Airport Authority names new president

New signs reading "Arizona's Airport of the Year" will soon direct people to Kingman Airport north of the city on State Highway 66.

"The award from the Arizona Department of Transportation will be a lasting reminder of the efforts of the Kingman Airport Authority board and staff in the past year," Charles Obney, retiring president of the authority, said.

"Brenda Chastain, administrator for the authority, and her staff are important keys to the success."

Obney will pass the gavel and presidency to Bob Feagins at the July 11 airport authority meeting.

Obney said the award was based on accomplishments of staff during the past year, such as .

$880,000 in lighting improvement.

Most of the cost was paid by federal grants.

Some of the lighting replaced had been in service since World War II, when Kingman Airfield was the largest military training site in the country.

Airport manager Bob Najaka, the staff and the airport authority met the challenges of added security following the Sept.

11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Changes had to be made quickly so the air and auto show could go on.

Access to some areas of the airport became more limited.

Security personnel were added.

Gary Adams, director of aeronautics for the ADOT, cited the resurrection of the Kingman Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 765, success of the Wicker's Airport Restaurant, the Straube Paint Shop and a 50 percent increase in stored aircraft as accomplishments.

Sheble Aviation moved an international pilot training operation to Kingman, which is expected to provide instruction for up to 2,000 pilots and cause a significant traffic increase.

Najaka served as president of the Arizona Airports Association for the past year.

Mike Schoeff was chairman of the airport committee for the Kingman Airport Authority.

The Kingman Industrial Park Committee and Kingman's economic developer, Tom Carter, reported six land sales totaling $520,000 and won recognition from Governor Jane Hull with the "Spirit of Success" award.

Carter resigned in early June to take another position.

Dave French, vice president of the airport authority, is chairman of the committee searching for Carter's replacement.

August 9 is the closing date for applications.

The Kingman Airport Authority manages the airport and industrial park and is directed by a nine-member board of directors.

Three committees focus on specific functions and bring issues and recommendations to the board.

The committee chairmen are Dave French, industrial park; Scott Brackett, airfield; and John Spotts, finance.

Members of the board for the coming year are Feagins, president, French, vice-president; Spotts, treasurer; Gary Rucker, secretary; and Mike Blair, Brackett, Tom Clark, Jerry Hawkins and Martin Swanty.

Feagins has been with the airport authority for 10 years including service on the airfield and finance committees.

He has helped organize the military reunions that led to the establishment of the Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society Museum located in one of the airfield buildings.

Feagins is retired from a career in the aerospace industry and is an active pilot.

He expects to continue and expand the communication efforts that Obney successfully implemented.

Continued improvement of infrastructure at the airport with grants is in the works.

A major project expected to be begin soon is major improvement of roads in the Kingman Industrial Park.

Joint funding from the authority, the city and Mohave County is in the budget process.

The airport has two daily America West flights to and from Phoenix.

More than 70 companies employ more than 2,000 in the industrial park.

Most of the funding for the Kingman Airport Authority comes from land sales.

About 400 acres have been sold in the area between the runways and Highway 66.

About 700 unsold acres remain.

Obney said another 1200 acres could be available east of the runways and north of I-40 with Federal Aviation Administration approval.