New leader

The Del Norte County Regional Airport has big plans in the coming years under the leadership of new Director Ryan Cooley.

Ryan Cooley was appointed director of the Del Norte County Regional Airport at Jack McNamara Field.

Cooley will start the position Nov. 22, and is moving to the area from Klamath Falls, where he most recently worked as a certified airport operations specialist for the city of Klamath Falls at the Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport.

Cooley could not be reached for comment, but according to the application he submitted for the position he is “interested in assisting Del Norte County with land use decisions around the county's airports in order to ensure compatibility between aviation and land development.” Cooley was appointed by the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority Board of Commissioners in a unanimous vote on Nov. 4 and was also appointed to the Del Norte County Airport Land Use Çommission.

During the same meeting, commissioners voted to not apply for grants in 2022 - opting instead to allow “the new airport director to settle into the position more confidently with funding already secured for several projects,” according to staff reports.

The commission also received documentation about recent and ongoing projects, which will be forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration - an entity that requires reports about projects at least two times a year.

The 2022-2028 fiscal year Jack McNamara Field Airport Capital Improvement Plan includes the recently completed terminal and access road, as well as an $8 million runway rehabilitation project that’s currently in the design stage and is slated to begin construction in 2023.

There was no discussion from the public or commission about the items on agenda, and the meeting lasted about 15 minutes.

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