Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Aviation commission fires Augusta Regional Airport (KAGS) director

The Augusta Aviation Commission voted unanimously to fire the executive director of Augusta Regional Airport Tuesday.

Roy Williams had been at the airport less than a year after being named to replace Gary LeTellier in January.

Aviation Commission Chairman Cedric Johnson said the reason for Williams’ termination was “to take the airport in a different direction” but refused to elaborate.

Williams was terminated without cause, meaning he will receive six months’ salary and benefits under his three-year contract, Johnson said. His annual salary was $150,000.

Johnson said he informed Williams of the decision and expected him to vacate his office Tuesday.

The board also voted to negotiate a contract with LeTellier to serve as interim director.

LeTellier, who became director of the airport in 2010, resigned in December. He has since returned to Washington state, but “might be” interested in the interim position, Johnson said.

LeTellier “did a good job and knows how to run an airport,” Johnson said.

The aviation commission scrambled to find a candidate to replace LeTellier late last year despite having a year’s notice of LeTellier’s decision to retire, according to Augusta Chronicle reports.

After a search conducted by aviation search firm ADK Consulting and Executive Search, the commission picked Williams in January over three finalists who included airport management at Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va., GAI Consultants and Dayton International Airport.

Williams had worked as a consultant for aviation projects in Liberia and Puerto Rico and at London’s Heathrow Airport and Chicago’s Midway Airport before being hired in Augusta. He had led the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, and then had a brief stint at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

In Salt Lake City, then-Mayor Rocky Anderson fired Williams as the city airport’s executive director after five months on the job. According to Salt Lake City Tribune news reports, Anderson and Williams differed on how to handle certain airport issues. Anderson criticized Williams’ decision to spend up to $500,000 on a master plan, a decision the airport director defended, according to Tribune reports.

The airport already had a master plan, and the consent of the mayor and airport board were not needed, according to The Tribune.

- Source:  http://chronicle.augusta.com

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