Columbia selects new airport manager

Monday, October 18, 2010 | 6:51 p.m. CDT; updated 11:27 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 18, 2010

COLUMBIA —Andrew Schneider, who says traffic doubled in two years at his North Dakota airport, has been hired as the next manager of the Columbia Regional Airport.

He will take over on Nov. 8 with an annual salary of $62,000. The hiring was announced by Columbia Public Works Department Director John Glascock in a news release.

A look at the Jamestown Airport

Here are some facts about the Jamestown airport in comparison to Columbia:

  • Flights are available from Jamestown to Minneapolis at 6:50 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. seven days a week.
  • Flights are available from Columbia to Memphis at 6:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. There is also a flight at 11:20 a.m. available Monday through Friday and Sunday. 
  • Costs vary based on time of purchase and flight times. Both airports require plane tickets to be purchased via the Delta Air Lines website. 

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Glascock said in the release that Andrews’ experience in aviation and his previous experience working with Delta Air Lines were strong reasons that he has been hired.

Schneider, 27, said he believes he can manage Delta’s operations in Columbia. 

“You have the world’s largest airline serving it (Columbia)," Schneider said. "It’s not a small operation.”

Schneider was the airport manager in Jamestown, N.D., for the past two and a half years.

“I started running this airport when I was 25,” Schneider said. “It was trial by error.”

As manager in Jamestown, the airport saw a 100 percent increase in passengers, Schneider said.

“We’re running twice what we did two years ago,” he said.

Schneider is looking forward to living in Columbia because it is larger and warmer than Jamestown, population 15,000. He also likes the potential for Columbia’s airport.

“I want to come down and blend in for a while, and if changes are necessary, make them so we can keep growing,” Schneider said.

Jill Stedem, public information specialist for Columbia, said that the city is looking to expand the airport, and that Schneider is a strong fit.

“He is coming in at a good time to help us move forward with our master plan that has recently been completed,” she said.

According to Stedem, the city received 73 applications. The city conducted phone interviews and had two formal interviews before picking Schneider. 

Kathy Frerking, the previous manager for four years, left at the end of July, citing personal reasons.

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