City of Columbia not looking for permanent airport manager

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COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager.

Former Columbia Regional Airport Operations Supervisor Mike Parks took over the position on an interim basis after Tamara Pitts resigned back in November. 

City of Columbia Community Relations Director Steven Sapp said Parks is being evaluated for the position.

"Mr. Parks brings with him a lot of experience with Columbia Regional Airport," Sapp said. "The economic development director Stacey Button, who is in charge of the airport, met with Mike and they laid out a plan, if you will, to help Mike develop some talent and enhance some of the others that he brings to the table."

The city's municipal code states that a person cannot serve in an interim position for more than six months without approval from the city manager.

"Mrs. Button and Mr. Parks will meet regularly and kind of evaluate how things are going," Sapp said.  "And at some point in time before the six month period, Mrs. Button will decide whether or not she wants us to promote Parks permanently into the airport manager position, or whether she wants to open up the position again and look elsewhere."

Sapp said the airport manager is responsible for many tasks, including overseeing day-to-day operations of all aspects of the airport and ensuring that airport terminal operations are running smoothly. 

Parks said he feels comfortable in this role.

"I worked for the airport for 15 years before this," Parks said. "So I am familiar with operations of the airport."

Parks also said he is excited for the new opportunity.

"It's great, of course I enjoy it," Parks said. "I love being at the airport and helping everybody."