Sara Freese, director of the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, resigned Friday for personal reasons, according to a statement from Interim City Manager Terry Childers.
Deputy Airport Director Tyler Hurst will serve as acting director until a new director is hired, Childers said.
The city staff declined to elaborate on the reason behind Freese’s resignation or if any other airport employees had also resigned.
Amarillo City Council members said they were shocked by the news, and said they don’t know why Freese resigned.
“Didn’t we just finish praising her about all of her good work?” Councilman Randy Burkett asked.
Freese, who has been with the airport since January 2014, was recognized as one of the best and brightest among aviation’s up-and-comers by Airport Business magazine. She was responsible for the overall operation of the airport, which included acting as the landlord to several tenants, and activities including commercial air service, rental car companies, aircraft fueling and maintenance operations. She is also responsible for long-range planning, air service development and budgeting.
Freese has more than 15 years experience in the airport industry and has worked in all facets of aviation including airlines, fixed-based operators, private airports and firefighting, according to Amarillo Globe-News archives.
“We wish her well going forward and appreciate her contributions to our organization,” Childers said.