The city of Statesville has named John Ferguson, an aviation administrator with more than three decades of experience in airport management to be manager of the Statesville Regional Airport.
Ferguson, 56, took over the airport operations on May 26, marking the first time the city has consolidated the duties involved in running the airport into one position.
“There’s no doubt that the airport has grown rapidly in the last few years, to a point that the city needed a full-time manager to oversee the airport operations and development,” Ferguson said. He will work with Planning Director David Currier for about six months to become familiar with the city’s airport operations.
Ferguson’s goal is to position the airport as a top contender for industries in the Iredell County region that need an aviation presence. “There is significant potential for development at the airport,” said Ferguson. “The airport facilities and infrastructure are in good shape, and we’re positioned to grow because of our economic climate and location.”
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He noted the city is in the process of updating its airport development plan. “The new plan will identify new areas of development for growth of the airport, and I’m excited to be a part of this growth,” he said. In conjunction with the development plan, Statesville has also begun a marketing study to identify ways to market the airport to potential corporate aviation customers.
Previously, the responsibility of overseeing the airport was handled by the Planning Department, sharing time with their other duties. The City Council voted to change that arrangement last year.
Previously, Ferguson was the deputy director at the Florence Regional Airport in Florence, S.C. He has also managed airports in Clarksville, Tenn., Anderson, S.C., Lawrenceville, Ga. and Greenville, S.C. A native of Alabama, Ferguson is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in aviation management. His past experience includes business management, airport planning, FBO management, operations management, financial management and customer service.
Ferguson is optimistic about his new post. “The majority of my career has been in the management of general aviation airports,” he said. “At Anderson and Clarksville I was able to turn losing operations into a positive impact for the local governments.”
Statesville’s general aviation airport occupies 412 acres of city-owned land on U.S. 70, west of downtown. The airport has corporate and private tenants located on the field, including aircraft operated by some of NASCAR’s racing teams.
The hiring of an airport manager also had the unanimous support of the city’s airport commission, a six-member group that meets monthly to review airport operational policy issues. Ferguson will make a salary of $72,000 per year.
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Dave? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.