More public awareness and more involvement are just two ideas Darren Zingerman has about making the local airport more of a presence in town.
Zingerman took over as airport manager in early May after receiving approval from the Airport Authority board.
Bob Mann had been interim airport manager since last October.
For example, Zingerman said he wants to open up the airport to the public like what was done at Easter and continue an egg drop from airplanes.
Zingerman said he’d also like to build a pavilion on the grounds to host parties, barbecues and other events.
“People don’t realize the value of what an airport brings to the city,” he said, noting that airports are one of the things companies consider when thinking about moving into a community.
What’s unique about airports in Dawson County is that the county has three, he noted.
“I want the city to be glad it has an airport,” Zingerman said.
The new manager also plans to become a certified flight instructor and offer lessons which would also help more young people become involved in the airport and flying.
Another idea includes offering an airport courtesy car for people to use after they fly in instead of having to rent a car. He’d also like to partner with Wild Horse Golf Club to offer discounts when players arrive by air.
“My goal is to support what we have and make it more productive and more people friendly,” Zingerman said. “I’d like people to see us as an asset to the city.”
As manager, he oversees the airport and deals with such things as hangar rentals, fuel sales and maintenance.
Zingerman also operates Great Plains Flying Service that provides crop-dusting services for an area from North Platte to Arnold and Curtis.
In fact, he worked for the previous owner (Aaron Meyer of Curtis who now serves as a consultant) for two years and bought the business in April.
Before that, he flew for an operator in Kansas.
Zingerman received his pilot’s license in 1993.
Before becoming involved in the crop-dusting business, he worked as a semi-conductor engineer for IBM in New York and Texas where he maintained equipment used to imprint images to create integrated circuits (computer chips).
“But I always liked flying,” Zingerman said. “My father had his pilot’s license and I started flying with him when I was 7.”
Zingerman has three sons, two who are grown—Darren in Florida and Matthew in college in New York—and Jacob, a ninth grader, who will move to Gothenburg this summer.
In his spare time, Zingerman likes watching IndyCar and Formula I racing, shooting skeet, riding mountain bikes and acting in theatre.
He also likes motorcycle and motor cross riding.
For more information about the airport or Great Plains Flying Service, call Zingerman at 537-2005.