Originally created 05/04/01

Five vie for airport post



Augusta Regional Airport officials announced names of the five candidates who are being considered for the airport's next director - a position that has been vacant for more than a year.

One name on the list released Thursday, interim airport Director Tim Weegar, is an unexpected candidate because a subcommittee of the airport's governing board did not include him in the search last year.

The four other candidates work at airports outside of Georgia and were suggested by the aviation consulting group Kiehl Hendrickson, which the airport hired in February to lead the executive search.

Those four are:

Kenneth J. Kraemer, aviation director of the Dubuque Regional Airport in Dubuque, Iowa

Danny E. Mann, aviation director of the Natrona County International Airport in Casper, Wyo.

Bradley D. Penrod, assistant director of the Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh

Daniel T. Weber, director of the Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport in Brownsville, Texas.

Mr. Weegar has served as the interim director at Augusta Regional since the aviation commission voted out airport Director Al McDill in April 2000.

In September, the subcommittee searching for a new director had come up with three unnamed finalists but decided to start over because they said the applications they had received, including Mr. Weegar's, were inadequate.

This time Bernie Silverstein, vice chairman of the commission and now in charge of the search committee, said Mr. Weegar should be considered.

"I asked him if he would like to be a candidate," Mr. Silverstein said. "We didn't put (the names) in any priority."

The search committee will be interviewing the five candidates in Augusta on May 15 and 16.

With the airport facing a number of large projects such as recruiting new airlines and finishing a plan for future development, aviation commission Chairwoman Marcie Wilhelmi said it was important to fill the position as soon as possible.

"We're trying to bring some closure in this," she said. "We need to have a captain at the helm."

Reach Vicky Eckenrode at (706) 823-3227.