Saturday, January 31, 2015

Norwalk-Huron County Airport (5A1) begins search for new leader

Huron County Development Council director says she is not interested in becoming next airport manager.

It's time to plan for the future.

That theme was made evident at Wednesday's special meeting of the Huron County Airport Authority where board members terminated the management contract with Douglas Aviation.

Harry Brady, airport board president, talked Thursday about a new direction for the facility and the plan for management.

Brady was asked if Carol Knapp, director of the Huron County Development Council, would become the next fixed-base operator at the airport.

"I've heard that rumor, too, and I don't think there's much substance tied to it," he said. "I haven't asked her and we really haven't put out there the criteria we're looking for in the position."

Knapp was also asked Thursday if she was interested in the job.

"I have no interest in serving as the next fixed-base operator at the Huron County Airport," she said.

"My passion is economic development and it is my desire to continue doing the job I love. As the county's economic development director, my plate is full and there is not sufficient time in my day to take on additional responsibilities of this nature," Knapp added.

Is the airport looking for a full-time manager?

"That really depends on what we expect them to do," Brady said. "The position needs to be flexible.

"Maybe some weeks it would be 15 to 20 hours, but during the weeks where there are main events at the race track, they might work five days, eight hours per day, because planes will be in and out and people will be in and out," he said.

Brady said the position also depends on how much the county commissioners are willing to contribute monetarily.

Brady said he'll ask the commissioners, himself, for funding.

"It'll happen," he said.

In the meantime, the airport board members will be filling in until a manager is hired.

"John Evans will be out there on weekends monitoring the phones for a couple hours," Brady said. "I'll make sure the runway is plowed.

"We'll try to get somebody in there as soon as possible," he added. "Maybe we'll just hire a maintenance person who is responsible for the upkeep of the airport."

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