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Branson Airport hires executive director

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The appeal of managing a $140 million privately developed commercial airport in the Ozarks drew Jeffrey P. Bourk to accept the position of executive director of Branson Airport, under construction south of Hollister.

Unlike a public airport, Bourk said, “We don’t have a lot of the red tape issues that exist at a government level.”

Branson Airport LLC hired Bourk, who started Oct. 11, away from Portland International Jetport in Maine. He was deputy airport director, managing all airport operations and responsible for attracting new air service.

Bourk is also a licensed pilot with a degree in aerospace studies from Florida-based Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is an accredited airport executive through the American Association of Airport Executives.

Bourk’s Branson Airport duties include obtaining Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration certification, hiring employees and enlisting airline carriers to serve the airport. During the next six months, he said he plans hire up to 10 administrative staff members. By the time of the airport’s anticipated opening in May 2009, he expects to have 35 employees in place.

Although the airport’s runway is large enough for international carriers, Bourk said the airport is only considering domestic flights.

“We are looking at every hub city and talking to all the airlines,” he said, noting that initial contacts will be with two carriers that service the hub cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and New York.

Bourk said airport runway construction is three weeks ahead of schedule.

He said the runway construction has been a monumental task, comparing it to a slightly larger runway project built in Charlotte, N.C.

“We have 9 million yards of earth to move to build this runway,” he said of the construction that began in July. The airport spans 7,000 acres in the Branson Creek residential community owned by Glenn Patch, founder of GEP Inc. Branson Creek includes Branson Creek Golf Course and John Daly’s Murder Rock Golf Club at Branson Creek.

Other companies involved in the airport project include McLean, Va.-based Aviations Facilities Co., which oversees development, Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell as the designer, and Des Moines, Iowa-based McAninch Corp. as construction contractor.[[In-content Ad]]

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