Spokane International Airport Director Neal Sealock has submitted his resignation, effective July 21.
Sealock said he wants to spend more time with his family and pursue a doctoral degree.
He became director in December 2005 after 31 years in the U.S. Army. Immediately prior to his appointment, Sealock was the military attaché in Beijing, where he helped negotiate the release of 24 U.S. airmen detained after allegedly violating Chinese airspace.
Sealock, an Eastern Washington University graduate, retired with the rank of brigadier general.
Dave Brukardt, head of the airport board of directors’ personnel committee, noted the improvements made while Sealock was in charge, including the main runway extension and remodeling of the concessions area.
But Sealock, concerned that future airport expansion might be jeopardized, also antagonized developers by pressuring local officials to tightly control nearby land.
Sealock was unavailable for comment, but in a release he said, “I believe that as a team we have made substantial progress in reshaping the organization, improvements to the physical infrastructure and operations, as well as leveraging our facilities as a site for job creation and setting the conditions for developing additional air service for the Spokane region.”
Brukardt said the board would begin the search for a replacement at its July 21 meeting.