The quality of the aviation profession directly correlates with the capabilities of those who contribute to our trade in a variety of functions. These two gentlemen epitomize the talented personnel who populate this industry.
John Kinney, to steal a line from Nike, knows aviation. His career began at Metropolitan State University of Denver’s well known aviation management. From there he learned his craft at Centennial Airport, Long Beach Airport, Scottsdale Airport, Denver International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport plus work with TSA and airport consultancy. Armed with that knowledge, John will now take the position of Airport Director at Aspen Pitkin County’s Sardy Field.
While small in geographic size, the airport is big in its profile. ASE is critical to the local resorts for bringing skiers and summer visitors to them. Aspen is the home of a number of celebrities and many of them fly to the airport in the midst of the Rockies. John’s experience will suit the airport well; he will be able to deal with the small details which assure safety and can handle the large egos which flow around and through the terminal. The quality of the finalists for this job demonstrates the attractiveness of this airport.
Darrell Collins knows aviation history. As a Park Ranger at Kitty Hawk’s Wright Brothers National Memorial, Mr. Collins is considered the Park’s leading Wright Brothers historian. In this role, he is responsible for “interpretation” of the fraternal innovation which became first flight. The Elizabeth City State University graduate has received honors like a top Department of Interior award for his presentations and as a Park Ranger for a National Tour. He is in great demand as a speaker at universities, aviation organizations (NASA, AIA, NATA, AOPA and NBAA) and a variety of outreach functions.
In 1988, Mr. Collins was one of two featured speakers at the Aero Club of Washington/NAA Wright Memorial Award Dinner. He was first to the podium and had incredible command of the 1899-1903 events. He elevated seemingly insignificant details to show the brilliance of the brothers; he spoke for over 20 minutes without a note. His voice was so captivating and charming that even event-hardened audience members were taking notes. His delivery was poetic and humorous. All in attendance most likely can recall most of his highlights. He was so well received that the next speaker, a very accomplished astronaut, recognized that Darrell was a tough act to follow and anyone, who would buy him a drink, could hear his speech.
Those, who can attend the EAA event on December 12, should!
These are two extraordinarily interesting, talented individuals, both of who make aviation strong and rich.
ANNOUNCEMENT: New Aspen/Pitkin County Airport Director
ARTICLE: Darrell Collins to Keynote EAA’s Annual Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet