Pub. 2 2019-2020 Issue 3

24 When did you become the Airport Manager? I was hired by Cedar City Corporation on Feb. 4, 2019, to fill the airport manager position at the Cedar City Regional Airport shortly after Jeremy Valgardson left and went to Texas. I have a bachelor’s degree in Aviation and hold the ACE Operations accreditation and the CM accreditation from the American Association of Airport Executives. I previously worked as Airport Operations and Aircraft Rescue Firefighter at the St. George Regional Airport. Whatareyourgoals for theairport? Steve Farmerwas the airportmanagerwhen I entered into theaviationcommunity several years ago.While I attended flight school and worked as a flight instructor here at Cedar City, I saw Steve’s dedication to this airport. After Steve spent several years here, Russ Volk took office as the airport manager and led the airport for approximately four years. Russ was offered an opportunity to run an airport in Texas and decided that it was time to move on; when Russ left, Jeremy Valgardson ran the airport, but after four more years, he was also hired away to go to Texas. Following Jeremy’s tenure, I was hired to run the Cedar City Regional Airport by Mayor Maile Wilson Edwards and the City Manager, Paul Bittmenn. I am currently in my second year here at Cedar City. During my time here, I have learned that over the last 20 years, the previous airport managers faced their own challenges as they worked to improve what they had been given. They made crucial decisions that have helped the airport grow and become what it is today. It’s my goal to take the building blocks that they put in place and continue to build on them. I think thatweare sitting inagreat placehere inCedarCityandthisgreatstateofUtah.Ican’t help but look around at neighboring states andseethereasonwhyallmyneighborshave decided to leave California, Oregon and Nevada, andmake Cedar City their home. For the airport to succeed, we have to focus on bringing in higher-paying jobs and family friendly culture to our com- munity. That’s why I am a member of the Economic Development Committee. My work on the committee allows me to build relationships with local business owners, elected officials and other aux- iliaries. We all want to attract businesses and working groups that will benefit the airport and bring new ideas to the area. I have focused on cleaning up areas that have great potential for building oppor- tunities on and around the airport. It’s important to me to be able to create an atmosphere at the airport that we can be proud of. Cedar City has a lot to offer that has been overlooked in the past. The Cedar City Airport is listed with the State Aeronautics as a Cargo Airport here in Utah, as well as a commercial airport. We currently have FedEx and UPS that fly air- craft here daily. The geographic location of the city is excellent.We have assets such as: • The Union Pacific Railroad rail spur that passes just outside the fence of the airport • A major Interstate I-15 that is within a day’s trucking to over a dozenmajor cities and markets in multiple states • A runway long enough to handle large jets It’s easy to see that we are just scratching the surface of what our potential is. COVID- 19may slow things down a little bit, but I am optimistic and think that over thenext 10-15 years, we are going to see some significant changes here in Southern Utah. I have been working closelywith Iron CountyTourism to create some marketing strategies. We are working to bring awareness to our national parks and to the fact that the Cedar City Airport has commercial service and is the closest airport that canprovide access to the majority of Utah’s national and state parks. As with many of the business owners and managers in the world today who strug- gle to survive and keep things moving forward, I would say that the pandemic has been one of the biggest challenges that the aviation industry has faced in many years. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are taking a more conservative approach and will hold off on any plans to expand the terminal hold room. I recognize that this project must take place at some point, but we will wait until the timing is right. We have been focusing on taking care of the biggest andmost expensive asset that the airport has, which is our paved asphalt. Jeremy completed the rehabilitation of Taxiway C and sections of Taxiway A and completed a hard stand for the commer- cial airplanes to use while on the com- mercial ramp. He also started the design phase of the new runway. During my first year and a half here in Cedar City: • We have been able to carry on the plan to reconstruct the main runway, recon- struct portions of the crosswind runway, and complete crack sealing on themajor- ity of our ramps and taxiways. • We have applied for a grant that will allow us to reconstruct some of the oldest pave- ment on the airport that includes Taxiway way A and A1 intersections, and seal-coat the helipad. • The same grant will also help us pay for the Airport Rotating Beacon that was relocated in early 2019. • We have also been working on making improvements to our commercial parking. We have added sidewalks and more parking lot lights. • We have upgraded our camera system inside and outside of the terminal. Q&A WITH CEDAR CITY AIRPORT MANAGER NICK HOLT