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Kate Alfred named new airport manager

Kate Alfred is the new manager of Stevens Field, the Archuleta County Airport.

Alfred was chosen from a field of 39 applicants and assumed her post on Monday, following the April 20 departure of former Airport Manager Bill McKown.

Only at the helm for a few days, Alfred’s list of goals and projects to continue is long, including the relocation of the self-serve fuel farm, which she hopes will be completed by the Fourth of July.

That list also includes current happenings at the airport such as air support for the Little Sand Fire.

Projects include working with a committee to discuss the most efficient methods for snow removal (using the county’s new airport snow removal equipment), crack sealing the taxiway, and longer-term projects such as putting together a business plan for the airport and surrounding businesses, and finishing a taxiway expansion.

Alfred’s resume touts 20 years worth of experience “… in the field of aviation, as a pilot and as a manager of both a FAA Certified Repair Station and Flight Department.”

That experience, according to the resume, came while working at the Steen Aviation Flight Department-FAA Certified Repair Station and Steen Hall Eye Institute of Willis Knighton Medical Center.

The resume also lists a B.A. from Centenary College and 12 one-week seminars focusing on management issues.

Alfred is the current chair of the county’s Airport Advisory Commission and has been on the AAC since 2008.

She also served on the Archuleta County Tourism Commission for two years and the Pagosa Community Development Corporation for one year, the resume states.

Not listed on Alfred’s resume is the aviation repair station, Avtronics Inc., for which Alfred’s husband is listed on an FAA website as the CEO, president and only employee.

Earlier in 2012, the BoCC helped the Alfreds contact Congressman Scott Tipton for help to receive the certification needed to run Avtronics.

When asked if the connection to Avtronics would present a conflict of interest, BoCC Chair Clifford Lucero said, “There was a good pool of applicants and she rose to the top,” adding that he did not personally sit in on the interviews for the position. “In all fairness to her, she went through the process and was chosen.”

Lucero continued to state that Alfred “cares deeply about the community” and “wants what’s best for the community” and, should a conflict arise, he felt Alfred would be the first to admit to it.

“She has excellent integrity,” Lucero said, highlighting Alfred’s professionalism.

County Attorney Todd Starr said his office does not speculate on potential conflicts of interest, but said any conflicts that arise would be dealt with, “in due course.”

Alfred said owning a hangar at the airport gives her a perspective of what hangar owners are looking for, and that any decision that would benefit her would also benefit the other 52 hangar owners.

Alfred also stated that, while the airport manager reviews hangar leases, her lease would be reviewed by the county administrator and county attorney.

Such policies were in place before the application process began, Alfred said, and were discussed during her interview.

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