Overseers of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks have taken an interim step to buy time in their search for a permanent hire for the long-vacant but vital position of marketing and route development director.
The Connecticut Airport Authority on Thursday signed a one-year, $137,800 contract with marketing consultant Dan Carstens. He starts on Feb. 15.
Carstens, publisher of The Airport News & Bradley International Cargo Guide, will assume the role of marketing and identifying new routes for Bradley and the state's general aviation airports.
He previously owned and operated a Bradley aircraft handling facility from 1982 to 2006. He serves on the boards of the Bradley Development League and the Windsor Locks Chamber of Commerce, and is past president of the Connecticut International Trade Association.
Carstens is a temporary fill-in role for a post vacant since January 2010, when Luis Perez left after less than six months on the job. The job is vital to promoting Bradley as a major economic asset and working with airlines to add more routes, which ultimately grows the revenue of the airport and the surrounding area.
Part of the reason the position has been vacant for more than a year is Connecticut spent the better part of 2011 shifting administration of the airports from the Department of Transportation to the newly created airport authority.
The new authority is meant to be more nimble and market responsive, avoiding the bureaucracy that plagued the airports in the past.
The authority launched a national search for an executive director shortly after its first meeting in December, but didn't want the airports to suffer while the search was underway. Once that executive director is in place, that administration will fill the other staffing needs, including marketing and route development.