The Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport has a new manager who’s also a familiar face.

The airport board this week picked Susan Harmon, who has been the interim manager since November, to lead operations of the city- and county-owned facility.

Former airport manager Rob Barnett, who had directed the Bowling Green airport since 1999, was named in November to be the director of the Daviess County Airport Board, which oversees the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport.

“She’s been doing the job since Rob left (and) the board felt she has been doing a good job,” said Jim Bohannon, chairman of the airport’s board of directors.

Harmon had been director of operations at the airport for 21/2 years before being appointed interim manager.

Harmon said she’s looking forward to working with the airport’s constituents and partners, such as the FAA, local governments and airport users. A major goal is “to have more aviation-related events” and activities at the airport, she said.

More immediately, Harmon is working on a taxiway renovation about to get underway at the facility.

The airport last month received word that it had been chosen for a $7 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant to renovate an area around the airport’s main runway.

The area, dubbed “taxiway Alpha,” runs from the terminal to the runway and has deteriorated through years of wear and tear.

Harmon said she has also not shut the door on attempting to get commercial air service back to Bowling Green.

In 2017, Contour Airlines discontinued commercial, seasonal flights from Bowling Green to Destin, Fla.

The service ran for two seasons but did not attract enough passengers to sustain the flights. In 2016, daily commercial flights to Atlanta also began but ended after only three months because of a lack of demand.

“With Nashville so close, we might have to start small,” she said. “But we are always looking for opportunities.”

While the federal government subsidizes the cost of providing air service in many smaller markets through the Essential Air Service program, Bowling Green is not eligible for EAS subsidies because it is considered to be adequately served by the Nashville airport.

Harmon’s immediate agenda also includes “visiting some other airports to get new ideas,” she said.

Bohannon said the airport board received a large number of applicants for the job, which was winnowed down to 36, and then to three with Harmon emerging as the consensus pick.

Harmon has absorbed the job details quickly and “all things considered” was the best candidate,” he said.

– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Wes Swietek is the Bowling Green Daily News News Director.

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