The Jacksonville Airport Authority named John Guthrie as interim director of the Jacksonville Airport at a special meeting this afternoon. The airport had been looking for a new director since the beginning of the month after former director Shastin Saxer resigned to take on a new job with the State of Illinois in Springfield.
Airport Authority Chairman Tim Heady says that they were lucky to have found Guthrie for the position: “John is a pilot and has over 20 years of airport management experience. Honestly, we were really lucky to find someone with the vast knowledge and the proprietary experience that John has, so we are feeling pretty fortunate right now.”
Heady says that Guthrie will be a part of 3 major projects for the airport in the near term: “In addition to the day-to-day operation here in the winter with the snow coming imminently, it seems to be. Right out of the gate, John’s going to be involved with 3 big projects we have [upcoming]. The first one is going to be the replacement of all the lighting on the runways. The second one, which will be next year, will be the construction of a new row of hangars; and then, the third year will be the renovation of the terminal building. He has a lot of experience dealing aeronautics over at IDOT in Springfield, so he’s exactly what we needed to keep these projects on track.”
Heady says the interim tag will be on Guthrie’s position for the next 6 months. He says it’s a way for both Guthrie and the airport authority to get a good feel of how the airport will operate and see if everything fits as perfectly as it currently appears: “It’s an at-will appointment, so there is not really a contractual obligation there. We agreed to sit down at the 6-month point and kind of assess the situation from the board’s standpoint and Mr. Guthrie’s, and make a decision going forward from there. You could say this is kind of a probationary period. I don’t like to call it that. I guess we are just kind of feeling each other out for 6 months, and then if it’s a good match, then we will proceed accordingly.”
Guthrie was the previous manager of Pittsfield’s Penstone Municipal Airport.