Monday, June 17, 2013

Ken Day, Boca Raton Airport (KBCT) manager, dies at 56

Ken Day

Ken Day was the manager of Boca Raton Airport. He died Sunday. (June 17, 2013) 

By Anne Geggis, Sun Sentinel
7:51 p.m. EDT, June 17, 2013

Boca Raton Airport's longtime manager died Sunday, not long after the air control tower had gotten through the threat of being closed due to federal cuts.

Ken Day, 56, who had led the airport operations in Boca for 13 years, died at Boca Raton Regional Hospital of an undisclosed illness.

Frank Feiler, chairman of the Boca Raton Airport Authority lauded his service.

"Ken was a remarkable individual who knew his role and performed at the highest level any executive could deliver in running such a large and complex operation," Feiler said in a written statement.

In March, Boca Raton Airport had been on the list of 147 airport towers that would have closed April 7 if sequestration cuts to the federal budget had been put into effect. But some last-minute legislation had allowed federal money to continue flowing — at least for now.

What will happen to the federal money after this fiscal year ends is still uncertain. About $650,000 per year comes from the federal government to pay seven air traffic controllers.

Boca's airport authority had filed suit with the Federal Aviation Administration to stop the cuts. But that litigation has been put on hold.

In the wake of those cuts, however, Mr. Day's salary became an issue for one member of the Boca Raton Airport Authority. Board member David Freudenberg resigned his position last month, questioning whether Mr. Day should be receiving a $218,000 per year salary for leading an airport with 50,000 operations a year, more than most managers of airports that size.

Mr. Day had come to Boca Raton from the Midland International Airport in Texas.

A celebration of his life will be held at 4 p.m., Wednesday at Signature Flight Support, 3300 Airport Road in Boca. The public is welcome.

The Ken Day Scholarship Fund is being established to help an aviation student in need. Make donations to the Airport Authority at 3701 FAU Boulevard, Suite 205, Boca Raton, 33431.