Airport selects No. 2 | SteamboatToday.com

Airport selects No. 2

Dean Smith takes assistant manager position at YVRA

Melinda Dudley

Steamboat Springs — Dean Smith, former maintenance superintendent at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, is the airport's new assistant manager. — Dean Smith, former maintenance superintendent at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, is the airport's new assistant manager.

— Dean Smith, former maintenance superintendent at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, is the airport’s new assistant manager.

Smith will be responsible for terminal operations and customer service, and will assist Airport Manager Dave Ruppel with the facility’s day-to-day operations and ongoing construction.

Ruppel received more than 60 resumes for the position of assistant airport manager, but the three finalists he initially selected all turned down the position.

Two of the candidates received offers of pay raises at their current positions and opted to stay put, and the third balked at the cost of buying a home in Hayden.

It was instrumental to get Smith into the position before the busy winter season starts and snow removal significantly increases maintenance needs, Ruppel said.

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Smith served 30 years of active duty in the U.S. Army, where he served as a pilot and managed military airfields. He also has served as a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, and he flies vintage World War II planes whenever he returns to his home state of Florida.

Although Smith has been a full-time Yampa Valley resident since coming to the airport two years ago, he has visited his condominium in Steamboat Springs for decades.

Smith emphasized that while his new position does come with new responsibilities, including dealing with the airlines and airport vendors, it is really just more of a title change to him since the crew works together closely as a team.

“It’s just a little delegation change,” said Todd DuBois, the former airside supervisor, who will take over Smith’s former position of maintenance superintendent. DuBois, a Hayden resident, has worked at the airport for six years.

One of the things Smith said he enjoys most about working at the airport is the support the facility has from the local taxpayers, which is key to fulfilling the airport’s equipment and staffing needs. Smith was proud to report that last winter was the first year in airport history when the runway never had to be closed, which can occur during adverse weather such as heavy snowfall.

“The county has been very good to us,” Smith said.

– To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com