By Steven R. Alexander
At a meeting held on May 16, the Arapahoe County Public Airport Authority board welcomed faces, acknowledged an airport legend, and gave accolades.
The board recognized Larry Ulrich, who has handed over his title of president of the Denver jetCenter to David C. Miller, and, hopefully, will be visiting the airport frequently, from his office at the Denver Tech Center.
“Larry Ulrich made Denver jetCenter the number one FBO in the U.S.,” said Robert Olislagers, airport director, mentioning their recent status in a poll conducted by International Aviation News, and their popular vote by those polled by Professional Pilot Magazine.
“Every other airport is trying to emulate the Denver jetCenter,” he said, adding that if Harry Combs was the “father of FBOs,” Ulrich gave them “their identity.” He mentioned that Ulrich headed up the Centennial Airport Citizens Advisory Task Force’s Compliance Committee. The task force recently and successfully united the community regarding issues that have surrounded the airport for decades.
Ulrich took his turn at the mike, explaining that when George Wallace, Denver Tech Center developer, didn’t want the task of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the sole fixed base operation at the airport, he persuaded Ulrich to do so.
“Our first hangar was named #1 because we had hoped for more,” Ulrich said. “Now, at this airport, there are more than 700 based aircraft; nearly 100 of those are turbine powered.”
Ulrich commented on the explosion of growth at the airport, and the “effective, respected and knowledgeable” airport director.
Ulrich said he’s been asked to help grow the various jetCenters, from corporate headquarters, through additional acquisitions.
“I’ll also be involved in coordinating our FBOs and marketing of all four operations from that location,” he said.
Ulrich graciously took the time to speak about the Centennial Aviation & Business Journal and Centennial Town Journal.
“Credit ought to be given,” he said. “They have been very supportive and very instrumental in educating the public. Their publications are widely read and have a huge effect.”
Olislagers introduced DjC’s new president to those in attendance.
“Dave Miller comes to us by way of Burbank International Airport,” said Olislagers. “His last stint was as CFO for the airport authority. Just prior to that, he was a highly regarded FBO manager for Mercury at Burbank. He is a veteran of the airport community, and a former chairman of the National Air Transportation Association.”
Miller comes from the “poster child” of airport problems,” said Olislagers.
“Most every piece of judicial history of airport problems went through Burbank at one time,” Olislagers said.
Miller said he was humbled at being allowed the opportunity to head up the “prized FBO in the country” and to step into Ulrich’s shoes.
The board welcomed Victoria Pena to the authority’s office staff. They also praised the operations and maintenance staff at the airport, which again has been awarded the Balkan/Post award, for excellence in the performance of airport snow and ice control over the past winter.
The APA staff has been awarded the commendation three times in the last five years, holding the number one or two slots seven times in the last 11 years. This is the sixth time that David Zarlengo, deputy director of maintenance, has led his snow removal team to receipt of the award. Centennial Airport currently uses three high-speed plows, two snow blowers and one snow sweeper. Similar airports operate with larger crews and more equipment.
Awards were presented, for the twenty-sixth consecutive year, at the annual International Aviation Snow Symposium, which this year, was held in Buffalo, N.Y. Winners are named in six categories; Centennial Airport placed in the Large General Aviation category.
Another topic at the meeting was a 10k run/5k walk-run, Runway Run 2002, the airport is hosting on July 21, with a start at 8 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Saint Anthony’s Flight for Life.
BKB Ltd. will help promote this race. Denver area 99s will provide a pancake breakfast for all volunteers. The event is limited to 650 participants, due to parking and security concerns.
The next citizens advisory group meeting will be held July 9, with the next public board meeting to be held July 11.