OGDEN — Ogden-Hinckley Airport manager Jon Greiner announced his plan to retire more than six months ago, but the city is still searching for his successor.
The city publicly announced Greiner's decision in a March 23 press release, which also indicated their plan to begin a nation-wide search for a new manager. Ogden City Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said Thursday the city has been collecting applications for the position, but likely won't hire a replacement until after the new year.
Johnson said the city has so far received bout 20 applications for the position, and will probably interview about 10 applicants.
"It's taking some time because it's a pretty specialized position," Johnson said. "We don't have a firm deadline or anything like that — we just want the best candidate. My guess is we'll probably have someone in place shortly after the new year."
Greiner, who turned 67 in July, has continued to manage the airport during the city's search and Johnson said that arrangement would continue until a replacement is found. By the time the new hire comes on board, Greiner will have managed the airport for nearly five years.
The one-time Ogden Police Chief was hired to manage the airport on an interim basis in March 2014, but was moved to permanent status soon after as the city redoubled efforts to develop commercial passenger service. The city added service between Ogden and Mesa, Arizona in 2012, with flights provided twice a week by Allegiant Air.
The city said Greiner's law enforcement background (38 years as a police officer) made him uniquely qualified to implement new Transportation Security Administration requirements necessitated by the new commercial service.
The commercial service sector will likely be a key component of the new hire's job description.
In years past, Ogden has subsidized the airport to the tune of about $500,000 to $750,000 a year. City officials have said commercial service is hugely important in closing the airport’s profitability gap.
In late 2017, the city tried to expand its commercial operation with Allegiant, briefly adding flights to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. But both of those flights were shut down shortly after they began, due to low passenger numbers.
Today, the original Phoenix/Mesa flight is all that remains.
As the Allegiant flights went by the wayside, the city has redirected its focus for commercial service, shifting toward business flights, smaller aircraft and shorter regional flights that service the Intermountain West, identifying companies like SkyWest and Southwest airlines as potential targets for such service.