New airport manager enjoying being grounded
For years, Tim Rowe’s office was the cockpit of a corporate jet – today it’s an office at Carson City Airport.
Rowe, 59, was appointed the Carson City Airport Manager on March 23 after the former manager, Casey Pullman, resigned to take a job in Southern California.
According to the Carson City Airport Authority minutes for Feb. 16, the authority’s chairman, Harlow Norvell, appointed Rowe the interim manager shortly after Pullman tendered his resignation.
The position was advertised online with a Feb. 15 deadline, which resulted in four responses, including Rowe’s.
The authority interviewed three other applicants for the position and on March 23 by a 5-1 vote they selected Rowe to take the helm as the manager of the Carson City Airport.
Rowe said his primary issue is finding space for smaller general aviation aircraft at the airport.
“We are about 95 percent full, especially with the smaller, general aviation aircraft,” Rowe said. “We have one complex that is 95 percent empty, and it’s a hangar that is basically designed for corporate airplanes.
That complex is the Jet Ranch, a 41,000 square foot hangar that caters to high-end corporate jets. The developers of the hangar, KCXP Investments, LLC., of Dayton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the hangar was completed in 2009.
But it’s the corporate aviation market Rowe said the airport is trying to attract.
“Right now we are gearing up our marketing to try to get more corporate-style aircraft, turboprop and jets, to come to Carson City,” he said. “We have one of the best tax rates in the state, as far as personal property taxes, fuel prices for this area are the lowest in Northern Nevada and hangar rates are less than anywhere else in Northern Nevada.”
Meanwhile, Rowe said there is potential for more development around the airport.
“I’m getting calls about three times a week for people looking for hangar space,” he said.
Rowe got his start in aviation while stationed in Alaska serving in the U.S. Army. Eventually, he found work as a aviation mechanic then as a corporate pilot flying Learjets, which brought him to the Carson City region 15 years ago. Until recently, Rowe was the pilot for Scolari’s, the Reno-based supermarket chain, which kept its jet inside the Jet Ranch until the company sold it in January.
“Now I’m the airport manager,” he said.
When Pullman announced his unexpected resignation in early February, Rowe was approached by the authority’s chairman to step in as the interim airport manager. Rowe said he had been a regular attendee at airport authority meetings.
“This is something I thought I could do so I applied for the position,” he said.
Rowe said the airport is working on installing a GPS-assisted weather forecasting system plus getting the National Weather Service to expand its weather forecasting services to the Carson City Airport, which would help attract corporate and charter aviation companies.
For now, Rowe said he’s enjoying spending more time on the ground.
“I’ve been flying a long time, but it’s nice to be home,” he said. “My wife likes it.”