Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Airport board picks new chairman


Survey ranks facility No. 2 in nation

BY PATRICK CROWLEY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HEBRON — The Kenton County Airport Board has a new chairman and another award to boast about.

        Gary Bockelman, 45, of Fort Mitchell, the vice president of business development at Thomas More College and a member of the Beechwood Board of Education, was unanimously elected chairman Monday of the board that oversees management of the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport.

        Mr. Bockelman replaces Bert Huff, also of Fort Mitchell, who was the first woman to chair the board. Mr. Bockelman's term is for two years. He had been serving as vice chair man.

        “Let me tell you how very honored I am to be sitting here” as chairman, Mr. Bockelman told his fellow board members after the vote.

        Mr. Bockelman then thanked former Kenton County Judge-executive Clyde Middleton, who attended Monday's meeting. Mr. Middleton appointed Mr. Bockelman to the board in 1993.

        “Thank you so, so much for your vote of confidence in me,” Mr. Bockelman told Mr. Middleton. “I'm pleased you could be here tonight.”

        The election of a new vice chairman also could be an indication that for the first time a Boone County resident will eventually be voted chairman of the board.

        Arlyn Easton of Hebron, president of Meyer Tool in Erlanger, was elected vice chair man. There are no guarantees, but the vice chairman often is voted chairman after serving a two-year term.

        That means Mr. Easton could become chairman in 2001. Though the airport is located in Boone County, it was developed in the 1940s with assistance from Kenton County, which has had oversight and control over board appointments ever since.

        A Boone County resident has nev er been chairman of the airport board, said spokesman Ted Bushelman.

        Also, for the second time in six months, the airport has been ranked in a passenger survey as one of the top airports in the world.

        The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has ranked the airport the No. 2 U.S. gateway, No. 9 worldwide, based on a survey of 77,000 international passengers.

        The annual survey compares pas sengers' perceptions of 65 major airports and rates them in 19 categories of service and convenience. Factors considered include ease of connections, comfort of waiting lounges, speed of baggage delivery and food quality.

        Cincinnati finished behind Orlando among U.S. airports, but finished ahead of Orlando when it came to satisfaction among business travelers.

        IATA ranked the airport second in the nation behind Orlando and sev enth in the world for overall passenger satisfaction in 1998.

        And in January, OAG Worldwide, a publisher of travel information services, ranked the airport the best in North and South America and No. 2 in the world.

        Mr. Easton said the awards “tell us that we have the best staff in the airport business.”

       



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