KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A month after launching the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport, the city’s aviation director has announced his retirement.

Kansas City Aviation Director Pat Klein said he plans to retire at the end of May after over 25 years of service with the city.

During his time as director, he has overseen all management, development, operation and maintenance of both KCI Airport and the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

KC Aviation Director Pat Klein (photo via City of Kansas City)

Klein was appointed to the role in 2016 under former Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte. He was previously an assistant city manager, serving as a liaison to the aviation department.

“Since he came to City Hall over 25 years ago, Pat Klein has been an example of Kansas City employees at their very best: hardworking; humble; diligent; and successful,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement.

The mayor added that Klein drove KCI terminal talks from a debate to a conversation on how to deliver a world-class facility.

In his retirement announcement, Klein said his most cherished accomplishments include the opening of KCI’s new terminal and a record number of operations at the downtown airport.

“The last seven years as Aviation Director have been the most challenging and rewarding of my career,” Klein said. “While I will enjoy some time off, I will look forward to the next chapter in my life, the passion projects and challenges that await.”

City Manager Brian Platt said the city plans to hold a national search to fill Klein’s position.