Leadership shake-up for Philly airports: CEO for aviation departs for Chamber of Commerce

Chellie Cameron speaks at the Philadelphia International Airport

Chellie Cameron, Philadelphia International Airport CEO, talks about improvements at new cargo plane parking area in this file photo. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia will start a national search to replace the city’s CEO for the Division of Aviation Rochelle “Chellie” Cameron, who is moving on to head the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

Cameron took over the division, which includes the Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport, in 2016. She started as deputy director for aviation, finance, and administration in 2011.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney credited her leadership with helping transform the airport into a world-class facility and a real economic engine for the city. PHL now generates billions of dollars per year and supports more than 100,000 jobs across the 11-county Philadelphia metro area.

Cameron has been “a strategic problem-solver, especially over the last two years when the pandemic wreaked havoc over the travel industry,” Kenney said in a statement. “Chellie has built a solid foundation for PHL’s continued resurgence as we recover and rebound from the pandemic.”

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During her tenure, Cameron led the effort to expand PHL’s air cargo facility, which will be triple its original size when the project is completed. PHL ranks as the 15th busiest airport in the nation for cargo, but it is the 21st busiest for passenger travel among U.S. airports.

“The airport team is comprised of many talented and innovative people, and I’m confident our travelers are in good hands,” Cameron said in a statement.

According to the latest statistics available on the airport’s website, more than 2.3 million passengers landed at PHL through the first quarter of 2022. That’s a 79% increase over the same time last year, which was still restricted due to the pandemic.

Kevin Brune will take over as acting CEO of the city’s aviation division until a full-time replacement is found. Brune has been serving as chief operating officer since 2017 after joining the division in 1991.

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