Lehigh Valley

Thomas Stoudt officially becomes LNAA Executive Director

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors unanimously approved the appointment of Thomas Stoudt as the authority’s executive director at its meeting Tuesday. 

Stoudt had served for six months as the authority’s interim director after Charles Everett stepped down.

The LNAA conducted a five-month national search and reviewed over 50 resumes for the position. The authority had reviewed nine of the resumes extensively.

“I am honored to help lead this organization and achieve our overall vision of being the best regional airport system in North America,” Stoudt was quoted as saying in a news release by the LNAA.

“You have to really love what you do as well as where you work and the airport authority meets those criteria," Stoudt said after Tuesday’s meeting. “I am excited to continue to lead the organization."

As the new director, he would continue to find ways to enhance customer experience and find new opportunities for development, Stoudt said.

Stoudt said it was a “great time for the organization” after facing some financial challenges in years past. 

Stoudt had spent over 22 years with the Airport Authority, beginning as a baggage handler and an intern with the authority.

“It wasn’t an easy decision due to a number of high-quality candidates, so the selection committee didn’t rush the process,” J. Michael Dowd, the board’s chairman said, according to the release. 

“Tom demonstrated strong leadership skills during his short time as interim director, and the board feels extremely confident the airport will continue to thrive under his direction in the future,” Dowd said.

The board also unanimously approved a permit for a flight school at Braden Airpark in Forks Township with Proflight Aero Services for a one-year initial term with the option for a one-year extension. 

The start date for the school’s opening is April 1. 

The rent would be $1,290 a month after an initial incentive period. 

The board put an additional condition on the approval at Tuesday’s meeting so that the authority reserves the right to terminate the agreement if the school is not operational within 60 days of the date of the agreement’s signing.

The board does not anticipate any issues with the flight school, however. 

Executive Director Stoudt said that he hoped that the presence of the flight school will draw other businesses to Braden, noting that the school was an “encouraging first step” in the process of attracting businesses to the airpark. 

Stoudt said several improvements and changes have been made to Braden over the last year or so, including cleaning up and upgrading various structures within the facility and installing new dusk-to-dawn lighting around the airpark.

The authority had also demolished several dilapidated buildings on the property, including a vacant terminal building.

Fencing and gates had also been put up to prevent vehicles from entering areas of the airpark reserved for use by planes.

The LNAA had voted last year to match a $250,000 grant from Northampton County to demolish the buildings and work on the upgrades.

The ongoing improvements at Braden come after the airpark nearly closed several years ago after falling into disrepair. 
The airpark had a history of use for teaching aspiring pilots in the area how to fly.

In other news, the authority reported a net income of $344,000 in 2018 so far, due in large part to a recent real estate transaction that netted the authority $264,000. 

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE  and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links may be removed by the moderator.

This Week's Circulars

Lehigh Valley News

Latest From The Newsroom