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Airline pilot set to fill slot on Northern Colorado airport commission

FORT COLLINS — The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday is set to approve a resolution naming Delta Airlines captain Michael Williams to fill the position of citizen representative from that city on Northern Colorado Regional Airport’s governing commission.

A selection committee appointed by the council selected Williams to fill a seat to be vacated by Thomas Fleming.

A veteran pilot who has flown combat missions and served as a test pilot and instructor of test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Williams has been employed at Delta for nine years, serving as both captain and first officer on Boeing 757 and 767 and Airbus 220 airliners. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in systems analysis from the Naval Post-Graduate School.

In the application to serve on the commission that he submitted on April 28, Williams said he would bring “extensive aviation leadership and experience” to the panel. “I have an expertise and interest in ensuring that best practices are utilized and decisions are being made that balance the needs and wants of multiple stakeholders.”

He said the most important issue before the commission should be the future of the Federal Aviation Administration’s experimental remote control tower at the airport “and its impact on the ability to bring a commercial airline” to Northern Colorado Regional Airport, code named FNL. “If the remote tower fails, what are other avenues to bring revenue to the airport and to activate and pay for the [operations and management] that is associated with the new terminal. These projects are connected and somewhat dependent on each other for success.”

Ground was broken Thursday for the airport’s new $22 million,19,400-square-foot, two-gate terminal.

“The commission’s job is to ensure the right questions are being asked and alternative plans are being made by the airport director to ensure FNL has a sustainable future,” Williams wrote.

According to the resolution scheduled to be presented at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, a 2019 amendment to the intergovernmental agreement for operating the airport between its two owners, the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland, provided that the Fort Collins-appointed citizen member would serve an initial term of three years commencing July 1, 2019. Fleming was appointed to fill that term, which was scheduled to end on June 30, 2022.

“Due to confusion about the length of his term, Mr. Fleming continues to serve as the Fort Collins-appointed citizen member to the commission despite the expiration of his term,” the resolution states.

In order to maintain the plan for staggered terms of the citizen representatives that was specified by the IGA, the resolution says, “the City Council is setting the term for Mr. Fleming’s replacement at less than four years so that the term ends on a date that maintains said staggered terms.”

Thus, Williams’ term would end on June 30, 2026, the resolution states.

Source: BizWest