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The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that airport authority President and CEO Thella Bowens is one of three finalists being interviewed for a job as director of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that runs Los Angeles International Airport.

Daily News columnist Rick Orlov writes that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is nearing a decision on the appointment. He says:

The three candidates are Gina Marie Lindsay from Seattle-Tacoma Airport; Thella Bowens, president of the San Diego Airport Authority; and Susan Kurland, a former associate administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

All three are said to have done well in interviews, but several have questioned the continuing presence of (former airport chief Lydia) Kennard and how much freedom they would have running LAX and the city’s other airports.

Kennard has served twice as executive director of LAWA and was credited with helping resolve lawsuits over a massive modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport. At the same time, however, she has not won any friends among the airlines, which are suing LAX over proposed rent increases.

For Villaraigosa, Kennard is seen as a valuable adviser, and the Airport Commission recently awarded her a $200,000-a-year consulting contract on matters involving LAX.

ROB DAVIS

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