WATERLOO | The director of the Waterloo Regional Airport is leaving after just six months to take a new position in Minnesota.
Mike Wilson, took the reins in Waterloo Feb. 18, has resigned his post effective Aug. 29 to become manager of reliever airports serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
"One of the airports is 37 minutes from my in-laws and 38 minutes from my parents," Wilson said. "It's pretty hard to pass that up.
"It had nothing to do with the airport here," he added. "The staff out there is doing a great job and I really love the area and the people here."
Wilson came to Waterloo after three years directing the Aberdeen Regional Airport in South Dakota. He had interviewed for the job in Minneapolis at the same time he was applying in Waterloo.
"One of my friends got the job back then, but it didn't work out for her," said Wilson, who was then contacted about filling the position managing two of the six reliever airports serving MSP International.
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Wilson said he was confident in the future of the Waterloo airport, which has seen passenger numbers improve while new sources of revenue are helping the city avoid property tax subsidies. The city is currently purchasing new equipment and making hangar improvements with federal grants.
Mayor Buck Clark said he accepted Wilson's resignation "reluctantly."
"He was doing an incredibly good job and we hate to see him go," Clark said.
The City Council's human resources committee will be asked Monday to approve the hiring process for a new director, which Clark said should go much more quickly than it did when Wilson was hired.
"We're going to follow the same process we did the last time but the job description is already set," Clark said. "It's our fervent hope that we can get somebody quickly."
The city retained Austin, Texas-based Trillion Aviation to run the airport after former director Brad Hagen resigned in 2013. Clark said he hopes an interim consultant will not be needed this time.