Chad Newton, A.A.E., ACE, ASC
Chief Executive Officer, Wayne County Airport Authority
Chad Newton, A.A.E., ACE, ASC, serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA). Newton began his tenure in November 2018, after being appointed by the WCAA Board. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the independent governmental entity tasked with management and operation of Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and Willow Run Airport, Michigan’s busiest airport system and one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs.
Newton has more than 19 years of airport experience and nearly 30 years as a law enforcement professional. A leader with a drive to serve, Newton’s career path reflects his genuine desire to help others. At the age of 18, the Metro Detroit native left home and joined the United States Army. As a member of the Military Police, Newton served tours of duty in Seoul, South Korea and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. After being honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant, he joined the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy Sheriff. In 1999, Newton transitioned to the Wayne County Airport Police Department, where he advanced through the ranks becoming the Vice President of Public Safety for the Wayne County Airport Authority. In May 2018, Newton was assigned the additional responsibility of overseeing Willow Run Airport. Two months later, he was appointed the Authority’s Interim CEO.
Newton is credited with successfully managing the January 2017 protest of the United States Presidential Executive Order banning entry into the country. He effectively coordinated with multiple governmental agencies and communicated with the organizations representing an estimated 2,500 demonstrators, while ensuring the safe and timely movement of the traveling public at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Newton graduated cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and a master’s degree in Technology Studies with a Law Enforcement specialty. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Michigan State Leadership Academy and the Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff and Command. Newton is one of approximately 500 airport executives in the United States certified by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) as an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.). He is the first WCAA CEO with this distinction. The A.A.E. certification is the highest level of accreditation granted by AAAE to aviation professionals who have demonstrated their ability to handle the responsibilities of airport management.
A servant leader, Chad has shared his experience as a police officer, manager and administrator with future professionals by instructing a variety of courses at Concordia University and Henry Ford College.