The Greene County Regional Airport Authority has hired Dave Kushner to manage the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.
Kushner, an independent contractor with a five-year contract, will be paid an annual salary of $72,800. He will oversee the airport’s daily operations and its estimated $932,000 annual budget.
“After reviewing numerous resumes and interviewing potential candidates, Dave came out as the unanimous choice,” said Mike Gardner, airport authority president. “His previous work experience coupled with his positive attitude made our selection easy.”
Kushner will report to the Greene County Regional Airport Authority — a seven-member board appointed by the Greene County Board of Commissioners.
Kushner, 55, is a self-described aviation enthusiast. He performed his first solo flight in 1991 and has accumulated almost 1,000 piloting hours.
“Aviation, enthusiasm, along with a business background, it was a perfect fit for me,” he said.
Kushner will oversee a $1 million runway rehabilitation this year. The airport is taking bids for the project, which is expected to take four-to-six weeks.
“The entire runway has tremendous amounts of cracking and fractures in it,” he said. “Runways typically last about 10 years and we are on year number nine.”
The 4,500-foot runway will be closed during the repaving, but ground operations will continue on a limited basis.
Kushner said he is exploring options for extending the airport’s runway another 500 feet, which could cost around $750,000, according to early estimates.
“We’re waiting for the bids to come in for the runway paving project and we’ll get a more accurate cost of what asphalt is going for right now,” he said.
In addition to runway improvements, Kushner is looking at options for adding up to three corporate hangars.
“We’re trying to attract larger corporate aircraft into the airport for economic stimulus,” he said. “The longer runway will help encourage that. … Nobody wants to park their $10 million jet out on the apron, so we need both. We need the runway extension and the hangars to house them when they come here.”