A Metropolitan Airports Commission committee has recommended the current head of the Grand Rapids, Mich., airport as its new executive director.

Brian Ryks, who worked for the MAC between 1986 and 1990 as a noise and operations technician, was the sole finalist chosen Thursday by the MAC's executive committee.

The full MAC board will vote on the choice at its March 21 meeting. If confirmed, Ryks will replace longtime MAC chief Jeff Hamiel, who plans to retire this spring.

The top job involves overseeing operations at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six other small airports in the metro area, 580 employees, and a $300 million annual budget.

The MAC plans to introduce Ryks at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. March 20 at the MAC office building, 6040 28th Av. S. in Minneapolis.

Ryks, a graduate of St. Cloud State University, is currently executive director and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Before that, he was executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority from 2002 to 2012 and manager of the St. Cloud Regional Airport from 1997 to 2002.

The MAC had cut the field to four: Ryks; Patrick Lee Heck, vice president-commercial of Manchester Airports Group; Dennis Probst, the MAC's executive vice president and COO; and Tammy Lee Stanoch, vice president of corporate affairs for Carlson Cos.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752