February 3, 2014

DFW Airport board chairman Robert Hsueh dies

Robert Hsueh, 63, a Dallas lawyer and chairman of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board, died Sunday after a long illness.

Robert Hsueh, the chairman of the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board who pushed airport executives to attract more Asian carriers and nonstop flights to China, died Sunday after a long illness.

Mr. Hsueh, 63, served as chairman of the airport board for two years. He had been a Dallas appointee to the board since 2005 and served on several committees.

“Robert Hsueh has been our pioneer and our navigator as we seek to connect this community to cities across the globe,” airport CEO Sean Donohue said in a statement.

While Mr. Hsueh was chairman, DFW added international service to Dubai, Lima and new cities in Mexico. The airport also added cargo carriers to Asia and in June, American Airlines will launch nonstop service to Shanghai and Hong Kong, the first flights from DFW to China.

Often during board meetings, Mr. Hsueh would tell airport executives about his customer service experiences at other airports, particularly those in Asia, and make suggestions on how DFW could improve its own customer service. In August, Mr. Hsueh told the board that he had been at the renovated terminal at Dallas Love Field and noticed that the restrooms were more convenient than those at DFW.

“I was the unpaid mystery shopper,” Mr. Hsueh joked as other board members teased him about visiting a rival airport. “I’m just doing my job.”

Mr. Hsueh arrived in North Texas in the mid-1970s after receiving a bachelor of law degree from Soochow University School of Law in Taipei, Taiwan. He earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University and practiced international and immigration law in the Dallas area since 1979. He was also the co-founder of the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

“Like many Texans, he was not born here, but since his arrival, he contributed immeasurably to the economic vitality of the North Texas community, most particularly in strengthening the relationship between Texas and Asia,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who served on the airport board with Mr. Hsueh.

The DFW Airport flag will fly at half-staff this week to honor Mr. Hsueh.

Arrangements for a memorial service were incomplete Monday night.

Survivors include his wife, Claire Hsueh.

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