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New wings: Natchez-Adams County Airport gets new manager

Bob Hawk is taking over for Clint Pomeroy as the new airport manger at the Natchez-Adams County Airport when Pomeroy retires in April. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

Bob Hawk is taking over for Clint Pomeroy as the new airport manger at the Natchez-Adams County Airport when Pomeroy retires in April. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — New Natchez Adams County Airport manager Bob Hawk looks to continue the long-time work of the soon-to-be-retired airport manager Clint Pomeroy.

Hawk of Brunswick, Ga., recently made his way past the big green sign on U.S. 61 North to take over as airport manager at the Hardy-Anders Field Airport.

Pomeroy held that position since 1989, but has worked at the airport since 1975 as an operation manager.

The airport board hired Hawk to take over as manager when Pomeroy retires.

“I’m very comfortable with Bob taking over this position,” Pomeroy said. “I feel like I’m leaving it in capable hands.”

Hawk has 39 years of aviation experience, having served 20 of those years with the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic — obtaining his A&P rating and a private pilots rating.

Hawk has served as an airport operations supervisor in Tallahassee, special agent and assistant federal security director in Renton, Wash., driver manager in Frostproof, Fla., security enforcement in Spartanburg, S.C., and recently served as an airport operations manager in Brunswick.

While working with airlines and airports, the experience and knowledge gained of those operations became a valuable tool while in regulatory enforcement as special agent and assistant federal security director of regulatory, Hawk said.

During his time in Brunswick as an airport operation manager, Hawk was responsible for directing the operations department for a Part 139 Airport and a general aviation airport.

Part 139 airports serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier aircraft with more than 30 seats and scheduled air carrier operations for aircraft with more than nine seats but fewer than 31 seats.

Hawk’s responsibilities at those airports included supervising commission staff, managing of the airport security program and the management, direction, planning, organization and coordination of the day-to-day airside and landside operations of the airports.

He also received a bachelor of science degree in professional aeronautics and an associate of science degree in aviation management in 1993 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university that specializes in aviation.

“Having that aviation degree helps me communicate with the aviation community,” Hawk said. “The pilots and mechanics like to know who they are talking to and make sure you understand what’s going on.”

Although Hawk is currently transitioning to the roll of manager, he has already set a goal to complete the work Pomeroy started.

“We have an upcoming fuel farm project coming up that will go into effect shortly,” Hawk said.

Currently, county airport officials are working to ensure the county can utilize a grant to replace the fuel farm at the airport.

“I’ll be working closely with the airport commission and sit down with them to see what direction we all want the airport to go in,” Hawk said.

Pomeroy, who is retiring on April 1, said Hawk taking over as manager will be a smooth transition.

“I’ve been here 40 years, so I know where everything is and where everything was — so I’ll be around If I’m needed,” Pomeroy said.

Hawk said his tenure in the Air Force would help him with his new management position.

“That’s the easy part,” Hawk said. “A lot of the stuff we are going through now are all familiar things for me from the past.”

Hawk said changes to the airport will come in time after discussing future matters with the airport commission to see what direction they would like the airport to go in.

“That was the goal of the airport commissioners,” Hawk said. “To find someone that has the qualifications that they are looking for to take this airport and continue on.

“I got some big shoes to fill. Clint has been here for 40 years — that’s a long time in an airport and it’s almost unheard of. I’m proud to be working with him on his final tour of the airport.”