Sunday, June 01, 2014

Airport Director David Reid has that new title but is an old hand at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International (KAZO), Kalamazoo, Michigan

KALAMAZOO, MI -- David Reid is relatively new to the role of director at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, having been tapped for the permanent position in February, but the 45-year-old from Portage is no stranger to the place.

Reid's father was a 30-year Upjohn Co. employee who was a pilot and began regularly bringing David to the airport when he was about 8 years old. Reid said he grew to share his father's love for aviation and the air field.

Although he said he didn't know what path he was going to take in aeronautics and airport work, he said he always knew, "I want to be here. This is my home, my airport. This community means a lot to me."

"I've done about everything," he said of work at the airport.

Since the mid-1990s, he has sold airline tickets at the ticker counter for Comair (a Delta affiliate), and worked with the grounds crew, who mow the grass, de-ice planes, help land airplanes and handle other chores.

"I threw bags (handled luggage), sold tickers," he said. "I was a ramp agent and a ticket agent for the airlines."

He attended Western Michigan University and graduated in 1991 with a bachelor's degree from its School of Aviation Management. He worked as airfield operations manager at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek before joining the Kalamazoo airport's Airfield Operations Department in 1994.

He was named assistant director of operations and maintenance in the fall of 2009 and was working as airfield operations supervisor and assistant director of operations and maintenance last fall when he was named interim airport director to fill the post left open by the Sept. 25 resignation of Cliff Moshoginis.

Moshoginis left the post after an airport employee filed a harassment complaint against him and the aeronautics board worked to resolve the matter. Reid was hired to be permanent airport director in February.

"Experience (and) familiarity with our particular airport as well as airport operations in general" were the combination of things that helped Reid land the top job over about 30 candidates who applied from across the nation, said Gil Collver, chairman of the Kalamazoo County Aeronautics Board.

"Obviously, the board has had a lot of contact with David over the years – (him) giving his reports and watching the operations side of the house," Collver said.

He said Reid's personal traits and skills were other plusses. He said the board was obligated to conduct a widescale search but knew it had a viable candidate in-house.

Reid and his wife, Sue, live in Portage with their children.

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