Down East Seniors host airport manager

Published 2:22 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

The Down East Seniors Club held its Nov. 8 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Stewart Rumley led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” and Charles Smith gave the invocation. Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history, and Dick Paul provided humor.

Bill Cates announced the club has been assigned Dec. 4 as the day to ring the Salvation Army bell at Walmart. He asked for volunteers to serve that day.

Rumley introduced Earl Malpass, manager of Washington-Warren Field Airport. Malpass has been in this position for three weeks. He has extensive experience in the aviation industry, most recently in Alaska where he and his wife lived for 16 years. His primary goal at the airport is to make the operation self-supporting so the city could reduce its financial support. The price the airport charges for avgas is considerably lower than at the airports in Greenville and New Bern. He has changed customer fueling from self-serve to full-service along with other customer-friendly actions. He is using social media and general aviation media to promote the airport as a good place to refuel, especially on flights from New York and New England to Florida, since this is about halfway. In addition, he is recommending travelers take time to visit local restaurants and stay here overnight. The airport has 23 T-hangars, 18 of which are rented. He is seeking to have the remaining ones rented also.

Gene Schwartz won the 50/50 drawing.