Originally created 06/09/01

Kraemer gets nod for airport job



Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field could have a new boss by next week.

After a closed session, an Augusta Aviation Commission search committee voted unanimously Friday to recommend Ken Kraemer, who is currently the manager of Dubuque Regional Airport in Iowa, for the Augusta job.

The search committee will make its recommendation to the entire commission Thursday.

Mr. Kraemer will be offered a two-year contract, effective Aug. 1, with a salary of $115,000 per year, said Bernie Silverstein, the chairman of the search committee.

Mr. Kraemer beat out three other finalists for the position, including Augusta Regional Airport's interim director, Tim Weegar. Mr. Weegar withdrew his application May 21, stating that he wished to remain at the airport as an assistant director.

The deciding factor in Mr. Kraemer's favor was his experience in several areas of airport management, some search committee members said.

"He has successful experience in operations, new air service development, and especially raising funds from several directions for capital-improvement projects," Mr. Silverstein said.

Mr. Kraemer was unavailable for comment Friday, an employee at Dubuque Regional Airport said. A message left at his home was not returned.

He has been manager of Dubuque Regional Airport for seven years. Dubuque Regional once had the highest ticket prices in the region, but now has the lowest airfares in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The airport, which serves about 60,000 passengers a year, also beats prices of most airports in the Midwest, including Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Mr. Kraemer worked as airport business manager and assistant airport operations manager at the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

The directorship of Augusta Regional Airport has been vacant since April 2000, when the aviation commission fired former Director Al McDill.

Reach Brandon Haddock at (706) 823-3409 or bhaddock@augustachronicle.com.