New hire likely

An increase in traffic and after hours callouts have prompted the need for another full-time employee at the Neil Armstrong Airport.

“We need another full time person here,” said Neil Armstrong Airport Manager Sean Stroh, who is the only full-time employee of the airport now. “Over the last couple years we’ve had a steady increase of traffic plus after hour callouts, which are hard to schedule using just part time help.

“We want to provide consistent, efficient and safe service to our customers,” he said.

Stroh explained while he puts in all the hours that he can at the facility, too many hours on the job in a row could lead to a safety concern.

He said the additional employee would ensure that the facility east of New Knoxville could have two full-time people on staff during busy summer months and the winter as well, to help with snow removal, which can be time consuming.

While they have employed part-time help at the airport in the past, Stroh said new healthcare regulations would require them to be provided with insurance, so they decided that they might as well hire someone on a full-time basis.

The airport, which is overseen by the Auglaize County Airport Authority, has been spending approximately $30,000 per year on part-time employees and overtime.

A salary for the new position has yet to be determined, Stroh said.

“We hope to have someone on board by mid-fall,” Stroh said, explaining they plan to advertise the position within the next few weeks.

A full job description may be found in local papers, the Auglaize County website and Hometown Opportunity, but Stroh is looking for someone to help with aircraft handling, servicing and fueling, as well as quality control and ground maintenance. Experience in the airport business isn’t necessary, but preferred.

“As the facility has grown over the years and increased its acreage, more time is spent out maintaining the grounds and that has grown to become a challenge,” said Stroh, who has been employed at the airport since 1998 and managed it since 2007. “I don’t always have time to get to everything.”

Stroh said in past years they brought on extra help during summer months, but with changes in health care regulations, they didn’t do that this summer, so they didn’t create any problems there, however, in deciding not to bring on extra help, they created a backlog of work that needs done at the facility.