room to think strategically to determine whether or not we need a new airport, changes to our existing airport, partnerships with other communities, or other innovative models.”

Officials have not announced who will serve on the task force.

“Lt. Gen. Handy is a command pilot, primarily in the F-15 and F-22A, and has participated in numerous combat operations and deployments,” according to the release. “He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science, and obtained a Master of Science in Administrative Management from Central Michigan University.”

Handy replaces interim Director Noel Thomas “Tom” Jones, also a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general.

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San Antonio Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.