County Comment: Commissioners confirm Ridenour as airport director
Commissioners confirm Ridenour as airport director
By Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer
Phillip G. Ridenour was approved as Director of Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) as part of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011.
Ridenour has served for 14 years as HGR's Fire Chief prior to the appointment, and had fulfilled a managerial role under previous Director Carolyn Motz, who retired December 31st.
Ridenour, a native of Maugansville, has served the County in an emergency preparedness role since 1984, first as a dispatcher in the 9-1-1 call center, and then as Fire Chief of Station 35 located at the airport. He also served as Chief of the Maugansville Goodwill Fire Company for 20 years, and has been a volunteer firefighter for 34 years.
Over the years at HGR, Ridenour began learning the administrative duties necessary to manage a Part 139 certificated Airport under Federal Aviation Administration regulations. He developed policies, wrote reports, and played a role in bringing about growth of the airport as an economic development tool for Washington County. He was the driving force behind funding and development of the new firefighting station at the airport, major maintenance equipment purchases and other related airport improvements including the recently completed runway extension.
"We are happy to have one of our own selected as the Director", Division of Public Works Director Joe Kroboth said.
Kroboth, County Administrator Greg Murray, former Airport Director Carolyn Motz, Airport Advisory Commission Chairman Brett Wilson, Economic Development Director Tim Troxell and the Maryland Aviation Administration's Director of Regional Airport Assistance, Ashish Solanki made up the search committee, which began its work last September. The search went nationwide, with advertisements in all major area newspapers and in national aviation industry journals Requirements included experience in operations of small to medium size airport facilities that house commercial passenger service. Twenty-seven persons applied for the position, eight were selected for interviews.
A certificate graduate of Hagerstown Community College, and North Hagerstown High School, Ridenour has numerous citations and honors over his many years as a volunteer firefighter and airport employee. He successfully completed Washington County's management program, and pursued additional education credits at HCC as part of an advanced program of education and training.