Monday, November 09, 2020

Hickory Regional Airport (KHKY) Manager Terry Clark: He may work with planes, but he also loves trains

 Hickory Regional Airport Manager Terry Clark has been manager almost 34 years.

Walk into Hickory Regional Airport Manager Terry Clark's office and you'll see a large picture of a steam engine train.

“One thing people may be surprised to know about me is that I love trains,” Clark said.

Clark said it seems to interest people and makes them wonder why the airport manager has pictures of trains at his office at the airport.

“My grandson Beckett also likes trains and planes,” he said. “I joke that the other grandparents can’t compete with me because I have a lot of big toys — planes and trains.”

Clark, 58,  has worked at the Hickory Regional Airport since 1983. “I oversee the airport to make sure it is maintained to the highest standard for the FAA and the City of Hickory,” Clark said.

He said 11 full-time and three part-time employees work at the airport. “We fuel and move aircraft in and out of hangars, maintain all runways and taxiways for safety to the aviation users,” he said.

When Clark isn’t working at the airport, he is working on his family farm in Hudson. “In some ways, my hobbies are related to managing the airport,” he said. “I enjoy working and maintaining my family farm. Both require maintaining a lot of acreage. The farm brings me enjoyment and relaxation."

Clark was presented with a Patriot Award recently. The award was given to him in recognition of his support for Christopher Garnes, who serves in the National Guard and works as an airport line technician in Hickory.

“I was very surprised and humbled to receive this award,” he said. “It meant so much to me that Christopher Garnes had nominated me for this Patriot Award. I want to sincerely express how thankful we are for all the men and women who serve and protect our great country in the armed forces."

How would you like to be remembered?

I would like to be remembered as someone who tried very hard to do a good job in whatever task that was put before him. To fight the good fight and never give up.

What motivates you?

I am a very competitive person and I also enjoy overcoming challenges — when it looks like it can’t be done, I don’t give up.

What is something you would change about your life?

I would not change one thing. God has blessed me very much and I am very thankful. Over the many years here at the airport, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people at the City of Hickory.

When are you happiest?

Spending time with my family and also spending time with my work family, as well.