In his new position, Bill Wyatt will oversee a renovation project that has seen its construction costs increase

PORT OF PORTLAND - Bill WyattFormer Port of Portland CEO Bill Wyatt has been picked as the new director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports.

According to a story in the Deseret News, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved Mayor Jackie Biskupski's nomination of Wyatt to run the department, which is overseeing the overseeing the $3 billion redevelopment of Salt Lake City International Airport.

Wyatt retired as port CEO on June 30.

The Deseret News said that when being interviewed by the council for the job, Wyatt called the airport renovation an "incredibly ambitious project."

"Three billion dollars adds up pretty quickly," the paper quoted Wyatt as saying, acknowledging the "challenging" construction climate right now. But he expressed excitement about seeing the project through.

According to the story, the reconstruction of the Salt Lake airport is in the middle of its first phase and has seen budget increases because of rising construction costs. It's slated to be completed in 2024, with two new concourses replacing the three aging terminals with one central terminal building, along with a new public parking garage with twice as many stalls.

Over time, all the existing terminals, parking garages and concourses will be demolished.

Before his appointment to the port position, Wyatt, a native Oregonian raised in Astoria, served as a state representative from 1974 to 1977. He then served five years as executive director of the Association for Portland Progress, six years as president of the Oregon Business Council, and seven years as chief of staff to former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

When announcing his retirement, Wyatt said, "It has been an enormous privilege to have served the Port for the past 16 years. The Port's best successes during my tenure have been the result of collaboration and partnership and I want to thank the many stakeholders and community members who have played a role in helping the Port carry out its mission of providing access to global markets and land for job creation."

To read the Deseret News story, go to

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