N.C. airport managers earn inaugural leadership and management credential

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Twenty managers from North Carolina public-use airports are the first to receive inaugural North Carolina Airport Professional (NCAP) credentials awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Aviation.

The program recognizes airport professionals who complete required courses in the Division’s Airport Leadership and Management Program (ALMP).

“North Carolina’s 72 public airports are big business for our state, collectively generating more than $61 billion in annual economic impact,” said Bobby Walston, director of the NCDOT Division of Aviation. “By earning this credential, these 20 people have demonstrated they know what it takes to develop and operate these high-impact airport facilities effectively, meet the highest standards of safety, serve their local communities and support a strong statewide air transportation system.”

Airport managers praised the program for providing valuable knowledge and information they can apply directly at their airports.

“I came into my position with little experience and few skills to run an airport aside from a passion for the airport and a huge desire to try to make it better,” said Stanly County Airport Manager Ken Swaringen, one of the 20 NCAP credential recipients. “The ALMP has introduced me to avenues to address the business of running our airport in the correct ways through expertise from subject matter experts, a huge library of reference materials and just good old-fashioned networking peer to peer.”

Bob Heuts, airport director at Raleigh Executive Jetport in Sanford, agreed. “Every class offered opportunities to come back to the airport and tweak or add guidelines, safety and other improvements.”

Wilmington International Airport Facilities Director Granseur Dick said the program “helped me understand the work and needs of coworkers and colleagues so that we can work together more efficiently, which benefits the airport by building a more cohesive staff and improving safety and efficiency.”

ALMP launched in 2018 as a 12-course signature program of the Division’s N.C. Airport Technical Assistance Program (NC AirTAP), which is managed by North Carolina State University. NC AirTAP provides technical assistance and professional development programs to support effective management and operation at the state’s public use airports.

The 20 NCAP credential holders are:

  • Rick Barkes, Kinston Regional Jetport at Stallings Field
    Barry Blevins, Harnett Regional Jetport
    Peter Cevallos, Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport
    Dan Danieley, Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport
    David Daniels, Dare County Regional Airport
    Granseur Dick, Wilmington International AirportJohn Ferguson, Statesville Regional Airport
    Heidi H. Fisher, Burlington-Alamance Airport
    George Futrelle, Duplin County Airport
    Robert Heuts, Raleigh Executive Jetport
    Sandra Janssen, Albert J. Ellis Airport
    Gage King, Henderson Field
    Phil Lanier, Johnston Regional Airport
    Josh Raynor, Duplin County Airport
    Jack Robertson, Davidson County Airport
    Mitch Sprunger, Albert J. Ellis Airport
    Ken E. Swaringen, Stanly County Airport
    Karel Van Der Linden, Davidson County Airport
    Chris White, Albert J. Ellis Airport
    Dion Viventi, Rocky Mount-Wilson Airport