THUNDER BAY — Ed Schmidtke's 35-year-long career at Thunder Bay International Airport is coming to a close.
The airport's president and CEO will step into retirement on March 1, 2024.
"Aviation has always played a critical role in the lives of the people of Northwestern Ontario. It has been an honour and privilege to have been a part of its growth and development," Schmidtke said in a statement that was included in a news release announcing his intent to retire.
After serving as manager of business development, Schmidtke took on the top job at Thunder Bay Airport following Scott McFadden's departure in 2014.
During his tenure, he was part of the team that built the new air terminal building, reconstructed both runways, opened new commercial subdivisions on airport property, and managed the transfer of the airport out of government operations.
In a statement, the board of directors expressed gratitude to Schmidtke "for his innovative, creative and inclusive leadership," and said it believes the airport is well-positioned for the future.
Board chair Gary Woodbeck said the board will conduct a thorough search for a new president and CEO over the coming months.
"We have hired a consultant, and the whole board will be going through the applications. Hopefully in three months or so, we'll be able to find a person that is up to Ed's high standards...and will fit in nicely with the work we're doing now."
Schmidtke is currently on vacation, and was not available Monday for further comment.