Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Federal Aviation Administration says Yellowstone Regional Airport (KCOD) must add staff

Federal officials are demanding the airport hire an additional operations employee.

Yellowstone Regional Airport Manager Bob Hooper informed the airport board of the unanticipated budget item at their monthly meeting Wednesday. It could boost the budget by $40,000.

After the last annual Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspection two weeks ago, the inspector informed Hooper the airport was not in compliance with federal regulations.

According to Hooper, the inspector said the airport needs one more fulltime aircraft rescue, fire and combined operations employee.

Hooper said the inspector agreed to delay “writing up” the airport if the issue is quickly addressed.

The board voted to forward the additional budget request to the city and county which, along with the FAA, fund the airport.

Hooper said the additional position would cost the airport $40,000 in salary and benefits. He recommended the airport promote and train someone from the YRA maintenance staff and then replace that person.

In other airport matters:

•Enplanement figures for March increased 10 percent from last year, 2,035 passengers from 1,849.

•Hooper reported Thrifty Dollar car rental started operations at the airport Tuesday and Norma’s Mexican Restaurant opened April 1.

•And the board approved a request by the Shoshone Forest to post a 3x5-foot poster commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Wilderness Act.