Future of airport manager position uncertain

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Mel Baker, a 14-year veteran of the Steamboat Springs Airport, is taking over the reins of the city airport as city officials decide what to do with the airport manager position.

City Transportation Director George Krawzoff said the city and the Yampa Valley Airport Commission are exploring several options for the manager position at the general aviation airport.

"It is an internal decision on how we want to go into the future," Krawzoff said.

One possibility is privatizing the fixed based operations, which oversees the selling of fuel and parking of the pilots, and having an operation manager for the city maintenance of the airport, Krawzoff said.

Krawzoff also said the Yampa Valley Airport Commission has discussed consolidating positions between Steamboat Springs Airport and Yampa Valley Regional Airport. That consolidation of operations could eliminate the need for an airport manager strictly at the city's airport, but Krawzoff said that would be long term.

"At this point, we need someone operating the airport on site," Krawzoff said. "Even future consolidation is not happening immediately. We need a year or two to work through that."

Krawzoff said the city is waiting to advertise the position until it has a better understanding of what the airport manager's job description will be. Last week the city met with a frequent pilot at the airport, a member of the airport commission and the county to discuss the vacant manager position.

At the beginning of the month, Airport Manager Matt Grow left the city for an airport director position at a general aviation airport in Ocala, Fla. Baker, who was a maintenance worker at the airport, is filling that position in the interim.

Baker also was the interim manager before Grow arrived at the airport four years ago. Baker is working to obtain an airport manager certificate through the organization Airport Executives of America.

"(Airport operations) will continue to be at the same high quality. We really haven't lost anything as to services to the public," Krawzoff said.

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