Sedona, AZ: The Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority, the non-profit organization that operates Sedona Airport, has announced the hiring of Rod Propst, A.A.E. as the airport’s general manager. Mr Propst started his position on January 3rd. Bill Kerwin, president of the airport’s board of directors said Propst was hired because of his extensive background and experience in aviation and community relations, especially his 16 year tenure as the airport manager for Fullerton Airport. Fullerton Airport is owned by the city of Fullerton and is located in Orange County in Southern California.
Mr. Propst and his wife Pamela look forward to becoming part of the Sedona community. “We lived in a small town in Oregon some years ago and will enjoy coming back to a town where everyone knows each other and looks after each other. We have family who has lived in the Verde Valley. We have visited and enjoyed the climate and environment of the area on numerous visits,” he said.
Propst (left) holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. The American Association of Airport Executives has designated him as an Accredited Airport Executive. He has also served on numerous boards and task forces involving aviation issues in Southern California.
Propst is a retired Marine Corps aviator, has logged over 3,000 hours of flight time in turbo-jet aircraft and helicopters, and holds a FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate with type ratings in both airplanes and helicopters. He has landed at the Sedona airport on numerous occasions and is familiar with the airport’s unique setting on top of a high mesa overlooking Sedona. “Since I am a pilot and have managed a city-owned airport which is busier than Sedona’s airport, I hope to be able to advance the airport’s community, pilot, tour operator and tenant relations. I look forward to meeting everyone here.”
Propst is also an adjunct faculty member of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teaching aviation management courses at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The airport manager is responsible for the day to day operations of the airport including maintaining an interactive relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration, Yavapai County (which owns the airport), the City of Sedona, as well as the dozens of companies and tour operators at the airport along with the 90+ aircraft owners who base their aircraft at the airport.
Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority is a non-profit corporation created in the early 1970s and operates the airport on a long-term lease from Yavapai County. The airport property was given to Yavapai County by the federal government in the mid 1950’s to operate in perpetuity as a general-use airport. The airport is located on 230 acres on top of Tabletop Mountain about 500 feet above the city of Sedona.
The airport is self-supported and does not require public funding from taxes. The airport operates with self-generated revenues from fuel sales, rental of buildings and hangars, and business agreements with airport vendors.
Fullerton Airport, which was managed by Propst, is on 86 acres, has three times the aircraft based there and over three times the aircraft traffic than Sedona’s airport. Fullerton has a control tower and is in controlled air space but Sedona’s airport is in uncontrolled airspace and does not have a control tower.
Propst said that there are over 19,000 airports in America with about 3,400 part of the National Plan of Integrated Airports System, but only about 375 have a control tower and controlled airspace. “Sedona’s airport is not busy enough to qualify for a tower and operates quite safely as an uncontrolled airport since all pilots know to communicate with each other as they land and depart the airport,” he said.
Article contributed by Al Comello.