Susan M. Baer, transportation pioneer who closed airports on 9/11, dies at 65

Susan M. Baer, the first person to run all three major airports in the New York metropolitan area for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the first woman to be named its aviation director, died of cancer on Tuesday, reported Sam Roberts of the New York Times.

Baer was on the fourth floor of Newark Airport’s administration building on the morning of September 11, 2001, and saw the hijacked planes smash into the towers of the World Trade Center. Immediately, Baer stopped all departures from Newark, 14 minutes before the Federal Aviation Administration shut airports nationwide.

She was interviewed for Tom Murphy’s book Reclaiming the Sky: 9/11 and the Untold Story of the Men and Women Who Kept America Flying.

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