Friday, September 27, 2013

Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK) prepares to hire new manager -- City plans to offer position to its preferred candidate next week

Frederick Municipal Airport will soon welcome a new manager.

Next week, the city plans to offer the job to its preferred candidate, said Richard Griffin, the city's director of economic development.

The new hire will be paid between $69,000 and $111,000 a year.

The previous manager, Kevin Daugherty, left in early August to manage the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport in his native Florida.

He had managed the Frederick airport for seven years.

“We were sorry to see him go. He did a wonderful job here in Frederick and took the airport to a new level,” Griffin said, adding that Daugherty secured grants related to the airport's control tower and runway expansion project, among other achievements.

City officials accepted 34 applications and interviewed 10 people in the search to replace him, according to Griffin.

The pool of candidates came from all over the country, he said, but a large group came from the Mid-Atlantic region. There were candidates from Frederick as well.

City officials finished conducting interviews last week and came to a unanimous decision about who would get the offer, Griffin said.

Candidates were required to hold a pilot's license and have a certificate from the American Association of Airport Executives.

The preferred applicant needed to have a strong vision and ability to implement a plan for economic expansion, Griffin said.

He or she would start about four weeks after accepting the offer.

The new manager will be thrust into the midst of a runway extension project that would allow heavier planes to take off from Frederick, but Griffin said he or she would be up to the challenge.

“All of the folks that we seriously considered have deep airport experience, and they are going to be able to jump right in,” he said.

In the meantime, Rick Johnson is the acting manager of the airport. He interviewed for the permanent position.

He said the transition after Daugherty's departure was mostly smooth.

"We hold our own here," he said.

The only real challenge, he said, has been finding information about projects just coming into fruition that began a long time ago.

Johnson noted that the new hire will have the challenge of acclimating to the job with winter on the way. He or she may have to learn quickly how to keep the airport running when bad weather hits.

"I hope he hits the ground running. He's going to need to get up to speed quick," Johnson said.

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