Kim Day this week announced her retirement as chief executive officer for Denver International Airport (DEN), effective July 16, 2021.

Day has served as CEO of the airport since 2008 and under her leadership annual traffic at DEN has grown from 51.2 million to a pre-pandemic high of 69 million.

“Experiencing breast cancer made me think about reducing stress and retiring last year, but then COVID-19 hit,” Day said in a release announcing her upcoming retirement. “I felt the responsibility to lead the airport through the pandemic and leave it in a strong and financially healthy place with major capital projects on target to meet their budget and schedule goals.”

During Day’s tenure as CEO, she led the organization through the largest capital improvement program in airport history, and successfully managed through the Great Recession and the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Kim Day’s impact on Denver International Airport, and subsequently on our regional economy, is indelible,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “She is the epitome of selfless leadership, grit and perseverance, an exceptional leader who sets the highest standards for herself and her team, and delivers impactful results with precision, and expert attention to detail. Kim’s dedication to our shared vision of creating a world-class airport is a crowning achievement of her professional career and a lasting legacy for my administration.”

Hancock will initiate a search for Day’s replacement immediately and additional details will be shared in the coming weeks, the airport said.