Gisela Shanahan Corporate.jpg

Denver International Airport chief financial officer Gisela Shanahan, who is scheduled to resign Aug. 10, 2020. 

Denver International Airport’s chief financial officer will step down next month, airport officials confirmed Monday.

Gisela Shanahan is resigning on Aug. 10 “for personal reasons and to spend more time with her grandchildren,” DIA spokesperson Alex Renteria wrote in an email.

Details regarding Shanahan’s interim replacement and the process to replace her permanently have not yet been disclosed.

As airport CFO, Shanahan lead the financial and strategic management of the airport’s capital program and operating budget with annual revenues of about $900 million, according to DIA, and a $1.4 billion capital program. Her role also included leading the airport’s finance, accounting, business management services, internal audit and financial planning and analysis functions.

She has also overseen the Gate Expansion Program, which is planned to add 39 new gates and increase the overall airport gate capacity by 30%.   

Shanahan was first named CFO in May 2015 after the position was left empty for more than eight months.

A year prior, she had first joined the airport staff as its senior manager for capital planning and budget. Shanahan also served as the financial manager and agency controller for the Denver Wastewater/Stormwater Utility Enterprise, as well as the CFO at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport seven years.  

Whomever replaces Shanahan will do so in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken a major toll on passenger traffic in Denver and across the country.

However, earlier this month, DIA officials reported that passenger traffic was picking back up and they expected to see the highest passenger numbers since the virus hit in March.

Although traffic was down by about 75% in June, DIA still had the second busiest TSA checkpoints of any other airport in the country that month, officials reported in a press release July 2.

Airport officials maintain that DIA is "financially sound and prepared for unexpected challenges" in the aviation industry, with approximately 500 days cash on hand. 

Still, airport leadership has taken steps to cut costs, including implementing a hiring freeze for city employees and "reprioritizing" the timing and delivery of current projects.

"This is a challenging time for aviation industry full of uncertainty and unknowns," Renteria said in a statement. DIA officials expect to see a "significant decline in revenue this year and so we are reevaluating our capital, operating and maintenance expenses, planning for major budget reductions and reprioritizing projects and programs so that we can maintain a strong financial position and meet our debt obligations while positioning us for the growth that will inevitably come when this passes."

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