News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 6, 2014

Time to move on, says former airport leader

Dianne Frances D. Powell
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The former leader of the Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field called his position “definitely rewarding” but it was time to explore other opportunities.

Former Airport Executive Director Bill McKown resigned from his position this week after serving since May 2012.

In an interview with McKown on Thursday, he praised airport staff and the Terre Haute community. He said the airport’s board of directors was very supportive of him and that they together had a shared vision of the airport.

“With this excellent team in place, I don’t see any failures in the future,” McKown said.

But personally, “the timing’s just right to look at other areas of aviation,” he said.

“I’m a dedicated aviation professional. … It’s an opportunity … [to] see what’s out there.”

He said he will continue to pursue opportunities in aviation management and is looking into space exploration systems.

McKown noted a few successes during his tenure as executive director including the creation of a strategic management plan, a roadmap for the airport; Hoosier Aviation’s facility expansion; and partnerships formed with Indiana State University that led to the opening of the Flight Academy last fall.

But some challenges also existed, particularly when he first started. He mentioned the need to update old equipment, vehicles, the technology and professional development for the airport staff. Funding, he said, is also a challenge.

But he is certain that the future looks bright.

“Times are right for the airport,” with some projects well under way, he said.

Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.