Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer
Brian D. Ryks, A.A.E. was appointed executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission in May 2016.
Before arriving in Minneapolis, he held a similar position as executive director and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While there, Mr. Ryks oversaw the completion of several significant projects, including an airport re-branding campaign, transition from a county- controlled airport to an airport authority, major expansion and renovation of Concourse B, and construction of a state-of-the-art storm water/aircraft deicing natural treatment system and a new general and corporate aviation arrivals terminal. He also initiated a $45 million terminal expansion and consolidated TSA passenger screening checkpoints. Ryks also led an innovative funding campaign to raise $20 million in private capital in support of the terminal expansion.
During Ryks’ tenure, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport set all-time records for passengers in 2014 and 2015 and was rated in 2015 as the number one airport in North America in its size category by the Airports Council International Airport Service Quality survey.
Prior to his time in Michigan, Ryks was the executive director at the Duluth Airport Authority, overseeing Duluth International Airport in Minnesota and Sky Harbor, a general aviation airport. During his 10 years in Duluth, Mr. Ryks oversaw completion of $135 million in airport improvements, culminating with a $77 million project to develop a new terminal.
Prior to arriving in Duluth, Mr. Ryks was employed for five years as the airport manager at the St. Cloud Regional Airport and for two years as the airport manager in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Before Aberdeen, Mr. Ryks spent six years in Denver where he was the manager of noise abatement at Stapleton and Denver International Airports. He was also the project manager for the development and installation of an Airport Noise and Operations Monitoring System at the Denver International Airport.
He began his career as a noise technician at the Metropolitan Airports Commission in 1986.
Mr. Ryks holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Cloud State University, is a licensed pilot with an instrument rating and an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives. He currently serves on the Airports Council International North America (ACI-NA) Board of Directors and on the Finance Committee of the ACI World Governing Board. He also holds a professional affiliation with the Great Lakes Chapter of AAAE (GL-AAAE) and is past president of GL-AAAE.
He was awarded a TSA Partnership Award in 2006, a Patriot Award in 2008 from the Employee Support of National Guard & Reserve, a 2009 Minnesota Council of Airport’s Award of Excellence for Outstanding Promotion of Aviation, a 2012 Minnesota Council of Airports Distinguished Service Award and was named the 2015 Newsmaker of the Year in Economic Development by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.