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Licon resigns as Northern Colorado Regional Airport director

LOVELAND — Jason Licon is resigning effective June 2 after 12½ years as director of the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

Licon’s impending resignation was confirmed to BizWest on Monday afternoon by Don Overcash, Loveland’s mayor pro tem and chairman of the airport’s governing commission. Overcash also forwarded an email to commission members from Loveland city manager Steve Adams, who will be responsible for appointing an interim director.

Licon “had an opportunity and has elected to take it,” Overcash said of Licon. “It’s a good career move.”

Licon leaves at a tumultuous time for the airport as it prepares for construction of a new terminal, awaits final approval by the Federal Aviation Administration of an experimental remote control tower, and rides out a storm of criticism from dozens of general-aviation pilots who house their private planes at the airport and faced eviction from four hangars that were deemed safety risks.

Referring to the airport’s joint ownership by the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins, Overcash added that he felt Licon “has done a great job, especially with the clumsy governance model we work under.”

A study of the airport’s governance is underway, Overcash said, and “it would be my recommendation that we don’t really hire a permanent director until we get this governance figured out.”

Part of the intergovernmental agreement between the cities states that appointing a new director would fall to the Loveland city manager’s office, Overcash said.

In the email sent Monday to members of the airport commission, Adams wrote, “I will immediately begin working to appoint the airport’s interim director, who will continue the vital operations and key initiatives of the airport as we plan for the official recruitment process.”

Adams added that “I want to take this opportunity to express my personal appreciation to Jason for his longstanding commitment to operational efficiency and safety of the airport as well as his vision for growth and innovation. He has done a tremendous job during his tenure as our airport director.

“During his tenure, I am most thankful for the airport’s safety and operational audits receiving high marks, new programs and events including the successful United/Landline Wingless Flight service to DIA and the aviation events and air shows that brought the airport to life for more consumers in our region, the airport’s first FAA-certified temporary tower in its 55-year history [which] is providing safe air traffic control for those served by the airport, the new airport terminal project, [and] development of the Master Plan and the recently adopted Strategic Plan that will help guide our airport into the future.

“We must ensure that the airport continues to have strong, effective leadership,” Adams wrote. “The city of Loveland will conduct a nationwide search in partnership with the city of Fort Collins that will involve public participation opportunities with key stakeholders.”

Also leaving the airport is administrative supervisor Shawn Battner, who announced last week that she is resigning effective May 30 after seven years. Among Battner’s roles has been to keep the minutes of commission meetings and call the roll of commissioners when a motion is brought to a vote.

Source: BizWest