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Tupelo airport to hire operations director

By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Regional Airport is looking to hire a director of operations, a position that has gone unfilled for about three years.

On Tuesday, the Tupelo Airport Authority went into executive session to discuss a letter of investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration.

While the contents of the letter were not revealed, airport executive director Cliff Nash said the letter outlined some concerns and deficiencies found after a recent annual FAA inspection.

Nash made clear that the safety at the airport is not in question.

Rather, the FAA has concerns about the distribution of work and some of the responsibilities of personnel at the airport.

“The board approved a request to have a director of operations,” Nash said. “This isn’t a position we’re creating, however. We just haven’t had that position filled the past few years.”

There is room in the budget to hire an operations director, thanks to expense control and increased revenue from other airport operations, Nash said.

The addition of an operations director would help with the administrative functions at the airport, including maintenance, training, communication, airfield management and procedural duties.

The administrative staff at the airport was reduced from three to two people in 2015.

Nash said that an operations director would pick up some of the duties he and his administrative assistant have assumed, as the FAA was concerned about the additional workload they’ve had to pick up.

The airport board hopes to fill the position by spring.

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