Bill DeCota was not someone you would have met in the MTS world. He didn’t know ships, but he appreciated that there could be a role for marine transportation at his facilities. He didn’t know freight rail, but he knew that rail is an essential component in intermodal transportation. He may have never set foot on a container terminal, but he understood the importance of efficient goods movement.
Bill DeCota knew airports and aviation.
On September 11th, as his colleagues at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey were re-living the tragedy of eight years before, Bill passed away at age 51.
For nearly ten years Bill DeCota headed the agency’s Aviation Department. LaGuardia, Newark, Kennedy, Teterboro, and now Stewart. He joined the Port Authority in 1982 as a financial analyst and well before his untimely death he had earned the respect of his staff and industry leaders.
Like other highly competent persons Bill could have left public service for greater financial reward in the private sector. Instead he close to work to improve the country’s busiest and highly complex passenger and freight airport system in the high-pressure, floodlit New York metro region. The region and his employer were prime beneficiaries of his talent. Anyone who didn’t fully appreciate that fact when he was alive surely will come understand it in his absence.
He had impressive intellectual capacity, lived his work 24/7, had great integrity, demanded no less of himself as he did of his staff. He was a national leader in the industry. He probably was without peer in his command of the statistical and financial minutiae. He was a man of good humor and enjoyed his own, frequent quips. And as an added gift Bill was a genuinely good guy. He was friend and colleague to people, myself included, regardless of rank. Patty Clark of his staff said of Bill: “He had as much concern for the busboy at his dinner, as he did for his long term friends. The caring and concern which were the hallmark of his life, he eschewed when directed at himself.”
It is the transportation world’s loss that he is gone. Pbea