Medford airport Director Bern Case said Thursday he will retire Jan. 1, 2018.

Case, who turns 70 Saturday, has overseen the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport since Jan. 1, 1994. The airport is owned by Jackson County.

The announcement of Case's pending retirement was made via email.

During Case's tenure, the regional airport developed from a spoke for two carrier hubs in San Francisco and Portland to providing service to nine destinations and five carriers. Annual commercial airline passenger records have fallen 13 times during his watch and remain on course to break the 2016 standard of 822,289 passengers this year. It ranks No. 3 among Oregon airports in commercial air travel behind Portland and Eugene.

General aviation support, firefighting, aviation maintenance and manufacturing, and cargo-shipping operations have also expanded, with additional projects on the drawing board.

Under Case's guidance, the airport opened a $35 million terminal and new control tower in 2009. More recently, a snow equipment and operations building, rental car maintenance shop and solar operations were added.

Case embarked on his aviation career in 1978, working in operations at Salt Lake City and later managing police, fire and safety operations. He took his first airport director role in 1986 in Saginaw, Michigan. Three years later, he took a similar position at Lubbock, Texas.