OGDEN — The Ogden City Council approved a salary range increase Tuesday night for the city's airport manager position, paving the way for a new hire to start later this month.
The council's action raised the airport manager salary range up to $84,024 to $114,817. The salary range listed for the position had been at $70,687 to $96,591, typical in the city for starting division managers.
But after failing to attract a qualified candidate, the city administration proposed an increase in the position's pay scale. The pay increase was recommended by ADK Consulting, Inc., a firm hired by the city that specializes in recruiting airport administrators.
Pay scales for managers at similar sized airports vary, according to council documents. The manager salary range at the St. George Airport, for example, is $71,731 to $107,597. In Provo it’s $67,236 to $92,664. In Idaho Falls, the salary ranges from $98,000 to $147,000.
The city announced last week their intent to hire Bryant Garrett, a Utah native with more than 30 years of aviation experience who last worked at a municipal airport in Redding, California.
Garrett replaces outgoing airport manager Jon Greiner, who announced his retirement plan more than eight months ago.
Though Garrett and the city agreed in principle on a deal late last year, it was contingent on the council approval of the salary increase. Garrett is slated to begin his new position with Ogden on Jan. 28.
"It's taken eight months to get a qualified candidate to answer this job offer," said council chair Richard Hyer. "And mostly because of the salary range that was being offered to begin with."
The Ogden-Hinckley Airport, an alternate landing spot for the Salt Lake International Airport, has been heavily subsidized by the city for more than a decade. City officials have said commercial air service is a major component of easing the subsidy and has been focused on bringing in business flights, smaller aircraft and shorter regional flights that service the Intermountain West.
Companies like SkyWest and Southwest airlines have been named as potential targets for such service.
The airport currently operates commercial service between Ogden and Mesa, Arizona, with flights provided twice a week by Allegiant Air.
Other Allegiant flights, to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, were cut in 2017 due to low passenger numbers.