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An airport director in Wisconsin has been selected to manage the Idaho Falls Regional Airport

Ian Turner was selected by the city of Idaho Falls to manage the Idaho Falls Regional Airport. | Courtesy La Crosse Regional Airport
IDAHO FALLS — A director of an airport in Wisconsin has been selected to manage the Idaho Falls Regional Airport.
Ian Turner is the current airport director at La Crosse Regional Airport in Wisconsin and has accepted the position of airport director in Idaho Falls. The city is currently working through the hiring process for Turner.
According to city spokesman Eric Grossarth, Mayor Rebecca Casper intends to make an appointment with the City Council for its confirming vote on Jan. 11.
Grossarth said there were over 50 applicants for the airport director position at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport. The applications came from across the United States.
Turner told EastIdahoNews.com that he is looking forward to moving to the area with his family.
“Idaho Falls and the airport there have been on the list of airports I’ve always felt were a good fit for me. When you look at the area, it’s very diverse,” Turner said. “That presents a lot of opportunities.”
Turner has 14 years of experience in airport management. He has moved to different states and is originally from the Coeur d’Alene area. He explained how he got into the business of aviation.
“Growing up, I’d look up and watch the forest service firefighter tankers fly over. When I went to college, that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to fly those,” he said.
He ended up taking an internship in Bismarck, North Dakota, as an airport intern and soon realized what he enjoyed.
“I really fell in love with airport management. I find all types of transportation to be fascinating. Aviation is the one that I found a career in,” Turner said.
Turner has spent about four and a half years at the La Crosse Regional Airport, which serves American Airlines. It connects through Chicago O’Hare International Airport, where you can reach nearly any airport.

Courtesy La Crosse Regional Airport
Turner started his position before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That really absorbed my first two years in my current role. Then coming out of the pandemic, we saw some pretty exceptional growth on the air carrier side with an additional flight to Minneapolis … and the return of our total number of flights to Chicago and that went well,” he said.
Additionally, a lot of his work behind the scenes in La Crosse has been to address retirements, retain good employees, promote professional development and establish a strong foundation.
“On a broader scale, I have worked with my fellow airport managers in the state of Wisconsin to push for pilot certification changes that both enhance safety as well as open up more pathways for individuals to become pilots and help relieve some of the challenges the airlines are working on,” Turner said.
Turner’s last day at the La Crosse Regional Airport will be on Jan. 17.
The previous person to serve as airport director in Idaho Falls was Rick Cloutier. He was in the position for five years and left in September for the Moore County Airport in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
One of the biggest accomplishments in Cloutier’s time in Idaho Falls revolved around what is known as air service development. The airport added three new airlines and seven additional nonstop destinations, according to Grossarth.
Grossarth added that 504,304 people have come in and out through the airport so far this year. The Idaho Falls Regional Airport serves Allegiant, Delta Airlines, United, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines.
Turner believes the airport can continue to grow and provide additional services.
“I look forward to diversifying some of that and working on cargo operations, expanding local businesses that operate from the airport as well as continuing air service options for the community to reach southern California, also expanding our service through additional flights to Seattle or to Salt Lake City, Denver, (and) bring back some Minneapolis flights,” Turner said.
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Turner will be working on the expansion project at the airport in Idaho Falls, which is going to take some time. The project will expand and replace the outbound baggage system and expand the ticketing, central lobby and other spaces for essential airport functions.
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The $45 million project, funded through federal airport money, is expected to begin in early 2024 and finish by 2026, according to a news release.
Turner hopes to begin his position in Idaho Falls on Feb. 1.

Idaho Falls Regional Airport. | EastIdahoNews.com
The post An airport director in Wisconsin has been selected to manage the Idaho Falls Regional Airport appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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