New city airport chief hails from metro area

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— Matthew A. Grow has been named the new airport manager at Steamboat Springs Airport.

Grow comes to Steamboat from the second busiest general aviation airport in the country, Centennial Airport in Englewood. He is assistant manager of operations at Centennial, which is operated by the Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority.

Grow replaces Brian Feeney, who resigned in March to take a private-sector job in the Chicago area.

"We're very excited to have Matt Grow as the new airport manager," Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said. "He is highly qualified and has years of experience in airport management. He has a good working relationship with the FAA, the Colorado Aeronautical Board and other aviation agencies and businesses. Grow's caliber of expertise made him the unanimous choice of the (interview) committee."

Grow, who has a bachelor of science degree in aviation management and a minor in human resource development, has served in various positions at Centennial since 1994.

He began his tenure as an intern and made the transition to a full-time operations specialist. Much of his experience in working with the FAA, Grow said, was accumulated while working as a development technician.

Grow said he was pleased to be able to advance his career without leaving Colorado.

"It was a great opportunity that came at the right time," Grow said. "It was a chance for me to move up. It's certainly going to be a challenge. I'm very excited."

Grow said the 120 weekly aircraft operations that Steamboat Airport logs in a week are realized by Centennial in a typical hour. But he sees a lot of opportunity here.

"There's a lot of potential for the Steamboat airport," Grow said. "It has a great tenant base and the airport is a fantastic asset for the city."

Grow is proud of the fact that Centennial won industry awards for its snow-removal operations, but the south Denver area airport had just more than 60 inches of snow last winter, and he knows that facet of his job will become more critical in Steamboat.

Grow's first day on the job will be July 10, the same day the airport closes for about three weeks while construction crews complete a $1 million-plus runway overlay and runway grooving project.

Not all airport managers fly themselves, but Grow is an enthusiastic pilot with a commercial license for single and multi-engine aircraft. He is instrument rated. He also has a private pilot's certificate for hot air balloons.

Grow was selected from a group of five finalists after a nationwide search.

To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail tomross@amigo.net

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