By Steve Guntli
The Port of Bellingham has hired Sunil Harman to be the director of aviation for Bellingham International Airport (BLI). Harman will replace former director Dan Zenk, who stepped down in June to take a position at Seattle-Tacoma Airport.
Airport manager Mark Leutwiler has been serving as interim aviation director. Harman was chosen over 40 other applicants for the position.
Zenk, who oversaw a $38.5 million terminal expansion project during his time in the position, said the challenge for his successor was attracting more flights and more customers to the airport.
“They’ll need to try to replace some of the destinations we’ve lost and draw in new airlines,” Zenk said. “And honestly, the airport is in a really good position to do that. It’s a low-cost airport, which is very attractive to airlines, and there’s an untapped demand to link Bellingham to a lot of other destinations.”
BLI has experienced some dipping passenger numbers of late, a trend that corresponds with the decline of the Canadian dollar. This has led to several flights out of BLI being either discontinued or reduced.
Harman comes to BLI with more than 30 years’ experience managing airports. He has worked at large hub airports, such as New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, as well as smaller airports in Florida. He currently sits on the board of Airports Council International’s North America division.
Harman will step in to his new position at BLI on November 2.